Queensland riders are still living in a police state where they could be harassed, detained, charged and imprisoned for looking like a bikie and/or associating with them.
When elected in January 2015, the new Labor Government promised a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission review of the controversial so-called VLAD (Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment) Laws by November.
Now it appears the CCC taskforce has extended its reporting deadline to March.
Meanwhile, the police argument to the taskforce to keep the current laws is based on the assumption that “outlaw bikies” (a term that is not clearly defined), are 25% more likely to commit crime.
If the same could be statistically proven for a particular race of people, should we then have punitive enforcement and penalties for all people of that race?
Of course not.
That would simply be wrong, wrong, wrong.
Apart from the enormous insult to basic human rights that this argument represents, the VLAD approach to pigeon-hole policing has not been a success, anyway.
So far, 100 people have been charged under the VLAD Laws and only one has been convicted – and he was a drug smuggler with no association to any motorcycle club. He even used a plane to smuggle drugs, not a motorcycle.
Over-eager policing straight after the introduction of the VLAD Laws led to innocent riders being harassed and inconvenienced, including one man wearing a Sons of Anarchy t-shirt. Granted, that inept policing has waned in recent months.
However, riders should still be concerned about the existence of the ineffective VLAD Laws as they are spreading to other states.
The only state that has refused to go down this track is Victoria, under the new Labor Government.