Council to have final say on bikie clubhouse
The Deniliquin council could have the final say on whether an outlaw motorcycle gang can stay in its current clubhouse.
Police have expressed concern that the Outlaws Motorcycle Club has set up a chapter in Deniliquin, saying it is actively recruiting new members.
Council general manager Des Bilske says he understands the club owns the shed.
However, Mr Bilske says due to the shed being in an industrial zone, planning laws restrict it from being used as a clubhouse.
"Generally within certain zones there are permitted uses and unfortunately the utilisation in the industrial zone for club facilities is not an approved usage," he said.
"If a building is being used for a non-complying activity, we would go through the set processes to ensure either compliance or eviction ultimately.
"There's an option for the group to make a submission and seek an amendment and approval for that use.
"So if that's forthcoming that would be considered by council and ultimately a decision would be made whether it is approved or rejected."
Mr Bilske says the club has not notified council if a submission to change the shed's use will be lodged.
Police Inspector Darren Cloake says the club is unwelcome in Deniliquin.
Inspector Cloake says outlaw motorcycle gang members are often linked to crime and he is urging local residents to pass on any information about the club to police.
He says police help is also available to community members in other ways.
"People that are looking at renting premises, that they further scrutinise the type of person they are seeking to lease their premises to and same with employment," he said.
"There's an ability to carry out crim history checks through the police and we'll certainly facilitate those checks being made so they can make a decision about whether they want to either employ or allow these people to rent their premises."
Inspector Cloake says police will be stepping up surveillance activity on the motorcycle club and its members.
"We identify them and ... from that point on bring them under closer and closer scrutiny and basically determine whether they have any vested interest in the community or they're there to commit purely criminal activities," he said.
"So we'll monitor them and try and interact as much as possible to minimise the harm upon the community."