By Andrew Starke

Peter Iwaniuk, convenor of the Nightclub Owners Forum and owner of Bubble Nightclub, has condemned what he called a ‘premeditated attack’ on security staff outside his Melbourne club.

Seven crowd controllers stationed outside the premises were attacked by men with machetes in the early hours of Sunday morning.

One member of the security team suffered serious leg injuries and a suspected broken arm in the incident and was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Police believe the attackers may have earlier been patrons at the nightclub.

Iwaniuk claims the attacks are part of a standover campaign that could ‘engulf’ Melbourne’s entire nightclub and bar industry.

 “It is quite clear that this gang of savage criminals used the occasion of our 10th Birthday in a deliberate attempt to discredit and destroy our business,” he said.

“It appears that the motive for the attack is possibly the start of a standover campaign which could engulf Melbourne’s entire nightclub and bar industry, if these criminals are not apprehended.

Iwaniuk said the long running dance night was popular with both the Asian and mainstream Australian community but denied the attackers had previously been patrons of the club.

“These criminals are not our patrons – the only people we allow in our premises are those who agree to behave responsibly and who allow us to scan their ID at the door as an added security measure,” he said.

“Bubble has the best security measures in place of all venues in Melbourne, and if they are allowed to get away with this brazen attack on Bubble, these criminals are sending an ominous message to the rest of the industry that, if they can do this to Melbourne’s most successful and longest running venue, watch out, we are not afraid of the authorities and you could well be next."

Iwaniuk called on the Government and Victoria Police to rid the streets of dangerous elements while supporting responsible business operators.

“If these criminals succeed in their aim of destroying responsible businesses, they will be only encouraged by their notoriety and stage further attacks on other innocent victims,” he said.

“Let me stress this is not a nightclub or alcohol related issue – it is a cultural issue relating to weapons use by a small but violent standover element in society and a deliberate criminal action – it must be viewed and dealt with as such.”

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The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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