Police arrest bikies on Sunshine Coast

Bikies' families will be "torn apart" if breadwinners jailed

THE wives and partners of five alleged Rebel bikies arrested for associating together by having a beer at the Yandina Pub are gearing up to spend an uncertain Christmas without their family breadwinners.

At least two of the women fear they will have to give up their homes because they will be unable to pay their rent - leaving them no choice but to move in with relatives to survive what could be an anxious six months without their partners.

"Our whole family unit has been torn apart because they've been taken away," said Angelina Fonte, whose partner Steven Michael Smith was among those taken into custody in morning police raids at Yandina, Yandina Creek and Eerwah Vale.

>> POLICE RELEASE VIDEO OF REBELS RAIDS AFTER 'BEER IN PUB'

At least 23 police were involved in the raids. The investigation took about a month.

"The community think they're all these big bad people, but they actually work," Ms Fonte said.

"They support their families and now they've been taken away."

The women and their partners have eight children between them - all under the age of nine.

They gathered together yesterday to offer each other support, to plan their next steps, and to distract their children from thinking about the traumatic morning.

Some of the children have been asking if their fathers, confronted in their own homes while the youngsters slept, will return home in time to celebrate Christmas.

>> YOUTUBE SONG TAKES AIM AT NEWMAN OVER BIKIE LAWS

"It's one thing to be locked up when you've committed a crime, but they've been locked up for something every other Australian does any day of the week," Tracey Carew, the wife of Joshua Shane Carew, said.

"We're all wondering what we are supposed to do.

"People say there must be more to it.

"There's no drugs, no money, no nothing - it's all to do with having a beer at the Yandina pub."

The five men, Steven Smith, 28, his brother Scott Michael Conley, 36, their brother-in-law Joshua Carew, 30, long-time friend Dan Whale, 26, also known among his friends as Dan Black, and another man, Paul Jeffery Lansdowne, 57, were identified in CCTV footage as having a beer together at the Yandina Hotel on November 1 - a crime attracting a six-month jail term under the Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws introduced on October 17.

The Rebels have been attending the Yandina Hotel regularly for more than 20 years.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie declined to comment specifically on the case.

"Criminal motorcycle gangs use their numbers to intimidate others," he said.

"Splitting them up helps ensure incidents similar to what happened on the Gold Coast aren't repeated.

"If criminal motorcycle gang members resign their membership and live law-abiding lives, then they can meet whoever they want, wherever they want."

The women, their arrested partners and their children had been planning to share Christmas lunch together at Sizzlers restaurant, but that has been cancelled in light of the anti-bikie laws.

"Up until two months ago, it wasn't a crime," Ms Fonte said.

"The laws have taken their freedoms away from them. They're being dictated to what they can and can't do."


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