The bikies say this would make it easier for police to find them while reducing noise from parties and motorbikes in the suburbs,
However the parliamentary committee was also warned liquor licensing of bikie clubhouses would theoretically give gangs unprecedented access to legally operate bars, sell takeaway liquor and install poker machines.
A proposed rollback of legislation by the State Government would remove the requirement for liquor licensing applications to be approved by the Police Commissioner.
It also would disallow consideration of criminal intelligence in the application process but would retain the “fit and proper person test”.
Bikie clubhouses across the Queensland were closed down in the wake of the tough 2013 VLAD laws, many of which will be repealed by the new Serious and Organised Crime Bill.
Damien Steele of the Queensland Hotels Association yesterday implored the panel not to remove police powers to refuse liquor licence applications.
“Consider that a liquor licence for a commercial hotel entitles the successful applicant to trade in the sale of alcohol products, including retail alcohol sales with up to three detached bottle shops, allows a range of gambling products such as Keno and wagering and also provides the opportunity to allow electronic gaming — currently up to 45 poker machines per hotel in Queensland,” he said.
“These are special products with inherent degrees of risk which have potential for harm.
“It is reasonable to expect the highest levels of probity and scrutiny for those individuals responsible for the operation and service of such products.”
Michael Kosenko, a Queensland president of the Rebels, lost his tattoo parlour licence under the 2013 laws and has been a vocal advocate against them as head of the United Motorcycle Council.
Joined at the hearing by a lawyer and a man in a Hell’s Angels T-shirt, he told the panel there should be a “clubhouse precinct” to allow bikies to gather away from the general public.
“The solution for clubhouses would be to give a precinct where a clubhouse can be opened, get a licence under Queensland licensing, let them sell alcohol, let them pay their taxes and under the licensing laws be very strict,” he said.
“Police could come in anytime, check that there’s nothing going on and you wouldn’t have the trouble of clubhouses opening up in neighbourhoods, annoying families and making noise; bikes making noise.
“You could have it in an industrial area that usually closes down after 5pm.
“It would keep the clubs out of the entertainment precincts, keep the motorcycles out of the entertainment precincts — it could have a lot of benefits.”
Public submissions into the Bill close tomorrow, with a second public hearing scheduled for October 12 in Brisbane and a report to be tabled in parliament on November 1.
Mr Kosenko said there would “definitely” be further court challenges to laws targeting bikies.
“We’re Australians. Innocent people have been persecuted by these laws.
“What are we going to do, sit back and cop it?
“My kids have to live in this country.”