Queensland's tough new anti-bikie laws aim to restrict the movements and meetings of gang members and associates. It's a crackdown that intends to break down outlaw culture. But are we handing in our civil liberties in exchange for perceived safety?

In the 1970's Australian bike club culture was in its infancy. Many of the outlaw clubs were small and trying to recruit.

It was also a time when bikie clubs weren't associated with drugs and crime - but rather with hedonism, drunken gatherings and, most importantly, motorbikes.
In the regional city of Mount Gambier, South Australia, the Mongrels MC had just been founded by Bronte Edwards.

"The idea was to have fun, we weren't out for a greater cause beyond trying to rid ourselves of the boredom that plagues regional Australia…and you know what? We succeeded," he says.
Edwards discourages criminal activity of any kind, but he believes that subcultures outside the social norms are vital for forming the cultural landscape of Australia.

"You can take all these movements and people away and you end up with a endless, bland suburbia. If you quash social expression and discourse that's when you have an entirely new problem. I can't express how much we've become everything we hated, over-regulated, soul operating businessmen. "

Edwards states that new bikie laws unfairly vilify a social group and believes them to be a gross attack at Australia's civil liberties. " It's ridiculous you can't just attack a mode of transport...and those who hang around with them. It's like targeting a sporting or religious group."

The Mongrels disbanded as did a lot of the smaller clubs during the 1990's - during a period when smaller clubs were either ingested into larger outlaw clubs or simply asked to disband.

But the very territorial nature of outlaw clubs meant that for a lot of motor bike enthusiasts, who weren't interested in joining new outlaw clubs, it was now time to hang up their helmets for good.

Music Credits

Drunk Mums Eventual Ghost

British India Black and White Radio

Ozzie Wrong Never Trust a Bikey if he Don't Drink Beer

Mr & Mrs Smith Bruises and Bones

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