Tough new laws to curtail outlaw motorcycle gangs have been welcomed by Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the new laws on Monday which would see Police given clearer powers when executing a warrant on a clubhouse.
Under the new laws, Police will now be able to search anyone on site, compel any person to reveal their name and address, and make people present move on.
Mr MacDonald visited Cessnock on Monday and said that the new laws would allow Police in the region to continue the good work already being done to curtail outlaw motorcycle gang activity in the region.
“[The community] are anxious to make sure that we disrupt them as much as possible,” he said.
“I know the police here have been directing a lot of resources at it.
“This year alone they had ten protection orders from the Supreme Court against ten Finks and Nomads leadership people, and they’re continuing that work all the time.”
Mr MacDonald’s visit comes as the Police Association Of NSW released a list of crystal-meth hotspots, of which Cessnock is one.
The union is calling for an additional 1185 police across the state, to include 34 in Cessnock, however Mr MacDonald said staffing wasn’t a political issue.
“I won’t buy into it as a politician,” he said. “We in State Government will leave that with the Police Commissioner Mick Fuller.
“I don’t think we’d ever want to see the day where politicians say there should be more police in a particular station. If we do that then someone’s life will be at risk.”
Police Association Executive Member for Northern 1 Ian Allwood said the situation locally was at breaking point.
“Local police are so stretched that they’re drowning, just dealing with the symptoms of ice and users rather than focusing their efforts on the supply chain,” he said.
“All we can do at the moment is mop up the problems, rather than getting to the root of the issue and stopping the drugs before they hit out streets.”