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The Independent Weekly
December 11 - 17, 2009
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The Independent Weekly is a South Australian owned and operated newspaper, taking an independent view of local news, issues, business, sport and culture for all South Australians.
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Members of the Finks, Hells
Angels, the Christian
Motorcycle Group, Gypsy
Jokers and Red Devils this week
vowed to fight laws which outlaw
freedom of association, and which
they say can be used against any
innocent South Australian.
SA police last Friday issued
notices to all members of the Finks
Motorcycle Club warning them not
to meet, phone, text or email each
other more than six times a year.
This is despite the fact many
of its members have no criminal
They say the laws also mean
ordinary South Australians who
meet a Finks member more than
six times a year at kids sports
events, church or neighbour
barbecues will also be breaking
It is not an automatic defence
to say that you did not know the
person was a member of the Finks,
and people could still go to jail.
United Motorcycle Council
spokesperson Mick MacPherson
told a news conference he would
break and challenge the law. If
charged, he said, he would fight all
the way to the High Court.
Part of the Government s
Serious and Organised Crime Act
has already been thrown out by
the state s most senior court, the
Supreme Court, after that was
challenged and found to be
illegal. On Wednesday, Attorney-
General Michael Atkinson
received a police application to
"declare" the Rebels Motorcycle
Club. The Attorney-General s
decision, based on evidence
neither club members nor the
public can see, is final and cannot
be challenged in court.
Bikies risk jail
for civil liberties
Adelaide-based car importer Mitsubishi
Motors Australia will ask the Federal
Government to give each buyer of its new
electric car a rebate of up to $10,000.
Mitsubishi s all-electric i-Miev
five-door, zero-emission, city commuter
car is expected to go on sale throughout
Australia in the second half of next year
for about $70,000.
MMA head of corporate communica-
tions Lenore Fletcher said the price
reflected the high cost and short supply
of the lithium-ion battery technology that
has been built into the vehicle.
To help offset the price, she said
Mitsubishi would formally apply to the
Federal Government early next year to
approve a consumer subsidy program
of up to $10,000, similar to that offered in
other markets around the world, includ-
ing Canada, the US and China.
Whether the scheme is accepted or
rejected by the Federal Government, MML
president Rob McEniry said Mitsubishi
would press ahead with its plan to be the
first major brand to sell an electric vehicle
But he said it would be "an absolute
shame" if the Government did not accept
the rebate scheme.
"If it means the customer has to pay
more and we have less cars in Australia
then so be it, but we will bring the car in,"
Mitsubishi s preference is to lease the
car to customers when it arrives, probably
early in the second half of 2010 at a rate of
no more than five to 10 cars a month.
If the subsidy scheme is accepted, the
lease cost would be reduced.
The I-Miev uses a large-capacity
lithium-ion battery system to deliver
up to 47kW of power to a high-output
electric motor. The four-seater has a range
of about 160km on a single charge of
electricity and can reach a top speed of
130km/h. Mitsubishi said it takes up to
seven hours to recharge the battery pack
after plugging into a normal domestic
household power supply.
The controversial St Clair land
swap has been approved for
the second time by the State
Government amid community
Southern Suburbs Minister John
Hill took one week to review and
re-approve Charles Sturt Council s
proposal to revoke the St Clair
Reserve s community land status.
"I am of the opinion that on
balance the revocation will be more
positive than not in its effect on the
area and the community," Mr Hill
told the council.
The decision will pave the
way for the council and Land
Management Corporation to
approve housing development on
the public reserve, and for council
to build a new park on top of what is
now a toxic former industrial site.
Local Government Minister Gail
Gago first approved the revocation
last month, but her decision was
made void in the Supreme Court
less than a fortnight ago following a
challenge by the St Clair Residents
Association which claimed
the Minister "did not consider
Kirsten Alexander said yesterday s
decision made a mockery of the
Government process and would
become an election issue.
"The Government has shown
such contempt for residents and the
community," she said.
In a letter to the council, Mr Hill
said he was "mindful of the deeply
held concerns of local residents",
suggesting a strip of open space
should be kept along Woodville
Road, and that the council and the
developers should keep an open
But Ms Alexander said the
association had called for a meeting
with Mr Hill and was ignored.
"He took just one week to review
the decision and did not even meet
with one resident in that time," Ms
Greens MLC Mark Parnell said
it was disgraceful Mr Hill had
made a decision without having
the courtesy to sit down with the St
Clair residents group and find out
"He s encouraging the council
and developers to talk to residents,
providing it s not about the land
swap. What a sham," Mr Parnell
"This is a colossal missed
opportunity for the Government to
engage in genuine dialogue with
residents about the future of this
whole area; instead they ve done
the bare minimum."
An Ombudsman inquiry
will look into the influence of
the Attorney-General Michael
Atkinson on the Charles Sturt
The inquiry follows allegations
of conflicts of interest by council-
lors, undue influence and whether
the council had met its obligations
over the land swap.
St Clair battlers vow to fight on
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The Gallery will be open until Wednesday 23 December 2009
and will re-open on Monday 4 January 2010.
Opening hours 9am -- 5pm weekdays
Further information: www.hawkecentre.unisa.edu.au
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