"Operation Lift"

Operation Lift - Queensland 4WD Modifications

Today I raised the issue of the Labor Government's confusing statements about 4WD modifications. In one breath they want to hand out fines and demerit points to people who don't fit within these regulations, but a recent media release says that they're considering changing the rules so that the "infringed" vehicles would be within the law. Queensland families deserve better than this, by having uniform rules that are actually announced to the public and industry.

Posted by Tim Nicholls MP on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

 

Despite my best efforts, I fear that, unintentionally, I may be in conflict with the law. Well may members ask how this somewhat worrying state of affairs has occurred—and not just to me but to thousands of other Queenslanders? Let me explain. I own a four-wheel drive vehicle—a three-year-old Prado. Many members know that I love hitting the beaches and the tracks of Queensland—Straddie, Moreton, Bribie, Fraser, the Simpson Desert, the Glass House Mountains, Cape York and the Creb Track just to name a few. To do that safely, I have installed a suspension lift and one size larger tyres. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Queenslanders do exactly the same—a two-inch lift and a tyre upgrade—and all within what was understood to be the law without the need for certification or approval and the extra cost that that would involve. Let me say to the minister that there is more to an adventure drive than going down the M1 and taking exit 69 at Gaven.

 

Indeed. Everyone was surprised when, suddenly in 2018, the law was clarified. The result of that clarification of the code meant that vehicles with electronic stability control, that had a lift of greater than 50 millimetres—or two inches—were suddenly defective. I table documents from February 2018.

 

Then the government launched Operation Lift. I table the media alert and a vehicle defect notice issued by police.

 

The police started issuing defect notices with no consultation with four-wheel drive groups, clubs, industry professionals or the wider four-wheel drive owning public. That makes a mockery of this government’s mantra of transparency and accountability. This is bureaucracy gone mad. Would we expect anything else from this minister? Changing codes of practice away from the commonly understood rules and practices.

 

Changing codes of practice away from the commonly understood rules and practices without telling anyone and then fining motorists and issuing defect notices is bad enough, but the situation gets more ridiculous. Now, the minister says that he is going to change the rules. All of those people who copped fines and defect notices would not have copped them if he had not changed them back in February 2018 when he clarified them. The minister has made ordinary motorists complying with the law in carrying out modifications illegal in their own state. This is a ridiculous situation. The minister is also being tricky with his media release when he refers to lifting the height to 75 millimetres without referring to the tyre size. Let me call out to the people who alerted me to this issue: MrBuckaroonie on YouTube, Brett Hooker from the Drifta Fans group, and the group I Got Bogged at Inskip Point. I did not, but I want to try again.

 

19th September, 2018