Corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald has told the premier not to treat Queenslanders like fools, and says the crime and corruption watchdog is at risk of outliving its usefulness.
Mr Fitzgerald has reacted angrily after the premier drew parallels between his crackdown on bikie gangs and the corruption inquiry Mr Fitzgerald headed 25 years ago.
"I urge the premier and his supporters, including supposedly independent statutory office-holders, not to treat the community as fools," he said in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Fitzgerald also offered a warning to the state's crime and corruption watchdog, after its chairman Ken Levy backed the government's claims that new bikie and sex offender laws reflect the will of Queenslanders.
"The Crime and Misconduct Commission will have outlived its usefulness if it loses its independence," Mr Fitzgerald said.
He described the government's new laws as a short-sighted lunge for "redneck support".
Mr Fitzgerald said the premier's critics were not opposed to effective laws that would tackle organised crime.
But he said the administration of criminal justice was "not a political plaything or a suitable area for political grandstanding".
"Considered law reform is unlikely to benefit from a publicity blitz of self-praise or silly ideas such as pink onesies," he said, referring to the government's plan to make jailed bikies wear pink prison outfits.
He said it was foolish for politicians to change the law without ascertaining whether existing ones were deficient, and if those flaws could be fixed.
It was also foolish not to have properly considered "whether draconian penalties might increase the possibility of a pedophile killing a child whom he's molested."
Mr Fitzgerald said it was the judiciary's role to apply the law to facts established by available evidence.
"It would contravene a judge's oath of office to speculate as to what the 'public wants' and to decide accordingly."
The comment was a reference to the premier's earlier call for judges to "start realising what the community wants and act accordingly".
"It is astonishingly short-sighted for a government to attack the judiciary in a bid to foster redneck support," he said.
"It is bizarre for a government to slander those who dissent, even to the point of falsely describing respected citizens as apologists for pedophiles.
"It will be contrary to the fundamental principles of a free society if a person can be imprisoned or kept in prison at the whim of a politician or because an official thinks that that is what 'the public' wants."
In parliament on Thursday, Mr Newman said he was cracking down on criminal gangs in the same way the Fitzgerald inquiry targeted corruption a quarter of a century ago.
"We have a similar situation today. Not in government, not in public administration, but with criminal gang activity within our state."
"We are going to fight back. That's what this is all about.
Attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie says Queenslanders will one day reflect on the current government and applaud Mr Newman for being courageous, just like Mr Fitzgerald.
"They will be saying in 25 years that this premier, this government has the guts and the determination to rid this state of criminal gangs once and for all," he told parliament.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Fitzgerald was clearly unhappy with the direction this government was taking.
She said the premier must apologise for his constant attacks on the judiciary."The only comparison I can see between Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Campbell Newman is that neither of them understand the separation of powers."