As Vice-President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman recently released the following two media comments.

 

30 March 2016

Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne should direct Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to stop a now overt police political campaign to prevent any changes to the so-called bikie laws.

Queensland Council for Civil Liberties Vice President Terry O’Gorman said this today when commenting on reports in today’s Courier Mail by Superintendent Jim Keogh that three high profile gangs were waiting to reclaim their patch on the Gold Coast.

“For months there has been a ‘just below the surface’ police media campaign against any change to the so-called VLAD laws”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Through selected favoured journalists Queensland Police have been anonymously campaigning against any change to the VLAD laws since the current Labor government came to power”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Now, with today’s Courier Mail article, it appears that the police campaign has gone ‘directly overt’, and this must be with the full connivance and backing of the Queensland Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Mr Stewart should have learnt from the Joh Bjelke-Petersen era that police have no role in arguing for or against particular pieces of legislation, particularly contentious legislation”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman called on Police Minister Bill Byrne to immediately direct the Police Commissioner to stop Senior Executive Service police from publicly campaigning against any change to the VLAD laws.

“This is particularly important in the light of the report by ex Supreme Court Judge Wilson which is to be handed to the government tomorrow”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that the decision as to what was to happen to the VLAD laws was a decision for elected politicians, not unelected high ranking police mounting their own now overt political campaign.

 

6 April 2016

The Civil Liberties Council today again called on Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to direct Senior Police to stop their partisan political media campaign on bikies.

Civil Liberties Council Vice-President Terry O’Gorman said this today when referring to an article in today’s Courier Mail “State will pay dearly if gangs roll again”.

“For the last number of months, Senior Police have been regularly backgrounding selected journalists in their campaign against any changes to the VLAD laws. Last week this campaign became overt with Superintendent Jim Keogh, a former Gold Coast Senior Police Officer, being permitted by Commissioner Ian Stewart to make public comments directly aligning the Police Service with the LNP policy position in respect of bikies”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that Police, from the Police Commissioner down, as public servants should maintain neutrality in the current controversial politics of the VLAD laws.

“The Council calls on the Police Commissioner to immediately issue directives to Senior Police that they are not to participate in the ongoing political debate concerning the reform of the bikie laws”, Mr O’Gorman said.

The ‘Senior Police’ constantly quoted over the last 12 months in relation to the bikie laws have been consistently supporting and advocating the LNP position which is a direct contradiction of the proper standards in Queensland policing as outlined in the landmark Fitzgerald Report.

Mr O’Gorman can be contacted during business hours on 07 3034 0000 or after hours on 0418 787182