Motorcycle sales down thanks to VLAD, say shop owners

Shop owners are reporting fewer people are buying bikes such as Harley Davidsons compared to sports bikes.
Shop owners are reporting fewer people are buying bikes such as Harley Davidsons compared to sports bikes. Tony Martin

AS Queensland's controversial "bikie" laws are set to be reviewed by a commission of inquiry later this year, our four-part special report looks into the impacts of the legislation since its introduction in 2013.

This final instalment considers the social impacts of the government's anti-bikie laws.

EVERYDAY motorcycle riders feel they have been discriminated against as a result of the anti-bikie laws introduced in October 2013.

Australian Regional Media spoke to 20 motorbike shops throughout Queensland as part of a statewide investigation into the impacts of the laws, and more than half said business had been affected as a result of them.

Shop owners reported fewer people were buying bikes such as Harley Davidsons compared to sports bikes.

Harley Davidson Mackay manager Fred Caffarella said business had been down since the introduction of the laws.

"Sales have been affected in the short term, but I presume it will not have an impact long term," he said.

But motorcycle enthusiasts also say they have been affected by the laws, with some saying they have sold their bikes to avoid attracting unwanted attention.


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"I personally felt as though I was being targeted unjustly as a 'patched biker' just because I rode a Harley motorcycle," Gold Coast motorcycle enthusiast Paul Thorley said.

Mr Thorley said he had been pulled over once by police but let go once they realised he wasn't a patched biker.

On the introduction of the legislation, former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie said non-bikie motorcyclists would not be targeted and they had "nothing to worry about".


Bikie Laws - The Fallout is a collaboration between Australian Regional Media and students of Bond University.

Topics:  bikie gangs bikielaws outlaw motorcycle gangs unions vlad laws

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