Bev Lacey

Bikie laws put honest jobs at risk, says sparkies union

QUEENSLAND'S amended bikie laws could put the honest livelihoods of those who have links to motorcycle gangs at risk, a union has claimed.

The Electrical Trade Union says it plans to take the Newman Government to court over the issue, citing member concerns about the possible loss of electrical licences under the amendments to the Electrical Safety Act.

ETU state secretary Peter Simpson said today the changes were passed as part of Criminal Organisations Disruption legislation.

"The advice we have is that anyone who has declared their membership to a prescribed club, through words or action, sought to have been a member or attended one or more meetings or gatherings of people who are members or associates, is in danger of losing their electrical licence or not having it renewed," he said.

Mr Simpson said no licence means no work and the prospect looms of the possibility that members or former members of clubs could lose their ability to work even if they were not linked to any criminal activity.

"Imagine being an electrician in a regional area, like a lot of our guys are, working in construction or in the mines," he said.

"They lose their electrical licence, they lose that job, what are they supposed to do? Where do they go to get work? It is a disgrace."

Mr Simpson scoffed at assertions from the government saying all members had to do to regain licences was to quit motorcycle gangs, countering that the legal advice the ETU had received led them to believe the law actually still looks at former members as associates.

"We are not sticking up for criminals," he said.

"If people are breaching the law, if they are dealing drugs, using intimidation, harassing or bullying and it is proven, they should go to jail, but the existing laws provided for that."


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