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Queensland Government confirm interstate vehicles will not be defected

NSW Police know how to make a good looking Ranger
Photo and design courtesy of Ryan Farrow @ Coconut Graphics

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.

57 Comments

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  • I’m supposed to be heading to Townsville from South Aus in two weeks, I have a 200 series Landcruiser with two inch lift and have just put new Cooper AT3’s on, all this makes it safer for towing my boat to the regattas. A few people have sought to reassure me about your new regulations after I indicated I wasn’t going to go past the NSW border and now I am still going but I wonder how many people are going to avoid Qld all together. One person with Victorian plates had his car impounded at the start of his Qld trip and I can promise you if I get harassed on my trip it will be doubtful that I would tow my boat in Qld again

  • I’m sick & tired of politicians & governments wasting millions of dollars on useless ideas to reduce the road toll if they were serious they would stop giving licenses to people that shouldn’t have them because you can’t insure against stupidity. But they don’t take the road toll seriously because they lose to much money from licenses, regos & fines that’s why we have to put up with idiots & morons & lazy drivers on our roads. My personal opinion.

  • The way I see it the problem stemed from frser island so apply thr laws to Fraser Island and not to the rest of the state, common sence mmmm well we are dealing with pollies inthis case and they are very sort sighted and if it will give them their 15 minutes on the news well there you go

  • It’s about time the government acted to put a stop to the ‘monster truck’ mentality some four wheel drive owners have. The whole lift saga seems to be more an ego trip than anything else. Get over yourselves and comply with the law. Dont winge just because you have been caught out flaunting the law. And as for interstate registered vehicles, their rules apply based on what state they are registered in – simple.

  • Talk about the problem of raising the centre of gravity by lift kits —— what about the amount of crap 4×4 drivers place on roof racks right at the very top or above their vehicle. Has anybody studied the effects of overloading roof racks. Then there is the combined effect of a large lift kit AND a heavily loaded overhead load, as in the photo part way through this article.

  • Just 1 big cash grab, like they said nothing has changed since 2012 and nobody’s been pulled over and defected, but as soon as they started seeing $60k-$150k 4×4’s on the road, well it’s a no brainer really, we have the money and WILL pay it because we NEED our vehicles for our lifestyle, but you can happily drive past us getting defected in a Datsun 120y with no seatbelts or air bags!! Because they don’t have the cash so we’ll leave them!! Absolute Joke!

  • Wasn’t all those fatal roll overs at Fraser bloody tourist who have no idea on the vehicle they have just hired and no experience driving on the beach what so ever. Once again society has to suffer due to idiots! And still don’t understand how it can be legal in NSW and not in Queensland? To many tiers of bloody government, one rule for one country!

  • The minister who allowed this to happen is out of his depth, he has proven in the past to be incompetent and continues to validate his reputation.

  • Next peopel will just get their Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Unit disbaled/removed and mod plated just so they can keep their 75mm lift. Is this what the QLD GOV wants? Maybe thy want less tourism up here so less money going into local businesses. Maybe the QLD GOV just wants to squeez a bit more money and revenue out of hard working tradies who like to enjoy the bush on their weekends.

  • The minister’s statement is flawed in the extreme and unsubstantiated. A spike in roll-overs in places such as Fraser Island due to increased lift!! Really? So 25mm less than interstate lifted and roadworthy vehicles would make a difference? Maybe idiots behind the wheel unfamiliar with sand driving and European backpackers/tourists who have never driven on anything besides sealed roads couldn’t contribute to the roll-overs could they? As I recall the last bad accident on Fraser was a bog standard Troopie driven by a European with a bunch of the same as passengers. Bah! Humbug, minister.

