Meeting next week with Qld Attorney-General re Wicked Campers
Apr 1, 2016 — Thank you for signing and sharing my petition about Wicked Campers - we've just reached 1,000 signatures. I'm pleased to announce I've secured a meeting next week with the Qld Attorney-General to discuss various ways of dealing with the loopholes that continue to allow this company to use more and more offensive slogans and images on their vans. For an up-to-date look at some photographic examples collected from all over Australia and New Zealand, have a look at this link http://questionsforus.com/2015/01/16/literally-wicked-campers-still-offend/
I would love to get as many signatures as possible prior to my meeting so please Share my petition again on Facebook etc if you can.
I've been working hard to put together a comprehensive submission for the A-G, including looking at indecency/obscenity laws, signage laws, advertising regulations and free speech implications in other States and Countries around the world.
It's interesting to note that Wicked Campers do not use the more offensive vans overseas or feature them on their website. The problem is largely just in Australia because of our weak laws.
Some great action is being taken in New Zealand with various Councils using their offensive signage bylaws to threaten legal action against WC; a number of camping grounds refusing them entry; a media campaign by popular radio hosts and other wide media coverage with the Prime Minister, Tourism Minister and other officials all calling for action. They are currently also looking at options through their Chief Censor.
Locally, momentum is building and the issue was featured yesterday on ABC Radio National (which you can listen to here https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgY1GpbPpV?play=true).
I have been lobbying Brisbane City Council and Byron Shire Council to amend their signage bylaws to include a section on offensive content, similar to what some New Zealand Councils have done. There's a case in Byron Bay receiving a lot of publicity at the moment where a grandfather was reported for spray painting over an offensive slogan - he may start a crowd funding campaign if he has to go to court. There a big article about it today in the Byron Echo online which includes a letter I wrote to the Byron Shire Mayor. When Governments refuse to act and respond to community expectations, is it any wonder that people start taking direct action?
I've held productive discussions with the Advertising Standards Bureau who agree that if laws were changed in Queensland giving them powers to impose fines, they would be able to act on complaints about any van in Australia as the company head office is in Qld.
I've got an undertaking from the Caravan & Camping Industry Assoc to put an article in their industry newsletter which goes to all their members.
There's also a test case under way in Tasmania using their anti-vilification laws (the only State to include "gender" as grounds for anti-vilification complaints).
Lots of action happening. I'll let you know how things progress after my meeting. In the meantime, keep writing to the Brisbane Lord Mayor (Lord.Mayor@brisbane.qld.gov.au) and the Qld Attorney-General (firstname.lastname@example.org), or any other councils, state governments, camping grounds, backpacker places etc.
Thanks again for your support.