Tramps Motorcycle Club fail in licence appeal

Three Tramps members lost their court bid to regain their guns and firearms licences this week.
Three Tramps members lost their court bid to regain their guns and firearms licences this week.

A BID by three members of the Tramps Motorcycle Club at Wangaratta to get back their guns and firearms licences appears headed for the Supreme Court.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal vice-president, Judge Marilyn Harbison, this week handed down a judgment saying Mick Oxenham, David Winzer and Mal Dinsdale were not “fit and proper persons” to hold gun licences.

The solicitor representing them, John Suta, said he would discuss the judgment with his clients at a meeting tonight.

But Mr Suta said the barrister who represented them, Trevor Monti QC, wanted to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judge Harbison heard four days of evidence in April and reserved her decision earlier this week.

When the hearing started, Judge Harbison granted leave for Tramps president Ronny Harding to withdraw his bid to regain his 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 Wangaratta, the police commissioner cancelled the licences.

Eight appeals for members of the Tramps 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 Mr Harding, Mr Oxenham, Mr Dinsdale and Mr Winzer against the Firearms Appeals Committee and the chief commissioner.

Judge Harbison said in her judgment the three applicants denied any connection between the Tramps and any outlaw club.

They gave emphatic evidence the only club activities were either benign or positively contributing to the Wangaratta community.

Judge Harbison said there was independent evidence on behalf of the applicants from retired police officers Doug McPhie and Gary Thayer.

The Tramps were described as a local group whose members got a kick out of riding motorcycles and wearing their patches.