"Operation Lift" - 20 September 2018
At 12:00pm, without much fanfare, a media release was snuck out by TMR Minister Mark Bailey. He says he's finally going to give Queensland 4WD'ers some consistency and certainty. It's great news for the 4WD community but it was still a pretty slack effort by the Minister and obviously face saving. So the question now is, what’s going to happen to all those who got fined and received defect notices? If they fall within the new regulations the charges should be dropped and fines repaid. What do you think?Posted by Tim Nicholls MP on Thursday, September 20, 2018
Members will recall that yesterday evening I made a statement to the House where I said that I feared I may be unintentionally in breach of Queensland's laws by having a two-inch lift and a slightly larger set of tyres fitted to my vehicle. That was a very real fear that I shared with tens of thousands of other people who own four-wheel drives who do modifications, but a miracle has occurred overnight. The minister has issued a press release. He has done a backflip. He has changed his position.
Has he done it like a proper parliamentarian and a proper minister would? Has he stood up in the House in a ministerial statement and said, ‘I got it wrong; I'm making a change'? Has he come forward and said, ‘I seek leave to make a ministerial statement to announce this change’? What has he done? He slipped out a press release at 12.05 today. I table a copy of that press release.
He has changed his position entirely in relation to it. Could it have been the fact that there have been something like 15½ thousand views of that speech of mine last night on my Facebook page? Could it have been the total disdain that everyone who owns a four-wheel drive in Queensland has for Minister Bailey? Could it be the fact that he would not know what a four-wheel drive is if it ran over him? All we know is that under Minister Bailey the damage would be worse because it would not have a two-inch lift and it would not have had bigger tyres on it either.
We have seen a change. I want to thank the minister for seeing the light, for showing some common sense and for backing down, but the minister still has not consulted. Four Wheel Drive Queensland is the peak body in Queensland for four-wheel drive owners. Its office is five minutes away from Minister Bailey's. I rang Four Wheel Drive Queensland just before I came into the House and said, ‘This is good news. We should be thankful that the minister has finally seen some common sense and backed down. It is a victory for the good guys.' I asked, `Has he spoken to you or had any consultation with you?’ No. A phone call? No. Has he sought to meet with you? Has he walked around the corner to your office? No.
I did say that. I then said, ‘What about an email? Have you checked mangocube? He said, ‘No, I haven't heard about it at all—not a thing.' The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association have been leading the charge. Have they heard from the minister? Not at all. This is a minister who is clearly incompetent and not across his brief. We are thankful for the change. The devil will be in the detail. Well done to all those associations, community groups and four-wheel drivers who reached out and said, ‘This is a silly law; change it. Don't point the finger; fix the problem.'