His Honour v Herr Kommandant

Last week Qld premier Campbell Newman told the state’s legal fraternity to “come out of your ivory towers” and realise the only reason the government introduced a raft of tough new laws because the “system was failing”.

He said members of the legal industry who had publicly questioned the legislation and queried whether the government was blurring the lines between the judiciary and the executive were out of touch.

Last year 400 people committed offences while out on bail in Queensland, Mr Newman said, adding that Phillip Graeme Abell was out on bail when he killed Gold Coast policeman Damian Leeding.

“They [the legal fraternity] are living literally in an ivory tower,” Mr Newman said.

“They go home at night to their comfortable, well-appointed homes, they talk amongst themselves, they socialise together, they don’t understand what my team and I understand, and that is Queenslanders have had enough.”

On the separation of powers

Mr Newman said he believed it to be “more of an American thing, I should say”, but said he understood parliament to be “supreme” because it was “the manifestation of the will of the people”.

But

“It would be absolutely inappropriate for us to interfere in the workings of a specific court or case. That is where the separation of powers comes in. I don’t tell judges what to do, neither does the Attorney-General, nor do we now.

“What we are saying is, the community says enough is enough, they are not being protected, we are saying, here is a new set of laws to try and protect Queenslanders.

“If Queenslanders don’t like it, they’ll vote us out.”

Now Queensland Supreme Court judge Justice George Fryberg questioned whether he should hear a submission from the Director of Public Prosecutions asking the Supreme Court to review the decision to grant bail to 25-year-old alleged Bandidos member Jarrod Kevin Anthony Brown who police allege was one of the Bandidos involved in a public bikie brawl on the Gold Coast last month.

Justice Fryberg read Mr Newman’s comments aloud in court and asked Crown barrister Todd Fuller to clarify whether the comments had been withdrawn.

“I say that in great seriousness … because it’s essential in our system that justice be seen to be done,” Judge Fryberg said.

“If I were to have the matter dealt with with these remarks on the record and not withdrawn … it would be very difficult for members of the public to avoid a conclusion… that the court was bending to the will of the government.

“It’s significant because it’s not just me, it’s every judge in the court who could be in the same position.”

Judge Fryberg said he was troubled by the fact the application was effectively brought by a government whose “principle spokesman” had publicly told the court what the outcome should be.

Newman has stood his ground, telling parliament that he wasn’t commenting on specific cases, butonly spoke broadly on community expectations of the judiciary, reflecting what the people of Queensland are saying and thinking.

Today we should hear Justice Fryberg’s response.

Last week Robert Corr wrote an excellent piece in Overland:

Chilling: Queensland’s war on civil liberties.

John Birmingham was scathing on our attorney general:

I have arse pimples older than Jarrod Bleijie and I suspect the two weeks they sat festering on the hard wooden benches of UQ law school might make them better qualified to be the state’s senior law officer than our current Attorney-General.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said Mr Fitzgerald was entitled to his opinions, but said the government had a mandate to “rebalance the scales of justice”.

Under the new laws Bleijie has the power to keep sex offenders in prison indefinitely, irrespective of what the justice system might think. Dr Wendell Rosevear, who has treated sex offenders in Queenslanders prisons as well as the victims, thinks the laws are based on revenge and are unethical as well as counter-productive.

Actions like making bikie prison inmates to wear hot pink jumpsuits stem from similar motivation.

Tony Fitzgerald QC who presided over Queensland’s historic corruption inquiry also launched a scathing attack on the Newman government’s bikie and sex offender laws. I don’t have a link to his article.

Fitzgerald says parliament could choose to enact any law.

But parliamentarians “don’t have a ‘mandate’ to give effect to prejudices and ill-informed opinions, ignore ethics and conventions or attack fundamental values such as personal freedom or essential institutions such as the judiciary”

Radio National has more especially from
Gary Crooke, who was Counsel-Assisting in the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

Meanwhile coppers have been told to enact anti-bikie legislation with enthusiasm or be sacked. Mark saw three coppers hassling three citizens with tatts the other day, so they are on the job.

93 thoughts on “His Honour v Herr Kommandant”

  1. For all those who still believe that only evil-doers are affected by these new laws, see what happened to the respected VietNam Veterans Motorcycle Club.
    Yes, most old-fashioned Sergeant-Majors would tell them “Get a haircut!!” but that’s no reason to order the Police in (and I’m sure some of the Police officers taking part would have been embarrassed but were bound by their oath of service).

    Read this ABC story and be apprehensive

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-30/queensland-police-raid-veterans-club-under-anti-bikie-laws/5059250 [fixed ~ Mod]

    Who will be next? And why?

  2. Brian and all:

    It is really sad that this long-overdue critical look at the failings of our judges and magistrates has now come about because of the dangerous folly and incompetence of the Newman Government.

    A cornerstone of our system of law is that those who sit in judgement on our fellows should maintain some social distance – lest perceptions of conflicts-of-interests and favouritism arise. However, that in itself is no excuse whatsoever for arrogant self-isolation from the awful smelly public nor is it a credible defence for wilful ignorance. We saw the failure of that necessary social distance in the shockingly inadequate sentencing of high-flying corporate crooks, those who had destroyed the livelihoods of tens-of-thousands: there was one very soft law for the rich and the influential – and one harsh, inconsistent law for the poor and the powerless.

    No, I’m not in favour of “tough(??)” sentences – I’ll leave that rubbish for the noose-and-lash ratbags and their shock-jocks. I’m in favour of restorative justice http://www.what-makes-a-man.org.au/interviews/interview-highlights/terry-oconnell/ with a North American perspective at Wikipaedia as well.

    b.t.w. The link on my previous post failed because I typed a comma, instead of a fullstop, between ‘net’ and ‘au’. Sorry. [no worries :)]

  3. Graham:
    “It is really sad that this long-overdue critical look at the failings of our judges and magistrates has now come about because of the dangerous folly and incompetence of the Newman Government.”

    There is ample opportunity here to refer to other governments e.g. the former NSW government that permitted all sorts of sins by various ministers. Watching the alleged machinations of Obeid provides fascinating insight into the abuses that can occur. It seems that Obeid and his “associates” took advantage of their office and behaved corruptly. But like your “high flying corporate crooks” Eddie may well get off – he has not even been charged yet by the criminal justice system.

    Now, because Newman comments about the judiciary he is a leading a terrible government. I understand the concept of separation of powers. I also understand that the government represents me, and that I have some expectation that my government will fix a few of the things that I can’t fix myself. And that certainly includes asking the judiciary the be more mindful of the intent of laws, not just the letter of the law. Newman must be careful here but in my view he has fired a timely salvo at a judiciary that seems to have lost the view that justice must also be seen to be done.

  4. The Newman government should pass laws banning judges from living in “comfortable, well appointed homes.”

    Problem solved.

  5. Some blame here must surely lay with the probation and parole services who are most reluctant to declare their clients in breach of the terms of their license for freedom. Too many times we here of miscreants who commit further offenses while on bail or a bond not having the same immediately revoked. I suspect that this is partly due to concern about the cost of both imprisonment and the inevitable further judicial processes that this would invoke. At a social level it is a false economy as generally savvy miscreants know just how far they can push the system and what they can “get away with” but more importantly they also know that instruments like community correction orders are total bullshit and as long as the front up most of the times they are required to attend they will be deemed to be compliant. Any actual service to the community is entirely optional.

