Bikies eye off the Tweed as tough new laws pass in QLD
OUTLAW motorcycle gangs may relocate to the Tweed in response to the Queensland Government's introduction of tough new legislation aimed to drive bikie crime from the state.
Bond University criminologist and former Queensland police officer Terry Goldsworthy said it was likely criminal bikie gangs would be looking to the Tweed.
"If you put pressure on crime in one area it moves to another. It's called crime displacement," he said.
"Why wouldn't you drive 5km from Burleigh (into NSW) where the laws don't apply?
"They may move their clubhouses to circumnavigate the law. They will come across the border as individuals to access the Gold Coast."
Dr Goldsworthy said he also anticipated an increase in violence toward police as a response to the legislation, and an uneasy truce between police and bikies had been destroyed.
"The spirit of co-operation is dead," he said.
Tweed State MP Geoff Provest, however, said there was no indication bikie-related crime would shift across the border.
Mr Provest said he expected bikies would challenge the laws in the courts before shifting their business interests south.
"They are very prone to high court challenges," he said.
But Dr Goldsworthy pointed out a legal challenge could take years and bikies would be looking for ways to continue their operations in the meantime.
Mr Provest stressed the situation on the border was being monitored.
"There is lots of cross-border intelligence shared between both police forces," he said.
And while some aspects of the new laws were extremely tough - such as an ultra-secure facility for the worst bikie criminals - Mr Provest said the new rules brought Queensland into line with the NSW approach to criminal motorcycle clubs.
Tweed Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said he did not expect to see the Gold Coast's problems spill into the Tweed, but if they did, police would be ready to act.
"There is a far greater population of bikies on the Gold Coast than in the Tweed," he said.
"If they do (shift states) we will address the issue when it happens."
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has called for a national approach so that "those that are involved in activity can run but there will be nowhere to hide".
The commissioner announced discussions about national legislation had already begun between the NSW police force and the government.
Mr Scipione and Queensland police commissioner Ian Stewart said they were confident the new laws would not push the problem across the border.