State stumps up cash to tackle Gold Coast bikie violence
AS Gladstone police plan to crack down on outlaw motorcycle gangs being established in the region, the State Government has promised an extra $20 million to tackle bikie gangs on the Gold Coast.
The promise of more money follows two brawls on the Gold Coast on Friday that resulted in 20 gang members and associates charged with affray, assaulting police and other offences.
Police Minister Jack Dempsey has suggested the $20 million pledge to tackle bikie violence and crime could go higher.
"That's the initial figure that the commissioner has presented and from there we'll assess it," he told 612 ABC Brisbane.
"We're not putting an exact amount on it because obviously this is an issue we take very seriously."
Brisbane Times reports two men charged over Friday's brawls at Broadbeach and Southport are due to face the Southport Magistrates Court on Monday, with others to appear at later dates.
The news website also reports that escalating bikie crime on the Gold Coast is linked to "gang recruiting" and the sweep out of experienced police after a corruption sting in 2011.
The glitter strip looks set for further bikie violence, with the Bandidos warning the Finks club to stay out of Gold Coast suburb Broadbeach.
News Ltd reports the outlawed gang is ready to go head to head with the Finks, and say if there are any retribution attacks after Friday night's brawl in Broadbeach "it's on big time".
Club members said the brawl in the middle of a bustling Broadbeach was to "send a message" that it was Bandido territory.
"A lot of these gangs exploit opportunities and move into areas where they feel they can conduct their activities with the least amount of resistance," Central region assistant commissioner Mike Condon said.
"These gangs aren't sophisticated. They rely heavily on a code of silence or fear that they hope permeates through the community, but at the end of the day when these guys are tackled individually they fold like straw and they're quick to provide information to police to save themselves."
So far the Gladstone community doesn't seem very concerned about bikie gangs in the region, with some commenters on The Observer's Facebook page saying the issue was the police and media making a big deal out of nothing.