Bikie crackdown best decision I've made: Bleijie
CRACKING down on criminal bikie gangs may have been the toughest thing Jarrod Bleijie has ever done, but he maintains it's the best decision he ever made.
The Queensland Attorney-General and Member for Kawana spoke at the Business Referral Club breakfast yesterday on all things bikies.
"In the last couple of years, a large part of my life has been the criminal law reforms which have been the toughest thing I've ever done," he said.
"People say do you look back and question why you did what you did and did I make the right decision."
But Mr Bleijie said a reduction on crime across the Sunshine Coast was all the proof he needed.
He said in the past 12 months on the Coast there had been a 54% reduction in robberies, a 17% reduction in unlawful entries and a 20% reduction in other areas of crime.
What to read next:
Mr Bleijie recalled the morning he received a call from Premier Campbell Newman after the incident in Broadbeach.
"My life has never been the same since," he said. "I've been under 24-hour protection because of death threats that came through following the legislation we introduced.
"It's been fairly unfortunate on my family but I know what we did, I did, was the right thing.
"I've got three children and we want to know that they're going to grow up in a world where it's safe enough for them as it was a couple of years ago."
Mr Bleijie said there were three types of criminal gangs in Queensland, criminal motorcycle gangs, underground gangs and pedophile rings.
"Don't think we were immune to it on the Sunshine Coast," he said. "There's a court case currently happening where a tattoo parlour was shot up in Mooloolaba.
"They were legitimate owners, mum-and-dad business owners that because the bikie gangs didn't want them in town because it was their territory, they went and shot their windows up."
The Vicious Lawlessness Disestablishment (VLAD) laws will be challenged in the High Court in September.