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.
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.
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.
Chris 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?