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The motorcycle races had been held at Mount Panorama every Easter Weekend since 1931. The intense police abuse and taunting of motorcyclists under cover of darkness began in earnest in 1979 with an armed police presence increase of 400% over previous years. Between 1982 and 1985 the police compound in the mountain camping area was increased to six times its original size. 

Truth in the media was the first casualty in an operation staged by NSW Police and Government to create a situation that portrayed motorcyclists as being a violent criminal element in society. That characterisation appears to be actively promoted in the media by Police and by Government legislation throughout Australia today.

In 1983 the Bathurst City Council and the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) instituted legal proceedings against media sources who were subsequently charged with Irresponsible Journalism. An attempt to set up a research conference by a group including internationally known expert in conflict resolution Mr Neil Watson was ignored by NSW Police.

The Motorcycle Riders Association black-banned Bathurst in 1985 after more violence and 400 motorcyclists had been arrested.

Police bullying and violence finally brought about the demise of epic races like the Australian Grand Prix at Bathurst because of the resulting poor attendance, down to less than 40% by 1986. It was the end of an era.

The epic event had been a lot of fun and some of the best racing to be seen in Australia for more that 50 years.

Bathurst Police Incite Riots 1982-85

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