OFFENSIVE SLOGANS: Coast councils lack the authority to fine offensive Wicked Campers like their New Zealand counterparts.
OFFENSIVE SLOGANS: Coast councils lack the authority to fine offensive Wicked Campers like their New Zealand counterparts. DERRICK DEN HOLLANDER

Kiwis to fine Wicked Campers over dirty slogans

AFTER a New Zealand council announced it would begin issuing fines for campervans brandishing offensive slogans, the question has been raised whether our local authorities should be taking a similarly tough stance.

Queenstown District Council said it would issue a $300 fine every time one of Wicked Campers' vehicles displaying sexually explicit, indecent or offensive slogans was spotted in Queenstown.

However, both Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Council said it fell outside of their jurisdiction.

A Sunshine Coast Council spokesperson said: "Queenstown is a local government in New Zealand which operates under an entirely different legislative regime.

"Local government in Queensland has no legal jurisdiction to control matters of censorship."

The spokesperson added that Mayor Mark Jamieson has previously expressed support for federal and state anti-discrimination laws being amended to provide surety that they can be applied to campervans which bear messages that denigrate women or any other target groups in our community.

"The messages on some of these campervans are offensive and should not be tolerated under any circumstances," Cr Jamieson said.

Perhaps surprisingly, Noosa Council's director of community services Alan Rogers said the council received "almost no complaints regarding images and words on campervans".

"To implement fines would require a change to our local laws," Mr Rogers said.

"(The) council will continue to monitor the situation, and if we begin to receive a significant number of complaints we will revisit the matter," he said.

Sunshine Coast councillor Jason O'Pray said as a father to two young girls, he found many of Wicked Campers' slogans "sexist and vulgar".

"Such sexist and racist remarks are absolutely uncalled for," Cr O'Pray said

"Their (Wicked Campers') idea of marketing is definitely not the Sunshine Coast's idea of marketing and I don't like seeing them around on the Coast," he said.

However, he agreed that unfortunately the slogans fell outside of the council's jurisdiction.

Instead, he said what the council could control was travellers in campervans setting up "mini-camps" in public car spaces near public amenities and parks.

"That we can manage and I would encourage the local authorities to look at that and move them on," he said.

"We can give them a 'move on' order and if they are still there after 24 hours issue them with a fine."



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