Rock Machine regain foothold in Perth after bikie ‘war’

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A notorious bikie gang that became embroiled in a “war” with Australia’s biggest outlaw motorcycle club is back in WA.

Suspicions Rock Machine were trying to regain a foothold in Perth appear confirmed with the arrest of a man over an alleged vicious attack on his former girlfriend.

The 23-year-old was wearing a vest with a Rock Machine “patch” on the back — signifying his gang membership — when he was arrested this month, the first evidence police have that the club is back in the State since its Perth members were absorbed into the Bandidos bikie gang in 2013.

Rock Machine were involved in a violent feud with the Rebels — Australia’s biggest gang — when it set up in WA in 2009, with the tit-for-tat exchanges including firebombings, bashings and the shooting in 2011 of Rebels WA president Nick Martin, who survived the attack.

Rock Machine brings the number of outlaw motorcycle clubs in WA to 12.

Rock Machine brings the number of outlaw motorcycle clubs in WA to 12.Picture: WA News

The Rock Machine patch has resurfaced in Perth for the first time since 2013.

The Rock Machine patch has resurfaced in Perth for the first time since 2013.Picture: supplied

The gang’s re-emergence brings the number of outlaw motorcycle clubs in WA to 12, while street gangs Brothers 4 Life and the Mongrel Mob also have a presence.

While it is unclear how many Rock Machine bikies are in WA, police believe it is only a few.

Attorney-General John Quigley said he believed police had been doing their best to disrupt bikie gangs but needed effective laws.

“Despite the anti-gang laws the Liberals introduced, there were more gangs ... at the end of their eight years in government than there were at the start, which just proves their laws were not fit for purpose,” he said.

The Criminal Organisations Control Act, which remains unused more than four years after it was introduced, is largely considered unworkable. The Barnett government promised new anti-gang laws in 2015 but they were never delivered.

Mr Quigley met the NSW Attorney-General this week and is speaking to his counterparts around Australia to develop legislation to help police, but would not be drawn on what powers he thought would be useful.

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Gabrielle Knowles
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