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Hospitality workers 'stressed' by South Australia's anti-bikie laws; advised not to 'challenge' gang members


Laws ban outlaw motorcycle members from wearing their colours in public in South Australia.

AAP: Joe Castro
South Australia's new anti-bikie laws are creating stress among hospitality workers who are obliged to ask members of 10 outlawed gangs to leave licensed premises, the Australian Hotels Association says.

The laws, which came into effect on Thursday, declare the gangs as criminal organisations, meaning it is an offence for members to wear associated clothing, or colours, or gather in public.

The legislation has already led to the closure of two clubrooms, a Comanchero and a Rebels meeting place.

Australian Hotels Association's Ian Horne said while staff had an obligation to ask bikies to leave venues, the group was advising the industry to not put workers in harm's way.

"There is an obligation in the legislation that declared outlaw motorcycle gang members cannot wear their colour or paraphernalia, whether that's 1 per centers, or club logos, or jewellery that reflects their club status on to any licensed premise," he said.

"That's whether that's a licensed cafe, the local sport club or a hotel."

He said the association had sought legal advice and believed there was "enough protection" for the licensees and staff to avoid having to physically confront bikies.

"Under no circumstances should you challenge these people and ... you have absolutely every right to call the police and wait for the police to ask the people to leave and then remove them if necessary," Mr Horne said.

He said there was anxiety and stress among staff in the industry regarding the laws but he believed bikies who previously gathered at venues would understand the changes and respect the businesses.

"If for some reason that doesn't work as we run the legislation over the next six to 12 months then we will certainly be knocking on the minister's door seeking changes to protect vulnerable staff, managers and licensees."


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