Finks bikie gang to build club house near Ballarat

By Meg Rayner
Updated November 2 2012 - 4:19am, first published December 22 2010 - 3:53am
The emblem of the Finks motorcycle club
The entrance to the Yendon property.

AN OUTLAW bikie gang is planning to build a new club house and training centre just outside Ballarat.The Finks, an outlaw motorcycle club that formed in Adelaide in the late 1960s, was last year declared a criminal organisation by the South Australian government, forcing the club to move its headquarters elsewhere.It currently has a chapter in Sydney, but a sign has gone up on a property south of Ballarat at Yendon, advertising the imminent arrival of a training facility and club rooms.The hand-written sign has been fastened to the front gate of a Skeltons Road property, prompting concerned residents to contact police and Moorabool Council."All Welcome! Enrolements (sic) Commence January 6th 2011," the sign states. "Club house building starts Feb 2011."It features a hand-drawn skull and cross-bones.Ballarat is already home to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, based off Latrobe Street. The Ballarat chapter includes some well-respected members in the community and many of them support the annual Ballarat 3BA toy run.The Courier sought comment from both clubs yesterday but was unsuccessful.Moorabool Shire Council chief executive officer Rob Croxford said council had received calls from concerned residents who had seen the sign.“Council is aware of this and has written a letter to the owner of the land seeking clarification for what is supposedly proposed for the site,” he said.“Council (has) no record of any planning applications with regard to this type of facility or activity for this land parcel.“Any planning application for use and or development within the Farming Zone must address the objectives and decision guidelines of this zone.”Ballarat Police Superintendent Andrew Allen said they were aware of the sign and would continue to monitor any movement on the site.“From a Victoria Police perspective we’re well aware of the property and the sign there and we take it on face value that perhaps they are looking to set up some sort of premises there,” he said.“We will maintain a continuing watching brief and use our intelligence resources to monitor the situation. If it comes to a situation that we believe needs further action we will do so.”South Australian Police dismantled the Finks in May last year, affecting the club’s 48 known members, ex-members and associates. The Finks currently have an established chapter in Sydney.Five members, nominees and associates of the club are currently facing Supreme Court proceedings in West Australia over 40 allegations of contempt of the Corruption and Crime Commission resulting from recent organised crime examinations held in private.There are 24 allegations of contempt for refusing or failing to answer questions, two of contempt for refusing to take an oath and 14 of insulting the Commission.