Tramps motorcycle club in for a wait on gun licences


IT will be late June at the earliest before three Wangaratta-based Tramps Motorcycle Club members know whether they regain their firearms licences and guns.

A four-day hearing in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ended on April 11.

The applicants — David Winzer, Mal Dinsdale and Mick Oxenham — gave evidence before VCAT vice-president and County Court Judge Marilyn Harbison reserved her decision.

She ruled that preliminary submissions on behalf of the applicants be filed by April 30.

A response on behalf of Victoria’s police commissioner must be submitted by May 28.

Any more submissions from the applicant’s legal representatives in reply are due by June 13.

Judge Harbison has said she is retiring from VCAT and wants to deliver her judgment before she steps down.

The Wangaratta-based solicitor representing the applicants, John Suta, along with their barrister Trevor Monti SC, are confident of success.

When the hearing started, Judge Harbison granted leave for Tramps president Ronny Harding to withdraw his bid to regain his firearms licence without any reason given.

In 2012, nine Tramps members had their legally stored guns confiscated and their firearms licences suspended.

They sought to take legal action over the suspensions but, on the eve of an interim Supreme Court hearing at Wang- aratta, the police commissioner cancelled the licences.

Appeals by eight Tramps members went to the Firearms Appeals Committee in July last year with seven rejected.

Businessman Craig Norton, who resigned from the Tramps after his licence was cancelled, had his appeal upheld.

Mr Suta then launched action with VCAT for Harding, Oxenham, Dinsdale and Winzer against the Firearms Appeals Committee and the chief commissioner.

Two former Wangaratta police, ex-chief superintendant Doug McPhie and ex-detective sergeant Gary Thayer, have given evidence to VCAT supporting the bid by the three Tramps members to regain their licences and guns.