  6. It’s not a failure of the Judiciary, it’s a failure of social policy both inside and outside, before and after prison.
    Failed social policy goes back many governments but in respect of Newman’s, “getting tough on crime to buy votes is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt.”(quote from someone else I recently read).

  7. Some years ago Joh Bjelke Peterson – this dates me – was interviewed and asked if he understood the principle underlying the doctrine of the separation of powers that is fundamental to a functioning democratic system: he didn’t and it all went down hill for him from then on.

    The same should be asked of Campbell Newman and his Attorney General. Better still, they should be put through a course on democratic fundamentals rather than constantly embarrassing themselves and us.

  8. Its great to see there are people in Queensland determined it won’t all happen again. Or will the Newman Government prove too strong and blatantly authoritarian and prevent public opposition. I’ve been reading about this for a while and its very very worrying.

  9. I love the conservative responses here. They have no concept of the consequences of the actions of the Queensland government. I am listening to the boy blunder on the radio right now. When confronted by evidence he just talks like Bjelke Petersen and Abbott in slogans repeatedly. Does this all mean that we can never trust the conservatives to govern without sliding into dictatorship? I find that the most disturbing aspect of this. What does it mean for the existence of democracy in Queensland? I think we should all address this issue as a matter of urgency. I thought conservative people would want to defend the role of the courts not attack them. If not then just come right out and say what you want to do with people who have not been convicted of a crime? Are you seriously suggesting that being charged with a crime should be enough to imprison people? That we don’t need to bother with trials? I genuinely want to know.

  10. @3
    The problem of course is that there are already laws that cover any illegal activities that bikies or any other group or individual may engage in. It is a very naive person indeed who doesn’t accept that Newman’s hysterical response to a street brawl is motivated by crass populism.

  11. Meanwhile coppers have been told to enact anti-bikie legislation with enthusiasm or be sacked. Mark saw three coppers hassling three citizens with tatts the other day, so they are on the job.

    The police, however, are supposed to exercise a professional discretion in the exercise of their duties rather than enforcing this or that law with enthusiasm.

  12. A police raid on a Vietnam Veteran’s Motorcycle club, according to the police “Was to develop rapport with genuine motor cycle clubs”. The police seem to have an interesting idea about how to develop rapport.

  13. Shortly before Campbell Newman won the election, several people on this site (M. Bahnisch among them) opined that he and his government would be terrible, a throw back to Joh and Hinze and the rest of that gang.

    I said, nah, he’ll be basically harmless, like Rob Borbidge.

    I was wrong.

  14. GabrielleH, ever since Arthur Phillip imposed martial Law in NSW, which you will recall comprised the Eastern 2/3 of the continent, this form of administration has been the conservatives’ default setting.

    Even today, the extraordinary reserve powers of the GG, much greater than the powers of the monarch over the UK, is a direct consequence of the powers granted to Arthur Phillip.

  15. Katz, that raises an interest point. How bad do things between Newman/Belije and the judiciary have to get before the governor should step in, exercise her reserve powers and really give the people of Queensland a say in the matter?

  16. From Wiki:

    The Queensland constitution expressly provides that the Governor is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor’s sources of advice on the appointment or dismissal of Ministers (s. 35), another provision inserted by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the wake of the 1975 federal dismissal. This provision worked against Bjelke-Petersen when, in the dying days of his government in November 1987, he tried and failed to convince Governor Sir Walter Campbell to remove several ministers to shore up his own support within Parliament. When the parliamentary wing of the National Party deposed Bjelke-Petersen and elected one of the dissident ministers, Mike Ahern, as new Leader of the National Party, Sir Joh initially refused to resign as Premier and Sir Walter resisted calls to dismiss him. Sir Joh elected to resign on 1 December 1987.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_of_Queensland

    There appears to be no entry on the Constitution of Queensland. WTF???

    Nevertheless, it appears that Joh made an already powerful office even more powerful. Backs up what I said up thread about conservatives and executive power.

    So, bolstered by Joh’s fear of democracy, it appears that the Governor can make short work of Campbell Newman.

    Oh, the irony.

  17. There appears to be no entry {in Wiki} on the Constitution of Queensland. WTF???

    There is one but you have to go looking for it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_constitution_%28Australia%29
    Even so it just provides a link to part of a general page on Queensland under the heading of Governance.

    However I wonder if the Wiki article is right about the extent of the Governor’s independence in the exercise of his powers under Section 35:

    Section 35 states:

    35 Power of Governor—removal or suspension of officer

    (1) This section does not limit the power of the Governor under another provision of this Act or another Act.

    (2) To the extent that it is within the Governor’s power and if the Governor considers there is sufficient reason, the Governor may remove or suspend a person holding an office or place under an appointment made in the name or under the authority of the Sovereign.

    I don’t thinks that those words meet the test in the Wiki article:

    The Queensland constitution expressly provides that the Governor is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor’s sources of advice on the appointment or dismissal of Ministers (s. 35)

    The power of the Governor to act independently of any convention about acting only on advice may be implicit (although that is open to debate) but it cannot be said on those words to be explicit.

  18. 34 Power of Governor—Ministers

    Ministers hold office at the pleasure of the Governor who, in the exercise of the Governor’s power to appoint and dismiss the Ministers, is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor’s sources of advice.

    Seems to just be a reference to the wrong section.

  19. Agreed GregM.

    What do you think is the import of this:

    (2) To the extent that it is within the Governor’s power

  20. The State Governor Lieutenants’ powers derive from the reserve powers of the Crown. This is kind of a grey area, ultimately it depends on how different “stakeholders” fall.
    Depending on the stakeholders (think of it as the English version of the Mandate of Heaven) you might still have ye olde the King can do no wrong whatchamacallit – OTOH the parliament could decide the King has abdicated the throne to one of his heirs or worse.
    Like the judicial system “it’s contradictory in places, and rather confusing”.

  21. Queensland, the deep north. Jo to now, something appears to not have changed. Qld, the wild place, and it is wilder than most residents of the state would be prepared to acknowledge. A study in the rise of fascism, which is always parochial.

  22. 34 Power of Governor—Ministers

    Ministers hold office at the pleasure of the Governor who, in the exercise of the Governor’s power to appoint and dismiss the Ministers, is not subject to direction by any person and is not limited as to the Governor’s sources ofadvice.

    Wiki had the number wrong…

  23. I can’t wait for Clive Palmer’s revelations about Queensland pollies once he gets into Parliament. I’m not going to ask if anybody knows what he’s hinting at, though.

  24. Thanks Nick@34. That is as clear as a bell about the Governor’s express powers to appoint and dismiss Ministers.

  25. Queensland. Beautiful one day – chocolate is illegal the next.

    Glad people are starting to wake up to the mind bending stupidity of some of the Campbell E Newman govts “legislation” tho. This is what happens when people elect idiots like Jarrod Bleijie.

