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.”
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.
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.”