Any club member – not just motorcycle clubs – could face extensive jail time for relatively minor offences under the Queensland Government’s Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act.
That’s the considered decision of Brisbane criminal law firm Guest Lawyers who describes the VLAD Act as “incredibly broad” in its reach. Click here to read their post.
They give the examples of a footballer facing 25 years in jail for a pub melee after a game or a car club member facing similar time for dangerous driving.
“The government has sold the VLAD Act to the public as a highly targeted piece of legislation, designed to disrupt and dismantle the illegal activities of outlaw motorcycle clubs. As the examples given in this article show, this is clearly not the case,” the Guest Lawyers blog says.
“The incredibly broad drafting of the legislation and the fact that the onus of proof is on the defendant to prove that the association does not purposefully conduct illegal activities means that the Act will apply in a whole host of circumstances which were never envisaged by the government …”
Our petition, drafted even before these laws were passed, has almost reached 10,000 signatures. Click here to sign.
We will be presenting the petition to the Deputy Opposition Leader, Bill Byrne, at Parliament House tomorrow. He will then table it in Parliament.
The Opposition Leader’s office is concerned that a vast number of riders will attend which could trigger Parliament security to close the gates and lock us out, preventing us from lodging the petition.
They say security has been on high alert since the VLAD Act was passed.
To ensure our petition is lodged, we have promised to keep rider numbers low.
If you would like to attend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will tell you the time and place for the petition presentation.
If you would like to be part of a bigger show-of-numbers ride, Rebel FM is considering planning a major “In-Laws” ride where you bring one of your in-laws (not outlaws!) and another ride has been planned for 10am on Sunday, December 1, where riders are asked to go to their Parliament in each state as a show of support.
As you are reading this a group representing social riders is meeting with Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey.
Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland president Chris Mearns told me this morning he did not hold out much hope that the meeting would reach any suitable agreements.
“We’ll probably just get a pat on the head and the same old assurances that social riders won’t be inconvenienced,” he said.
However, that is clearly not the case based on the number of incidents being reported to the MRAQ and various media organisations.
Chris promised to contact me after the meeting for a full report. Stay tuned.