How MRA Tasmania got started
In 1979, the Tasmanian government started raising the annual registration fees for motorcycle riders. By 1980 the MAIB component was over $600.00 per year and motorcyclists were getting angry. Prior to this time a small lobby group known at the Federation of Australian Motorcyclists (FAM) were active in Tasmania. They has already had some success, but were quite small in size. Eventually the FAM agreed to merge with the MRA.
In 1978, in Victoria, the Motorcycle Riders Association was first formed with Damian Codognotto as president. They swiftly proved to be very vocal, and very effective as a political lobby organization. By late 1980 two groups of angry Tasmanian riders had got together, determined to start fighting the No Fault insurance increases and they both wrote to Damian and the Victorian MRA for assistance and advice. Damian put the two groups together and the first MRA meeting was held at the Tasmanian Uni in September 1980. A second meeting was held in October of that year with a committee set up and Paul Williams was elected the first MRA president.
In accordance with the practice of the Victorian MRA, the Tasmanian MRA decided that we needed to have a broader appeal to riders that just political lobbying so we decided to conduct social events. The first MRA run was an overnight camping run in November 1980 to Coles Bay. The Coles Bay Run became a November tradition for many years until it was killed off by restrictive camping legislation and overcrowding at the campsite.
Introduced in 1984, the MRA conducts the annual Motorcycle Awareness Ride in Launceston to highlight to the public, the need to be more aware of motorcycle riders on the roads.
In 2007 the organisation was been restructured into three autonomous groups (Northwest, North and South). These three groups work autonomously, coming together to host the larger events such as Tas Rally.