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Author Topic: Police guarded Former Newman government MPs after anti-bikie laws introduced  (Read 353 times)

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Police guarded Former Newman government MPs after anti-bikie laws introduced

GOLD Coast MPs had police guarding their offices and were given the private telephone numbers of senior officers amid fears bikies would target them over the tough VLAD laws.

Recalling how the gangs ruled the city, one senior MP said he was at the shops next to the Broadbeach bikie brawl in 2013 and another returned home late at night to discover a murder outside his apartment block.

The MPs’ graphic personal accounts of the impact on bikie violence on the Coast was delivered before Labor replaced the VLAD laws late on Tuesday night with the Serious and Organised Crime Amendment Bill.

Southport MP Rob Molhoek, for the first time, has revealed the fear after the Newman Government responded to a front page Gold Coast Bulletin article in 2013 where bikies claimed “we run this town”.

In a speech to Parliament before Labor gained the numbers for its new much criticised “softer” laws, Mr Molhoek said the LNP’s crackdown on bikies became a “very personal issue for me”.

“We were at a conference at the convention centre. The Premier pulled a few of my Gold Coast colleagues aside and said, “you need to come an unscheduled meeting with the Police Minister”,” Mr Molhoek said.

“I cannot tell members how disturbing it was to be handed the Police Commissioner’s phone number, to be given a briefing on personal risks involved and advised to give those phone numbers to my family and kids just in case triple-0 did not work and they found themselves in a situation where they were targeted.”

Mr Molhoek told fellow MPs about “the four months that we had police officers stationed at my office in Chirn Park for the safety of my staff”.

Outside the Parliament, he told the Bulletin his two adult sons and two teenage sons had to be warned about taking precautions if they visited nightclubs in Surfers Paradise.

“I can tell you it wasn’t a pleasant conversation at home,” Mr Molhoek said. “We had to remove personal signs from our cars. If I spoke at an advertised function in the city, police had to check out the venue.

“It created quite a bit of angst. That’s the side of it people don’t see. That’s why I get angry when I see the flippant comments on the other side of the House. They’ve never had to deal with it.”

Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens recalled his wife Ruth, during the previous Bligh Labor Government, attending her regular Pilates class at the southern end of Broadbeach only to return home at 7pm.

“That night tattoo parlours all around Broadbeach were shot up by bikies,” Mr Stevens said.

“She went to Robina shopping centre the next day, and bang, the bikies were back again. I say to the Police Minister that they did not use rat-shot — they used fair dinkum guns that actually cleaned up somebody.”

Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek, who tabled a copy of the Gold Coast Bulletin’s headline We Run This Town, recalled how the bikie violence before the VLAD laws impacted on everyone and had not been forgotten.

“We remember the terrifying Broadbeach bikie brawl in 2013. In fact, I was there, in the vicinity of the entrance to the Oasis (on Broadbeach),” he said.

“We remember the bikie-related shooting at the Robina Town Centre when an innocent bystander was shot and we remember the ballroom blitz at the Royal Pines Resort.”

Mr Langbroek said Mr Stevens and his wife Ruth returned from a function in Brisbane in 2013 and could not get inside their apartment block.

“Someone had been shot or stabbed to death on the footpath outside. The bikie gang member who committed the crime absconded to America and was brought back and subsequently went to jail,” he said.

“Those are the sorts of issues that we on the Gold Coast face year after year. Until 2013 the bikies knew that they ran out city and they let us know it.”

http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/crime-court/police-guarded-former-newman-government-mps-after-antibikie-laws-introduced/news-story/569667b481b3081d4988a48e7f88633b
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