National News

CWA calls for ban on offensive van slogans


Members of Australia's largest women's organisation will lobby the NSW government to ban vehicles with offensive signage from the state's roads.

The Country Women's Association of NSW passed a motion at its state conference earlier this month calling for vehicles with slogans promoting sexism, racism and violence to be outlawed.

CWA members are particularly concerned about slogans on Wicked camper vans which have sparked controversy around the country.

The vans in the past have had artwork referencing anal sex and virginity, for example.

CWA NSW president Stephanie Stanhope said the slogans were "way out of step with community standards".

"It's time every state took a stand on these unacceptable slogans and organisations like ours supported the changes necessary to eliminate this kind of disrespect from our communities," Ms Stanhope said in a statement on Monday.

"When statements and slogans degrade people and cause an enormous amount of offence, then it's time to act."

Queensland and Tasmania have given motor vehicle registries the power to deregister any vehicle that doesn't comply with Ad Standards rulings.

While the state branch would like to see similar legislation passed in NSW, the organisation says it would welcome federal action to introduce a uniform approach.

The NSW Greens in 2017 called for legislation to ban offensive language on cars but the state government instead reached an informal agreement with Wicked.

In 2018, then-roads minister Melinda Pavey said regulating the signage is complicated by Australia's state-by-state car registration system and it could take a national approach to fix the problem.

Wicked has been able to dodge fines and penalties by changing vehicle registration to another jurisdiction once a complaint has been made - a loophole which a national scheme would close.

Wicked Campers has been contacted for comment.

© AAP 2019

Image credit: "Wicked Streaker" by Tony Bowden Flickr is licensed under CC BY 2.0