A lone resident of sleepy Beechmont on the Gold Coast hinterland has warned riders that residents are “forming protest groups” to ban them from public roads in the popular tourist region.
Local artist Joolie Green has emailed the Motorcycle Riders’ Association of Queensland asking them to alert riders about the ban threat.
While the MRAQ passed on her emails to members and followers, we couldn’t find any evidence to support a protest group threatening a ban.
Her email reads:
We live in Beechmont and moved here for the beauty and serenity. Our peace is absolutely ruined by inconsiderate and excessively noisy motorbikes using the Beechmont-Canungra circuit as a racetrack!!
How is this cool? Or even remotely enjoyable for residents?
Why is making ear-splitting backfiring noise even remotely desirable?
We are forming protest groups through political and law enforcement contacts and you will be banned from the mountain.
Advise your members.
We contacted lone protestor, Joolie, by phone and email to confirm her claims about banning lawful road users from public roads, but she failed to reply.
Scenic Rim Regional Council Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen says he is not aware of any proposed protest or a related meeting.
“However, I would observe that some motorcycle riders do their peers a great disservice by their behaviour and the excessive noise levels of their machines when in our communities,” he says.
“We welcome all visitors who come to enjoy the experience of our special region, however I ask them to treat us and our environment with respect.
“We will maintain an active conversation with the police to deal with unacceptable behaviour, both in relation to noise and dangerous practices including speed.”
Div 1 councillor Nigel Waistell says he has not received any complaints about noisy motorcycles.
“I have no problem with bikes per se just the riders who love to make too much noise on purpose,” he says.
A Mt Tamborine Historic Motorcycle Club spokesperson also says they have not heard about a protest.
“I imagine that would be very hard to enforce and I’m sure local business love the revenue created from all visitors including bikes.”
We also contacted local community groups and local media to see if there was any veracity to Joolie’s claims of a protest group but they did not reply.
While Joolie appears to be a lone wolf protestor, maybe we shouldn’t be too dismissive of her complaints.
Previous resident complaints led to a police crackdown on motorcycle noise in the area and fines issued to several riders.
The Gold Coast hinterland isn’t the only motorcycle nirvana where residents have complained about noise and high-speed riding.
It occurs in many areas where riders congregate to ride scenic and challenging roads, spending their money at local restaurants, hotels and cafes which support the local economy.
In one incidence last year residents of Mt Mee rebelled against what they called hoon behaviour calling for concealed surveillance cameras, point-to-point speed cameras, more 60km/h zones, traffic claiming, fluorescent speed signs, TruCAM laser speed guns fitted in police patrol cars and for police to confiscate helmet cameras for evidence of hooning.
The result has been that Woodford Police continue to conduct ongoing patrols and crackdowns on the popular mountain road.
We can appreciate the concerns of residents angry about illegal activity. However, there is little sympathy for people who move to an area where riders are known to gather, then complain about riders’ legal activity because it annoys them.
However, if some riders don’t respect the peace of local residents, they will spoil it for the majority of responsible riders with an increase in police presence.
MRAQ president Chris Mearns replied to Joolie’s email saying they had passed on her concerns but pointed out that the roads were public.
“As far as we are currently aware motorcycle ownership and riding is still a legal practice in the wonderful state of Queensland so we will watch with interest your attempts to have it ‘banned from the mountain’,” he says n his reply.
“Please note that as a representative organisation for the hundreds of thousands of Queensland motorcyclists and their rights we would work actively to resist any attempt to ban the legal operation of this motor vehicle type in any part of the state.
“As requested, your email with included threat to attempt to have your area excluded from the same rights as the rest of the state will be passed onto all motorcyclists for their consideration.”