The Bandidos' clubhouse in Dandenong.
Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
The owners of factories surrounding an outlaw
motorcycle gang's Dandenong clubhouse are being refused insurance cover
after the property was firebombed and shot up in separate incidents.
Insurer CHU Underwriting Agencies has told the
business owners in the industrial estate that it will not renew the
insurance policy - which covers common property and public liability -
when it expires on August 25 because of the Bandidos.
Factory owners at the 22 Dunn Crescent estate were
advised of the decision after a bomb exploded outside the clubhouse's
steel-armoured front door on July 25.
Earlier in the month, the clubhouse was shot at by
someone armed with an AK-47.
The Bandidos and the Hells Angels have been engaged in
a simmering feud since the shooting of Bandidos enforcer Toby Mitchell
at a Melton industrial estate in March.
Arson and explosives squad Detective Sergeant Lionel
Joseph said the explosion had been large enough to smash windows of
Owners' corporation manager James Parnell, of Binks &
Associates, said the cancellation of the insurance policy meant 80 other
businesses located on the premises, including manufacturers and
mechanics, could be unable to sell their properties and face
Buildings in the complex are insured for a total of
almost $20 million, and several are listed for sale. ''Banks might call
in their loans, and there are all those terrible things that go with
having no insurance on a mortgaged property,'' Mr Parnell said.
Compounded by tough economic times, Mr Parnell said,
some businesses may have to close. It is understood two are on the verge
Last week, the owners' corporation wrote to the
clubhouse owner, believed to be a Bandidos member, requesting that the
club vacate the premises, but Mr Parnell has received no reply.
The letter indicates the owners' corporation did not
know the Bandidos occupied the site before the bombing and shooting, and
Mr Parnell said club members ''generally kept to themselves''.
The attacks on the Bandidos' Dandenong clubhouse are
part of a spate of shootings and firebombings at bikie headquarters
The AK-47 attack is believed to have been revenge for
an assault on the Hells Angels' new ''Darkside'' Seaford chapter, which
was shot up in June.
Other business owners in the estate were reluctant to
speak about their neighbours.
''We are playing with dangerous people so you have to
be careful,'' one said.
Another said he would expect the owners' corporation
to take responsibility to find another insurer, and expected the
Bandidos would not welcome the news.
''It will be interesting to hear what the Bandidos
say. I would guess they'll tell the body corporate to get f-----,'' the
owner said. ''I didn't even know they were there, to be honest, until