Queensland refusing to support stronger laws to crack down on crime and round up unexplained wealth

The ridiculous claim by the Queensland Attorney-General today that national unexplained wealth laws are a Commonwealth “cash grab” is a deliberate misrepresentation of the national plan to be discussed at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) tomorrow.

The ridiculous claim by the Queensland Attorney-General today that national unexplained wealth laws are a Commonwealth “cash grab” is a deliberate misrepresentation of the national plan to be discussed at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) tomorrow.

“National unexplained wealth laws are part of the crime package that Prime Minister Gillard will take to COAG, along with national anti-gang laws and reforms to the illegal firearms market,” said Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

“We know that criminals don’t respect state borders and a national approach means there are no safe havens. Rather than lining the pockets of criminals, the assets and money seized under these laws would be put towards crime prevention.

“The Commonwealth Government has made it abundantly clear the national laws would preserve state laws and each state would be able to retain proceeds of crime seized under their own laws.”

The Queensland Government has been full briefed on this proposal, which ensures that no state would be worse off as a result of national unexplained wealth laws. The national framework is designed to financially benefit states and territories.

“For example, criminal assets seized by Queensland law enforcement agencies acting alone would go entirely to Queensland,” said Mr Dreyfus.

“For joint Commonwealth-State operations, the proposal provides for a Standing Committee of Police Commissioners to be established to decide how to fairly share the proceeds between participating jurisdictions.“

Just last week the Prime Minister announced a $40 million National Crime Prevention Fund to be funded from confiscated proceeds of crime.

“Mr Bleijie should stop distorting the facts and get behind the Commonwealth’s proposal at tomorrow’s COAG meeting.”