Contentious laws targeting Queensland bikies will eventually be abandoned, the premier has revealed, as an alleged Rebels associate has a win in court.
Queensland’s premier has revealed that contentious new anti-bikie laws will eventually be scrapped, as the case of five men arrested over a pub meeting returned to court.
Premier Campbell Newman on Tuesday said his government intended to repeal tough legislation targeting outlaw motorcycle gangs after a three-year review.
The news came as an alleged Rebels associate, jailed after meeting accused gang members in a Sunshine Coast hinterland pub, was released on bail after more than a month’s imprisonment.
Alleged Rebels associate Joshua Carew, 30, walked free from prison in Brisbane late on Tuesday after Supreme Court Justice John Byrne decided the risk he would reoffend was “not unacceptable”.
Carew’s lawyer says some of that time was served in isolation, with Carew confined to a cell for 23 hours a day under prison rules brought in as part of the anti-bikie crackdown.
Carew was on bail charged with trafficking drugs when he was taken into custody on December 10 along with alleged Rebels members Paul Lansdowne and Steven Smith, and alleged gang associates Dan Whale and Scott Conley.
Lansdowne and Smith are co-defendants with Carew in the drug-trafficking charges, with police alleging all three were involved in trafficking ice to bikies.
Whale and Conley were released on bail last month, while Lansdowne will learn the outcome of his second bail application on Wednesday.
Smith remains in prison.
The five face a mandatory six months’ imprisonment if found guilty of being participants in a criminal organisation and being knowingly in public with two or more participants under the strict anti-bikie laws.
Carew’s wife Tracy hugged family members outside court, telling reporters she hoped the laws would be reviewed.
“To be locked up in solitary confinement without being found guilty of something is a very harsh punishment,” she told reporters.
It seems she will get her wish, after Mr Newman revealed the government intended to repeal the laws within three years.
“That’s the intention of the government, to have a three-year review and they go,” he told reporters in Cairns, adding that the laws were necessary for now.
“The sooner we can get rid of them the better but it starts by seeing us getting rid of the gangs.”
Meanwhile Justice Byrne reserved his decision on Lansdowne’s bail application until Wednesday afternoon.
And in the Brisbane Magistrates Court an alleged Bandidos member was denied bail over a “dummy spit” at Townsville police who had wrongly arrested him.
Jarrod Kevin Anthony Brown was remanded in custody in Townsville after Brisbane’s chief magistrate said Brown’s long history of public nuisance and violent offences demonstrated he was an unacceptable risk to the community.
Hearing the bail application in Brisbane, Chief Magistrate Tim Carmody said Brown’s alleged bikie links had little to do with the decision to deny bail.