Motorcycle helmet considered weapon

Motorcycle helmet considered weapon

Motorcycle rider David McDowell has been refused entry to Centrelink in Maryborough because his motorcycle helmet was considered a weapon.

David said he visited the office on Monday (June 26, 2017) for his fortnightly visit, took a number to get an appointment and went to sit down. Then a security guard told him to leave the open-face helmet he was carrying outside as it was classed as a weapon.

“I objected and stuck my digs until they threatened to get the police and I thought ‘I don’t have the money or the time for this’,” he says.

“I was flabbergasted. I was also embarrassed because I was made to feel like a criminal.

“It’s not as if I’m a bikie type, either.”

Motorcycle helmet considered weapon
David as he was dressed at Centrelink

David says he spoke to the female office manager who told him it was national policy and there was a notice posted on the front door.

However, when David later returned, he took a photo of the office doors which do not have any such notice.

Motorcycle helmet considered weapon
Centrelink front doors

David rang to get answers from Centrelink, but was kept on the phone for more than 40 minutes and still could not get any satisfaction.

We contacted Centrelink’s Canberra headquarters for clarification on David’s behalf and they promised a reply by close of business today.

We are still waiting.

David said he wanted to protest against the Maryborough’s discriminatory treatment of him because “it’s the thin edge of the wedge”.

“We can’t wear helmets when we fill up with petrol. What’s next?

“I told them that if I had a bag with bricks in it or a skateboard it would be more of a weapon than a helmet. They told me they were trying to get bags banned, too.

“They wanted me to leave my helmet in the foyer, but I have several helmets and my Shoei Hornet cost over $1000. I’m not going to leave them unattended to be stolen.”

18 Comments

  1. This is how it is

    Son: “Dad, I have to do a special report for school. Can I ask you a question?”

    Father: “Sure son. What’s the question?”

    Son: “What is politics?”

    Father: “Well, let’s take our home for example. I am the wage earner, so let’s call me “Capitalism”. Your mother is the administrator of money, so we’ll call her “Government”. We take care of your needs, so we’ll call you “The People”. We’ll call the maid “The Working Class”, and your baby brother we can call “The Future”.

    “Do you understand, Son?”

    Son: “I’m not really sure, Dad. I’ll have to think about it”.

    That night, awakened by his baby brother’s crying, the boy went to see what was wrong. Discovering that the baby had seriously soiled his diaper, the boy went to his parent’s room and found his mother sound asleep. He went to the maid’s room, where, peeking through the keyhole, he saw his father in bed with the maid. The boy’s knocking went totally unheeded by his father and the maid, so the boy returned to his room and went back to sleep.

    The next morning he reported to his father. “Dad, now I think I understand what politics is”.

    Father: “Good son! Can you explain it to me in your own words?”

    Son: “Well Dad, while Capitalism is screwing the Working Class, Government is sound asleep, the People are being completely ignored and the Future is full of s#it”

  2. I worked at Centrelink for many years and we had to be wary of anything that could be used as a weapon. Couldn’t even leave bloody staplers on the desk in case they were thrown at someone, I’ve seen computer monitors hurled , anything that they could get their hands on. I’m a bike rider , I wouldn’t leave my helmet outside where it could be stolen but can understand why they have had to crack down. It’s not targeting motorcyclists, it’s targeting people with objects that could injure .

  3. I wear an open face helmet, and I sometimes leave it on even when I go into a bank. I have only been told to remove it twice, both times at service stations. I simply refuse to remove it at a servo even though they display a sign asking that helmets be removed. The reason I leave it on is that it is NOT compulsory to remove it, but just a request. As I have often pointed out, until they make people of a certain religious persuasion to remove a Burka or a Hijab, I will not remove my head-dress either. The laws do not state that a helmet must be removed, except when a plod asks you to for identification. Keep them on and stand up for our rights.

  4. I suggest David dig his heels in and let them call the Police. A Helmet is NOT an offensive weapon. While The Security Officer may have been following instruction, Centrelink are wrong and discriminatory. I would support a walk in with with my helmet with David to carry out my daily business.

  5. If the guard offered to look after my helmet, I wouldn’t have a problem. But no way am I leaving my helmet unattended to be stolen.

  6. Think about it from the other side…..lets face it centre link gets some unpleasant customers who sometimes get bad news. Would you like to be on the receiving end of an unhappy nutter wielding a helmet. Yes the rule sux just like the service station rule. I don’t like it either but there is at least 2 sides to every story. Its the world we live in…….Get over it and move on!

    1. Does the saying “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees” ring any bells for you ? With your outlook we should all just roll over and let them do what they like. Good on the bloke for following up on this and Motorbike Writer helping him with his enquiries.

  7. If Jackie Chan turned up to Maryborough Centrelink, he’d have to leave his arms & legs outside ! 🙂

  8. Ok, you call the Police and I’ll call A Current Affair! Government departments do not like appearing in the media and would probably have backed down to avoid the public outcry. This is ridiculous! My handbag would probably do more damage if I chose to use it to defend myself

  9. Hey, my sister was crocheting in Ipswich and had her crochet needle taken away from her. Better make sure you don’t have pens in your top pocket.

    1. Looking at it that way and add the fact that in Australia it is illegal to carry any weapon for self defence it is no wonder the Government see all of us bikers as criminals. My local service station know not to argue about my open face helmet anymore since they served a lady wearing a Hijab right in front of me. I wear my Helmet because the law states that I have to, not because of personal choice. This country of ours is turning to shit more and more everyday and 99% of it is caused by politicians and Government departments.

      1. Shane so I legally don’t have to remove my helmet at the servo ? I might try it but I always go to different servos and don’t really have a ‘local’ per say so I’m guessing the bastards wouldn’t turn the pump on for me lol

  10. A rolled up newspaper is a very effective weapon, so is a pen, a belt buckle, the list is long, welcome to the nanny state.
    Centerlink have reason to be fearful considering some of the policies they enforce and the unfair way in which some of their clients are treated, however they should make provision for the safe storage of helmets while clients are doing business with there.

  11. Are umbrellas similarly banned? As Russell above points out, the obvious compromise is for the helmet to be minder until business is complete.

  12. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! please mr politician change my nappy please (Nanny State).
    Go in there with a cricket bat and ball in your cricket gear see what happens!
    Oh! please take the pens off your desk, you may stab me.
    Australia is going going gone down the gurgerler so fast my head is spinning.

  13. I have been in several different centrelink offices in Brisbane, and each time the security guard would politely ask for my helmet and would put aside for me. All times courteous and respectful. I have no issues with it.

  14. David waited for more than 40 minutes on the phone with Centrelink and still could not get any satisfaction? He’s lucky. I’ve waited for 1.5 hours without satisfaction.

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