Tourism seems to be the unwitting victim in the Queensland Government’s current war on bikies.
Shadow Police Minister Bill Byrne told Queensland Parliament that motorcycle-friendly cafes had experienced a 30% downturn in trade since the advent of “the world’s toughest anti-bikie laws”.
Cafe proprietors and motorcycle industry traders have told MotorbikeWriter that Queensland riders are parking up their bikes in fear.
Apparently some Queensland riders are concerned that if they are mistakenly pulled over police they might cop a ticket for an unroadworthy vehicle or helmet.
Interstate riders, furious with the fascist laws, have also declared on social media they will not come to the Sunshine State in protest.
Even motorcycling’s most famous tourist, Charley Boorman, has expressed anxiety over the laws on his Facebook page.
“I must say I’m getting a bit anxious about all this anti-biker law stuff here in Australia – or more specifically Queensland – we cant just paint everyone with the same brush,” he says.
“Should I sell my leather jacket now? Or take off my TT badges? What is going on here!”
On Charley’s Facebook page and on the MotorbikeWriter website, overseas riders have also expressed concerns about coming to Australia.
MotorbikeWriter reader Warren Scott Massey from the US says: “As bad as I think it is getting here in the US…. I am reminded how bad it is in other ‘free’ countries.”
Several have actually declared that they have cancelled plans to tour Down Under.
Check out some of the posts below.
While anyone can write anything on the internet without confirmation, it is worrying when so many people are declaring that they will not ride in Queensland.
Rather than trying to scare up a frenzy that has everyone sitting at home watching re-runs of “Long Way Upside Down”, the best thing we can do is to carry as normal.
Yes, there may be inconvenience for some, and intimidation and harassment for others, but the rewards for sitting at home and doing nothing is that cafes may close, motorcycle traders may go out of business and riders will ultimately suffer.
So, get out and ride, take part in rallies such as this Sunday’s Freedom Ride, and spend some money at a biker-friendly cafe and bike shop.
Selective comments by overseas riders on Charley’s Boorman’s Facebook page after his comments about the anti-bikie laws:
Marg Vatamaniuck: I have some friends who are motorcycle enthusiasts here in Canada. They heard how gorgeous and beautiful it was over there and had booked a trip to spend two whole weeks touring on bikes. They heard all the negative press and have since cancelled all their reservations and plans and are going to France instead. No sense going to a country where you won’t be safe if you ride a motorcycle. Sorry. They are really disappointed.
Chris L: Just another reason not to visit Queensland , want a bike friendly holiday ? Go to the USA . I hear that in Hawaii the Highway Patrol actually smile & wave at the Harley riders . In South Dakota they have a sign at the main airport welcoming Bikers . In Milwaukee the Police actually come in to the motel carparks to ask the out of state Bikers if everything is ok . These are personal experiences .
Preacher TMMC: My wife and I rode from Larned Kansas to Milwaukee and back this past summer- I can tell you, I have never been anywhere that the police or the citizens were more friendly and helpful than in Milwaukee. Come over here the States- we will take ya!
Chris Yffencis Jones: What is the government doing, I’ve watched loads of travel programs, singing the praises of motorcycling in your country. Now that I am no longer able to work due to Ill health I was about to come to your country to tour by motorcycle with my wife. After reading this and other recent articles and showing them to my Mrs, We have decided to spend our four weeks and all my savings touring Asia and South Africa instead. I’m sure there will be a large number of people who will have the same reaction as myself, depriving your country of tourist income. – Chris Jone “Pug”, Chairman, Yffenics MCC, South Wales (the one in the UK)
James: I attended Sturgis this year, 500,000 bikers in one spot. I saw a handful of police who were traffic controllers. The difference between their system and ours is chalk and cheese. Americans know their rights and march for them, we increasingly have no rights and are apathetic believing our government knows best. It may have to do with how the countries were settled. One by free religious zealots who sailed to America for greater freedom albeit religious, the other were sent out as prisoners with no freedom and whipped into submission. Australians need a Bill of Rights.