The purpose of the Criminal Organisations Control Bill 2011 currently before the WA Legislative Council is said to be to provide "for the making of declarations and control orders for the purpose of disrupting and restricting the activities of organisations involved in serious criminal activity, their members and associates and certain other persons who engage in serious criminal activity, and the imposition of criminal."
It arose from a long period of conflict between the police and certain motorcycle clubs over the police belief that the motorcycle clubs in question were involved in organised crime, which by definition is premeditated and systematic.
WA Premier Colin Barnett being "sure" that "this is very strong legislation ... to give the police extra powers … to crack down on outlaw bikie gangs" does not guarantee either efficiency or results. Despite WA Police running anti-bikie Operation Jupiter since December 2007 (claimed to have made 200 arrests plus 1840 charges), at least one bikie gang - the Finks - has since established a chapter in WA.
Yet the authors of that Bill seeking to impose extreme scrutiny on others nevertheless sought to minimise scrutiny of it. A bid by the Greens to have the Bill scrutinised by a Parliamentary Committee was been rejected by Government, Labor and Nationals Upper House MPs on the 2nd of May, defeating it 27 votes to three.
Green Left Weekly was able to list ten shortcomings of that Bill from the point of view of civil liberties:
"1. The legislation will criminalise association instead of actual crimes.
2. The anti-association law is not limited to “outlaw bikie gangs”. The word “bikie” or even “motorcycle” is not mentioned once in the legislation. These laws could apply to trade unions, sports groups, churches, rotary groups and environmental groups.
3. Control orders can stop you from holding particular jobs, from going to certain places, possessing certain items and even from using a mobile phone or the internet all together.
4. The police can use secret evidence to place a control order on you, and you won’t even be told what that evidence is, let alone be given the chance to rebut it.
5. Even with that advantage, you will be judged on the civil standard of “balance of probabilities”. In a normal criminal trial you must be proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Why? Because otherwise it is unfair (the state has more resources than you) and to reduce the chance of an unjust result (sending an innocent person to jail). Yet under these laws all the government has to do is show that their case for controlling you is slightly more convincing than your case to remain free.
6. This law can apply to children from the age of 16.
7. These laws will only be reviewed after five years, and there are no other inbuilt accountability mechanisms.
8. Controlled persons will have their personal details, including date of birth and home address, put online as part of a register that can be accessed by anyone.
9. This type of legislation has not been proven to work in any other country in the world. In fact, this type of legislation has been tried in other Australian states, and every time the High Court of Australia has found it unconstitutional.
10. Every single offence under this law, whether it be associating with another controlled person, recruiting a person to a declared organisation or even allowing a declared group to use your premises, is punishable by a minimum of two years imprisonment."
Such measures encourage police criminality and misconduct.
Victorian Supreme Court Judge David Harper said in 2011 that sensationalist media reports can encourage criminal behaviour, that some media outlets tried to make money by using tabloid exaggeration to impose on the courts a fundamentally bad sentencing regime, and to do so "censored" court reporting to improve the media outlet's sales and ratings.
Organisations unpopular with the government of the day are obviously at risk.
Conclusion: The Union is not supporting unlawful behavior but we are not going to support bad legislation that can impede on freedom of association for good hard working organisations either, let your support for the Unions position be known by contacting your local MP or use electronic media or media comments pages to express this view.
 "Police say WA bikies not part of national feud"
 "Bikie law scrutiny bid denied"
 "Ten things you should know about Barnett's anti-association law"
 "Judge takes aim at media's crime reporting"
 "Hiking across crime, trust and the media"