Labor’s Repeal of Bikie Laws a Threat to Tourism

30 Mar 2016 1:54 PMJann Stuckey

Tourism is the bread and butter for the sunshine state of Queensland and recent figures show the industry is booming, but Labor’s threats to repeal the LNP’s tough bikie (VLAD) laws could burst the tourism bubble.

Shadow Tourism Minister and member for Currumbin Jann Stuckey says Labor’s Taskforce is due to hand its report to the Attorney-General on March 31 and police, community and tourism operators are holding their breath as the countdown draws near.

“The Report commissioned by the Palaszczuk Government gives a direction to repeal the existing VLAD legislation which was brought in under the LNP government – it’s in the terms of reference,” said Ms Stuckey.

The Taskforce will note the Queensland Government’s intention to repeal, and replace the 2013 legislation, whether by substantial amendment and/or new legislation.

“Tourism is a volatile and highly competitive industry and the biggest threat to confidence in the Queensland tourism industry is Labor’s impending repeal of the VLAD laws.

“Premier tourism locations such as the Gold Coast have worked hard to build their reputation as a safe destination for visitors to enjoy our many activities and attributes.

“We certainly don’t want to see that reputation diminish with a return of criminal motorcycle gang activity, and we want to maintain the momentum.

“Since the laws were enacted we have witnessed a dramatic reduction in these types of gang activities on the Gold Coast and across Queensland.

Ms Stuckey criticised Tourism Minister Kate Jones for being silent on the issue.

“Minister Jones is missing in action on this issue and she needs to show she is championing the state’s $23 billion tourism industry.

“Has she consulted her Board, the Regional Tourism Organisations, or any members of the industry?

“I have, and they’re telling me they’re really concerned about the message that watering down these laws will send – and so are residents in suburbs throughout the Gold Coast.

“Labor have a track record of being soft on crime and failing to consult with the community and small business.

[Ends] 29/03/2016