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Where to after rally/petition?

Under threatening skies, only about 100 bike riders turned up for the motorcycle freedom rally at Canungra this morning.
While the threat of rain may have deterred a few and the cooler conditions for riding may have tempted others to go for a ride, the good news is that two TV stations covered the event (Channel Seven and ABC) and more signatures were added to the petition which has now exceeded 2000.
The good-natured crowd listened to several speakers covering a range of concerns about the Queensland Government’s discriminatory laws allowing police to stop riders in groups of three in their misguided attempt to crack down on outlaw bikie gangs.Chris Mearns
Colin Whelan from Australian Motorcyclist flew in from Sydney for the rally. He emphasises the good things riders do for the community such as raise money for charities and spread their tourist cash around regional centres that need it … yet their reward is harassment and discrimination by the police and government.
Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland president Chris Mearns promised to support the fight against this legislation and thanked those who had worked so hard to get the petition going.
But the crowd really got stirred up by an ex-pugilist, ex-police minister, ex-jailbird and current biker Bob Gibbs.
Bob Gibbs“In 18 months this government has become worse than the Joh government in 18 years,” he said.
He pointed out that the government’s laws not only impacted on bikies but also many innocent riders and rider clubs such as the Tattersalls Club composed of “lawyers, doctors ands architects” and even former conservative politicians Brendan Nelson and Senator John Herron.
Meanwhile, Labor Federal Member for Oxley and cyclist and motorcyclist, Bernie Ripoll, sent an apology and a short message of support with a call for bike groups to be consulted.
Dr Alex DouglasWhile no sitting state politician bothered to attend or send a representative, Dr Alex Douglas MP form the neighbouring electorate of Gaven and Parliamentary Leader of the United Australia Party was warmly applauded for his attendance as an observer.
At the end of the speeches, he approached me and said he had decided that his party would oppose the legislation.
Ok, it won’t make any difference in the end as the LNP has the government majority, but it is a rare and gratifying experience to find a politician willing to shut up and listen to reason, then to make a wise and calculated policy decision.
If only there were more like him.
The crowd was then asked to disperse quietly in deference to the good citizens of Canungra and to ride in threes or more and keep police busy.
The fight is not yet over.
Next step is to get to 10,000 signatures. Each signature registered on the site sends an email to Premier Newman and the Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie, so they will be aware of our campaign.
Outpost CafeWhen we have reached 10,000 signatures, I will print them out and deliver them to the Premier’s office.
I am open to any forms of assistance and guidance as I am an accidental facilitator in this fight; more accustomed to reporting the news than being a part of it.
However, I don’t think storming parliament will do our cause any good as it could turn ugly and that would only give the media another negative motorcycle image to manipulate.
Over to you … what’s our next step?
(I’d also like to thank Andrew and his staff at the Outpost Cafe for the PA and the use of their verandah to conduct speeches. They serve great coffee, too!)

  1. Do you know if the news (7, ABC) coverage will even be aired? cause only last week on a charaty ride for down syndrome awarness, there was ABC, 9 news and QLD times magazine all got footage and some interveiws but nothing was aired or published anything

    1. Seven has been airing a promo of their news that leads with the rally. It is unknown what slant they will put on it. ABC led with our interview last night and I suspect it will follow up tonight. AAP has conducted an interview and it should be picked up by radio and regional newspapers. Quite a good outcome, I think.

