Wicked Campers in the news…. again

November 26th, 2018 | | Accommodation

A South Australian Labor MP will push for Wicked Campers with “sexist” and “racist” slogans to be banned in the state.

Key points:

  • Wicked Campers vans have already prompted law changes in Queensland and Tasmania
  • The vans carry slogans which have frequently labelled sexist, racist and misogynistic
  • An SA Labor MP wants collective action to ban the slogans from the nation’s roads

Labor’s spokesperson for the status of women Katrine Hildyard said the vans which were “utterly out of step with community standards” should be removed from South Australia’s roads.

She said she would put legislation before Parliament to have them regulated by the state’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

“They are derogatory and demeaning and sadly they are registered right here in South Australia. Our South Australian community should not have to put up with such blatantly offensive material.”

She said there also needed to be collective action to outlaw the vehicles.

“If we are serious about treating women and indeed everyone with respect, about creating a community free of violence, sexism and racism — we need to get these vans off our roads.

“This bill gives power to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to cancel registration or to refuse to register or re-register vehicles that have had complaints made against them that have been upheld.”

Labor ‘did nothing’ about Wicked Campers slogans

Wicked Campers has been contacted by the ABC but has not responded to repeated requests for comment (nor from The Byte).

The vans have caused widespread controversy throughout the country and have already prompted law changes in Queensland and in Tasmania.

The vehicles are notorious for their sexually-themed slogans, some of which refer to women in derogatory language and picture sexual acts.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said it was an important issue, but the bill would not solve the problem and the matter should be taken up in a Coalition of Australian Governments forum.

“Dealing with the offensive advertising on Wicked Campers vans has been on our agenda for some time, but the bill that the Opposition has put into the Parliament today will not address the issue,” Mr Knoll said.

“We’re not in the business of token legislation that’s ineffectual.

“In order to make sure we get this right we have to go down a national path.”

Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said he wrote to his South Australian counterpart Stephan Knoll in July “encouraging his government to consider similar laws to ours”.

“He wrote back to say they would not pursue legislative changes there without a national approach,” Mr Bailey said.

“I’ll gladly write to him again and attach a photo of this nasty vehicle, once more asking his Government to mirror our legislation and partner with us to take discriminatory vehicles off the roads.

“I’d hope and expect the South Australian Government would find a way support people in their community who find these things offensive.”

Earlier, Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Government would strongly consider Labor’s call for a ban but questioned why the Opposition had failed to introduce the policy during its tenure.

“I was surprised to hear this morning of this initiative and my immediate question was why hasn’t this been dealt with in 16 years by a member of Opposition who sat in cabinet for 16 years and did nothing about an issue that she now says needs to have urgent attention?”

Jurisdictional issues preventing national action

Similar reforms to the one currently being proposed in South Australia were introduced by the Queensland Government in March 2017.

The ABC revealed last year that not a single vehicle had had its registration cancelled in the first six months of operation.

“Our Government has targeted sexist, misogynistic and inappropriate slogans on vehicles through registration cancellations,” Mr Bailey said.

“Unfortunately, if a vehicle is registered in another state, there is no jurisdiction for us to take action, other than to continue our advocacy to other states to follow our lead and get these offensive vehicles off our roads.”

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm has previously defended Wicked Campers slogans as examples of freedom of speech.

“You need to be a particularly wowserish type of person to not find them funny,” he said in 2016.

He subsequently became the target of a sketch by television show The Chaser which showed a cartoon of Senator Leyonhjelm on the side of a Wicked Campers-style van.

EDIT: Does Wicked really need all this publicity? After all, this is what it thrives on.

Source: ABC

Sourced by Mike Barrow