There are a couple more recent incidents to report from the ever more perfect People’s Democratic Tyranny of Queensland in Australia.
The first is that Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and his running dog, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, have begun implementing additional tough new regulations intended to make tattoo artists who are alleged to have ties to one of Queensland’s 25 banned motorcycle clubs unemployable. All tattoo artists in the state must now be palm printed, finger printed and licensed.
“When you apply for a license, you will also need to provide details about your close associates, such as your staff, business partners and landlord,” explained Queensland’s Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer. “Your finger and palm prints will be collected as part of the process to determine if you are suitable to hold a license.”
Licenses will cost $1150 (Australian) for one year or $1990 for three years. The Australian dollar is currently worth about 90 cents. Starting July 1, unlicensed tattoo artists face fines of $55,000 for a first offense and $110,000 for a second offense. Second offenders can also be sentenced to a year and half in prison.
Ice Cream Police
Meanwhile, five men were arrested at a Queensland resort Sunday for attempting to buy ice-cream together. The five men are from another Australian state named Victoria. The five were childhood friends on vacation together. They were not wearing cuts or other indicia of club membership and had left their motorcycles at home. The men all face sentences of between six months and three years in jail. Police allege three of the men are members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the other two are members of the Comancheros Motorcycle Club.
Bill Potts, a defense attorney representing two of the men, told the Australian, “The police found no drugs, no guns, no evidence of any criminality. Their offence is walking down the street and looking for ice creams. It is now illegal to be friends in a public place looking for an ice cream in Surfers Paradise.”
Since the new laws went into effect last October, 485 people have been arrested for belonging to or associating with the banned clubs.
Last Friday, police officials told the Brisbane Courier-Mail they intend to start investigating public officials and employees to determine if any of them have any friends who belong to motorcycle clubs. Police told the paper that the “biker trade” generates $3 billion in criminal revenues in Queensland every year.
“It’s unlike a novel you might read or CSI. You don’t get a result at the end of the episode,” Deputy Police Commissioner Brett Pointing said. “These (criminal) networks are sophisticated and they are not going to give up easily. We are very much here for the long term. This is something that has to be sustained well into the future.”
Ken Levy, the head of Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, told the Courier-Mail “You might get bikies who have a girlfriend or a boyfriend or somebody else …who might be able to use official information to assist a criminal motorcycle gang in some respect. Transport is the usual one people always think of but it could be any government department at all. That public sector type grouping will be one of those things that we will have the crosshairs on. There are many aspects where there could be conflicts of interest. Certainly as far as bikies go any possible avenues will be looked at.”