The Hobart Mercury recently published an article on how evil outlaw motorcycle "gangs" were. One of many articles.
From memory, The Mercury wrote there were about 275 full-coloured "gang" members in Tasmania and about 5000 nationally. Tasmania Police are pushing for anti association laws which cover a lot more than just bike clubs.
Add associates and hangers-on to those with colours and there may be 10,000 Australians in and around outlaw motorcycle “gangs”.
Please note, not all of them have criminal records. In fact, there are a lot more police and X police with serious criminal records in Australia than bikies with records. But bikies are an easy target for professional, taxpayer funded spin doctors.
For argument’s sake, let’s say there are a million Australians riding road bikes regularly. In general the car driving public see them as bikies. So the 5000 patch wearing club members, who are not all violent crims, make up less than a terrifying 1/20th of a single sad and lonely percent of riders, unless my maths are wrong which is probable.
Anyway, the number of violent crims who ride motorbikes is way less than the teen/ethnic gangs doing car jackings and home invasions in Victoria.
Now, by coincidence, on the front page of Melbourne’s Herald Sun yesterday, the vilifiers struck again. The Herald Sun is, I believe, the second biggest circulation daily in this country.
First on the list of the most vile and malignant creatures our society suffers was us! Bikies! That’s all of us in the public mind. I really resent it. And, nobody says a word in our defence. Not the motorcycle clubs (IRG excepted), not the RACV, not the VACC nor the FCAI, no one.
80% of riders are not in any bike organisation and road bike clubs often work against each other.
It comes as no surprise then, that in spite of the savings in time and money and the simple pleasures of riding, young Australians are not getting bike licences. I mean, why would they? They know from the antibike propaganda in the media that they’ll be judged to be in the same category with "terror plotters, killers, big-time drug dealers, child-sex monsters and other violent criminals” by family and friends.
The cost and effort to get street legal on two wheels is another huge disincentive.
The Victorian Graduated Licence System was a disaster. It made bike licences harder to get without necessarily improving rider skills over the old system. It was a Trojan horse too. The GLS hid enabling conspicuity legislation in its' bowels.
VicRoads/TAC/VicPol run a campaign that vilifies riders while increasing costs and restrictions. It’s been going on since the 1990s. The campaign might be mass hysteria in the public service fed by a sensation hungry media but it might be planned say "banjo playing conspiracy theorists" like me. No matter. The results are the same. Reduced numbers which is what the social engineers at VicRoads and TAC want.
The golden age of Australian motorcycling is ending.
Damien Codognotto OAM BPCT