Police Minister Bill Byrne has welcomed the Federal Government’s move to build on the Palaszczuk Government’s work dismantling organised crime in Queensland.
“The need to put criminals behind bars and protect Queenslanders transcends political boundaries,” he said.
“The $3 million over two years put forward by the Federal Government to the Queensland National Anti-Gang Squad (NAGS) Strike Team – which includes five Australian Federal Police, two Queensland Police and an Australian Tax Office analyst – is welcomed.
“The National Anti-Gang Squad is a strong initiative, in fact it was originally a Labor initiative.
“In the 2013-14 Federal Budget, the Labor Government provided $64 million to Australian Federal Police to establish a National Anti-Gang Taskforce (NAGT) and an Australian Gang Intelligence Centre.
“While the Palaszczuk Government is doing its part to tackle organised crime in Queensland, we need the Turnbull Government to do the same.
“If Malcolm Turnbull truly wanted to support the Government, he would invest more than $3 million of the $39 million promised in June for the National Anti-Gang Squad.
“The state LNP naively continues to focus solely on one group involved in organised crime – bikies – while the Palaszczuk Government has ensured law enforcement can target all offenders involved in organised crime.
“This includes increased funding of $39.1 million over four years to target serious and organised crime and implement the Government’s response to the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry report.
“The Palaszczuk Government is also delivering an additional $5 million funding to police each year for four years to target organised crime, alcohol-fuelled violence and ice, and $3.2 million to target online child exploitation material via Operation Orion.
“Mr Ciobo’s criticisms of the Palaszczuk Government are as immature as his statement on television that a Labor backbencher would slit former PM Julia Gillard’s throat if the MP had the opportunity.
“His uses ill-considered comments to politicise significant issues and cause undue concern within the community, unlike his colleague Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
“One good thing Tony Abbott did in 2010 was thoroughly consider Mr Ciobo’s credentials when it came to his position as a shadow minister.
“Mr Ciobo failed that test and Mr Abbott relegated him to the backbench.
“Perhaps it’s time Mr Turnbull took a good, hard look at Mr Ciobo, too.”