Charity riders refused bar service

Charity riders have been refused service in the Commercial Hotel in Inglewood because they wore jackets with commemorative ride badges which were confused for outlaw motorcycle club patches.

Ride organiser Allen Ryall says the hotel refused to serve about three riders last Saturday, so he decided that they would all leave.

Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Shaun Lennard says the situation is “ridiculous” yet similar to an incident in Cairns where a rider was barred from a restaurant because of his t-shirt and tattoos.

Allen says there were about 40 riders on a variety of bikes on the Charity Poke Ride for Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter which rode up from Grafton last Saturday.

Allen and wife Gail have been organising these rides and other charity events for the chopper service after their son, Dale, was seriously injured in a car crash six years ago. They have since raised more than $60,000, including $20,000 in rides.

“It shouldn’t have happened and I don’t think I’ll be coming back to Queensland again,” Allen says.

(MotorbikeWriter has made several calls to the Commercial Hotel but has not been able to speak with anyone to confirm the incident. The phone call now goes to a fax machine.)

Commercial Hotel
Commercial Hotel

Allen says he had visited the hotel two months earlier to organise their visit with the manager.

“I also rang and touched base before we left and let them know when we’d be there,” Allen says.

“When we got there on Saturday we arrived in waves. We didn’t all just pull up in one hit.

“The last group in were the Harley Owners Group. These are just ordinary family folk and some had their wives on the back and that sort of stuff. They’re not Rebels or anything or wearing any 1%er colours.”

Allen says they were not thrown out because of the type of bike they were riding, but because of their jackets.

“We were standing in the door of the bar and this bloke walked out – I presume he was the licensee – and said ‘Who’s in charge?’

“I thought he was going to welcome us, but he confronted us and said ‘You can’t come in here’ and said ‘I’m not serving him’ and pointed to a guy wearing a Harley jacket with his name on it and a few different charity ride badges on the front of his jacket.

“I just said ‘this isn’t our colours or patches’. He said ‘I’m the licensee, I know the law and I’m not serving you’. He pointed out another two blokes wearing similar jackets, yet everyone else had already been served.”
Allen says the licensee had a “total misunderstanding of the law”.

“So I decided we’d all leave,” he says. “One for all and all for one. If he doesn’t serve one, he’s not serving any of us.”

Allen says the licensee told them he would ring the police. An Inglewood police officer confirmed he had received a call from the hotel advising him that “patch members” had been told to leave.

“He said he was uncomfortable and asked them to leave,” he says.

The officer says he was off duty at the time, but aware that it was a social club ride, not outlaw bikies, and didn’t attend. He says he cannot comment further.

Allen says he is not coming to Queensland again, “if that’s going to be the norm”.

However, he says their next ride is planned to be held in Texas which this year declared itself the first Motorcycle Friendly Town in mainland Australia. (Read my story here.)

“We stayed at the Stockman Hotel (Texas) on Saturday night and had a great time and a great feed and spent a lot of money there for them and raised a lot of money,” he says.

“Next year’s ride is to Texas at this stage, but it’s only 1km into Queensland so we will run the gauntlet.”

One of the charity riders, Tony Payne, says he will continue to visit Queensland.

“There are some beautiful roads up there and I have a lot of good friends up there we ride with and I come up there fairly frequently,” he says.

“I’m not going to take one incident from some stupid publican and not ride in Queensland.”

Goondiwindi Regional Council also plans to make Inglewood and Goondiwindi motorcycle friendly towns after the success they have had with Texas.

NEW LICENSING LAWS:

Under new laws introduced in the war on bikies, publicans face $11,000 fines for allowing members of declared outlaw motorcycle clubs to remain on their premises.

Changes to the Liquor Act prohibit people from entering or remaining on licensed premises if they are wearing “outlaw” colours, a 1%er badge or the name of an outlaw club on an item of clothing, jewellery or accessory.

Staff are obliged to tell the person to immediately leave the premises.

If the person refuses to leave they face up to a $41,250 fine for a first offence, $57,750 or six months in jail for a second offence and $82,500 or 18 months’ jail for third or more offences.

  • Meanwhile, the Australian Motorcycle Council has established a fighting fund to support any High Court challenge to any of the anti-bikie legislations. To read more about the fund and to donate, click here.

