Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 March 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1123 ..
in the last couple of days. I want to bring both the minister and Mr Gentleman back to earth, back to reality. Let me quote a couple of things.
Firstly, in terms of balance, I must mention Mr Lancaster’s very good op ed piece in the paper today. It contains some comments that I would like to follow up. I also noticed today in the paper that Trevor Mcleod from the Ulysses club has written a positive and diplomatic piece about how well the weekend went. But there are other issues, too. It was a fantastic weekend, but it did not need to be marred by the sorts of threats that—
Mr Hargreaves: But it wasn’t.
MR PRATT: I think you need to get a grip on the facts, minister, and perhaps have a deeper look at things. Let me quote a letter from a member of the Ulysses motorcycle club. He writes:
I and my wife were present at the Ulysses annual general meeting in Canberra last week. On the Tuesday, as we rode to the Belconnen Mall to buy some supplies, we were accosted by a motorist wearing a Rebels T-shirt. He claimed that Canberra was a Rebels town and threatened to kill us. We were rescued by another motorist who helped us get away from this man.
We returned to the venue and lodged a complaint through the event organisers, giving a full account of the incident and the registration number of the vehicle for forwarding to the police.
We were not contacted at any time during our stay here by the ACT Police and are still waiting for the club to let us know what is being done regarding our complaint.
This may be a concern between this particular man and the club, not necessarily the police, but it does underscore the concern that this couple felt. He goes on to say that he and his wife have never worn rockers. Let me quote from another letter from a member of the public who has been watching this whole event with some dismay. This letter, printed in yesterday’s Canberra Times, reads:
How can an “outlaw” group tell another social group of “growing-old-disgracefully” Ulysses riders not to wear their names on their Ulysses jackets.
What next? Will social riders have to get permission to even ride a bike in Canberra? The police should stamp out this arrogant behaviour, now.
Ulysses riders appear to be a peaceful and friendly group with no pretensions about what they are doing … ACT Police! Do something.
As an officer of the Supreme Court of the ACT and a younger member of the Canberra community, I must express complete outrage at the complacency of our authorities, particularly the Chief Minister and the Commissioner of Police, in allowing terrorism to thrive unchecked in the ACT.
This is a time when our politicians are constantly justifying the need to send young Australian men and women overseas …