    BTW Iain Hall. Last i heard you had a beard and a motorbike. That means you fit the profile Mr Criminal Features. Tho I’m sure if you haven’t done anything wrong…

  26. Newman isn’t a Queenslander.I recently heard previous Premier of Victoria Jeff Kennett of Black Dog and now Men Sheds talk.I think Newman should talk to Jeff before it is too late.Couldn’t they the Queensland Government have a relationship with MEN’S Sheds to say,have a attendance matter at them as a means of being legitimate bikers!?So if you talk to Menshedders as you drive or ride around Queensland it may mean you are social caring open to genuine local direction,be it retired cops or locals,and just generally be like other road users.Mensheds can be a stop for local employment even for baby boomers.Newman if he is concerned about brawls and other behaviour of large numbers of men,should simply remember before he himself turns into Goldilocks that men are fairly simple creatures.Although looking down sometimes I wonder about that.Seek an escape Newman before it is too late.Newman could do with many volunteers to improve the economy.The Blazes organisation from Victoria was instrumental in rebuilding fences in Queensland.Banned biker groups are not being given a chance to normalise.That is the real sad matter.All those big blokes just looking for a bit of challenge in the ups and downs of life.Fights with coppers must be a let down.Bikers could volunteer even for duty at the G20,but Newman probably never grew hair on his legs.What if the G20 leaders wouldn’t mind traveling a bit through Queensland on a bike!?

  27. Missing form this discussion is the desire of Queenslanders to a firmer enforcement of law, or put another way, a return of confidence in the rule of law. This stems from a failed Youth Justice Act, a lenient bail system, early release of serial offenders and pathetic clumsy attempts to fix anything. These things add energy and credibility to Newmans actions. Law and Order is an issue, certainly in northern Queensland where I live.

    The “wild place”(jungney @23) is a crass and thoughtless depiction, and falls somewhat short IMO of the standards of this forum. However, it may comfort jungney that his remark is rather more constructive than much of the commentary on this topic.

    The majority of posts could be likened to a pack of hyenas jumping onto a food opportunity. There is little more than a feeding frenzy and a ghoulish rubbing of hands together somehow testifying to Newmans intensely intimate relationship with Lucifer’s domain.

    Understand this please. Queensland Labor has seven (7) yes seven, down from 64, members in parliament. To a person they condemn, publicly at least, Newman. No matter what he does. In these matters – the so-called criminal bikies – and the wont of the judiciary to be accommodating – Newman enjoys a great deal of popular support from the huge majority that swept him to power. At last, a pollie who is actually DOING something.

    LP readers can vent their concerns freely of course. But ultimately is not the goal to re-build the prospect of Labor re-election? Let the leader of the current Queensland Opposition stand up and say she will step back from the law and order position Newmans government has taken. Then go see that Waterhouse guy and see what odds he will give you on Labors rest period.

    Is the space between judiciary really threatened? I don’t think so. I think it is a timely reminder to the judiciary that they should take more into account the intent of Law, and not focus exclusively upon the perhaps safer (for them) letter of the law.

    I enjoy the intellect, wit and word-smithery (?) of this forum. But surely with all the passion, experience and talent can we lean towards more a constructive focus?

  28. Sam @ 14, comparison’s with Joh are worthwhile. As Prof Q says, in the end corruption was run from the top in Joh’s time. Newman’s mob seem more overt and public in doing over the system. I think they are also more destructive of the economy.

    Ootz, someone else, forget who, said today that Newman’s attack on the judiciary was essentially a distraction so we don’t talk about the other stuff he’s doing.

    pb @ 25, Anna Bligh was essentially a truthful person, so it wouldn’t surprise if there was actually substance to what she dumped on him before the 2009 election. Just wasn’t provable at the time. I can’t remember the detail, but I think it was about developers and Newman’s time as lord mayor.

  29. Geoff H @ 31, ion matters of bail, parole and sentencing, there is often a concern, but people criticising judges don’t have the same information as a judge has when making a decision. Nor a knowledge of the law and precedent.

    If Newman has concerns, and well he might, there are other ways of going about it than playing to the peanut gallery.

    In speaking on these matters Newman has to be mindful of the position he holds as premier and whether that in itself creates problems.

    But of more concern, I think, is the nature of the new laws themselves, the arbitrariness that seems to feature, and the appropriateness of the attorney general being able to effectively overrule the judiciary on certain matters.

  30. Here’s Tony Fitzgerald’s original OP. It’s quite a powerful piece. He suggests the new laws have been incompetently framed, he warns of demagoguery operating within majoritarian democracy and

    History teaches us that claims that repressive laws will reduce serious crime are usually hollow and that laws which erode individual freedom and expand a state’s power over its citizens are fraught with peril.

    Finally:

    It is extremely arrogant and socially destructive for politicians to slander citizens who disagree with their “political solution” or to denigrate the judicial branch of government and its generally conservative judges who must make sometimes unpopular decisions in accordance with the law and available evidence and their oath of office.

    And it is incomprehensible that any rational Queenslander who is even remotely aware of the state’s recent history could for a moment consider reintroducing political interference into the administration of criminal justice, even to the point of making decisions about incarceration.

  31. Crime and Misconduct Commission boss Dr Ken Levy has entered the lists:

    WE CANNOT allow criminal motorcycle gangs to incrementally take over the state. We cannot stand by and not do anything because of some self-imposed idea that there is nothing we can do.

    There are things we can do. And the Attorney-General and the Premier – with the support of the Queensland Government – are taking the strong action that is required.

    Fitzgerald strikes back:

    CORRUPTION buster Tony Fitzgerald has warned that the Crime and Misconduct Commission risks making itself redundant by losing its independence.

    And he has slammed the Newman Government for attacking the judiciary “in a bid to foster redneck support”.

    Mr Fitzgerald warned that the tough new anti-pedophile laws, rushed through without proper consultation, could lead to child murders.

    “It is foolhardy for politicians who lack material expertise to make major changes to the criminal law without first ascertaining whether and if so why existing laws are deficient, how any flaws can be remedied and what possible consequences might follow; for example, whether draconian penalties might increase the possibility of a paedophile killing a child whom he’s molested. ”

    Fitzgerald accused the premier of chasing redneck support. Finally:

    “It will be contrary to the fundamental principles of a free society if a person can be imprisoned or kept in prison at the whim of a politician or because an official thinks that that is what ‘the public’ wants,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

  32. Geoff Henderson:

    Missing form this discussion is the desire of Queenslanders to a firmer enforcement of law, or put another way, a return of confidence in the rule of law.

    This desire is a psychopathology that accepts the illusion of security at the cost of liberty.

    As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Queenslanders’ lives will not be improved by a return to the kind of executive tyranny imposed here by Governor Arthur Phillip.

    Many non-Queenslanders are both amused and appalled that Queenslanders have an unquenchable penchant for martial law. Understand this: you are not normal.

  33. Thanks Katz @37

    Pathology? That Queenslanders want a better application of rule of law?
    That citizens feel that rule of law is failing them? Perhaps you could tilt at some charge of paranoia if the perception of failing law was very limited. I don’t think it is limited – certainly not in the regional Queensland I live in (FNQ, Cairns)
    But your concern is the illusion that tweaking laws and placing any kind of hand on the judiciary will ultimately lead to a loss of liberty. I think your historical parallels are good and serve as a fair warning about where things could go. But I’m suggesting that the law is increasingly neutered such that enforcement is now so fettered that the system is in many respects not delivering. Something is broken and a fix is required. I’m open to suggestions, ‘would really appreciate them actually. Improving the quality of Queenslanders lives won’t happen if the efficacy of laws continues to be undermined.

    Katz I admire your far-reaching commentaries but I am not used to seeing such broad brush statements, especially as expressed in you final para. Not sure where your data or perception is from but if “Queenslanders have an unquenchable penchant for martial law…” I just don’t believe that to be the fact, even if it is the view of your respected colleagues/associates.

