June 2008 - the ACC Board elected to close the OMCG Task Force and replace it with a new Serious and Organised
Crime National Intelligence Task Force
New South Wales
In 2006, the NSW Government passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Gangs) Act 2006, making it the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate specific offences against criminal organisations (Schloenhardt 2008). The provisions make it an offence to participate in a criminal group, defined as three or more people who have as their objectives either to obtain material benefits from serious indictable offences or to commit serious violent offences. The Act also created power for the court to make a fortification removal order, in order to deal with OMCGs' heavily fortified premises.
In March 2009, Anthony Zervas was bludgeoned to death in a brawl at Sydney airport between members of the Comanchero and Hells Angels motorcycle clubs. Following the incident, on 2 April 2009, then NSW Premier Rees introduced the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Bill 2009, which commenced on assent on 3 April 2009. The legislation is based substantially on the SA legislation and provides power for seeking to declare OMCGs as criminal organisations. The government has received advice from the Solicitor General indicating that any High Court challenge to the legislation would not be likely to be successful.
Under the Act, the Commissioner of Police may seek a declaration that a bikie gang is a declared criminal organisation (s 6). The test for making an order, under s 9(1), is the same as in South Australia, but the order is to be made by a judge, rather than by the Attorney General. The factors to be taken into account under s 9(2) are essentially the same as the South Australian legislation, but pertain in subsections (b) and (c) only to current or former members, not persons who associate, or have associated, with members of the organisation.
The judge is