Labor weakens RAP ahead of VLAD repeal

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk must come clean about her government’s intentions to repeal and replace the LNP’s criminal gang (or VLAD) laws.

Shadow Minister for Police Jarrod Bleijie said Queensland had seen three key leadership roles change in an attempt to weaken and refocus the Gold Coast Rapid Action Patrol in the past 12 months alone.

“Labor needs to come clean with the people of Queensland once and for all,” Mr Bleijie said.

“We know the review is not fair dinkum and the weakening and downsizing of the Gold Coast RAP is further evidence of what the Palaszczuk Labor Government is really planning.

“If we are going to tackle criminal gangs and keep them out of Queensland we need a real plan, not the confusion and anxiety our police service is getting from Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“The LNP’s laws are working, the community is safer and crime has dramatically reduced across Queensland.

“The Premier should listen to the community and the advice from the Police that want to keep the laws.”

Mr Bleijie said the recent removal of Inspector Shane Holmes followed on from changes last year, which saw Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing and Superintendent Jim Keogh moved on as part of Labor’s anti-LNP agenda.

“Removing key leadership from the tough-on-crime Gold Coast RAP and downsizing the team just shows Labor’s real plan.

“The laws and the RAP team were part of a line in the sand that was taken against criminal gang activity and organised crime in Queensland and unlike Labor’s laws, they actually worked,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Following the Broadbeach brawl and several incidents in the previous years, the community and the Police were calling for action.

“Labor’s rhetoric last year was that the laws were focused on criminal motorcycle gangs – a myth that was busted during Estimates questioning of the Police Commissioner.

“The taskforce review has a pre-determined outcome, it is written in the terms of reference which asks how best the government can ‘repeal and replace’ the existing laws.”

Mr Bleijie said an LNP Government would reinstate the existing laws as one of its first priorities.

He said the former LNP Government’s VLAD Act included a review of the laws after three years in October 2016.

[ENDS] 4 February 2016