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Anti-bikie laws a spoke in wheels of motorcycle sector

Grant MacPherson from Express Motorcycles believes the new anti-bikie laws are impacting on motorcycle businesses throughout Queensland.
Grant MacPherson from Express Motorcycles believes the new anti-bikie laws are impacting on motorcycle businesses throughout Queensland. Inga Williams

SINCE the introduction of Queensland's anti-bikie laws, it's been a rough road for Ipswich businesses that sell and service motorbikes.

Australian Motorcycle Business Chamber founder Travis Windsor said the industry had been hit hard by falling trade since the laws were passed last year.

The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act was created by the State Government to target outlaw bikies but as a knock-on effect it's seen ordinary riders scared off the road.

 

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"People do simply not want to ride their bikes anymore for fear of being stopped by the police," Mr Windsor said.

"I've been riding for 30 years and still get anxious about being pulled over for no reason."

As a result, Mr Windsor, 51, said sales in motorcycle businesses had fallen by up to 70% with some stores forced to close their doors.

He estimated more than $50,000,000 had been lost in the industry and associated businesses like petrol stations in Queensland since the VLAD laws were enforced.

Grant MacPherson from Express Motorcycles in West Ipswich said he imagined business would be particularly tough for those specializing in the sales and service of Harley Davidsons.

Mr MacPherson said if riders weren't taking their bikes out, there would certainly be less of a demand for servicing and spare parts.

"Even those motorcycle businesses servicing a broader market are also suffering as a backlash of the anti-bikie laws," he said. "The motorcycle industry has been tough during the past 18 months."

Motorcycle business owners and riders across the state - from Harleys to scooters - are now uniting in protest of the anti-bikie laws.

A "Behind the VLAD Laws" forum event is scheduled to be held tonight at the Acacia Ridge Hotel from 7pm.

Speakers include people who have been affected by the introduction of the laws and people who have done something about it.

Mr Windsor said he hoped the event would encourage people to start riding again and ensure the industry didn't continue to suffer.

He said the police needed to work with the motorcycling community to ensure law abiding riders were no longer targeted and pulled over.

Speaking last year, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said the laws only targeted members of organised criminal gangs and law-abiding motorbike riders had nothing to worry about.

Admission to the forum is $20 with all proceeds going to support motor neurone disease. For more information search 'Behind the VLAD Laws' on Facebook.

Topics:  anti-bikie laws editors picks vlad laws



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