Catch us live on BlogTalkRadio every

Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm P.S.T.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Australia - Pub ban on all bikies

Nick Martin

 Nicole Cox

Rebels MC President Nick Martin in Perth. P Source: PerthNow

POLICE want every known bikie and crime figure in WA banned from pubs and clubs under tough restrictions being negotiated with the State Government.
The move comes as the WA Liquor Commission considers a new application from police to outlaw veteran Coffin Cheaters bikie Eddy Withnell from licensed venues, in what is a test case for sweeping prohibition orders against all bikies and crime figures.
Sources told The Sunday Times that if the Withnell application was successful, it would open the floodgates to a deluge of applications by police for blanket bans no matter if the individual has convictions or is accused of committing offences in a licensed venue.
But civil libertarians and bikies yesterday slammed the proposal, branding it "ridiculous" and discriminatory.
They said prohibition orders should be considered case-by-case.
Under the Liquor Control Act, the Police Commissioner can apply to the Director of Liquor Licensing or the Liquor Commission to prohibit a person from entering a licensed venue because of a criminal conviction or suspected involvement in serious and organised crime. Anyone who fails to comply can be fined up to $10,000.
Until now, police have only applied to have bikies banned if they were involved in offences at pubs or clubs. But under the new moves, the orders will be sought based on their gang links.
A spokeswoman for Police Minister Rob Johnson confirmed the Minister was in negotiations with police about the proposal, but refused to comment in detail.
"There are ongoing discussions between police and the Minister on this issue," she said.
The discussions come to light just weeks after a Rock Machine bikie was charged with murder for allegedly throwing Perth musician Andy Marshall out of a first floor window at Cottesloe's Ocean Beach Hotel.
But Rebels WA president Nick Martin, who is appealing his five-year prohibition order, said the proposal smacked of "neo-Nazi Germany" and the move would anger WA gangs.
"This is just discrimination," Mr Martin said. "They are targeting people because they are a member, an associate or a friend of an outlaw club ... this is worse than neo-Nazi Germany.
""This is just another way of them trying to f*** us. From my perspective, I can't even go into a Dome cafe because that's a licensed venue. I can't even take my daughter to Sizzler's, I can't go and watch a game of rugby because the rugby ground is all a licensed venue. You don't realise the extent of how far a liquor licence goes."
Civil liberty and human rights advocate Laurie Levy said the proposal impinged in civil rights.
"Does this mean that everyone who associates with a convicted pedophile or priest should be banned too?" Mr Levy said. "When you are attacking, fundamentally, someone's civil liberties and their rights to be at a certain place, you've got to have something more than somebody's say-so that the person is associated with some particular group. It's just ridiculous."
Senior police said they could not comment for "operational reasons".
But Licensing Enforcement Division Detective Inspector Tony Vidovich said in a statement: "WA Police can confirm that a prohibition order (application) against Eddy Withnell has been lodged with the WA Liquor Commission."