Bike club members copping backlash


Tweed Heads Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club members Neville Albury, Andrew McDougall, Mark Phippard and Harry Lente fear they may be targeted if the Government brings in laws to stop bikie crime. Pic: Time Marsden

MOTORCYCLE enthusiasts on the Gold Coast are outraged at the disrespect shown to them by the general public since a flare-up of motorcycle gang crime in the city.

Members of family clubs have been taunted by locals who are fed up with bikie-related crime.

Australian Motorcycle Academy Gold Coast director Shona Cook said Coasters could not tell between a "bikie" and an everyday motorcycle enthusiast.

"The public are getting scared and can't decipher between a normal dad just going for a ride and a member of an outlaw gang," she said.

Tweed Heads Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club organiser Mark Phippard said the club was bracing for a backlash over the issues with outlaw motorcycle gangs.

"I'm sure it's going to happen to us," he said.

Mr Phippard said he lived on the Gold Coast and his club often went on rides, with between 30 and 120 members taking part.

The club senior said he would be interested to see the implications of laws discussed in State Cabinet yesterday dictating that three or more motorcyclists riding together could face police scrutiny.

"We've never had any problems before - we've had police in our motorcycle club," he said.