Former home affairs minister Peter Dutton in 2020 ordered the visas of Thomas and Perry Mackie be cancelled, on character grounds and in the national interest.
The minister’s ruling took into account their criminal records and their opposition to South Australia’s anti-bikie laws.
While they have lived in Australia for close to 50 years, the brothers remain New Zealand citizens.
The pair initially appealed to a single judge in the Federal Court who upheld the minister’s decision.
They subsequently appealed to the full court which also affirmed the original orders on Friday.
It found there was nothing “irrational or illogical” in the minister’s decision.
“The minister had found the appellants had in the past been prepared to disobey Australian laws, both as individuals and through their involvement with the Descendants,” the court judgment said.
“The minister had made a number of findings about the activities of the Descendants outlaw motorcycle gang as reported to him, in particular their contended participation in organised crime activities.
“It is neither irrational nor legally unreasonable to infer in those circumstances that the appellants’ opposition, through the Descendants, to the anti-biker legislation itself was connected to a desire to continue involvement with the kinds of activities the information before the minister had described as undertaken by outlaw motorcycle gangs.”
In their appeal, the brothers had argued that their actions in regard to the SA bikie laws was “no more than political opposition to a law and involved no disobedience to any law”.
“To simply regard the role attributed to the appellants in unifying outlaw motorcycle gangs against certain legislation as contrary to the national interest was to misunderstand that statutory concept and, consequently, to proceed on a misunderstanding of the law and apply an incorrect test,” their appeal documents said.
To that extent, they said it was beyond the scope of any national interest.
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