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Fat lady not singing at Rebels Clubhouse

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  • Vacant: The building that formerly housed Silver Chain is one of two sites Rebels motorcycle club liaison Michael

"THE fat lady has not sung yet."

That was the response from Rebels negotiator Michael "Misch" Djukic when asked if the club would continue with efforts to set up a clubhouse in Collie.

Mr Djukic said since last year's application to assume control of Buckingham Hall was knocked back, "other alternatives had popped up".

They included the former Silver Chain office in Johnston Street and the former St Brigids school site on the corner of Johnston and Prinsep streets, both of which were for sale, he said.

Mr Djukic said the issue had been on the backburner while the club was busy with other events, including organising a birthday party to celebrate the club's 17th anniversary in WA.

But he said the club was still keen to have a Collie base.

"We've always had a liking for Collie, it's a good town and the roads are great to ride on around here," he said.

Collie Police Senior Sergeant Mike Dean said it would be a "sad day for Collie" if the Rebels got the green light to set up a clubhouse in the town.

If it did happen, he said, he would make sure there was a police car outside the clubhouse 24 hours a day.

"To proceed, they will require council approval and I would strongly argue that this organisation, through its past conduct, would be a major detriment to this town," Snr Sgt Dean said.

"In the past they have left a legacy of drug use and criminal behaviour, the consequences of which are still being felt by people in this town, years later.

"Mr Djukic is not a badged member of the organisation, and I don't believe he has any idea what he is dealing with.

"This is a violent, criminal organisation and I've cautioned him about his dealings with this group."

Snr Sgt Dean said he was able to provide numerous examples of "violence, drug use and thuggery" linked to the organisation in the South West to anyone that needed to see them, including horrific photographs of an assault victim.

"This type of organisation has interests in tattoo shops, the bouncer industry and prostitution. Members of the general community are scared and rightly so.

"If Mr Djukic wanted to invite the Vietnam veterans' motorcycle group here, they are more than welcome.

"But the Rebels are anathema to any law-abiding community and they are not welcome."

But Mr Djukic said the Rebels' image had been tarnished by the way motorcycle clubs had been portrayed in popular culture.

"(TV series) Sons of Anarchy has caused more problems to motorcycle clubs worldwide than anything else," he said.

"People stupidly think that show is real but it's a modern-day fairytale fantasy. The police love it because that sort of image suits them.

"But we are not like that. We are like merry men, we are happy people."

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