South Australia's new anti-bikie laws are creating stress
among hospitality workers who are obliged to ask members of 10 outlawed
gangs to leave licensed premises, the Australian Hotels Association says.
The laws, which came into effect on Thursday, declare the
gangs as criminal organisations, meaning it is an offence for members to
wear associated clothing, or colours, or gather in public.
The legislation has already led to the closure of two
clubrooms, a Comanchero and a Rebels meeting place.
Australian Hotels Association's Ian Horne said while staff
had an obligation to ask bikies to leave venues, the group was advising the
industry to not put workers in harm's way.
"There is an obligation in the legislation that declared
outlaw motorcycle gang members cannot wear their colour or paraphernalia,
whether that's 1 per centers, or club logos, or jewellery that reflects
their club status on to any licensed premise," he said.
"That's whether that's a licensed cafe, the local sport
club or a hotel."
He said the association had sought legal advice and
believed there was "enough protection" for the licensees and staff to avoid
having to physically confront bikies.
"Under no circumstances should you challenge these people
and ... you have absolutely every right to call the police and wait for the
police to ask the people to leave and then remove them if necessary," Mr
He said there was anxiety and stress among staff in the
industry regarding the laws but he believed bikies who previously gathered
at venues would understand the changes and respect the businesses.
"If for some reason that doesn't work as we run the
legislation over the next six to 12 months then we will certainly be
knocking on the minister's door seeking changes to protect vulnerable staff,
managers and licensees."