A Rebels member.
A Rebels member. john mccutcheon

Senior Rebels member says new laws go too far

A SENIOR member of the Sunshine Coast Rebels has described Premier Campbell Newman as out of touch with Queenslanders, and called for him to stand down.

Tony Jardine, a 22-year club veteran, believed new laws to clamp down on illegal bikie activity do not have the support of most Queenslanders.

"Newman is out of touch with what people want - people definitely want crime cleaned up, but in the process they don't want their civil liberties, or innocent people, targeted," Mr Jardine said.

"I think Newman needs to step down if he's that out of touch with what people want.

"I know people who voted Liberal ... but they didn't want a dictator."

Do you agree with Campbell Newman’s new anti-association/bikie laws?

This poll ended on 21 November 2013.

Current Results

Yes, he’s making Queensland safer

12%

Yes, many bikies are criminals

8%

No, bikies are innocent ‘til proven guilty

29%

No, the new laws will restrict freedom

49%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Rebels usually avoid media interviews, but Mr Jardine said the "mud-slinging" in relation to new bikie laws convinced them to speak to The Daily.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie responded by saying feedback for the new laws had been "overwhelmingly positive".

"Queenslanders and Sunshine Coast residents are sick of these gangs' brand of intimidation and illegal activities," Mr Bleijie said.

"Our laws target only criminal motorcycle gangs, not law-abiding motorcycle riders and groups."

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However, Mr Jardine noted club members and their associates could now be charged for simply being together in groups of three.

"We're not allowed to have friends - if we've got friends, they're an associate," Mr Jardine said.

"You can't be guilty of association, it's not fair."

Another member said the club aimed to bring together like-minded members to share interests in motorcycles, drinking, spending time with mates and "chasing girls".

Mr Jardine said the Rebels' constitution had strict rules with regard to members and crime.

"Nobody from our Sunshine Coast chapter has been jailed for any crime," he said.

"If anyone ... uses the club in a criminal activity, they are using the club's name against everyone's wishes, and they're out."

Members of the Sunshine Coast chapter include parents and eight grandparents, many in long-term marriages, with respectable and stable jobs.

"We're not the demons they're portraying us as," the unnamed member said.



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