Anti-bikie laws

23 April 2009

Dr Arlie Loughnan says the new NSW anti-bikie laws are quite draconian and can impact on civil liberties.

In an interview with ABC Radio, Dr Loughnan says the new laws make it illegal for individuals to associate with colleagues or family members of bikie gangs.

"The new laws aim to prescribe what constitutes a bikie gang, and then prohibit members of that organisation from associating," Dr Loughnan argues.

"They were modelled on the South Australian laws, and the states are pushing for Commonwealth legislation.

"However, the SA laws are largely untested, and it is unclear whether they are as effective as Mike Rann, The South Australian Premier, says."

Dr Loughnan also says that in recent weeks, police have been relying on existing laws to make arrests rather than the new law.

"It is important to think about legislative development being proportional to the threat it is designed to address.

"Just because bikie gangs disappeared off the media radar for a few years does not mean there were not gang activities which police were policing."

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 37365d0e6b165a030024413e3a5b0d2f07120f1e1c173e0f492b04