A DECADE-LONG leader of the Tasmanian Rebels Motorcycle Club and convicted meth kingpin has lost his bid to avoid deportation.
Former Rebels state president Colin David Picard, 69, will be sent back to his native New Zealand on release from Risdon Prison, where he is serving a drug trafficking sentence.
Picard was jailed in 2013 for three years for his role at the “apex of a trafficking chain’’ on a scale “not often seen in Tasmania’’.
He is now eligible for parole.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled his visa on character grounds this year.
Despite being a “retired” member of the Rebels, Picard made the costly mistake of declaring he would continue “riding with them” once released from prison.
Mr Dutton said Picard’s 27-year membership of the Rebels, his continuing connection with the club and his poor financial state “casts doubt on his prospects for avoiding further criminal behaviour”.
“Mr Picard represents an unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community and the protection of the Australian community outweighed the best interests of his grandchildren and other, minor family members,” he said.
Picard appealed against the minister’s decision in the Federal Court on the grounds he had been denied procedural fairness.
His lawyers argued Picard was denied natural justice because the Rebels classification, by the Australian Crime Commission, as having links to organised crime was not put to him.
The court also heard it was not obvious to Picard that saying he would continue “riding with his mates” would come back to haunt him.
However, late yesterday Justice Richard Tracey dismissed the appeal.
“The Australian Crime Commission’s views about the Rebels Motorcycle Club are well known,” he said.
“Mr Picard himself told the minister that he intended to continue riding with members of the club.”
Picard is one of 200 convicted criminals who are facing deportation based on tougher character assessments introduced last year.
Fellow Tasmanian Rebels member A. J. Graham is also appealing against the cancellation of his visa on character grounds.
His fate is expected to be known mid-January.
Graham was the founding member of the Rebels in Tasmania and is a former president of the Kingston chapter.