In what has been a rather tumultuous week for Queenslanders and, indeed, just about anyone who would travel into the state for holidays or work with their four-wheel drive, the Queensland Government has confirmed that interstate vehicles will not be defected or fined; despite earlier contradictory statements from the Queensland Government and Queensland Police Service.

The comments have come from the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, after consultation with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads. This unto itself raises many questions, insofar as that a vehicle that is self certified, and deemed legal and “safe” in New South Wales crosses the border into Queensland and all of a sudden is deemed “unsafe” and a “High lift”.

Despite comments from the Minister below, this check sheet has been forwarded to us by the folks at 4WD Queensland, who’ve also been leading the charge to try to get some common sense put back into the rulings of Queensland roads. Note below, TIN means Traffic Infringement Notice, and DVRN means Defective Vehicle Repair Notice. So this defect check list directly contradicts what the Minster says, as opposed to what the Queensland Police Service, and Department of Transport and Main Roads are actually doing.

Government says no defect to interstate vehicles, defect sheet says otherwise… Image courtesy of 4WD Queensland

This further only further serves to confuse the general public, and indeed the industry as a whole, as the government seems to be relying on the fact certification will make a vehicle safe. Put it this way: If you have two 2018 Ford Rangers, with a 50mm suspension lift, and 25mm tyre lift, utilising the same suspension components and tyres, one with a modification plate and one without, does that make the one without the mod plate unsafe? Indeed in various social media statements, the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey has advised that 125mm of lift is the maximum allowable in Queensland with certification.

This is where the Minister for Transport and Main Roads threw the Queensland Police Service under the bus

“Queensland has a maximum allowable lift of 125mm with certification, which is slightly lower than the 150mm allowed by other jurisdictions. The lower height was implemented in 2012 under the previous govt in response to serious 4WD incidents at locations such as Fraser Island, where there was a spike in fatalities and serious injuries related to roll-overs. However, given the reduction in these types of crashes, we are working with industry to make the limit on maximum lift requirements in Queensland consistent with the National Code of Practice and other jurisdictions”, said the minister on a social media post.

Where this becomes interesting, is that if your vehicle is fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and you wish to have your 125mm lift certified (or even 75mm for that matter), there is no one in Queensland who is able to certify it. Four Wheel Drive Queensland have advised that there is only one company in Queensland, All American Wheeling, who have purchased the testing equipment (VBOX), but are still developing the testing.

Perhaps a suitable way of going about this, would be to have the suspension kit manufacturers have their kits certified, so that as long as you have “Kit A” from “Suspension Manufacturer B” on “Vehicle C” you do not require a mod plate, up to the current maximum in Queensland of 125mm, as the manufacturer can and would have done all of the testing on that specific kit for that specific vehicle. This is actually the case for the majority of suspension suppliers, except that a Mod Plate is fitted when the lift is installed, but just for the lift; not any bigger tyres.

Let us know your thoughts below, or if you’ve been in Queensland on holidays this past fortnight, and received a defect or fine, please let us know! Especially despite the fact the government has confirmed interstate vehicles will not be defected.