Welsh / Biker Jeremy sees a looming bikie-gang massacre

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Liberal Jeremy Hanson astride his Triumph Bonneville… keen to “fight bikies and curb criminal activity and violent behaviour now existing in Canberra’s suburbs”.

THE growing number of outlaw motorcycle gangs in the ACT (five at last count) could lead to a Milperra-style massacre, according to the shadow attorney-general.

Seven people died and 28 were injured in the infamous 1984 shoot-out, when rival motorcycle gang members clashed at Milperra in south-west Sydney.

When asked on local radio if a similar shoot-out could erupt here Jeremy Hanson said “it’s only a matter of time”. The Liberal frontbencher, himself the proud owner of a legendary Triumph Bonneville motorcycle, first attempted to introduce anti-consorting laws almost a decade ago and says legislation is the only way to “fight bikies and curb criminal activity and violent behaviour now existing in Canberra’s suburbs”.

THE Canberra Libs kicked off the year with a political stunt guaranteed to attract attention. Leader Alistair Coe and MLA Mark Parton hope to get traction by bashing big oil companies and spruiking a real-time, petrol-pricing scanning system. Posting: “We’re sick of being ripped off at the petrol pump” on Twitter, accompanied by a catchy video, the pair knows full well in a small jurisdiction such as ours they have no hope of making a difference to petrol prices. However, they do know the value of the sizzle over the sausage.

ALMOST 20 years ago an impressive sounding petrol summit, hosted by the then member for Port Macquarie Robert Oakeshott, made zero difference to the “highway robbery” imposed on motorists. It was a time when service stations were forced to add space to their signs to accommodate prices leaping into the new stratosphere of 100.1 from 99.9 and Oakeshott invited all stakeholders to town for a talkfest. The same town was flogging fuel at $161.9 a month ago.

AND the man who awkwardly and needlessly teased a nation for 17 excruciating minutes in 2010 before backing Julia Gillard’s minority government, hopes to head back to Canberra. Oakeshott is contesting the NSW Mid North Coast seat of Cowper, a safe coalition seat for decades.

FORMER Canberra public servant Ian De Landelles feels cheated after a racehorse in which he has a share was beaten by a horse trained by recently charged trainer Darren Weir. De Landelles, married to former Labor MLA Mary Porter, says: “Last Friday (January 25) I shook hands with Darren Weir on Whispering Brook beating our Fell Swoop in a Group 2 at Moonee Valley. Can’t help feeling our horse and trainer Matt Dale have been robbed”

Bundjalung elder Lewis Walker… a time will come soon when Australia Day will be known as Healing Day. Photo: Mike Welsh

THE annual quarrel over an acceptable date and name for Australia Day rages on but a respected Bundjalung elder says there will come a time soon when it will be known as Healing Day. Visiting the tent embassy for the Invasion Day rally, Lewis Walker from the mid-north coast town of Tabulam says a day of remembrance is a day that can change “this traumatised day into a healing of the people and the land”.

ONE time Canberra man-about-town Jorian Gardner has returned to the political fray. The journalist and artistic director departed the staff of Victorian Reason Party MLA Fiona Patton last year to “find himself”. Patten, who was re-elected to the Upper House after a two-week wait for final numbers, quickly re-employed Gardner to do what he does best; annoy political opponents via social media. He’s boldly announced “Victorian Parliament crossbenchers – I’m back and you have been warned”.

CANBERRANS’ love of saving a condemned tree is legendary. On May 27, 2005, as the nation was transfixed by broadcasts of drug mule Schapelle Corby being sentenced to 20 years by the Denpasar District Court, Canberra ABC radio was covering a protest to save a condemned tree in Braddon. Now inner-south citizens are alleging “skullduggery” around a “sick” tree in Manuka. The 18-metre plane tree’s health is at the centre of a dispute between locals and the Capitol Theatre’s owner who wants the tree in Franklin Street felled to make way for a hotel development.

CANBERRA is not known for its love of country music but may have played a small part in the rise of the genre’s newest star. Last September alt American artist Andrew Swift performed on Stage 88 at Floriade to fewer than 50 people. Swift now has two golden guitars including the 2019 CMA New Talent of the Year title.

AND a correction to last week’s column: Kay Malone is the proud handler of champion Canberra obedience dog Jamie.

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Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh is a serial blogger and former Canberra radio presenter.

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