HG Alert: Crack down on outlaw motorcycle gangs - 22 October 2013

As part of its wide ranging new legislation on outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Queensland Government has introduced new obligations in the Liquor Act 1992 on licensees and their staff to not knowingly allow persons wearing or carrying prohibited items (such as outlaw motorcycle gangs’ “colours” ) into licensed premises.

The new laws, which came into effect on 17 October 2013, provide that licensees, permittees, their employees or agents and approved managers must not knowingly allow a person wearing or carrying a prohibited item into licensed premises (this includes, clubs, pubs, restaurants or any other licensed premises or premises to which a permit relates). The maximum penalty for a breach of this provision is $11,000.00 (or up to $55,000.00 for a corporation).

A “prohibited item” means any item of clothing or jewellery or an accessory that displays:

(a) the name of a declared criminal organisation; or

(b) the club patch, insignia or logo of a declared criminal organisation (i.e. the club “colours”);

(c) any image, symbol, abbreviation, acronym or other form of writing that indicates membership of, or an association with, a declared criminal organisation, including –

(1) the symbol “1%”;

(2) the symbol “1%er”;

(3) any other image, symbol, abbreviation, acronym or other form of writing prescribed under a regulation for this paragraph.

A “declared criminal organisation” is an entity declared to be a criminal organisation under the Criminal Code definition of “criminal organisation”, which currently includes the following motorcycle gangs: 

  • the Banditos
  • the Black Uhlans
  • the Coffin Cheaters
  • the Comancheros
  • the Finks
  • the Fourth Reich
  • the Gladiators
  • the Gypsy Jokers
  • the Hells Angels
  • the Highway 61
  • the Iron Horsemen
  • the Life and Death
  • the Lone Wolf
  • the Mobshitters
  • the Mongols
  • the Muslim Brotherhood Movement
  • the Nomads
  • the Notorious
  • the Odins Warriors
  • the Outcasts
  • the Outlaws
  • the Phoenix
  • the Rebels
  • the Red Devils
  • the Renegades
  • the Scorpions.

The new laws also make it an offence for the person to enter or remain on the premises if the person is wearing a prohibited item and also an offence if the person remains on the premises when asked to leave by a licensee, permittee, their employee or agent, approved managers or a police officer.

We strongly urge licensees to immediately update their training procedures so that all staff are made aware of these new laws. This would include amending manuals and risk-assessed management plans (which would require OLGR approval). We also recommend that licensees place signs on their entry way clearly stating that it is an offence for any person wearing or carrying a prohibited item (as described above) into the premises and entry will be refused.  

In view of the significant penalties that apply for a breach of these new laws it is absolutely imperative that all staff (not just those at the entry ways) are ever vigilant to ensure that such persons do not gain entry but that if they do they are asked to leave immediately.

Further information

For further information or discussion, please contact the Hospitality, Tourism and Gaming team at HopgoodGanim.

With offices in Brisbane and Perth, HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused legal advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.