  34. GH:

    Thank you for your considered response.

    It may be true that the rule of law is not being applied properly in Queensland. I do not know whether or not that is the case. I do know, however, that the Queensland government threatens to counter this alleged failure by destroying the rule of law.

    Don’t take my word for it. Brian quotes Tony Fitzgerald above. Fitzgerald has a record second to none probing corruption and executive tyranny. As a Queenslander, his warning bears repetition:

    It will be contrary to the fundamental principles of a free society if a person can be imprisoned or kept in prison at the whim of a politician or because an official thinks that that is what ‘the public’ wants.

  35. Katz Fitzgerald is highly regarded indeed, and his advice should not be ignored. I lived under Joh’s “don’t you worry about that” time and would seriously oppose a return to that style.

    But the need for a fix remains. Queensland has very high recidivist rates/parole violations. The youth justice provisions (at least in Cairns) allows the same juveniles to re-offend at will. That brings great insecurity to citizens who deserve to feel comfortable. It also brings a huge drain on a parlous State budget.

    I expect that the “bikey” laws will get trashed by superior courts, and that is fine if government is stimulated to find less democratically risky ways of addressing the problem. Same with youth justice. A little creative thinking and more political courage would be useful here.

  36. Thanks Geoff. I’m confident that a solution exists to those challenges that is consistent with the tenets of British justice.

    I hope Queenslanders prove themselves to be sufficiently patient and mature to accept only that solution.

  37. I think we have some patience left in the bank. Especially since we at least have government attention being applied to the issue.

    And I am sure that the oversight of the upper courts will nobble attempts to denigrate the true tenets of justice.

    Finally – it would be helpful if the Qld. Opposition could at least conditionally support the government attempts to solve some problems, rather than alienate themselves further.

  38. John Burningham was scathing on our attorney general

    John Birmingham is the Blunt Instrument columnist – John Burningham is the brilliant children’s author and illustrator. A great favourite of mine when kids were little.

  39. Geoff Henderson: it seems likely that Queensland will get a much more emphatic rule of law, that’s true. And that is what much of the population want. Hooray!

    The caveat is, of course, that the law that’s being made and enforced is whatever the Newman governement thinks sounds good on the day.

    There’s a lot of history nehind the checks and balances that other states have (in the broad sense of law-making entities). All too often when laws are made by a small cabal operating ahistorically we’ve seen bad things happen. The Niemoller quote alone should be enough to make people step back and wonder whether this is a good thing.

  40. Geoff H – does Qld use juvenile justice conferencing? They dropped it didn’t they, despite a 97 % success rate wrt no re-offending.

    And technically chocolate is illegal.

    How fucking stupid do you have to be to pass legislation like this:

    (c) a thing that—
    (i) has a chemical structur
    e that is substantially
    similar to the chemical st
    ructure of a thing referred
    to in paragraph (a) or (b); or
    (ii) has a pharmacological effe
    ct that is substantially
    similar to the pharmacological effect of a thing
    referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or
    (iii) is intended to have a pha
    rmacological effect that is
    substantially similar to
    the pharmacological effect
    of a thing referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)

  41. WTF That wasn’t sposed to happen…

    Anyway – how many substances have a pharmacological effect similar to illegal drugs?

    Some people smoke weed to feel better, some eat chocolate for the same reason, and both have a very similar pharmacological effect. Same with beer and speed, and both those are used in a recreational context and associated with partying.

    Its one thing to say that wasn’t the intent of the law – to bust beer drinkers and people eating chocolate – but a competent government doesn’t write laws so badly that they can be used in such a way at some time in the future.

  42. Helen @ 43, fixed now, thanks.

    Just heard about a woman riding her bike home who who was pulled over three times, made to take off her jacket to see whether she had any tatts etc.

    Police are suggesting that you ring them and tell them if you are taking your bike out on the road.

    Anyone can be jailed for being a member of a group. Any group of three or more, no matter what the name, can be proscribed. Janine Walker (talks politics with Graham Young and Steve Austin on local radio) said this morning is that the new principle is that you can be held guilty for who you are rather than what you’ve done.

  43. Jules 46:
    “…does Qld use juvenile justice conferencing? They dropped it didn’t they, despite a 97 % success rate wrt no re-offending.”
    Jules I don’t know of that. But if you can point correctly at any government effort with 97% success I would be astounded and likely challenge the source.

    Apparently the youth offender rate is so out of control (in Townsville and likely other centres too) that the police know the offenders on first name basis. Not sure about counseling, but if it does exist I don’t think it is very effective.
    As I understand there are family/social/cultural issues involved. Some believe that Queensland alcohol management plan has concentrated problems into areas not affected by that legislation viz. the cities. So the problem on an holistic basis is (unsurprisingly) complex.

    As for poor quality legislative drafting there is no defence.

  44. Geoff, the problem with “juveniles to re-offend” in Cairns is complex and does not lend itself to be solely solved with a “bikey laws” approach. Having lived in and still in close contact with ‘Cairns West’, the locals actually say that themselves, apart from the hard core Pineapple Party types. They bitch about the ineffectual local members, the total neglect by the SE dominated Government and it’s constant blaming of the previous Government as an excuse. Meanwhile, there is the ongoing toxic aftershock of ill considered and administrated LG de-amalgamations throughout the State, the flogging off of State assets, such as Sun water, which is the major economic resource of the Cairns Hinterland and then there is Clive driving a wedge straight into the heart of the beast.

    It appears the Pineapple Party gallery is in dire need of some major entertaining. What will be interesting is how the LNP is going to extricate the pineapple when it has lodged itself in their rectum.

  45. Thanks Moz.
    Not much disagreement from me.

    I was concerned earlier (see my cranky post @31 earlier) that the intent of the legislation would be washed away by the tide of fault-finding abuse leveled at it.

    I agree that checks and balances evident in other states can be helpful, as can some of their monumental fails.

  46. Ootz – yes – I am wincing at just the thought.

    I hinted that the juvenile problem was complex in a previous post. I should have been more careful to distinguish the bikey issue with the juvenile issue. But their commonality is the need for, and quality of, government action.

  47. The problems of young people involved in drug and alcohol abuse and crime cannot solely be addressed by the law. As we all know it has to be a combination of education and jobs that are the actual solutions to these problems. The issue of employment is very real for most of those kids in Townsville. Crime rates have actually escalated in Queensland since the lunatics took over the asylum. Abolishing programs like ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ would feed directly into this cycle of poverty/crime/violence. I know I’m stating the obvious but where there’s a lot of crime there’s too much poverty and unemployment. The same problem exists at the Gold Coast where the OMCs have flourished. Young people don’t just decide that being a crim looks like a good career move unless there is no apparent alternative ( except for the occasional psycopath).

  48. GH

    it would be helpful if the Qld. Opposition could at least conditionally support the government attempts to solve some problems, rather than alienate themselves further.

    I disagree.

    1. I don’t accept that the government is trying to solve some problems. There’s simply no supporting evidence for that. They are playing to the cheap seats.

    2. What the Opposition does now with a team that don’t need to play musical chairs to fit into a Tarago is moot. They simply can’t “alienate themselves further” because few care what they say and those that do are either committed to them or committed to opposing them.

