Queensland's crime watchdog warns it may not have enough resources to properly administer proposed laws which would strip alleged criminals of their assets.

A public hearing has been held at Parliament House into the proposed "Criminal Proceeds Confiscation" legislation.

It targets the "Mr Bigs" of the crime world who have not been charged, but can't explain their wealth.

If there is a "reasonable suspicion" wealth was acquired illegally, a confiscation order can be taken out which would push courts to take assets, including property.

Assistant CMC Commissioner Kathleen Florian supports the bill.

"It will assist to make Queensland hostile to the presence to serious and organised criminals," Ms Florian told the hearing.

But she said being given proper resources to administer the changes will be an issue.

She warns the program may have to be introduced in a staged way and it could take "a number of years to build up the unit to maximum capacity".

"There are some limitations because of the level of resourcing that currently exists, because that has implications for how many additional staff you could take on," she said.

Michael Cope, from the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, says the bill is unnecessary and dangerous.

He says the burden of proof should be on the crown to prove guilt, not alleged criminals to prove innocence and produce receipts.

"This legislation will lead to lazy policing and will be used when the police cannot get a conviction in the proper fashion, or against people who don't want to cooperate with them," Mr Cope told the hearing.

He recommends that cases should only pursued when there is a "reasonable belief", not just a "reasonable suspicion".

Courts should also be given a general discretion to refuse orders from police.

"It is in our clear view that this legislation has increasingly made the Supreme Court a vassal of the state," Mr Cope said.

Catherine Burchill, from the Queensland Law Society, says the laws put too much power into the hands of police and prosecutors.

She says the laws have no time limit for pursuing assets, and any property obtained by anybody at anytime could be targeted.

She gave the example of farmers who can't supply proof of purchase for equipment which has been handed down.

"The current draft undermines a presumption of innocence; it can affect people who have not been convicted and it has a low burden of proof," she said.


About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.