'Peaceful' bikers fear impact of govt crackdown

Motorcycles will be lined up for the annual 'Lost Mates Ride' on August 25
Motorcycle clubs not included on Premier Campbell Newman's hit list still fear they will be singled out under harsh new laws. Contributed

MOTORCYCLE clubs not included on the State Government's bikie hit list still fear they will be singled out under harsh new laws.

Parliament has pushed through a raft of unprecedented legislation aimed at wiping bikie-related gang violence out of Queensland.

Under the new laws, any member of the 26 "vicious lawless associations" identified by the State Government would face a mandatory six-month jail term if caught working at a tattoo parlour.

It would be illegal for any three gang members to be together in public, effectively making it impossible for the groups to exist.

Even wearing gang colours to a hotel would result in prison.



More serious offences, including drug possession and assault, would automatically bring about a 15-year jail term on top of sentencing for the actual crime.

Gang office-holders - club presidents, sergeants-at-arms and the like - charged with serious offences would be slugged with an additional 25 years in jail.

The only way to lessen the harsh penalties would be to "rat" on fellow members.

Do the State Government's new bikie laws go too far?

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Premier Campbell Newman plans to introduce a new bikie super-prison where convicted gang members would remain in their cell for 23 hours a day, without a television or a gym.

The new laws will clearly make life very difficult for the groups that have been declared outlaw, but even social riding groups fear they will be harassed by police.

Police have been told to pull over every bikie they see on the road.

President of the Brothers In Arms Military Motorcycle Social Club's Darling Downs chapter Warren Strong is troubled about the consequences of the new rules.

No suggestion has been made of his club's involvement in any criminal activity, but their fondness for Harley Davidsons makes them a conspicuous gathering while on the road.

"These laws do affect us - they affect anyone that rides," he said.

"We're a group of ex- and serving members of the Defence Force... we have respect for the law and we do what we're supposed to, like any normal person.

"The biggest thing for us will be holding our poker runs - we raise money for Young Diggers, a charity that helps ex-servicemen coming back from East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Are we all going to be scrutinised just because we're a group of people riding down the road?

"If you've got a beard, are you going to be treated as a suspect?

"Where does it stop?"


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