CWA vs Wicked campers: Women on a mission to ban vans
IF THERE'S any group that can stop Wicked campervans from displaying sexist, racist and violent messages, it's the Country Women's Association.
And they're on a mission.
After hearing some of the slogans promoting sexual assault and violence towards women displayed on Wicked campers, around 500 members attending the organisation's annual state conference in Albury voted to have the vehicles banned from Australian roads.
CWA Kyogle evening branch president Odette Nettleton and Kingscliff branch member Janet Twohill read out some of the explicitly anti-women slogans on vans seen on the Northern Rivers at the conference.
"When we read out some of the slogans, members were disgusted and said 'we must do something'," she said.
"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 vigorously campaign to have the NSW Government pass laws which ban this offensive advertising on vehicles.
"The motion came from Di Campbell at the Bangalow branch. Janet and I presented the emergency motion on their behalf."
Ms Campbell said "enough was enough."
She said the CWA coming out against these offensive slogans, "may keep the pressure on government to close the legal loophole which have prevented the company keeping these vans on the road".
"Over Easter I saw a really offensive slogan on a van and decided something has to happen to stop these sexists and misogynistic slogans," she said.
"If we are serious about treating women and indeed everyone with respect we need to campaign to have gratuitous, offensive slogans removed.
"I notice that Wicked Campers do not have these offensive vans on their website or advertised overseas."
In recent years, Queensland, the ACT and Tasmania have introduced legislation specifically targeting Wicked campers, allowing their motor vehicle registries to deregister any vehicle that doesn't comply with Ad Standards determinations.
But without uniform law across the states, Wicked campers have been able to avoid compliance and enforcement of large fines and penalties by simply changing the registration of offending vehicles to another jurisdiction.
"Members agreed these messages have no place in our communities and agreed to the emergency motion to lobby State Government to ban their appearance on NSW roads," she said.
"No-one spoke against the motion."
In March 2019, the Federal Minister for Women, Kelly O'Dwyer, said she would seek a national response to stop the company branding its vehicles with "sexist, misogynistic and offensive slogans".
Wicked Campers have been approached for comment.