SYDNEY - Authorities in Sydney banned the wearing of outlaw motorcycle gang colours in the city's nightclub district Friday amid escalating gun violence between warring sides.
Barry O'Farrell, premier of Australia's populous New South Wales state, launched a crackdown on the warring motorcycle groups, known locally as "bikies", after a series of drive-by shootings.
"This is about sending a clear message that if you're wearing bikie colours, it doesn't make you beyond the reach of the law," said O'Farrell.
"Wearing bikie colours doesn't make you a superhero that protects you from the long arm of the law."
The premier said 58 venues in Sydney's Kings Cross nightclub district would ban the wearing of logos and stripes from the city's 23 rival motorcycle groups.
Bikies will also be barred from working in tattoo parlours, the latest in a list of job bans including the tow truck industry, security and casinos, enforced under anti-extremist style laws outlawing the gangs since 2009.
Sydney has been plagued by shootings in recent weeks, with more than 50 incidents since January 1 including two drive-bys overnight and the torching of a police van outside a tattoo parlour, believed linked to gang turf wars.
Authorities believe the warring Hells Angels and Nomads are behind the wave of gun violence to hit the city.