Tag Archives: politics

Rider representation ends as group closes down

Queensland riders now have no official representation to government after the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland has officially closed.

The motion to close was passed at a special meeting of five members on Wednesday night (15 January 2020).

The reason was given as a lack of members seeking election to the executive.

There is now no formal Queensland rider representation available for meetings with relevant ministers and government departments over issues affecting them.

Special meeting

I attended the MRAQ’s special meeting on Wednesday night as a non-member and observer and agreed — at president Chris Mearns’s request — not to publish anything from the special meeting.

Chris agreed to an interview, then demanded we postpone publication for a couple of weeks.

After we disagreed and I implored him of the need to publish immediately, the MRAQ decided to announce the decision on their Facebook page and official website.

The notice of closure follows inactivity on the website and Facebook page since September 2019, including no notice of Wednesday night’s meeting.

Here is the official MRAQ closure announcement:

It is with great regret that notice is herein given that the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland Inc. will no longer be in operation.
This situation has come about due to the Association being no longer been able to comply with its Rules Of Association and hence not being able to meet the requirements of the Queensland Fair Trading legislation.
The lack of ability to comply with these requirements is a direct result of insufficient persons being willing to offer their service to the Association.
The incumbent departing Executive Committee wishes to thank all of the members who over the almost 40 years of the Association existence worked to represent the interests of motorcyclists. Without
these people the world of motorcycling in Queensland would be a far less friendly place.
Actions in accordance with the relevant laws have been commenced to cease operation of the Association and are currently being implemented.

Rider apathy

Chris and secretary Steve Clancy spent several minutes after Wednesday’s special meeting complaining about the apathy of riders and the dramatic drop-off in membership.

He said they had spent eight-and-a-half years working hard for Queensland riders and listed their achievements as fighting against the Draconian VLAD anti-association laws and their work to secure lane filtering laws (including the only edge filtering rule in Australia) and more sensible laws on helmet certification and motorcycle controls.

representationChris speaks to VLAD protestors in 2013

Motorbike Writer has covered all these issues as well as acknowledged the work the MRAQ has done to secure motorcycle parking in the Brisbane CBD.

The first AGM in September and another a couple of months later did not attract a quorum of seven members, so the special meeting was called.

There were only five members at Wednesday’s special meeting, but the business of winding up the MRAQ is still legal under Queensland association incorporation rules.

Collapse of rider representation

The collapse of the MRAQ is symptomatic of rider representation throughout the country.

There seems a general apathy among riders to get involved, yet a lot of vocal “keyboard warriors” quick to decry autocratic injustices and a lack of acknowledgement of their existence by authorities.

After the special meeting, Chris expressed concern about future rider representation and said younger riders needed to step up.

His initial reluctance to send out a timely official closure notice could also be symptomatic of an MRAQ that was out of touch with riders.

Could the MRAQ collapse simply be the tip of the iceberg?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How motorcyclists can vote this election

Which ever shade of politics revs you up, there is little on offer from the political parties specifically for motorcyclists in this federal election.

MotorbikeWriter does not support any one politician or party, so we approached them all, asking for their motorcycle-specific policies as we have done in previous federal elections.

This time we only received responses from the Liberals, Nationals and Liberal Democrats.

Electric election

Electric vehicles have sparked some debate in this election.

The Coalition believes electric vehicles will make up 25-50% of new passenger vehicles by 2030, Labor wants a target of 50% and the Greens have called for 100%.

No matter what targets our parties set, it is largely out of their hands.

We no longer have a car industry and the imports will be determined by foreign car companies who will probably reach those targets anyway. For example, Sweden will not be making any internal combustion vehicles by 2030.

No party makes any mention of electric motorcycles in their election policies.

Solar Cake Kalk electric motorcycles standardise election
Electric motorcycles are coming


While Labor didn’t reply, we note that their Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has long been a strong supporter of motorcycles and scooters.

He has said that attracting more riders as commuters would ease traffic congestion and reduce the pressure on public transport and road infrastructure.

“Albo” reckons Labor would would work with local governments and rider organisations to increase safe parking for motorcycles and scooters in cities and remove “regulatory and other impediments to motorcycle use”.


The Liberals and Nationals both responded with almost identical references to their infrastructure plans which make no reference to motorcycles.

In fact, if they did encourage more people on to two-wheelers, they wouldn’t need to spend as much of our taxpayers dollars on improving infrastructure.

You can read the Coalition infrastructure plan here.

They also referred to the National Road Safety Action Plan 2018-20, which includes a number of motorcycle safety issues:

  • Increased understanding about the use of appropriate protective clothing through the MotoCAP rating scheme;
  • Recognition of the importance of infrastructure design and maintenance;
  • Targeted safety campaigns and information sharing;
  • Improved vehicle safety, including through technology such as mandatory anti-lock braking systems (ABS); and
  • Enhanced motorcycle training and education.

Their action plan for further motorcycle safety issues include:

  • Development of network-wide safety plans such as unspecified roadside barriers and motorcycle underrun barriers;
  • Infrastructure and speed reduction at urban intersections including more speed/red light cameras
  • Improved road design;
  • Safe System approaches to support better outcomes for specific road users; and
  • Implementation of “safer speeds” and improved enforcement.

Liberal Democrats

Former Lib/Dem Senator David Leyonhjelm who quit and unsuccessfully stood for the NSW Upper House is a rider and forged their party’s motorcycle policy in 2016.

Now, Senator Duncan Spender has taken David’s place.

The Liberal Democrats believe those who choose to use motorcycles and scooters should not be discouraged by government policies,” he says.

“The use of motorcycles and scooters is a matter of individual choice. So long as nobody else is likely to be harmed, the government has no right to interfere in personal choices.

“Riding motorcycles and scooters eases traffic congestion, produces less emissions and is often a more economical choice. Unfortunately, not only are motorcyclists and scooter riders invisible to many car drivers, they are also largely invisible to governments of both persuasions. The National Road Safety Strategy has repeatedly failed to closely examine motorcycle issues, despite motorcyclists being at greater risk of being killed or seriously injured compared to occupants of other vehicles.

“While the government acknowledges that the number of motorcyclists are growing, governments turn to increased prohibition and regulation instead of encouraging and enhancing the trend. Road rules, parking provisions and infrastructure should facilitate motorcycling, not inhibit it.”

Red tape

Senator Spender says the National Road Safety Strategy to increase licensing requirements would increase red tape.

“There are numerous barriers to the establishment of rider training courses, not only barriers faced by small businesses anywhere in Australia but also specific barriers relating to issues such as liability,” he says.

“As a result there is a shortage of accessible, affordable rider training courses.”

The Lib Dems have also launched a Support Sensible Speed Limits campaign which recognises that limits “tend to be set using an over-cautious approach instead of a balanced and democratic one”.

“This campaign also calls for an end to revenue raising and an increase of speed limits on motorways such as the Hume Highway in NSW,” he says.

Vote early

election poll vote voting

Vote early, vote often, so they say! Well, you can vote early, but you can only vote once.

Just because Saturday is election day doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a weekend ride.

About one-third of the eligible voters will already have voted by election day, up from about 8% in 2007 and 22% in 2016.

Voters previously needed a valid excuse to cast a pre-poll vote, but now the only question you they ask is whether you have already voted in this election.

So vote before Saturday and go for a ride.

Pre-polling stations are open from 8am to 5.30pm. Click here to find the closest station in your electorate.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com