The Queensland Government says it is committed to fighting organised crime following reports it’s slashed funding for the Gold bikie-busting crime squad by a third.
News Corp claims staff involved with Taskforce Maxima have grown increasingly concerned about transfers from the Coast and figures from the Opposition appeared to back up their fears.
It was reported Maxima’s fulltime equivalent staff count dropped from 104 in 2014-15 to 95 in 2015-16.
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It was also claimed the budget for Maxima was slashed to $664,000 despite being up around $2 million in 2014-15.
On Tuesday, Minister for Police Bill Byrne said the Palaszczuk Government is committed to targeting organised crime in the state.
“The Palaszczuk Government recently committed an additional $20 million over four years for the Queensland Police Service to specifically target serious organised crime.
“Regardless if it be outlaw motorcycle groups, child sex exploitation, fraud or drug trafficking, these individuals and groups will be targeted and will be disrupted and dismantled by the Queensland Police Service,” Minister Byrne said.
“The LNP are continuing to talk up their untruths when it comes to what this Government is doing in relation to targeting organised crime.
“It’s a nonsense to talk about Taskforce numbers. It’s naïve and reflects a lack of understanding of contemporary policing practices and the combined might of police resources.
His statement appeared to debunk the reports on slashed funding, claiming the government has worked hard to increase the budget.
“From 2014/15 to 2015/16 we increased the State Crime Command budget from $48.11 million to $64.70 million and increased the overall QPS Budget from $2.095 billion to $2.117 billion during the same period.
“Maxima is just one part of the QPS’ organised crime apparatus.
“We will provide the Queensland Police with the resources required to continue to exploit every opportunity to target criminal networks linked to organised crime.
“The $20 million committed by this Government will deliver a further boost to police resources and will give our law enforcement agencies the tools and technology they need to tackle organised crime.
“We also committed an additional 266 police this financial year, and we have delivered on this commitment.
“I can reassure the public that police remain resolute in their pursuit of organised crime gangs and the Palaszczuk Government backs their efforts every step of the way.”