News

Not a room or an inn for Rebels bikies

United Motorcycle Council spokesman and Brisbane Rebels Chapter President Mick Kosenko.
United Motorcycle Council spokesman and Brisbane Rebels Chapter President Mick Kosenko.

THE Rebels Motorcycle Club is weighing up whether to ride on the Coffs Coast next weekend, after police and local accommodation providers cancelled almost 500 bookings for rooms.

Angered by the actions of NSW Police in trying to stop them staging their national run, the Rebels say they have been turned away by resorts, hotels, motels and holiday units.

United Motorcycle Council spokesman Mick Kosenko, a 33-year Rebels member from Brisbane, said he couldn't believe the police resistance to the motorcycle club in Coffs Harbour.   

"This is ridiculous, we can't get anywhere to stay in Coffs Harbour because the police told the accommodation providers we couldn't book in our names," Mr Kosenko said.  

"For a lot of us this is our yearly holiday, every one of us would have spent around $1,000 so Coffs Harbour is the big loser in all this. 

"A lot of our members work in the mines in northern parts of Queensland so getting time off was an issue and now their holidays are cancelled. 

"It would have been good for the town.  

He said the blacklisting of motorcycle club members in Coffs Harbour was unfair. 

"The hotels have also been told by police not to let us in and we are all trying to get refunds on the accommodation bookings we made months ago - a lot of us are owed our deposits and we are waiting for refunds," Mr Kosenko said.  

"It's a massive overreaction by police, but I'd say it's come from the top. It has cost Coffs Harbour a lot of money and police would have spent heaps on cancelling our bookings. 

"We are always travelling through Coffs, it was chosen for the national run because it was central and we have never been in trouble in the town. 

The Rebels said around 1,500 members would have attended the national run. 

"Well yeah the run is all but cancelled, I can only speak for myself and I'm not coming now... it has left a sour taste in the mouth ...  we will take the run to places that welcome us into town next time. 

"Hotel owners are said to be up in arms about this, we have never had one good riddance in Coffs Harbour, 

Asked if the Rebels were deterred from riding in New South Wales due to the State Government's consorting laws, Mr Kosenko said it wasn't an issue. 

"We haven't got a lot of people with criminal records in our club in Queensland," he said. 

"We're told about 20% of our members have a record, so those laws don't apply to us. 

The Rebels rode on Perth last year for the club's national run. 

 

Rebels Motorcycle Club.
Rebels Motorcycle Club. Rebels Motorcycle Club

 

CLUB ALLEGIANCES

THE Rebels Motorcycle Club insists they are a 'brotherhood' united by their Harley-Davidsons.

Australia's largest motorcycle club, the Rebels have 70 chapters around Australia and more than 2000 members.

Its elite membership says the club is a not-for-profit organisation with structured ranks that operate local chapters and clubhouses as part of a state and national hierarchy.

Founded in Brisbane in 1969 by Clint Jacks, originally as the Confederates, the Rebels remain the nation's fastest growing outlaw motorcycle gang.

Denying police and government claims they are a criminal network, the club hierarchy says drug use is 'looked down on' in its ranks and 'heroin use and smoking methamphetamine' is taboo.

Riding under the Confederate Flag with a cap-wearing skull, the Rebels wear a 1% patch.

'One percenters' is the term used to acknowledge the 1% of the population that doesn't conform to the law.

The Rebels National President Alex Vella has remained in Malta since June after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison cancelled his visa.

The Coffs Harbour clubhouse that was dismantled by police in August.
The Coffs Harbour clubhouse that was dismantled by police in August.

Topics:  coffs harbour rebels outlaw motorcycle gang



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