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New laws crack down on bikies

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南宁桑拿

Document\”> The NSW government has rushed tough new laws to crack down on bikies through parliament, vowing to stop warring gangs from endangering the public.

The legislation was introduced on Thursday, only three days after Premier Nathan Rees warned it might not be ready until June to ensure it withstood a High Court challenge.

It passed the lower house within an hour, with only Independent MP Clover Moore voting against it.

It\’s expected to pass the upper house late on Thursday with the support of all parties except the NSW Greens.

The government said it was determined to push the laws through, with parliament not scheduled to sit again until May.

“These are tough and well constructed laws,” Mr Rees told parliament.

“They aim to give no second chances to those declared members of an illegal gang.”

The legislation will enable the police commissioner to make an application to the Supreme Court to have an outlaw motorcycle gang declared a criminal organisation.

Gang members will be able to make submissions to the court.

The judge can make a declaration without giving any reason, but it will only come into effect once it is published in the government\’s Gazette and a statewide newspaper.

Gang members who associate with each other can be charged without warning and face at least two years in jail.

South Australia already has similar laws, with Queensland expected to follow shortly.

Mr Rees last month said bikie gangs “crossed the line” by risking public safety with a vicious Sydney airport brawl which resulted in the death of Anthony Zervas, 29.

His brother, Hells Angel Peter Zervas, 32, is in a serious but stable condition at St George Hospital after being shot as he sat in a car outside a Sydney unit block on Sunday.

Five Comancheros bikies have been charged with affray over the March 22 airport brawl with the Hells Angels.

Police on Thursday afternoon raided the home of Comancheros president Mahmoud “Mick” Hawi, but he is reportedly in hiding with a $100,000 contract taken out for his death.

Opposition Leader Barry O\’Farrell said it took a dramatic escalation of violence to force the government to act on laws NSW police first requested late last year.

He said the coalition would support the laws to ensure the public was protected.

“I would have no problem if you put all the outlaw motorcycle gang members in two rooms and allowed them to shoot themselves to death,” he told parliament.

“I would have no problems with that at all.

“In the current climate of NSW you have drive-by shootings, you have bashings, you have bombings, you have murders, that at any stage could affect an innocent bystander.

“That is why we need to give police these powers.”

But the Law Society of NSW said police already had sufficient powers under the Crimes Act, and that the new legislation would do nothing to wipe out criminal conduct.

“The legislation simply will lead to people going underground and we\’re very concerned about that,” president Joe Catanzariti told reporters.

“At the present time … the people are visible in these activities and that does allow us to have proper justice.”

Mr Catanzariti said he was surprised at the haste with which the laws were introduced and debated in parliament, adding he felt it was an overreaction.

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