    3. Given #2 they might as well oppose the regime since there’s no downside risk. If the thing is perceived to have failed badly, they win. If not they don’t lose.

  49. hi Fran,

    Allow me to comment on your remarks using your numbers:
    1. The bike gangs are associated with crime. Specifically drugs, stand-over and more. They compete violently for market share, and risk innocent peoples lives. Think of the airport attack.
    In North Queensland specifically the Cairns region, juvenile crime is rampant and the current Youth Justice Act has no effect on crime levels.
    You are either blissfully unaware or just yanking my chain. You are too smart to be unaware, so I’ll take the latter.

    2. I guess we have a different vision of how politics can work Fran. I have had enough of this straight adversarial brand that oppositions like to use. On this forum, Opposition leader Abbot was Dr. No etc. and there was nothing constructive to say. Now Labor is doing the exact same thing.
    The tactic brings both (all) political parties into low esteem, keeps the community unsettled and without doubt must deliver lesser outcomes. Time for a paradigm change Fran. And that also includes the Greens who lost so many brownie points in that deal with Gillard. The Greens, so important to the future, just blew it so badly they are lucky to still be around.

    3. Well you could be right if there was really a choice for Labor. In fact though this problem developed or grew wings under the previous government watch. Even if Newman is cut down in the courts, his sentiments will increase his standing. And leave Labor in a mini-van, not a Tarago. Indeed they could be so poorly represented they may cease to exist as a funded party – in fact I think they are already below that threshold. Maybe someone can cast some light on that please. But the Greens could start being more constructive and conciliatory.

  50. Geoff, do you have any statistics to back up your assessment of Laura Norder’s flight from QLD? Or are you basing your moral panic on what you see in the media?

  51. Geoff Henderson@58

    Apparently the youth offender rate is so out of control (in Townsville and likely other centres too) that the police know the offenders on first name basis.

    GabriellleH @52

    The problems of young people involved in drug and alcohol abuse and crime cannot solely be addressed by the law. As we all know it has to be a combination of education and jobs that are the actual solutions to these problems. The issue of employment is very real for most of those kids in Townsville. Crime rates have actually escalated in Queensland since the lunatics took over the asylum.

    Hang on. Do you people live in Townsville? I do and what you describe is false.

    Townsville is not some lawless hellhole where people hide under their bedclothes in fear or are afraid to venture out of their homes out of fear of assault.

    It is a decent place and it has its share, as all places do, of criminal including juvenile offending but it is not the place you conjure it to be.

    You say, Geoff Henderson@58 that the youth offender rate is so out of control in Townsville that the police know the offenders on first name basis.

    The much more likely proposition that the youth offender rate is so low in Townsville that the police know the offenders on first name basis.

    If youth offending was as rampant as you are suggesting the police would not have the chance to know the offenders by name.

    GabriellleH @52 what evidence do you have about the education system and youth unemployment in Townsville?

    From what I can see it delivers a pretty decent education system to its youth and I see plenty of evidence of signs put up in the windows of businesses offering employment to young people.

    It is a prosperous city with a lot of economic strengths. But you must have different evidence. Please produce it.

    That is not to say, however, that I disagree with your statement:

    The problems of young people involved in drug and alcohol abuse and crime cannot solely be addressed by the law.

    However your following statement:

    As we all know it has to be a combination of education and jobs that are the actual solutions to these problems.

    ignores, or at least brushes over, the complexities of youth drug and alcohol abuse and crime in Townsville or anywhere else.

  52. Zoot I thought no one would recall Afferbeck Laude.

    But you are right, I can not produce the appropriate data, and I really should shut up until I can. Having said that, I don’t believe I am wrong.

    GregM I edited my post in parenthesis to include other areas in Queensland. I should have left some wiggle room like “I understand that…” I apologise for any incorrect aspersion. I live near Cairns but visit Townsville a few times each year. Nice place. Have you really not got a problem with youth crime?

  53. Geoff any place that has got youth is going to have some problem with youth crime just as any place that has people is going to have some problem with crime. We do not live in a perfect world.

    The issue is whether there is any problem with crime, youth or otherwise, which is beyond that unexceptional reality.

    I don’t see any evidence of Townsville having any such crime beyond that unexceptional reality.

    It is a city that has surprised me in its social networks which give it a remarkable tolerance and resilience.

  54. GregM that being the case I will withdraw my comment and apologise.

    But I reserve the right to investigate a little OK?

  55. As for the bikie ‘problem’ there are laws on the books to cover what
    They have done or might do. These new laws are draconian and most definitely do not belong in a society that purports to hold freedom of association and the personal variety in high regard. The changes within our society/communities in regard to revenge rather than punishment and rehabilitation is frightening to behold. Wonder if this is how it felt in 1930’s Europe or 60’s & 70’s South America.

  56. Geoff there is no cause for you to apologise and of course you should investigate further. We should have an informed debate.

    But we should not conflate very separate issues:
    1. The risk of paedophiles being released into the community, against which the government is proposing indefinite detention after their prison term is over- and this is a difficult problem for any government, as the evidence of psychiatrists, accepted by the courts, is that for many of them this is an intractable disposition and if they are released they will likely offend again.

    2. The risk that certain bikie gangs, as criminal conspiracies, should be suppressed, and their members should be dispersed to break up their criminal conspiracies- and there are ample examples in common law juristicions of the legitimacy of such legislation to achieve an overarching social good, including the US’s Anti KKK Acts of the 1920s and RICO Act of the 1979, held consitutional by the US Supreme Court.

    3. Whatever risk juveniles pose in terms of criminal activity to the good order and well-being of a society which requires special legislation beyond the laws we already have, rather than more understanding, thoughtful and effective interventions which GabrielleH sugests we should pursue.

  57. Geoff Henderson @ 31 and everyone:

    Constructive focus needed? How about ….
    (1).. Judges and magistrates becoming more actively involved in their communities – within the bounds of maintaining the perception and the reality of protecting their impartiality – so that they are aware of the contexts in which law-breaking happens. Doing so would do much to disprove the accusation ( by many and not just Newman) that they live in ivory towers and are remote from the lives of ordinary people.

    (2).. We all encourage judges and magistrates to assert themselves in their own courts and not allow themselves to be pushed around and walked over by barristers (whether prosecution or defence; it makes no difference).

    (3). So far as possible, we get profit-making out of the justice system. If that means getting rid of private prisons, having shorter sentences with intensive rehabilitation and introducing Singapore-style corporal punishment for some cases, then so be it. Prisons have failed all round (and this is not a reflection on correctional staff themselves) so where is the sense in continuing to pour good money after bad?

    (4),, Wherever possible, we use Restorative Justice, so that the victims of crime are considered instead of being shunned and ignored, as usual.

    (5).. We take the toys and lollies away from the noose-and lash brigade and their shock-jocks …. by changing the emphasis in policing from punishment to prevention. If that means “lowering” the standards of entry to get more recruits into the Police Service and “wasting” millions and millions on putting hundreds more Police onto the streets, that’s fine by me …. I don’t mind paying my fair share.

    (6).. We “encourage” governors – and governors-general – to get some moral courage so as to chuck bad bills back to the legislators. (Any defrocked jockey would be able to show you how to make a jigger – nothing like a jolt to make them bolt).

    (7).. We tell judges we expect them to be fair. We don’t want them following public opinion – when the need arises, we want them to show leadership with fairness, even if that means temporary unpopularity.

