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A few hours later, the Bandidos bikers will join earlier arrivals to start the club’s national run from Devonport, with up to 300 bikies cruising the state’s North-West.
Tasmania Police and interstate officers brought in to help will closely monitor the outlaw motorcycle club gang (OMCG).
“Criminal, anti-social or intimidating behaviour will not be tolerated in our state,” Inspector Glen Ball, of the Serious Organised Crime Unit, said.
“Tasmania Police will continue to provide a statewide, highly visible policing presence, closely monitoring the OMCG members for the duration of their visit.
“This will include vehicle checks, targeted drug and alcohol testing, monitoring for anti-social and criminal behaviour and traffic operations.
The Bandidos, who face tough anti-association laws in Queensland and NSW, have been trying to establish a foothold in Tasmania.
Initially bottom dwellers in the Bandido hierarchy, Devonport’s Mersey River chapter was upgraded from “hang around” status to a prospect chapter mid-2017.
Prospect chapters are also being established in Launceston and Hobart, but clubhouses are yet to be opened.
It’s not clear if the tougher bikie laws interstate are behind the Bandidos’ push into Tasmania, but stricter legislation is being considered here.
The State Government said it would examine uniform national laws aimed at crippling OMCG operations. The laws will be discussed at a Council of Australian Governments’ Attorneys-General meeting next year,
“The Government is working closely with Tasmania Police to ensure we have strong, contemporary laws to keep the community safe,” Police Minister Rene Hidding said. .
Assistant Commissioner Glenn Frame said police used a range of laws to disrupt OMCGs.
Drug laws and the criminal code are obvious avenues but police also use less conspicuous methods.
“Together with other agencies, we follow the money trails, investigate their tax affairs, monitor their movements and associates and investigate their business dealings,” he said.
“For example in May 2016, Australian Taxation Office notices were served on two members of OMCG in the South of the state relating to debts to the ATO of more than $270,000.
“In October 2017, 12 Australian Tax Office assessment notices were also served on Rebels OMCG members”.
New laws to crack down on fortifications at bikie clubhouses are yet to be used.