Extra police called in to protect Newman after bikie threats
FROM the moment Premier Campbell Newman and his State Cabinet ministers arrived in Emerald, their every move was shadowed by undercover and uniformed police officers as a security force, estimated to be 50-strong in numbers, ensured their safety following threats over the bikie crackdown.
Police Commissioner Ian Stewart justified the increased security, which he said was a reaction to risks they knew about, and was essential to ensuring the government could go about its business.
Threats to the Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and the release of criminal motorcycle gang clubhouse addresses, including the Central Highlands Rebels chapter in Emerald, over the weekend explained the jump in security for government officials.
At a press conference in Emerald, Premier Newman said the attorney-general had received threats because of the new laws targeting CMGs.
He said the tough stance on bikes was a whole-of-government approach and did not fall on one person's shoulders.
"This government won't back down, we are getting on with this and we are doing it to protect Queenslanders," the Premier said.
"We are not going to apologiss for impacting on the civil liberties of criminal motorcycle gangs who want to create misery in the community with their violence, produce drugs and sell them, who rape and murder and bash people up - we make no apologies for impinging on their liberties.
As bikies start to feel the heat from police, CMG members have disappeared from the streets.
"They have gone to ground," Capricorn Crime Services Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said.
Premier Newman said the message was clear: "Stop being crims, go and get honest jobs... and they won't end up in jail."
The premier said jails for bikies would be tougher as they would be made to wear pink.
"They are bullies, and they like to wear scary-looking gear, leather jackets, have tattoos and their colours, and we know telling them to wear pink is going to be embarrassing for them," he said.