  58. Geoff H@31

    Missing form this discussion is the desire of Queenslanders to a firmer enforcement of law, or put another way, a return of confidence in the rule of law. This stems from a failed Youth Justice Act, a lenient bail system, early release of serial offenders and pathetic clumsy attempts to fix anything. These things add energy and credibility to Newmans actions. Law and Order is an issue, certainly in northern Queensland where I live.

    Your entrè has a cunning similarity to Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie’s dismissal of the criticism made by Fitzgerald who has criticised these Anti-Bikie laws:

    “Although Parliament has power to enact almost any law which it chooses, parliamentarians who are elected to do what’s best for the community don’t have a mandate to give effect to prejudices and ill-informed opinions, ignore ethics and conventions or attack fundamental values such as personal freedom or essential institutions such as the judiciary…”

    First, you don’t need a Bikie Law to deal with the with “mayhem and danger on their streets”. We already have a Safer Streets Crime Action Plan. We also know how well that plan unfolded.

    Second, Newman said the problems had been “building up over 20 years” and it was time for a new approach. In the case of Cairns West, the problem goes back to the Petersen/Ahern housing developments. We knew from the beginning that these ‘ghettos’ will not work, I have lived there and been involved. Now your lot wants to build more prisons, after we have recently doubled the size of Lotus Glen up here, which coincidently is in the line up of being privatised. Great short term business model, lousy long term social and economic policy Geoff. However, we have progressed somewhat from the first Queensland Governor, who was directly involved, as a silent partner, of a major massacre up here in the Far North on his selection.

    But the Greens could start being more constructive and conciliatory.

    You have well and truly nailed the pineapple on to your palm tree here.

  59. Graham@62 your comment is a brainfart. It is one of many such [personalised comments in breach of comments policy redacted ~mods].

    I am going to bed now. When I get up in the morning I expect that my post will have been swept away by the site’s moderators, for I know it breaches the site’s comments policy.

    But I hope that before they do that you have the opportunity to read this and [personalised comments in breach of comments policy redacted ~mods].

    [Moderator Note: Graham asked that we not remove your remarks, but that's our decision to make. They set a tone we do not wish others to emulate, so they're gone.]

  60. Geoff Henderson

    The bike gangs are associated with crime. Specifically drugs, stand-over and more. They compete violently for market share, and risk innocent peoples lives. Think of the airport attack.

    There are already laws that cover criminal conduct. Being a bikie ought not to be criminal per se. If you are worried about innocent people being hurt in their competition for ‘market share’ there is an option that comports rather better with civil liberties than criminalising someone for being a motorcycle enthusiast. Try guessing what that might be, just as a mental exercise.

    I have had enough of this straight adversarial brand that oppositions like to use.

    I accept that you have, but as Abbott has just demonstrated, it does work, after a fashion. Admittedly you need the press to ride shotgun for you, but I don’t see that conservatives can object on principle.

    Time for a paradigm change Fran. And that also includes the Greens who lost so many brownie points in that deal with Gillard. {…} the Greens could start being more constructive and conciliatory.

    So what you’re saying is that being adversarial is bad and also, being non-adversarial is bad. Which is worse, do you suppose. Is there a 3rd option or are you just confused?

    For the record, I believe in pressing for the right policies, regardless of whether my party is cast as too close to the ruling regime or conciliatory or constructive or too adversarial. I declare in advance that I will favour this approach regardless of its implications for our popularity. As far as I can tell, this is a universal sentiment within our party. It’s one reason that moves me to look generously upon my party’s policy errors.

  61. Fran you are of course free to interpret my comments as you see fit but I won’t agree with your conclusions.

    ” I believe in pressing for the right policies, regardless of whether my party is cast as too close to the ruling regime or conciliatory or constructive or too adversarial. I declare in advance that I will favour this approach regardless of its implications for our popularity. As far as I can tell, this is a universal sentiment within our party. It’s one reason that moves me to look generously upon my party’s policy errors.”
    Forgive me Fran, but that reads like an obituary. With few changes it would sit on the headstone of the Greens resting place. If the Greens want to be effective, they need to stand where decisions are made and in clothes handed to them by voters.That would mean compromise, flexibility and a patience to win a few battles even though winning the war is some distance away. Many of the green policies are worthy and important. But they will not see light of day unless the Greens re-define their approach to the Australian people.

  62. [Moderator: Good morning. Kindly allow GregM’s post @ 64 to remain. He doesn’t like me and said so; that’s fine by me; he’s entitled to his opinion.]

    Greg M @ 64:
    Why shouldn’t judges and magistrates be more actively involved with the communities they serve?
    Why shouldn’t they regain control of their own courts?
    Where in the Anglosphere have prisons, especially private prisons, been effective at deterring crime?
    What’s wrong with giving intensive rehabilitation training to a ‘captive audience’?
    Of course the rattan is barbaric – so what else do you suggest as an effective deterrant?
    What are your objections to Restorative Justice?
    What’s wrong with having more Police – doing policing?
    Why the blazes shouldn’t governors refuse to sign bad ideas into law?
    What’s wrong with judges and magistrates being less fickle and more assertive?

  63. Geoff Henderson:

    If the Greens want to be effective, they need to stand where decisions are made and in clothes handed to them by voters.That would mean compromise, flexibility and a patience to win a few battles even though winning the war is some distance away.

    I’ve no problem with principled compromise. That is what we did when we supported the Gillard regime (2010-13). I oppose unprincipled compromise, regardless of the consequences for us.

    I would like our party to be both effective and principled, but if you ask which of these I would sacrifice if I could have only one of them, I’m going to choose principled every time.

  64. Fran:
    “I would like our party to be both effective and principled, but if you ask which of these I would sacrifice if I could have only one of them, I’m going to choose principled every time.”
    Yes I can understand that, but there comes, as you say, an opportunity to loosen the the principles to allow a compromise.

    “I’ve no problem with principled compromise. That is what we did when we supported the Gillard regime (2010-13). I oppose unprincipled compromise, regardless of the consequences for us.
    Principles: When Labor agreed to implement a carbon tax contrary to a previous vow not to do so, it violated a principle and a solemn undertaking. In this the Greens were a full partner, aiding and abetting a move that had huge consequences.
    In this case there are conflicted principles. Which was/were the defensible one(s)?

    Now I think we digress from the thrust of the argument here.We started with a commentary on the actions of the Queensland government. Many have decried the attack on principles of Law, and rightly enough. But the citizens of Cairns at least (and possibly other centres) feel the system is broken and needs fixing. Attempts to date have been mega fails, witness the Kuranda boot camp that Ootz linked. We have a conflict of principles here too: the rights of citizens to enjoy a safe community and the legal rights of offenders.
    I guess the need is for a fix that somehow respects all the rights – but that is unlikely to please everyone. And certainly not the legal fraternity whose posturing to day reflects anything but a desire to be more effective.

  65. Geoff Henderson

    Principles: When Labor agreed to implement a carbon tax contrary to a previous vow not to do so, it violated a principle and a solemn undertaking.

    {sigh} The ALP neither proposed not implemented a carbon tax. Nor did it vow never to price carbon emissions — and indeed, they re-affirmed their policy prior to the election. The ALP repudiating this policy during an election campaign would have been a huge story. I agree that they deliberately muddied the waters by using the “carbon tax” nomenclature and speaking of “the climate assembly” but I’m not a supporter of the ALP, as you’d know.

