A LEADING Melbourne barrister silenced a crowd of around 300 concert goers in Wangaratta on Saturday night, as he spoke out against the State Government’s new ‘Anti-Bikie Laws’.
Trevor Monti SC told the crowd the Criminal Organisation Control Act of 2012 – colorfully referred to as the ‘Anti-Bikie Laws’ – harked back to the sad days of McCarthyism, where there was the practice of making unfair allegations without proper regard for evidence.
Mr Monti said the the legislation was an attack on ‘civil liberties’, with vague definitions of ‘criminal history’ (which may simply constitute an unproven allegation of a summary offences, or ‘prospective member or associate (of a motorcycle club) open to abuse.
Mr Monti noted comments Attorney General, Robert Clarke, made in the Wangaratta Chronicle on May 3, namely that “the new laws would offer greater protection for communities.”
“In my opinion the laws offer the high prospects of greater abuse, intimidation, corruption and laying of false charges as occurred in the United States during the McCarthyist period,” Mr Monti said.
And he questioned what Mr Clarke was referring to when he told the Chronicle: “We’d hate to see an ugly under belly of crime developing in Wangaratta and this bill is aimed at giving more power to prevent such activity.”