Bandidos bikies descend on Ballarat, Victoria for club’s annual national motorcycle run
The Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have shown up in force for their annual national run in a quiet rural town.
Hundreds of riders descended on Ballarat in noth-west Victoria on Friday and will travel to Buninyong, 11km north before returning to Ballarat.
The Bandidos gang are considered one of the state’s ‘big-six’ motorcycle gangs.
Victorian Police have vowed to keep a strict eye on their activities during the three-day run.
The Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have shown up in force for their annual national run over the long weekend in Victoria
Motorcycle club members rode their bikes into Ballarat and will soon travel to Buninyong, 11km north, before returning to Ballarat
Victorian Echo and VIPER taskforces will monitor the gang’s movement to ensure everyone’s safety
Local police will assist their taskforce colleagues keep a close eye on the gathering of Bandidos affiliates
Echo and VIPER taskforces will be assisted by local police to monitor the gang’s movement to ensure that members of the public remain safe.
Police have issed a stern warning that they will ‘not be intimidated’ by any OMCG members who commit criminal, road safety or public order offences.
‘Members of the Echo and VIPER taskforces, alongside local police, will have a vehicle checkpoint set up on the route to ensure the riders are complying with the road rules and conducting themselves appropriately,’ Western Region superintendent Frank Sells said.
‘We will be monitoring all activity and will be ready to take swift action to prevent, detect and disrupt any potential unlawful activity. It will not be tolerated.
‘The local community can be assured that Victoria Police has made wide scale preparations and is ready to appropriately monitor and respond to OMCG activities for this national run.’
Hundreds of Bandidos bikies driving down a main road into Ballarat, Victoria, causing traffic delays for locals on Friday
Ballarat is the state’s second largest city and has hosted the event several times previously previously.
The OMCG held its annual general in Ballarat in 2022, meeting at Lazy Moe’s restaurant in November, just days before the state’s election.
Leaders of the outlaw gang took out an advertisement in Ballarat’s The Courier newspaper days after leaving their last meeting, thanking the the town for its ‘warm hospitality’.
Victoria is one of the few states in the country where bikies can openly show their colours and associate in public without risking jail time.
Western Australia has some of the toughest laws where it is illegal for a member to even show tattoos of their motorcycle club when they’re out in public.
Queensland will send a bikie to jail for wearing gang colours, with the same prison sentence given to third time offenders.
Victoria is one of the few states in the country where bikies can openly show their colours and associate in public without risking jail time
Leaders of the outlaw gang took out an advertisement in Ballarat’s The Courier newspaper last year days after leaving their AGM, thanking the the town for its ‘warm hospitality’
Victorian Police have been working to limit the powers of bikies by issuing a firearm prohibition order (FPO) to almost every member.
An FPO restricts a person from possessing or using a firearm or ammunition and give police the power to conduct searches without a warrant.
A member who breaches the order risks five years imprisonment.
Bandidos MC Australia, a motorcycle gang that splintered from the Comancheros in 1983, has more than 50 chapters across Australia.
The extra police presence will continue until the run’s conclusion on Sunday.
How each state deals with bikies
New South Wales
– Residents risk three years in jail if they are caught ‘habitually consorting’ with convicted offenders.
– Police can issue crime prevention orders that restrict the day-to-day movements of bikies. Members risk five years in jail for breaching the order.
– Bikies can be jailed for 12 months for wearing club colours.
– Members can be jailed for three years for ‘habitually consorting’.
– Bikies can be jailed for five years if they are caught trying to recruit new members.
– Venue owners and managers can be jailed for two years for hosting bikie gatherings.
– Residents risk five years in jail if they associate with a bikie who has been hit with a control order.
Australian Capital Territory
One of the few states in the country that does not have anti-bikie legislation.
– Bikies risk a $6,980 fine if they are caught wearing the colours of their club.
– Members can be hit with an anti-consorting notice and risk three years in jail for breaking the order.
– Bikies risk 12 months in jail for displaying in public tattoos of their motorcycle club.
– Members can be given a consorting notice and could go to jail for five years for breaking the order.