A concerned North Queensland grandmother sends an open letter to the Queensland Government about its harsh and inequitable “anti-bikies” legislation.
MY NAME is Katherine Tate, and I am writing to you with a heavy heart and a curious mind.
I am writing about the new and discriminatory “anti-bikes” legislation being introduced in Queensland at the moment.
I am a proud Australian Citizen and a resident of Queensland. I am a grandmother and a widow, I am a student (Bachelor of Education) and a volunteer (SES). I love our country and our history. I love motorbikes and mountains.
I do not condone criminal activity — yet will stand for the right for each person to receive a fair trial and to be treated humanely.
I am, however, not one of the Queenslanders that The Honourable Mr Campbell Newman continually states he and his government are doing this for.
These new ‘Bills’ have so many blurred meanings, it is difficult for the average person to get their head around them. Many are confused and frightened.
Putting aside the justified outrage of the members of the so-called “Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs” named ‒ that have been criminalised not through a court of law but at the stroke of Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie's pen ‒ there is absolutely nothing to stop the Qld Government and the QPS from applying these laws of intimidation and harassment on anyone who they don't like, disagree with or wish to silence.
We now have the Queensland Police Service demanding to know the travel plans of members of the general public on the state’s highways.
At what point will this restriction of civil liberties become arrest and internment? Who's next? Trade Unions, I'd suggest. Then the media and anyone else that doesn't get with the programme.
The ripple effect from these laws is massive and is and will further affect many industries across the board. Not to mention the emotional scars this kind of tyranny will leave long after it started.
My father (Navy, NSW Fire Brigade; National medal x 2, 1st clasp and Golden Axe); my paternal grandfather (Air Force; W11); my maternal grandfather (W11 Royal Australian Engineers); and both maternal and paternal great-grandfathers (Army WW1) all fought for our freedom.
My eldest grandson (17) has yearned for and is saving for a motorbike as a means of transport. He works full time, and was an Air Force Cadet for three years. He is a respectful and loyal citizen. He now asks what will happen to him if he rides. Will he be harassed as we have witnessed others? Will he be able to ride where he wants? Will he be able to ride the kind of bike he wants? What kind of future is there for us in Qld? How can people, who should be trustworthy, put such inhumane laws in to place? He will be buying his bike!
My second Grandson (14) attends High School, is an Air Force Cadet and works part time. He was severely burnt as a young child and has, for years, dreamed of the day he can cover his scars with a tattoo of a tiger and jungle style plants.
He now asks:
“Will I be able to still get my tattoo? Will I be arrested if I am at a tattoo shop? Why is the Government targeting tattoo shops? Why can’t people go for a ride together?”
My eldest Granddaughter (13) says:
“This is just wrong grandma, it’s disgusting! Why aren’t other people like paedophiles and rapists and people who bash women and children treated the same?”
My youngest Granddaughter (7) just says:
The recently released VLAD legislation in Queensland is being portrayed by many as the ‘anti-bikie laws'. This is both disingenuous and dangerous. When one reads the legislation, you'll realise that the term 'bikie' is mentioned nowhere.
How on earth are we to continue to teach our children and grandchildren right from wrong when legislation such as this, that are so misleading and inhumane, are thrust upon the public.
I shall look forward to a prompt and explanatory reply.
Katherine Tate (Gypsy)
Professional Grandma and Passionate Australian
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