43 Comments

  1. Lets hope the general Biker community can understand that the new laws understandably frighten some Licencees . Not everyone is clear on who , what or where to allow / serve and it’s a shame if all Inglewood hotels get tared with the same brush as have all bikers …

  2. On a more creative and positive note. Invite publicans to be listed amongst a running list of Biker friendly pubs and caffees.
    Guys when you’re up this way, don’t forget the Pit Stop between Dayboro and Mt Mee.. There have been a drop in business after frequent police controls closer to D’Aguilar. However. heading North, after Mt Mee township by 500 meters, there is Campbell Pocket Rd down on your right. Great windy scenic narrow bitumen road, watch occasional off camber bend. That will often bypass the frequent controls held a bit further on. Takes you down to Wamuran on D’Aguilar Hwy, just some 10 k or so east of D’Aguilar, in case you want to west go D’Aguilar, where there is a biker friendly pub.

  3. I got “random license checked” and breathe tested in a very officious manner by a Highway patrol from Texas – wouldn’t say they were a bike friendly town!!

  4. My husband was at the Gold Coast last year, he is not associated with any gangs, and doesn’t ride a bike. He has tattoos up his arms and legs some are for cultural reason. He is a solid bloke also.
    While staying on the Gold Coast he was refused to at least half a dozen pubs and clubs because of his tattoos and appearance. Now my husband is not the most manscaped of men, he is rugged, solid and a big friendly giant. He was told to cover up his tatts or wouldn’t be allowed in (in the middle of summer). Though looking around him there were scrawny blokes with tatts etc who were getting in no problem.
    I feel this law helps others discriminate based on appearance and preference.

    1. As Tony said … The Inglewood Hotel which is across the road from the Commercial, catered for another bike ride.. I was there helping with the Catering and we had an absolute ball with these guys !!! The Police where informed of the function …Made their presence known and came back Sunday morning for anyone who wanted to be breath tested… The group are called the Clown and the Soft Cock and I am sure they will tell anyone that the Inglewood Hotel welcomed them with wide open arms and they all said they would come again ….Please don’t tar all Queensland Pubs with the same brush.

      1. Hey Julie. Even Better. Much Better. Let’s ALL make an effort to go to Inglewood but not to the COMMERCIAL HOTEL.
        Let the publican see the booming business across the road!! Maybe he’ll come across and apologise. I can’t wait.

  5. As a publican in Victoria I understand the man’s position, but he needs to be better informed. He’s obviously panicked, he’s got 30-40 bikes at the pub, so knows the cops could be around, he’s seen what he thinks is an OMG patch and has acted quickly to protect his business. Not being in QLD I’m not sure what the licencees have been provided with but if it was me I’d want a photo list of all banned patches and logos and would act in that. It would also need to be updated by police as required.

  6. I remember being part of demos against certain laws in South Africa when I was youg – those laws smelt a lot like the Qld laws – oh and by the way, why is everybody concentrating on riders of 2 wheel machinery?. The way I read the Qld crap is that even a croquet club or AA could be hassled if one of them has a criminal record.

  7. id sue him for preduice toward your club your not a 1% club so why should you be discriamted against this is going to get out of hand as allways does the innocent pay the price

    1. i Suggest you read the legislation before you leap to the wrong conclusions
      also keep in mind every hotel in Qld if not Australia reserves the right to refuse service and most have pretty signs stating this on entry.

  8. The police should be a shamed of them selves for this. I will stand up for the rights of the biker, my husband and friends own them. It is no wonder I resigned from the Queensland Police as a VIP as I stand the crap they were dealing out.

  9. The way that piece of the liquor act bit is written, all you would need is a patch from a poker run with one of the listed groups(with “the name of a declared criminal organisation”) and the manager has to decide between serving you or a possible $11,000 fine….

    Of course, the big takeaway from this is to make sure that the whole group is there *before* anyone is served to avoid spending any money before leaving.

  10. …… dunno…. but maybe we good riders carry a copy of the insignia graphics, in our pockets, to offer to those who question us and or refuse us service ……. will that help us …… ??? worth a try????

    1. Mandy
      I am a Publican and your suggestion is a great one.
      as long as it is from the official OLGR web site it will help identify your patches as not on the prohibited list
      i have read and re read the new laws and if anyone has ever seen the list of OMG’s it is extensive and many Staff and Approved Managers alike will always err on the side of caution and refuse service.
      the fines to them and there Licencees are enough to make it not worth the risk.

      1. Darren.
        Please note… Recreational Clubs do not have “patches” what we have are ‘logos’. OMG do, the difference is that they have what are called ‘rockers’, the top one is the name of their”club”, in the middle is their “club design” and the lower one has the word ‘Australia”.

      2. The names and patches of 26 clubs will actually fit on an A4 piece of paper. Perhaps you could print one and circulate it between your staff and place one in a back of house area for reference. This may help alleviate confusion and perceived harassment of innocent parties.

