Three bikies stabbed as turf war heats up just across the border at Tweed Heads and Byron Bay
- Gold Coast Bulletin
- August 30, 2014
Once a hippie hotspot, northern NSW has become a haven for rival bikie gangs as members move south of the border to escape the Queensland crackdown.
Simmering tensions exploded last weekend when the Rebels took on the dominant Lone Wolf gang at Tweed Heads, with three men suffering stab wounds.
They are expected to face court charged with unlawful possession of weapons.
Police sources say the upswing in gang activity is related to a struggle for territory.
The Rebels have an established chapter at Ballina and have been pushing to open a clubhouse at Tweed Heads.
NSW police reluctantly confirmed the stabbing at Enterprise Street about 5.30am on Sunday and said the incident was under investigation, but downplayed the violence.
Police refused to release details surrounding the attack, including the extent of injuries, as gang members maintained silence, refusing to co-operate with the investigation.
The triple stabbing happened just a few kilometres from the border but Queensland police were not advised, despite a pledge by the police forces of both states to work more closely to combat the gangs. It is understood the Tweed Heads region had just one car on patrol at the time of the brawl.
Police Association Mid-North Coast representative Brett Henderson-Smith said officers had reported a significant increase in bikie activity in northern NSW, “particularly in Tweed Heads”, since the Queensland crackdown.
Mr Henderson-Smith said the region was severely understaffed, with officers having the highest workload per officer in NSW.
In November last year the NSW Government promised an extra 90 officers for northern NSW.
The brawl is “extremely concerning” to police with the High Court challenge to begin on Tuesday.
If upheld, aspects of the laws, if not the legislation in its entirety, are expected to be rolled out nationally.
Under the Queensland laws, bikie gang members and office-bearers can face additional, mandatory sentences of between 15 and 25 years if they are found guilty of a range of offences.