A bikie who was involved in the Broadbeach bikie brawl on Queensland’s Gold Coast five years ago has been arrested and will be kicked out of Australia after authorities cancelled the New Zealander’s visa.
Queensland police detained 28-year-old Jim David Thacker at Beenleigh, south of Brisbane, on Thursday and handed him over to Australian Border Force (ABF) officers.
He is believed to be the founding president of the gang’s Beenleigh Bandidos chapter.
Thacker was sentenced to 150 hours’ community service in 2014 for rioting after police tried to break up a fight between about 60 Bandidos members in the Broadbeach restaurant precinct in September 2013.
At least 27 Bandidos were charged at the time with 30 offences, including 18 for rioting, six for obstructing police, and five for public nuisance.
Two men from the rival Finks bike gang were also arrested over the brawl, which was believed to be started over a love triangle rather than a turf war.
Eighteen of Thacker’s former gang members later faced court in August 2015, but all also walked free from court with the magistrate handing down suspended sentences and thousands of dollars in fines.
At the time, ex-Bandidos gang member Jacques Teamo described the legal process as “a waste of time and taxpayers money”.
The wild brawl in the Broadbeach family precinct sparked the toughest and most controversial anti-bikie laws in Australia by the then-Newman LNP government.
It also led to a crackdown by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton of “violent criminals” who were non-citizens committing crimes on Australian soil.
‘Our country is better without you’
Mr Dutton said he had cancelled the visas of 191 foreign-born bikies in the past year.
“The Government’s been very clear over a long period of time now that we are not going to tolerate criminals in our country who are here as non-citizens and committing serious crimes against Australian citizens,” Mr Dutton said.
“We know that outlawed motorcycle gang members are the biggest importers and distributors of ice and amphetamine in the country.
“They destroy families and young lives — our country is better without you.”
Mr Dutton said those who remained who were involved in criminal activity could expect to have their visas cancelled as well.
“We are making out community a safer place by deporting people who have committed serious offences in our country,” he said.
“If you come to Australia, you come here, we welcome you, but you need to abide by the law.”
Mr Dutton said Thacker had the right to appeal his deportation once he was back in New Zealand.
But Mr Dutton also just announced a sweeping review of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal by former High Court judge Ian Callinan after a string of controversial decisions allowed serious offenders to stay in Australia.
Mr Dutton said his brief was to look into how to tighten up the law where “ridiculous outcomes” allowed offenders to stay and go on to commit further crimes.
Thacker is in immigration detention in Sydney but a date for his deportation has not been released.