AAAA wades in on Queensland’s “Operation Lift” kerfuffle

Further to our article on Monday regarding the Queensland Police Service’s “Operation Lift”, the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association have entered the fray with some sound advice for owners of modified vehicles caught up in the Queensland blitz.

During the “Operation Lift” roll out, Queensland Police were instructed to fine, issue defect notices, and impound modified four-wheel drives based on the recently changed regulations. This is further compounded by the fact that these changes are retrospective in nature – What was perfectly legal just six months ago, has now been deemed unsafe.

Where the issues have stemmed from, appears to be that the regulations regarding lift limits for vehicles have seemingly changed overnight, with no consultation with the general public, or the 4WD industry at all. What makes this fact worse, is that Queensland is the only state in the country that a 50mm suspension lift, in conjunction with a 25mm tyre lift (50mm over all tyre diameter) is deemed outside the law on vehicles with ESC (Electronic Stability Control).

According to AAAA Executive Director, Stuart Charity, this action directly contradicts a recent undertaking made by the Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey.

“Only a couple of weeks ago Minister Bailey said that the Queensland Government had no intention of subjecting their vehicle owners to tougher regulations than the rest of Australia and that he supported national harmonisation. It has now become very clear that his Department has other plans.

“4WD owners that undertook a 75 mm lift late last year had a modification that was well within the law. Today that lift is outside of the law. But at no stage has the Department provided any evidence that a 75mm lift is unsafe and at no stage has an explanation been given as to why this modification was safe for ESC equipped vehicles in QLD in 2017 but is not considered safe in 2018 – why is it safe in NSW and Victoria and not in Queensland ? The situation is seriously beyond belief,” Mr Charity stated.

QLD Police media alert. If you know anyone who went, please contact us ASAP
QLD Police media alert. Media got less than 24 hours notice of the blitz

The AAAA has suggested that anyone who has been issued an infringement or defect for a vehicle with ESC that has a maximum combination of 25mm tyre lift and 50mm suspension lift, to write to the “Officer in Charge” of the Police Station where the notice was issued. They should ask for the infringement to be reviewed, given that the TMR (Transport and Main Roads) website provided guidance that a 75mm lift could be self certified and did not require any additional certification, and further, that this was changed without informing the general public, or the industry as a whole.

Apparent copy of a QPS cheat sheet...
Apparent copy of a QPS cheat sheet…

The AAAA further goes on to say that “…any penalised Queensland based 4WD vehicle owners who are customers of a retailer or workshop that is a member of the AAAA, that these companies have access to the AAAA legal hotline to support them. The AAAA is also encouraging drivers with previously legal 75mm lifts to contact the Minister and their local Member of Parliament in relation to this frustrating situation.”

With all of this in mind, there will be no doubt further developments on “Operation Lift”, so make sure you stay tuned, and keep an eye to Social Media to see what happens into the future.


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  • Next month the Qld Tmr is looking to introduce changes to the lift limits to be more in line with the other states BUT all Esc vehciles (from after 2013) will stay at the 50mm max. THIS IS A SCREW OVER and i big brother can’t see the whole implication.
    The Qld ADR’s will be inline with the national NCOP Adr regs. In Qld there will be a cetifaction for going over 50mm after an accepted ESC testing Sine with Dwell test ECE R13H. BUT i can’t see/find any certifiers in Australia providing these robotic services. Even the Ancap safety test facility don’t seem to have this capability. ESC saves lives but is relative easy to adjust for modifications. One more resonable test method that seems to be a more acceptable testing method done elsewhere is a computer simulation, which looks like the AAAA was trying to put for.
    As i see it, these ESC ADR’s in esence puts a huge amount of current 4wd’s across all of Australia down as uncompliant including our emergency, government, agricultural, mining and personal vehicles. As a question should all of these cars stop being used right now? What woul happen? Seriously this could have huge implications.
    I’ve been 4wding around this beautiful country for 20 years and not until this last week or so I didn’t know of these ESC regs properly, as will the majority us. There hasn’t been any decent public information to help us in the right direction until all of a sudden Qld police put out a full on blitz which is low act. But this “said” as it stands it wont help all of us who have spent large amounts of money to fitt out our vehicles to travel around this great country. This needs action now! There can be reasonable fix, like car model simulation testing and if need be a simple adjustment but this needs to be approved and then made available without booking everyone or stopping the use of all questionable 4wds across Australia.
    What will you do? Don’t sit and wait for it to roll over, put a moment of your time in to tell big brother to snap out of it.

