Employers condemn law as VLAD arrests hit vital workers
THE employers of a Sunshine Coast man arrested this week under VLAD laws have lashed out at the State Government saying it was time "this madness stopped".
Leonie Murray of Sunshine Powder Coating which has employed Eric Fehlhaber for the past 10 years said he was a model employee, husband and father whose alleged bikie associations were not the sum total of who he was. She said he was the company's only boilermaker and the only one with a licence to drive its delivery truck.
His arrest had created major problems for the small business. Ms Murray said the company was now scrambling to make deliveries but that was not the point.
"The message here is that Eric has been painted as a criminal for having a beer after working at the end of a hot day," she said.
"He's a husband, a father and a good worker. His sick leave is not meant for when he's arrested for having a beer. I'm beside myself at the injustice. Eric may be a member of a club. It's an activity. It's not who he is."
Ms Murray has already spoken to Nicklin Independent Peter Wellington and will meet Member for Maroochydore and parliamentary Speaker Fiona Simpson this morning to express her outrage.
"His alleged bikie status has never been a problem at work, or with our customers.
"The laws are wrong."
Police allege Mr Fehlhaber was at the Yandina Hotel on November 1 at the same time as the Yandina Five whose arrests and imprisonment have sparked outrage.
He was charged with being a participant in a criminal organisation being knowingly present in public places.
Ms Murray said she had phoned Mr Fehlhaber's wife to reassure her that the business would stand by her husband and continue to pay him for as long as it was able, to ensure the family could meet mortgage payments.
Mr Wellington said Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and the Premier had repeatedly said that if you were not a criminal you had nothing to worry about.
"That is clearly not the case," he said.
"Voters need to send a message at the Redcliffe by-election. I urge them to number every box and put the LNP last."