Welsh / Money powers the ‘Nike bikies’

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Outlaw bikies… “It’s not about riding a motorcycle, it’s more about making money,” says Scott Moller. Photo: Mike Welsh

A CANBERRA cop has brutally exposed the romantic notion that outlaw motorcycle gangs are just a bunch of misunderstood fringe dwellers who love nothing more than being left alone and taking long rides on their big bikes.
The manager of criminal investigations, Sup Scott Moller, told the ABC: “Motorcycles played a far less significant role in gangs now than in the past… Members were now free to be ‘Nike bikies’ – young men who preferred designer labels and luxury cars over old-school motorbikes and leather, adding: “If you look at the way organised crime has developed, certainly locally in Canberra, it’s not about riding a motorcycle, it’s more about making money”.

MENSLINK CEO Martin Fisk is unsurprised by data revealing a high percentage of Canberra school principals were subjected to physical violence.
Hosting the counselling service’s monthly “Midweeker”, Fisk shared some sobering stats regarding anger among young local men seeking help. Fisk says anger management is the second highest-presenting issue at Menslink after anxiety and depression, and “kids who are violent at school are also violent at home”. He warned: “If we don’t do something about it that violence will continue into their future homes.”

MEANWHILE guest speaker at the function, radio man Nigel Johnson, spoke openly of his battles with depression from more than a decade ago. The Canberra-raised personality also candidly revealed details of a rift between he and his former on-air FM 104.7 breakfast partner Scott Masters. In 2015 Masters was made redundant by the management of Canberra FM. Johnson resigned in protest, but a long period of unemployment and a diminishing bank balance forced him to accept an offer to return to sister station MIX106.3. He confessed the pair hadn’t spoken since and feels his one-time close friend probably took his return to the company as disloyalty. Johnson who has recently returned to breakfast radio on MIX is still hopeful he and Masters would reconcile.

CANBERRA lawyer and public face and voice of the Catholic church Francis Sullivan, has described the sensational news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on five child sex-abuse charges as “a shocking day”. Sullivan, appointed chief executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council by the church in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2013, said parishioners would be “incredibly shocked and devastated” by the Pell verdict as “the whole clerical sex abuse scandal continues to confront and demoralise the Catholic community”.

THE fabled “Canberra Bubble”, demonised by PM Scott Morrison, is seemingly growing bigger and gaining a life of its own. The phrase is now regularly flung around social and traditional media.
In a lengthy piece Nine’s newspaper journalist Jacqueline Maley writes: “The Prime Minister’s new favourite phrase is the ‘Canberra Bubble’, which he has never defined, but which seems to encompass the elitist, beltway tribe of media and staffers, obsessed with political games and cheap point-scoring.”

AND former ABC journalist and author Mike Carlton has taken aim at a major cohort of the bubble, the media, tweeting: “There are about five people in the Canberra Press Gallery I rate. And none of them works for Murdoch. The rest are plodding mediocrities at best, fools and puppets at worst. Never has political journalism been at such a low ebb”.

DESPITE Mr Carlton’s gloomy assessment of the hallowed hall of hacks, eagle-eyed members would still have been sifting through the detail of press releases last Friday. “Taking out the trash” is the term used for governments sharing unpalatable information late on Friday when most have knocked off for the week. Given that the news cycle was saturated with two Morrison government ministers about to pull the pin, the identity of Melbourne underworld Lawyer X revealed, the passing of TV legend Mike Willesee and the George Pell saga still steaming along, it was a rare opportunity to bury bad news.

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