  11. I feel sorry for the many people that will lose trade and perhaps their business because interstate and overseas visitors who innocently wear clothing that looks ‘suspect’ will stop visiting QLD in preference to being arrested. I doubt that very many Queenslanders have ever been affected by bikie ‘crime’ – which I’m sure does exist. However, hundreds of thousands of us have been affected by the activity of teen gangs engaged in home and business break and enters, car thefts, bag snatches and other assaults. Is there any kind of mandatory punishment for these people? No. Are police parking outside shopping centres to stop gangs congregating, declaring them Violent Lawless Offenders and carting them off for a week in the slam without bail? Of course not. That would occupy a lot of police time and perhaps look like they were being racist so much better to lock up big, very obvious blokes with beards and signs on their backs and claim to be combating crime. Right.

    1. well said cliff,it`s all smoke and mirrors on the governments part,they are already trying to use these laws on unions,newman wants complete control and will jail anyone in his way.the worst is yet to come.i know a few omg members and they all work hard at day jobs for a living.

  12. Open dialoge withthe pub,should have been easily sorted, unfortunately some social riders do like to look like OMG riders for some reason, and there are some clubs that have a foot in both camps!!

    1. With all due respect Dave but WHAT do OMG riders look like. I have been riding for over 40 years and yea I love black leather and the true biker code (which is basically a humanity code),. I wear BACA colours and LOVE it – just in case you dont know BACA is Bikers Against Child Abuse. Do you know that the clowns who caused the last major economic meltdown wore suits, the clowns who got/get our young military personnel killed for bullshit reasons wear suits and live in mansions. Lets arrest anyone in a suit or who lives in a mansion cause they MAY be assholes.

    2. Dave, WHY is it “unfortunate’ that some social riders like to dress like ‘OMG’ members? I along with hundreds of people who don’t ride, enjoy wearing Denim & Leather and if it’s the “Patches” that your referring to, think of it like an adult version of Scouts- they too were proud to display their Patches.

  13. The laws are an attack on our freedom. I am a member of a Social Riders Club. We ride together for fun, friendship and fellowship. We also raise thousands of dollars for local schools and charities through Charity Poker Runs. We are ordinary people who enjoy riding motorbikes. We are a Club, not a gang. We are Bikers, not Bikies. This laws will be used on all citizens not just Bikies. These laws should be repealed.

  14. I believe there are 2 general issues in all this: one relates to the laws and the government’s position, and the other is about how police and public respond to those laws and the hype surrounding them. At the 31 October meeting with the Qld Police Minister, the Police Commissioner Ian Stewart responded to comments from recreational riders about police differentiating between rec riders and OMG members.

    Commissioner Stewart asked riders to look around the room at each other and said most look like OMG members and so until his officers were “up close and personal”, it was difficult to see the difference. He said it was a problem; and later said it was particularly difficult for the younger officers who did not have the experience that older officers had. He said his officers were being trained and directed to be “Safe, Lawful & Professional”. “Our people are not going out to harass you. We don’t know whose who into zoo yet. I’m sorry some of your people went through that [those incidents described] but there will be some more inconvenience.”

    Many recreational riders have adopted similar personal styling to the OMG’s. Does this go back to 1953’s “The Wild One” with Marlon Brando? It isn’t surprising that Joe Public cannot tell the difference. The ignorant public (& their businesses) will continue to react poorly given all the bad press surrounding this whole debacle.

    1. If the commissioner doesn’t know who’s who in the zoo, then they shouldn’t be passing laws that descriminate against everyone until they do.

    2. well said john,isn`t funny how stewart changed from the word harass to inconvenience.how many of you have been on an omg charity run? you can be subject to the same laws as omg members,read the fine print

  15. Mark, I own a business here in Inglewood and clicked on a link as it said Inglewood Hotel, I know the owner and also know for a fact he had 35-40 2 wheeled visitors Saturday who even camped in his back yard at pub, we’re cooked a big feed Saturday Night and Sunday breakfast. it is directly across the road from Commercial on main highway and I am sure he would appreciate you somehow reiterating the point it was a Hotel in Inglewood not the Inglewood Hotel

  16. I have previously stayed at the Commercial hotel in Inglewood with a group of Harley riding friends on bikes & had no dramas. They had the cheapest beers & a huge pork chop dinner for $10.

  17. Mark, I posted the new liquor and licensing laws on th MAP page about 3 weeks ago after reading them at the Kenilworth pub. If you check these out and post them here, it will probably explain the publicans’ attitude and actions. Although, that said he needs to go back and read them himself and note the outlawed gangs, which have pretty colour pictures of their colours! The penalties for serving anyone in colours are severe and bloody expensive! Read my post…..

  18. While this situation was wrong, your best future plan would be to contact that publican again, explain the misunderstanding, try to get it stored and if it is, all return, just to prove that you are mature, family friendly approachable decent people, unlike those who have a ban everything fun mentality

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