Outspoken newly elected politician Clive Palmer has rejected financing a High Court appeal against the anti-bikie laws.
“I think the way to deal with this matter is by an election,” says the Federal Member for Fisher.
Clive has been a vocal defender of the judiciary this week after Premier Campbell Newman attacked judges for not complying with the no-bail requirement of the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act.
“Why? Because I’m an Australian and everyone needs to be treated equally under the law,” he says.
“At the moment, public servants across Queensland are being dismissed, services are breaking down in the regions, the government has an agenda to sell hospitals and foreshadowed they want to destroy the Southport Hospital and do more for lobbyists and while all that murkiness is going on they attack the judiciary.
“That effectively takes the political heat off the things they should be accountable for. It’s a smokescreen.”
Clive says “Lady Justice” wears a blindfold so she has no prejudices.
“If you take the blindfold off her, people are judged on prejudices; that could be race, geology, affinity to a religious group or any of those things,” he says.
While pointing out that he is “not siding with any group”, he says everyone should be treated individually not as a member of any particular group.
“Crimes are committed by individuals and they need to be accountable for the law and punished in accordance with what they do so that we have a deterrent,” he says.
Under the VLAD Act, people deemed to be ‘vicious lawless associates’ will be automatically subject to mandatory extra punishment above what would apply for the declared offence, including an additional 15 to 25 years imprisonment, and be subject to the potential waiving of bail and parole and a reversal of the onus of proof.
“No one should be dealt with more leniently because of their wealth or contacts and no one should be dealt with more harshly because of their poorer circumstances,” says Clive.
“Many times I’ve been to court and lost many times – losing and winning is part of the role of he judiciary.
“We all have to accept that if we want to be a law-abiding.
“You can’t take away from judges the right to give a fair sentence.”
He rejected the idea of financing a High Court challenge to the VLAD Act.
The Australian Motorcycle Council has opened a fighting fund to raise money for any High Court challenge to the laws.