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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 92


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (11:25): In Queensland we are seeing another revenue-grabbing measure. This time it is the Labor government attacking four-wheel drive owners who modify their vehicles in completely reasonable ways. This is just a cash-grabbing attack, commissioning the Queensland police, an organisation we respect so highly, to do 'fishing in a barrel' captures of people in their four-wheel drives as they attend major events. These may well have been rules for some time, but they've broken away from the national standard approaches that we would expect all four-wheel drive rules to adhere to around the nation. The toughest rules are purely in Queensland, limiting the distance you can raise a vehicle to 75 millimetres, down from 150 millimetres. That can be done by something as simple as changing suspension and putting on new tyres.

We are the heartland of four-wheel driving. The last thing we want to do is kill off the four-wheel drive industry for no other reason than lack of consultation. We are getting used to really, really dumb decisions from this Queensland government. There are governments that should know better, like Victorian Labor, but there are governments that just don't know any better, and that's Queensland Labor. This is another stumbling, bumbling decision. Motorists are just innocently driving along. They were legal last year and are not legal this year. The Queensland government has created a brand-new standard that has departed from those of the rest of the nation. If you cross the Queensland border, you may be driving a vehicle that is now deemed illegal and may get these notifications of inability to drive. People can fall prey to police dragnets where just standard lift modifications have occurred.

It's important to mention that these groups of four-wheel drivers—and the member for Bonner knows them well, because of our coastal location—are not people who delight in breaking the law. These are people who want to be able to drive in off-road conditions and want to get their vehicles high enough, safely, to do it, in places like Fraser Island. Standard lifts have been around for a long time. If they go above, say, 75 millimetres, it's reasonable to have a modification plate—a mod plate, as they say—to say that the vehicle has been technically checked and is safe in something like a swerve test. But keep in mind that some vehicles actually don't pass a swerve test even as they come off the production line. While some can still do suspension raises of 50 millimetres, if you just change the tyres, suddenly you're breaking the law. Mark Hammond, the owner of Capalaba's Hammond 4WD Tyres & More said:

Without changing the height of the tyre, your vehicle is going to get bogged.

You've got to do something to be able to survive off-road, and Queensland is making it impossible. The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association and QORF are working together to stop this really, really silly decision. We want people holidaying and enjoying four-wheel driving safely. The way to deal with this is to consult with the industry and not misapply hoon laws to innocent people driving responsibly, simply because the vehicle has been lifted a few more millimetres. They want to do it with a compliance plate. They want to do it through legal channels which would allow it and keep consistency across this great nation.