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Stubbed out: cigarette brand on Mooball classic bike

Amena Murnane form the Moo Moo Roadhouse next to their large motorbike. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News
Amena Murnane form the Moo Moo Roadhouse next to their large motorbike. Photo: Nolan Verheij-Full / Tweed Daily News Nolan Verheij-Full

MOO MOO Roadhouse at Mooball has a YZR500 replica, three times the size of the real motorbike ridden by racing legend Wayne Rainey in 1993.

It was supposed to rival the Sunshine Coast's Big Pineapple or Coffs Harbour's Big Banana.

Instead it's raised eyebrows with the Feds.

The Health Department, that is, and they are demanding its fresh paint job is covered up immediately, because it features Marlboro cigarette branding.

As iconic as the bike is, cafe owner Mark Murnane said the Department considered its branding a direct violation of the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act, which can impose a whopping $20,000 fine for violations.

"It's just crazy," Mr Murnane said.

"I tried to explain to them that we don't sell cigarettes in the Moo Moo Roadhouse; we sell coffee and food, and have a museum and antique store.

"I also tried explaining the bike is a replica, purchased from a museum, but they said it breaks the law, so we're going to do what they've asked."

The ban on the cigarette branding extends to social media and Moo Moo has been asked to remove photographs of the motorcycle from its Facebook page, as the images may constitute tobacco advertising under the Act.

The saddest part for Mr Murnane is he spent countless hours bringing the bike back to its original beauty.

"This bike is very unique," he said.

"It's done the rounds in 1993 for the Grand Prix, then the Sydney Ducati store bought it and had it as display before it went to the Qld Motorcycle Museum..

"I've restored it back to the original replica race bike and got the Marlboro stickers specially made."



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