A veteran Brisbane Rebels bikie says international members are helping to launch a High Court challenge against Queensland’s anti-bikie laws.
Thousands of Rebels bikies around the world are expected to chip in $50 each to help their Queensland mates launch a High Court challenge against anti-bikie laws.
Others have offered to open up their homes or provide holidays overseas so bikies can ride out the new laws which impose hefty mandatory sentences and bans on working in certain industries.
The anti-bikie laws were meant to tear the now outlaw motorcycle gangs apart, but they’re banding together to raise a half-a-million-dollar fighting fund.
Rebels veteran Mick Kosenko says they’ve asked about 3000 members in 21 countries to contribute, and everyday Queenslanders are also contributing.
“It’s almost like a Eureka stockade feeling, we’re the underdogs,” he told AAP.
Mr Kosenko has worked as a tattoo artist for 25 years and employs six people on Brisbane’s northside.
The veteran biker doesn’t have a criminal record, but feels like he’s being treated like an outlaw because he is a member of the Rebels.
They were declared a criminal organisation in October alongside 25 other groups.
He’s been waiting for a tap on the shoulder to close his business down or at least be slapped with a fine.
“My wife is crying every day, we’re probably going to lose everything,” he said.
“The police commissioner is going to decide who can tattoo and who can’t.
“Not if they’re good artists or they’re clean.”
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie says the laws will target only criminal motorcycle gangs, the groups that are linked to murder, rape, extortion and drug trafficking.
“We always expected a challenge and we are ready to fight back,” he said.
“We’ll fight the good fight.
“We believe we’re on the right side of Queenslanders here.”
The United Motorcycle Council of Queensland will lodge the High Court challenge on behalf of recreational and outlaw groups within weeks.
Wayne Baffsky, a Sydney barrister who successfully defeated similar legislation in NSW, will lead the challenge with Zeke Bentley of Brisbane-based Irish Bentley Lawyers.
Mr Bentley says the laws interfere with the administration of criminal justice.
While the government’s campaign had focused on bikies, the laws could be used quite broadly.
“They apply to any group the government of the day decides to classify as unlawful, and they apply to innocent people who meet a member of an unlawful group socially,” Mr Bentley said.