    In this the Greens were a full partner, aiding and abetting a move that had huge consequences.

    We were a full partner in the ALP implementing something broadly consistent with the policy they introduced in 2009 and in broad terms, what we too favoured. This was a principled compromise by us, and an effective one — which you, given your remarks above, ought to applaud.

    On your other matter, I simply don’t accept that the antics of the QLD regime bear any strong relationship to a desire to secure the legitimate rights of Quenslanders to live in safe functional communities. They are the intersection of social conservatism, moral panic and bully pulpit electioneering on the hackneyed “Laura Norder” theme so beloved of state governments.

    In this case, these drivers are corrosive of civil rights, making the conduct of the regime worse yet.

  66. I notice that der Kommandant’s “Boot Camp[s]” is/are run by an outfit called “Beyond Billabong” [“work hard, be nice”]. (That motto would look good in wrought iron over the entry gates.)

    Beyond Billabong’s website informs me “Beyond Billabong currently provides two streams of programs, Beach to Billabong and Mobility to Industry. Both programs are aimed at empowering Indigenous people with the life skills to make positive life choices through innovative and holistic programs.”

    This would suggest that their programs are aimed at indigenous persons. NTTAWWT.

    As a southern stater, which may automatically disqualify me from commenting upon the “special problems” of my northern neighbours, perhaps I should restrict myself to some questions.

    1. Do only indigenous persons go to boot camp?

    2. If non-indigenous persons also go to boot camp, do they go to a Beyond Billabong boot camp?

    3. What was the nature of the tendering process whereby Beyond Billabong became the successful service provider to the Newman government?

    As an outsider, this whole program creeps me out for reasons that should not require further elucidation.

  67. Fran, the public green bashing in any context of Qld politics is a sure of a LNP apparatchik nowadays, for two reasons.

    First, they try to stem the flow of the pineapple vote to Clive. The “Greenies” and “Agenda 21” are the new “reds” and “communism” of populist Queensland. The LNP have wholly adopted the GOP model of attracting these visceral fears of that constituency. Hence, my question above of how far will the LNP go in attracting the Pineapple vote and what will they do once it has lodged itself firmly in the party. In other words how far will the Premier take this Faustian deal with the devil and has he got the capacity to reign it in, when the unleashed ‘fearful’ populism will become excessive in it’s demands? Particularly when you have someone like Clive, who is ready and more than capable to take the Premier on in that race to the bottom. Only for the sake to develop his coal reserves, the size to push us over into the 2 degrees warming. This will be interesting to watch and will directly relate to the federal politics. If Geoff recons the Greens should be more constructive and conciliatory, you watch what will happen when once Clive sits in Parliament, where we effectively have another ‘hung’ parliament.

    Second, as Prof Q says

    A politician who preaches law and order is almost certainly picking your pockets as he does so. That certainly looks to be the case in Queensland.

    The political use of”Law and order” in combination with ‘teh evil Greenies’ is a sure sign of LNP populism taking it a step further. My hunch is that the previous ‘down sizing’ of government departments (cutting green and red tape, save costs) have not affected the pineapple vote, to the contrary. However, the upcoming privatisations and economic outsourcing to the corporates, with associated employment and small business constrains is another matter.

  68. GB@67

    Where in the Anglosphere have prisons, especially private prisons, been effective at deterring crime?
    What’s wrong with giving intensive rehabilitation training to a ‘captive audience’?
    Of course the rattan is barbaric – so what else do you suggest as an effective deterrant?
    What are your objections to Restorative Justice?

    On Lateline Steven Cannane hosts a discussion on crime and punishment from two very different perspectives. Peter Moskosis a former Baltimore police department officer and now a professor of criminal justice. Erwin James is a convicted murderer who spent 20 years in jail in Britain. Both have been speakers on the Melbourne Festival of Ideas.

    In relation to victims of crime, another aspect rarely considered is the effect prison have on the whole community. Here in (ex)Tobacco Town the prison offers one of the best job opportunities in a dwindling employment market. There are many households where both incomes are derived from such enterprise. Anyone interested in the psychological result of exposure to such, should acquaint themselves with the result of the infamous Zimbardo jail experiment at Stanford University. He had to cut the study short because of the excessive and corrosive psychological effect and associated behavioural transformation on fake prisoners AND wardens as well as on himself.

    Like the fake guards, Zimbardo got caught up in the study, and started embodying the role of the prison’s warden. He told the magazine: … By the third day I was sleeping in my office. I had become the superintendent of the Stanford county jail. That was who I was: I’m not the researcher at all. Even my posture changes—when I walk through the prison yard, I’m walking with my hands behind my back, which I never in my life do, the way generals walk when they’re inspecting troops.

    The interview with Dave Eshelman, the abusive guard, was one of the most interesting: .. The fact that I ramped up the intimidation and the mental abuse without any real sense as to whether I was hurting anybody— I definitely regret that. But in the long run, no one suffered any lasting damage. When the Abu Ghraib scandal broke, my first reaction was, this is so familiar to me. I knew exactly what was going on. I could picture myself in the middle of that and watching it spin out of control.

  69. Ootz,
    There was also a movie (non-documentary) that came out based on the Zimbardo experiments. It was riveting. Unfortunately its so long since I’ve seen it, the title escapes my mind.

  70. “If a bikie has been behaving himself, this bit of unfairness would be downright counter-productive”

    Graham, the ‘model prisoner’ you’re referring to is this guy:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/10862996/

    While not endorsing any of the current goings on in Queensland, forgive me if I have very little sympathy for this particular bit of ‘unfairness’.

    Of course Newman is seeking to exploit the fears of the community for political gain. But those fears are a lot more valid than many on this thread wish to acknowledge…

    GregM, unfortunately there is much more of a connection between bikie gang crime and juvenile crime than you imagine. They are not “very separate issues” That’s not to say all juvenile crime is bikie related, but as someone whose brother-in-law began working as a fence for the Bandidos when he was 15, I’m possibly a bit more aware than you how these gangs go about recruiting their foot-soldiers.

    Ootz, you asked for statistics – drug-related crime in all regions of Qld has skyrocketed over the last 5-10 years.

    A week or so ago, Hells Angels members were raided and arrested with a weapons cache, $30,000, and 4 ounces of meth-amphetamine. Some of you might remember an argument I had a few years ago with faustusnotes over which is worse: ice or heroin? As I said then, heroin makes you steal. Here’s what ice does:

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/10/30/19/10/man-torched-car-with-partner-inside-court

    If people think “existing law and order is working fine”, well, that’s their opinion, and again, I’m not here to endorse any of the current policies, political attacks on the judiciary etc. I especially don’t condone the recent cuts to youth support, training and employment programs, and the introduction of privatised ‘boot camps’ in their stead.

    But I’m not going to downplay the extent of bikie-crime – or the extensive damage to society created by the meth-amphetamine trade – and write any of this off as a ‘beat up based on recent events in the media’ either. There are multiple truths to all of this.

    (Ootz, I have no problem with JQ’s post, except for on that one point, btw.)

    /end screed, off to enjoy sunny Melb weather at the pool with my 4 month year old, take care everyone

  71. Nick @ 76:
    (sorry I couldn’t respond earlier). Thanks for that link to the item about some of the terrible things done by Jimmy O’Brien, well-known in these parts. He was convicted and imprisoned for what he DID; now he is being further punished for what he WAS.