    • Where does this leave grey nomads who have an engineer certified GVM upgrade to tow a caravan. The back is a bit higher than the front unloaded. I think it about time they stepped on these seriously modified vehicles as half baked lift kits screw up the steering geometry and affect the braking efficiency. That is part of the engineer approved upgrade and why they cost so much.

      Where can you obtain a copy of the specs used to determine if there is too much lift. What about the owners handbook if it is different to the “cheat sheet”. Also how about the weight, and measuring that to determine height compliance, just another bureaucratic ballsup to try and solve the feral factor with 4X4s. If you need big lifts for sporting applications, then the vehicle should have to be transported to the track, the same as vehicles used for motor racing.

  • Labor supporter all my life but not anymore what a bunch of hypocrites operation lift another money grab by the QLD government ??

  • It’s about time they put some of these pieces of modified shit off the road, I normally don’t back the coppers but am all for this and have heard off a hotline set up by the coppers.

    • A matter of economics, havent got the money to do it right but want it anyway, good chance it might be illegal but also may still pass the lane change test which would make it legal. Got the money, still could be illegal and will pass test the lane change test. Testing will prove if its shit or not. That is, if your refering to quality rather than a dislike of 4wds or lack of understanding where they want go.

      • Seems the replies on this thread are not sequential… my comment “People like you are what is wrong with this country” was aimed squarely at the parasite calling himself Vince Cherry.

  • its sad to see any government department take it on them selves to change laws about vesicles with out consultation of motoring bodies qualified to give expert advice.also the hoon element ripping up our tracks in state Forrest and national parks at the first sign of rain with large mud tires and older 4wd s, no consideration for others,and to be shore they have bugger all experience and if they do come unstuck how can the emegency services get to them in a deeply rutted and washed out track..


  • Just maybe somebody in the dept looked on Utube and saw the idiots in stupid lifted trucks with ridiculous sized tyres doing stupid stuff on the roads?

    • Well talk about the Qld. Government. If one takes a hard look at them it will be found that most of the now Qld politicians are actually from the southern states. They were no doubt deported to Qld as they were not wanted in the south because of their crap brain ideas. Qld was a pretty good state till they all arrived in massive numbers and took over. Previous comments are pretty true. They come across as un employable fools. Unfortunately a greater majority of people these days are not able to see outside the square when voting for fools.

  • Now I was just wondering.
    If a 4b is fitted with ESC wouldn’t lifting it actually make the stability cut in sooner therefore be even safer rather than more dangerous

  • hi all and excuse my maybe silly question but i have 79 series with bigger 285 tyres and 50 mm lift so technically illegal by these old rules but i don’t have ESC ETC NO dizzy no carby but a shit radio son with regards to all the discussion how do i get on
    Mike B

  • Haven’t read anywhere about the statistics to back this “crack down” up? Probably because there are none worth mentioning. Police wasting taxpayer funds again. Anyone who has been to the USA will know how much further they are allowed to lift their vehicles. Don’t think they’re causing anymore crashes.

  • Just another revenue raiser. sadly politician decided this and we all know how brainless politicians are .if they had a brain the would be doing something constructive in the country .like earning an honest living working as an ENGINEER DESIGNING LIFT KITS .

