Queensland clips Wicked van’s wings
THE Queensland Government will plead with other states and territories to follow its lead and ban Wicked Camper vans with offensive artwork from their roads.
But the New South Wales Government has no plans to follow suit just yet.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has unveiled new legislation that would stop vehicles with images or messages in breach of advertising standards from being registered.
"Under the new arrangements, commercial vehicle registration holders who fail to comply with determinations by the Advertising Standards Bureau will face the prospect of having the registration of offending vehicles cancelled," Ms D'Ath said.
"I understand clearly the level of community concern about the vulgar, crass and offensive slogans that have been displayed on some commercial vehicles in Queensland and other parts of Australia.
"They have been the subject of frequent complaints to the Advertising Standards Board.
"When the ASB has deemed those slogans to be offensive, the typical response from the holders of those commercial vehicle registrations has been deafening silence.
"Now, if they refuse to remove the offensive slogans, their vehicles will be off the road."
The Queensland Government plans to contact other state and territory jurisdictions to ask for similar bans to be implemented.
Otherwise, rental companies such as Wicked Campers could simply register their vehicles across the border and continue to operate.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the Baird Government had no current plans to change their rules.
"Registration in NSW is in place to ensure cars are roadworthy and safe," he said.
"In regards to Wicked vans, it is up to NSW Police to determine if there is an offence being made.
"My office has not received any correspondence from the Queensland Attorney-General, however a national approach would have to be taken for any significant changes to vehicle registration or it simply won't work."
Ms D'Ath was adamant her government's offensive strike was the right move.
"The owners of these vehicles are in business, and some may see the offence and outrage they cause as a form of free publicity," she said.
"Now, they have a strong financial incentive to comply with the ASB, because if they don't, their vehicles will be unregistered, off the road, and unable to generate revenue.
"Should they attempt to relocate their businesses interstate, I would encourage other jurisdictions to consider similar laws so that these offensive slogans cannot continue to be displayed."
Wicked Campers has not replied to requests for a response. But if the company's previous reactions to complaints about offensive artwork are anything to go by, it will not simply roll over.
"To meet the commitments made in our prior press release, we employed a team of highly-intelligent, socially-conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended," spokesman John Webb said in April last year.
"This initiative had been codenamed 'Moral Monkey Squad' under a carefully constructed mission statement: 'Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats'." -ARM NEWSDESK