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Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Page: 5114

Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (22:20): I rise to raise an issue of serious importance on the Gold Coast, and that is the ongoing issue of law and order. The concern that constituents in my electorate have is what appears to be an ongoing surge in people not abiding by the law and in particular what appears to be an ongoing turf battle between organised criminals, mainly outlaw motorcycle gangs. The reality is that on the Gold Coast we continue to see too many shootings and too many bashings.

In the last 48 hours there have been two further shootings on the Gold Coast and frankly I and I know the community have had enough. We are sick and tired of the way in which these outlaws conduct themselves and put fear into the community. In a tourism town like the Gold Coast perception is everything. At a time when Western Sydney is also plagued by these sorts of troubles, the reality is that people perceive the Gold Coast to be unsafe. That perception might as well be the truth and the reality is fewer tourists in a city like the Gold Coast. This comes on top of the fact that the Gold Coast is already less competitive when it comes to attracting tourists as a direct result of Labor's imposition in the budget of a further $600 million of tourism taxes on the industry.

In the last 48 hours, a volley of shots were fired on John Wayne Parr's Gold Coast gym. He is a kickboxing champion on Kortum Drive in Burleigh Heads, who owns the Boonchu Muay Thai Gym. Police are yet to make any connection and Mr Parr himself says he does not know the motive for the attack. That notwithstanding, we have had another random shooting of a small business on the Gold Coast. The night before, two 14-year-old boys were terrified when someone banged on the front door of their home. One of the boys looked through the window to see who it was and shots were fired, injuring through shrapnel one of the boys when the gunman saw a person—in this case, a 14-year-old boy—looking through the window. Only a matter of weeks before that, probably a mere 1½ kilometres or so from my home, two men were bashed, allegedly by bikies. One was so badly beaten with a baseball bat that teeth were found in the yard of that person's home. In addition to these attacks, we have seen continued assaults and violence by outlaw motorcycle gangs. There is no doubt that it is all tied directly back to the drug trade and those seeking to ply their trade in our city.

The simple reality is this: people should not have to tolerate this kind of lawlessness. What is required is a two-pronged approach. I note the new mayor of the Gold Coast, Mayor Tate, called for an additional 200 police for our city. I am exceptionally grateful that the new state LNP government has its priorities right and it has already committed to having an additional 100 police stationed on the Gold Coast. That is a step in the right direction. It is an important first step as part of retaking control of our streets and providing a very strong and salient message to all Gold Coasters that we will not tolerate this kind of lawlessness. But more is required. I think it is high time, frankly, that the federal government got its priorities right. It is high time that the federal government initiated a strike force and a dedicated squad of federal police, with beefed-up resources if need be, to deal with this issue in South-East Queensland, in Western Sydney and in other parts of the country where we continue to see this kind of violence seemingly taking place without any clear indication that there has been any increase in resources by law and order both at a federal and state level to deal with the issue.

How long must we stand by and watch the federal government sit on its hands? How long do we have to heed the calls of the police who say that they need more resourcing? What we need is a government, like this government, to start to get its priorities right, so we stop seeing the kind of waste that we have seen from this Labor government and start to have those funds apply to something meaningful that improves the quality of life for people in my electorate, in my city and across the nation. That is what I am calling for—a dedicated squad to tackle organised crime with specific focus on outlaw motorcycle gangs and the thugs that operate them, who in turn infect Australian children with the drugs that they try to peddle. It is high time that this government made that a priority.