  2. I think 100 turning up to the rally today was pretty pitiful, however I have only just found out about it (in the past hour) & that was after searching Mark Hinchcliffe (I saw the ABC news last night & have read many of Mark’s articles) on Google & doing a catch up of all the blogs.(I couldn’t have made it anyway!) I don’t do Facebook, so I may have been disadvantaged?? However, Mt Glorious on a Sunday mid-morning will guarantee a minimum of 100 riders, even if they weren’t given any prior warning! So, I propose another meeting at Mt. Glorious next Sunday 20th at 10am & I’m sure we’d get many, many riders from Brisbane plus the Gold & Sunshine Coasts. From there we probably need to get regional meetings happening together. At the meetings I propose we contemplate a day of riding protests “en masse” on a given day, say in two weeks hence. ie. as many riders as we can get in one place to ride together on the Pacific Motorway or Bruce Highway or both & in the towns in major regional areas. Eva’s excellent suggestion needs to be communicated to everyone at these meetings. Not all that long ago the government was proposing changing laws to make Bullbars illegal on cars. The 4WD fraternity got together & everyone sent the appropriate minister an email- it shut down their system & they immediately said they wouldn’t change the Law & “please stop sending us emails”!!! So, Mark can we get some more air time in the media & push the meeting at Mt. Glorious “on air” I think it would reach a lot more of us “social media” phobic people ( bikers in their 50’s & above)! Over to you. Cheers, Julian

    1. Go for it. Copy the petition wording from the online petition or this blog:
      The wording must accompany every page that has signatures on it. Make sure you have space for their name, address and signature.
      Circulate copies of the petition wherever you think is suitable.
      Then collect your signatures, count them and contact me on for collection. When we hit 10,000 I plan to ride my bike into George St and hand-deliver them to the Premier’s office.

  3. I think a protest in town through the week would be a great idea. If we go in early we could cause some serious disruption. Lets see them pull over 100 bikes over in town and do all their checks etc.

  4. When you ride back don’t ride in a group. Ride in small groups of around five about 10 minutes apart and use as many routes as you can. It’s easy to stop one big group so make them spend a lot more effort pulling over many smaller groups.

  5. Good on you Mark for organising the rally mate. While the numbers were somewhat underwhelming, there is no denying the passion and disgust expressed to me by the riders who did attend. Unfortunately. It’s a lay down misere and the Qld Government will press ahead and pass this legislation. It’s just one battle in the war against stupidity and popularism in politics. We get the Governments we deserve?

  6. I didn’t know of the proposed rally and would have been there to support had I?
    I endorse the comments of Julian Bishop & ask that a definite time & place be set forward to enable to promote the event in contacting all social or otherwise riding groups. No one person need do all the work but call on friends, family or associates to join in on the day. A show of strength from in the community will have a great impact but as history has shown it needs to be an overwhelming force on the day & not to expect that same support there after the main event. As previously stated one need to ensure that there is no reason for any infringement, non compliance or roadworthy issues on the day as this is what the media will focus on so leave the attitude at home.
    I would call on Mark to nominate such a spokesperson or persons having already organized such an event and take into account the meeting place to accommodate many bikes without being given a ticket even before leaving. One place could be Fernvale to travel back along the Logan Motorway to possible meet up with another group at Stapylton to the Pacific Motorway to ride to the Gold Coast where the issue stems from giving more grounds to the ride, then would need to nominate a finish point one in which would not disrupt or cause any problems on the coast.
    I am 60+ & ride with family & group most week-ends & once a ride is organized shall be calling on every rider I know to attend. Remember this will also affect our upcoming Charity runs. I agree with Tony E only I would keep coming back down the same road on a different bike to waste their time.
    Believe me when I say I am prepared to go to goal to prove my point on this issue.

    1. A lot happening behind the scenes and you will be notified when more public input is need. What is absolutely vital now is that we have 10,000 signatures on the petition. If you have signed online or on paper, the next thing you can do is get friends and associates to sign. Send them the link or copy the wording and print it out on paper and collect signatures. Must have name, address and signature and must be on the same page or on the back of the same page as the wording. When you have collected what you think you can, email me at so I can send you an address to post them. Then we will ride to parliament to deliver them … Media invited! Don’t be disappointed, but these laws will happen. Newman won’t back down. It’s a long fight and we will eventually win.

  7. I’m very surprised and disappointed that only 3,385 signatures have been added to the petition. Let’s hope the latest news of the new laws spurs more of us to join the fight against these stupid efforts to marginalise ALL motorcyclists.

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