Bikers say gang laws a threat
A LARGE group of Bundaberg motorbike enthusiasts get together regularly to ride their powerful machines around the district.
They even have their own club emblem that members wear with pride.
But bikers in the Bundaberg branch of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club insist they are just recreational riders and they have no fear of a crackdown planned by the Queensland Government on outlaw bikie gangs.
Under similar legislation in NSW, police have gone to court in a bid to dismantle the Hell's Angels and declare it an outlaw gang.
Bundaberg branch facilitator Ron Henry said as he understood it, the proposed legislation did not mention motorcycles, and the real concern was it could be applied to any social group, such as a bowls club, not just bikers.
Prominent Brisbane criminal defence lawyer Tim Meehan has warned the proposed legislation could cripple the lives of innocent people because it also targeted people who associated with outlaw gangs.
“Could a person whose business is servicing or selling motorbikes be punished?” he asked.
“What about the servo proprietor who sells fuel? Where does this end?”
Mr Henry agreed the law was using a “broad brush” approach that was also aimed at association.
“You could say any group, such as a bowls club, could be targeted because one member is a criminal,” he said.
“If you happen to be in business with a member of a bikie gang and you don't know about it you could be in trouble.”
Mr Henry said Ulysses members did not feel singled out by the law.
“We're a social club of people who like to ride bikes,” he said.
“We feel we've established enough respect in the community so we're not looked on as a gang.”
Mr Henry said he was not aware of any outlaw bikie gang activity in the Bundaberg region.
“It's not something we've ever discussed,” he said.
Bundaberg Police Inspector Kevin Guteridge said there were no major groups causing problems in the Bundaberg region.
He said unlike major cities, Bundaberg seemed to be free from such problems.