Business as usual with bikies say police
THE Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang has established a clubhouse at Ballina but police deny bikies are moving into Northern NSW to escape Queensland's tough new bikie laws.
Other gangs, including the Mongols and Odin's Warriors are understood to be building resources on the border with clubhouses at Chinderah and Tweed Heads respectively.
Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Geoff McKechnie said the Rebels chapter at Ballina was hardly new and it had been heavily targeted by NSW police.
"No question, there are bikie chapters in northern NSW," he said.
"But they were there well before legislative change in Queensland and they are heavily targeted."
Mr McKechnie said that in October, 33 bikie premises and clubhouses in Northern NSW had been targeted as part of Strike Force Raptor.
"Importantly, there's no evidence their numbers are growing through any influx from Queensland," he said.
"That's a myth."
It is understood that in recent years Rebels representatives have made a number of inquiries about possible locations for a base in Ballina.
Locations that were considered included the Southern Cross Industrial Estate, Clark Street Industrial Estate and Kalinga St.
Patched Rebels members were on January 4 filmed by a Queensland Polair helicopter riding en masse north from Ballina on the Pacific Motorway.
According to a news.com. au report, Rebels from the Ballina chapter met with about 40 Odin's Warriors at their Machinery Dr clubhouse at Tweed Heads.
On the same day the Mongols and Odin's Warriors defiantly met at the Dolphin Hotel on the NSW Queensland border.
A spokesman for Member for Ballina and Minister for the North Coast, Don Page, said the minister was concerned about the claims and was in discussion with the Police Minister in relation to the matters.