Qld bikie debate flares ahead of new laws

Queensland bikies would be banned from wearing club colours anywhere in public under Labor reforms to anti-gang legislation.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed the plan on Sunday, saying it would ensure bikies weren't able to intimidate people.

"This is not just a Queensland first, this is a national first," she said in Brisbane.

The existing Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act, introduced by the former Newman government following 2013's now-infamous Broadbeach bikie brawl, made it illegal for colours to be worn in pubs and clubs.

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the "dress code" change was merely a smokescreen and predicted the overall suite of reforms would constitute a weakening of the Liberal National Party's (LNP) framework.

"What they wear isn't as important as what they do," Mr Nicholls said.

He accused the government of "rolling out the red carpet" for bikies to return to the Sunshine State.

The government is refusing to go into detail about the more controversial aspects to its plan.

A task force earlier this year made 60 recommendations on how to deal with gangs in the future and Labor has already committed to creating both a consorting offence and a new circumstance of aggravation for certain crimes.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath revealed the latter would carry "escalating penalties".

"There will be a fixed, cumulative time as part of that circumstance of aggravation," she said.

Ms D'Ath wouldn't say what those sentences would be.

The LNP's mandatory sentencing measures - which imposed additional jail time of 10 years for associates and 15 years for office-bearers - were described by the taskforce as "excessively harsh".

Mr Nicholls defended the measures, saying they were instrumental in breaking the culture of silence within gangs.

An unsuccessful High Court challenge to the VLAD Act and the desire of both Victoria and South Australia to copy them was proof the laws were effective, he said.

"They're legal, they work, they stop the gangs and they protect Queenslanders."

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties' vice president Terry O'Gorman - one of the fiercest critics of the VLAD laws - said banning insignia was merely a gimmick.

Well-established statistics showed bikies represented less than one per cent of all crime in Queensland, he added.

Labor's changes will also allow police to target properties tied to fraud rackets in the same way they can currently shut down bikie clubhouses.

The reforms will be introduced into the hung parliament on September 13, giving Ms D'Ath two weeks to lobby the three key crossbenchers of the hung parliament for support.

© AAP 2016

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