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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

AUSTRALIA - United Motorcycle Council backing legal challenge to Queensland’s anti-bikie laws

Hand-painted motorbikes will be auctioned by the United Motorcycle Council to help fund a $1 million legal battle against the Queensland government’s anti-bikie legislation in the High Court.

“The artwork on the bikes symbolizes freedom in Australia,” council president Mick Konsenko said.

“That’s what motorcycling is about, it’s about being free. These laws attack more than the motorcycle freedom, they attack every Australian.”

The donated bikes are being auctioned on Ebay to raise money to back Hells Angel Stefan Kuczborski in a fight against the Newman Government's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act.

Mr Kuczborski will argue the legislation is invalid and unconstitutional.

“They go against our human rights,” Mr Konsenko said.

Under the law bikies cannot associate with each other and face mandatory sentences of up to 25 years.

Terry O’Gorman from the Council for Civil Liberties said the government was effectively “telling the courts what to do”.

Criminal lawyer Bill Potts said the laws are “extraordinarily strong” but said the question was whether they were just and proper.

The State Government insists they are.

Police claim the crackdown has stopped criminal organisations in their tracks, with more than twelve hundred arrests since October 2013.

Premier Campbell Newman said there had been a drop in crime in Queensland.

The ramifications of the High Court decision will be monumental.

If upheld the legislation is likely to be rolled out across the nation, with other states supporting the laws.

If they are deemed to be invalid, many other cases that are on hold, in limbo, could be dropped.