Police have asked the Tweed and Byron Bay liquor accords to not admit motorcycle gang members who wear gang colours or related paraphernalia to their venues.
It’s a move that appears to be aimed not just at local gang members but those coming down from Queensland.
Byron Accord chair, Hannah Spalding, told The Echo that some venues already have such policies in place, and that ‘members of the Accord that were asked were happy to support the request.’
‘While we were one short of a quorum at the last Accord meeting, I expect it will be officially supported when we meet again in April.’
Meanwhile, Labor federal and state MPs Justine Elliot and Walt Secord are asking why north coast state Nationals MPs have been ‘denying the presence of bikie gangs,’ in light of the announcement.
Mr Secord said, ‘The comments by senior police are very embarrassing for National Party parliamentarians, who said that have repeatedly denied the presence of bikie gangs.’
The Byron Bay branch of the Nomads, whose venue recently burnt down, told Echonetdaily they would like the opportunity to address the accord before a decision is made.
Nomads spokesperson Maurice Brown said ‘there’s not much we can do about it but we would like to be invited to the Liquor Accord if they’re going to make a decision on us’.
‘All the country pubs love us, we cause no trouble, so why do Byron have a problem with us?’
Mr Brown said the group was struggling to find a new clubhouse after its venue in the Arts & Industry Estate burnt down last month.
‘A lot of the media have been saying the place was firebombed but both the police and the fireys have ruled out arson,’ he said.
Mr Brown said the fire started in an artist’s studio, the centre of three Brigantine Street units, before spreading to the two side units, one of which was the Nomads’ Clubhouse.
‘This talk of arson has lead our insurance company to refuse to pay out and has caused us problems finding another venue in Byron,’ he told Echonetdaily.
Inspector Jim Kain from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command said the push to exclude bikies wearing colours was part of a statewide trend.
He confirmed that two club houses remaining in the region belong to the Mongols at Chinderah and Odin’s Warriors in South Tweed Heads.