  • I see the QLD minister for transport has backtracked saying it was only a 3 day operation. And is now saying in October they expecting to bring out increase lifts under Queensland L9 and L10 regs. IT still doesn’t address the Electronic Stability Control at all. Under those same regs anything above 2″ is illegal and the only way to get approval is a ESC test that no has the equipment to perform. So any 4wd over 2″ all up wheels and suspension combined built after 2013 is still illegal and technically uninsured. The Qld Transport should Not refer to a test that cannot be performed in Qld. The same test should to some extent be applied to the QLD LH regs which could be taken that every Cab Chasis up to 4.5 tons in QLD with a tray or body on the back even without a lift after 2013 is also untested and so illegal and uninsured. Next time the police throw someone in the back of a wagon they should tack care as the the old paddy wagon is technically uninsured. Don’t for get airbags mods don’r even come close


  • I have just found out through fisher’s QLD, that the labour government with the GREENS after the next election, they intend to make morton bay , from northern tip of morton Island to the northern tip of straddie. this will be on a 2 year trial, no fishing, or water sports, no prawning.

  • It’s not that they hate 4WD cars and people. It’s that they want the public to be safe, within reason. I live near Double Is and the damage and blatant disregard a few idiots do has initiated all this. Not to mention rubbish. Some of you idiots go f&&& up
    your own backyard, oh no I’d rather drive all over your sand dunes and rubbish yours and then go home to my clean abode.
    The cops would be better off pulling all the smelly smoke belching, non serviced pieces of junk if the road than worrying to much about lifts.

  • Remember when the next election comes around then kick these two faced lying politicians to the kerb.
    None could lie straight in bed.
    Show the political parties that we have had enough of their lies

  • Dont go to Qld. Typical of a Police State. Pure revue. Never travel through to Bared – wire fence “State”. Next in Qld you will need a Passport to move in and out of the State. REMEMBER, TO VOTE YOUR GOV OUT .

  • This is an ambush. Without notice to public “bang” the rules change as to lift and tyre width and police react instantly. A police person is not a qualified tradesaman (motor mechanic, mechanical engineer) yet he or she using a tape measure can issue fines for lifts or tyres width without any formal qualifications except possibly “the law”. Horses for courses I say. If these roadsides blitz’s must continue (hopefully not once lobbyists get involved and they will) then a transport qualified person must be there to asses the exact lift/tyre width of that vehicle and sign off on it as his qualifications allow. This person must have the necessary qualifications. (Mechanical engineer or equivalent) The tourists industry in qld will suffer enormously in this area. Frazer island is but one example. What government gain in revue on one hand they loose in the other hand with tourist income in certain areas. Good one QLD Gov.

  • Hello
    My question is that l am from NSW and if l modify my car here is NSW legaly will it be defected if l drive through Queensland ?

      • no… they have press release that it wont be defected from out of state. so Nsw ute will not crash on Qld road but a Qld ute with larger tire will crash!!!!… they have sealed their next election watch em back pedal once its election time.

  • don’t go to Qld.
    the tourism minister will shut it down when all the off road and 4wd tourist spots start going broke.
    The Cape, Fraser Is, Moreton Is for instance.

  • So 35 police and 10 transport officers are going to cover the whole state?

    A load of media hype over nothing. There is almost no chance of being stopped as part of this. If you are, and are driving a defective vehicle, too bad. Don’t drive an illegally modified vehicle and all will be well.

  • going by the sheet in the photo above:
    “centre of hub to guard not to exceed…” Most will be safe on that – the GVM is so overloaded that the guards don’t sit that high anyway

  • Never trust a pollie in the QLD Govt, since they returned to power they have just gone willie nillie. In this case, the Transport Inspectors should be doing this task, NOT the police! These guy’s were given a quick course on what to look for, then whamo! This Premier is really falling out of flavour with the public over the last year, general thought is she does not drive, look at our fuel prices, & she want’s us to enjoy travelling out west & north to see a great country! Maybe we should be driving electric cars?

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