    If, as reported, he has been a model prisoner then he should be rewarded for his good behaviour, no more and no less – and more as an example to other prisoners than for his own sake. Whatever happened to the concept of rehabilitating offenders? When Jimmy O’Brien is eventually released, I would rather see him as a reformed criminal doing an honest job than as an on-going potential threat to the community.

    Ootz@74 and PaulBurns@75:
    And yet Zimbardo went on to redeem himself some time later by making an excellent TV educational series on basic psychology.

  72. Thanks Nick for your considered contribution. You are absolute right, law and order issues are extremely complex and emotive issues. My above contributions may sound harsh on the LNP. You have to understand, that today in a week our community has to go and elect our first Mayor for the reincarnated Shire. This exercise has been brought on by the Premier and the Local Government Minister either incompetently or by complicity aided a local political fossil with roots right into the shady JBP era, to get himself back into the focus of attention. By first bringing the split on and now standing for Mayor. It is going to cost the roughly 10k rate payers $5m. We are facing major outstanding infrastructure costs because of said fossil previous mismanagement, the whole place in a mess and divided. The neighbouring community, same shire, had a traumatising experience with a failed “Boot camp”. I could go on, with failings through out the regions where this State government and our local LNP reps have led us down badly. Needless to say I am very disappointed by this Government and have no confidence that they can handle the “law and order” issue competently. If there is an issue with ice/meta-amph and organised crime, bikies or not, they first should have made sure the resources were there for legislation that was in place. Non of this hairy chest beating and shock and awe stuff.

    Apropo, it was zoot asking for stats on Lara Norder.
    Drug offences in Queensland 1997 – 2012

    Re your “(Ootz, I have no problem with JQ’s post, except for on that one point, btw.)”
    They were thieving lot from the start!

    Queensland was a colony that began with 7½ pence in its Treasury (which was then stolen).
    Conspiracy of Silence – Queensland’s Frontier killing times (Timothy Bottoms, 2013)

    And I have to correct myself o the comment above it was the first Premier who is associated with the Valley of the Lagoon massacre (same source as above).

  73. There are three issues here. The first is an out of control premier who thinks he should control everything and, by implication, that checks and balances are unnecessary. Little Joh is a bit of a worry up here.
    The second problem is what a society and justice system should do when criminal organizations have reached a point where people are afraid to appear in a witness box because they are afraid that they or their families will be be attacked before or after they provide witness. Banning organizations, restrictions on members of the organization and other harsh methods should not be dismissed out of hand.
    The third problem is that there appears to be nothing to stop the Qld government to declare any organization they like terrorists, criminal organizations etc. The scope for misuse of these powers is pretty scary given the way Newman is talking.

  74. Young Michael Pennisi inadvertently dropped a tissue out of his back pocket when he removed his wallet to access an ATM in Fortitude Valley. A BCC officer on the job pinged him $220 for littering.

    He refused to co-operate, walked away, then panicked and ran when the cops on the job said “Come back”. He realised his mistake and stopped, and was then held for nine hours in the watchhouse before being released without charge.

    OK Pennisi was stupid, but don’t these people have anything better to do?

    Pennisi, newly graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, was about to fly to London to start work.

  75. Brian @ 80:
    Another Aussie ex-pat who will never return? A potential $20 on-the-spot local authority fine cost the Australian economy how many hundreds-of-thousands of dollars? That’s why they call Queensland …. The Smart State.

  76. Bikie laws may send two businesses broke

    The Miala Teahouse at Mt Glorious and the Pitstop Cafe at Mt Mee have both seen a 30 per cent cut to their trade over the past three weeks.

    Both owners say fewer bikers are riding because they are worried they will be stopped by police, who are cracking down on organised motorcycle gangs.

    Miala Teahouse owner Karl Winter says if the harassment from police does not stop, he will not survive until Christmas.

    Also:

    Bikie laws killing my business

    The State Government’s crackdown on criminal motorcycle gangs has resulted in police charging 184 people with 362 offences, executing 47 warrants, issuing 102 traffic offence infringement notices and carrying out more than 4106 street checks on suspected bikies in less than three weeks.

  77. I do wonder how the heck Campbell Newman got his Army commission or what skill-depleting condition has befallen him since leaving the Army. This whole anti-bikie affair has been a textbook case in how to lose a battle. They were ill-prepared; it seemed to me that they lacked thorough planning, including contingency planning. Intelligence is ALWAYS limited in any campaign (that just comes with the territory) but they seemed to ignore some of the intelligence that surely must have been available to them. Execution was unbelievably tardy and preceded by loud-and-clear “coming-ready-or-not” announcements; I’ll bet the Police officers on the ground would have squirmed at that folly. The list goes on and on.

    Call me suspicious if you like but I do hope that the anti-bikie campaign does not become a great benefit for non-bikie criminals operating in the same fields of crime. That would be anti-competitive …. sacrilege in an age when Competition has become the official religion.

  78. Graham, I’m guessing that (like me) you’re ex-Army. In my experience, officers like Campbell Newman aren’t all that unusual. Some of the best and the worst leaders I’ve encountered have been serving or former officers. It’d be mildly interesting to know what rank he reached.

  79. DINR, Wiki alleges that Newman achieved the rank of Major.

    Forgive my ignorance about the ways of the ADF but is there any reason, beyond the usual ones, to doubt Wiki on this matter?

  80. Not really, Katz. Captain is a gimme, nearly automatic if they stay in for a few years, and what I would’ve assessed as Newman’s ceiling rank. If he made Major, he was promoted beyond his competence. It happens.

  81. David Irvine (the fair-dinkum one; not the dodgy one):
    According to the Queensland Government website

    A civil engineer by profession, Campbell Newman had a 13-year career as an Australian Army Engineer, retiring at the end of 1993 with the rank of Major.

    Aaah, so that’s why he got called the King Of Tunnels. Doesn’t say if he was an engineer in RAE or RAEME or Signals, probably RAE.

    ((b.t.w. – how did you guess? I certainly didn’t get to MAJ; then again, I didn’t go to RMC. 🙂 ))

  82. So I imagine that ADF tunnels are not intended to be creations for the ages. But on the other hand they have to be built quickly and to meet urgent needs.

    Do ADF tunnellers dig practice tunnels during peaceful interludes?

  83. Katz @ 89:
    No, Newman got that nickname when he was Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Why sit down and work out cheap and intelligent ways of moving people around ( or even bringing their work to them so that they don’t all have to travel and travel at the same time ) when you can dig tunnels all over the place and bring unbounded joy to the owners of construction corporations. So much money was dragged out of the rest of Queensland to pay for Brisbane’s tunnel craze that it started people elsewhere in Queensland talking again about the need for separation and new states – an issue that had laid dormant for years – so lord Mayor Newman did do some unintentional good after all..

    The genuine David Irvine @ 88:
    Survey Corps? You have my respect and admiration, sir. I used to be a delighted customer of you fellows and of your timely, innovative magic. The silliest thing the ADF ever did was disbanding Survey Corps – it is a pity the police didn’t do RBT inside Russell Hill on the day that “decision(?)” was made.

  84. Thank you, Graham.

    I think the decision to disband the Corps took more than a day – Intelligence were after us, as were the Engineers (who won the contest). It was part of Keating’s austerity drive, I think. The head of Corps at the time was not popular with the lads.

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