Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bikie Law Debate Offered; Challenge to Premier Taken Up by LNP Hopeful

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Bikie Law Debate Offered; Challenge to Premier Taken Up by LNP Hopeful

Article excerpt

Byline: Damian bathersby

THE next state election may be months away, but at least one candidate is keen to start a political stoush.

Matt Trace, the LNP's endorsed candidate for Nicklin, has challenged sitting member Peter Wellington to step into the ring to debate the state's controversial bikie gang laws.

The challenge follows a confrontation in Parliament earlier this week when Premier Campbell Newman accused the independent MP of being a bikie gang apologist.

Mr Wellington hit back, saying he would debate the issue with the Premier "anywhere, any place", prompting Mr Trace to offer to step into the ring in place of his boss.

"As the LNP candidate for the seat of Nicklin, I would like to accept your offer to discuss the government's tough stance on criminal gangs and the great benefits they have had in making the people of Nicklin safer," he wrote to Mr Wellington.

"Reported crime across Queensland has fallen 11% under the LNP Government, and in Nicklin, grievous and serious assault numbers are down, as are robberies and unlawful entries. …

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