Northern Rivers locals are outraged that the offensive tags on wicked campers are still legal in NSW.
Northern Rivers locals are outraged that the offensive tags on wicked campers are still legal in NSW. Beth Hansen

'Offensive, sexist': Is it time to get tough on Wicked vans?

Update 1.10pm: GREENS MP Mehreen Faruqi is fighting to have wicked camper vans slogans scrapped after claiming the current voluntary agreement in place was a failure.

Dr Faruqi's reaction comes after a Wicked Camper Van with a sexist and inappropriate slogan was spotted next to a children's playground in Ballina over the weekend.

"It is absolutely disgusting that the community continues to be exposed to this horrendous sexist rubbish. The NSW Roads Minister promised to fix this over a year ago, but nothing has changed," Dr Faruqi said.

Back in February 2017, Dr Faruqi presented the NSW Government with a new bill to ban these offensive slogans.

However a spokeswoman from Dr Faruqi's office said the NSW Roads Minister, Melinda Pavey MP, stated the Government would not support it, as they claimed to have struck a voluntary agreement with Wicked Campers that their vans wouldn't have these slogans anymore.

Dr Faruqi said the agreement was not enough and has called on government to legislate, like their Queensland counterpart.

"This shows voluntary agreements with businesses do not work, especially when their business is to shock and offend. This should be a lesson for the NSW Government, which has refused to ban these slogans even when other States have done so," she said.

"After Queensland banned these offensive and sexist slogans, the Roads Minister promised back in early 2017 that she will keep a vigil on this issue. So where is the Minister now and what's happened to this vigil?"

"It is absolutely clear that the community wants this ban. Other states have done it, I call on the Minister to support my bill and ban these offensive and misogynist slogans once and for all.

"My bill is still sitting in parliament and can end this once and for all, so I ask the NSW Government to stand up to business and ban these slogans," she concluded.

 

Original story: RESIDENTS are reigniting a call on the NSW Government to ban the inappropriate slogans on Wicked vans after one drove through Ballina over the weekend.

Lennox Head resident Beth Hansen said she was left feeling sick and revolted when she saw the Wicked van drive around Ballina near a popular children's playground reading: "Am I still a virgin if I take it up the s*****r?".

"I was just sickened, I felt revolted. I've got grandchildren, I can imagine anyone with children who was following that van and the questions that might be asked," Mrs Hansen said.

"It's absolutely not wanted on our streets.

"I understood there were moves under way to make that offensive advertising illegal."

Mrs Hansen said this was the first Wicked van she has seen in a while that displayed such an offensive tag.

"What I had noticed was more were appearing with just the Wicked Camper-van sign on the side," Mrs Hansen said.

"I thought that's good action is being taken and those revolting signs are gone but this is obviously not the case."

Just over a year ago the Queensland Government implemented new laws which allowed the Transport Department to cancel the registration on a vehicle if the owner did not remove the sexist, racist, rude or derogatory slogan within 14 days after being advised to do so by the Advertising Standards Bureau.

Mrs Hansen said she believed this law should be carried across into all the States and Territories.

"I would support any move in NSW and why not in Australia," she said.

"We need to make it a national issue because the vans cross borders."

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said she was extremely disappointed and disgusted that a number of Wicked vans still bared these slogans.

"My office did receive complaints about Wicked campers in 2016 when another constituent Paul McCarthy campaigned to get Wicked to stop putting awful slogans on vehicles because children were reading them and asking him what the words meant," Ms Smith said.

"And that goes to the nub of why these slogans are so offensive - anyone of any age from can see and read them and the vehicles are right in front of people in the street or passing by houses. There is no choice not to see these messages the way there is with, for example, television."

Ms Smith said her colleague, Greens upper house MP Mehreen Faruqi, was working on NSW Parliament legislation that would amend the Road Transport Act 2013, to cancel the registration of vehicles displaying offensive advertising.

"I do think the NSW government should push to pass laws to stop this kind of offensive advertising on vehicles," Ms Smith said.  

"Particularly since the last time I sought information from the police about this issue they informed me they had no powers to arrest the driver, or order the vehicle off the road.



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