  • These fraser fatalities.
    How many were directly related to modifications, & how many were caused from ignorance, unfamiliarity, inexperience and gross stupidity. There has been a problem with rental cars on the island. Never seen a modified rental.
    There are some crazy and somewhat pointless mods running around. I dont support crazy lifts and massive rubber. We used to do just fine in a stock standard 2A landrover (with a tool box and spare axel😁) But this just smacks of inventing a problem to bring in more regulation.
    Once again the boofheads & beurocrats wreck it for the responsible.
    One hopes the aftermarket suppliers can find a way to deal with this headache

  • So what are QLD pillows expecting travelling tourists to do? Carry their old suspension with them and have it changed back to standard as you cross the border? They’ve just lost my tourist dollar. I’ll not risk the chance of a fine or impoundment or the risk of jail time if I’m pulled over by police and I start to lose my cool over the stupidity of the law arguing on the side of the road about legalities. Trips cancelled. Shame really.

  • Welcome to Australia. Land of the nanny state. This country is becoming a joke. After living Europe for 15yr then return to only find its a control police state. I guess we need to vote out these stupid idiots but hey we dont even vote on what they decide to do.

  • If the politicians were serious about safety and cutting down on serious instances then they would make everyone, who wants to drive a 4wd, get a 4wd licence after completing driver training and have mandatory courses on safety so that people know how to do a proper recovery, and not just hook the snach strap on the towball.

  • Its funny how the laws were changed because of serious accidents on Fraser Is. Those vehicles involved were all hire cars. STOCK STANDARD. Once again governments changing and adding new laws to suit themselves and serving no one. All so they can beat us with them.

  • The whole thing is ridicules. We live in a country that allows us to travel state to state without check-points or authorization. There are some places in this world where this is not possible. Not to have a uniform set of vehicles requirements that is valid in all states is beggar’s belief. The only reason I can see why this is not the case must be revenue, as the “safety” agreement cannot apply. We, the motoring public, and all businesses associated with the 4WD industry, need to put the Federal Government & and all state Governments on notice, that this anomaly need to be fixed now, or it will reflect our anger at the next elections.

  • The big issue people seem to be overlooking during this whole saga is insurance. That is if your vehicle is deemed by whichever state you reside in to be illegal you can bet your insurance company will drop you like a sack of @#$% should you have an accident.
    Sorry Jeff but these regulations are not new as they have been around since 2012. I’ve owned an ESC-equipped 4WD since 2014 and became aware of them as soon as I started researching fitting bigger tyres and replacing the suspension. The Govt just chose now as a good time to start enforcing them.
    I had trouble convincing my tyre guy that these laws even existed as he insisted I could fit ‘much bigger’ wheels and tyres than the ones I wanted. He does (did?) it all the time apparently. I imagine the suspension retailers have a similar mind-set…move the product regardless of the consequences to the owner down the road.
    I think the problem boils down to to a lack of education (of both the public and retailers) by the Qld government especially seeing the popularity of 4WDs with big lifts and big tyres these days. Just take a look around any shopping centre carpark and you’ll see what I mean. Instead of recognising there is an increasing problem with lifted 4WDs and giving the public time to rectify the issue (a bit like the gun amnesty) they have simply opted for the big stick approach.
    I wonder if they’ll move onto LED light bars next as a lot of those fall foul of Qld regs also.

  • Wonder if anyone ever thought of investigating how the Yanks deal with this topic given the fact that you can heavily modify a vehicle over there and legally drive it on the road. Or are our politicians and law makers content to keep conforming to the draconian, oppressive and big brother knows better attitude we inherited from the British? Are we really young and free?

  • Absolutely agree, Garry.
    Way too many people are simply incompetent. Not everyone should be able to have a licence. And there needs to be much tougher licencing tests.

  • How do you place a standard lift across all vehicles when you know a standard Hilux roll over easy even in standard configuration when you compare it to a Land cruiser Ranger or Navara. It also takes no consideration off how you change the vehicle centre of gravity by the way you load it roof racks with boats spare tyres spare fuel etc These changes are just another example of our lazy politicians trying to look like they are doing something to fix a perceived problem instead of giving idiots licenses

  • The so called problem that they claimed started on Fraser Island is caused by hire companies renting 4 WD’s to tourists who have no idea how to drive off-road in a vehicle with a higher centre of gravity (or how to drive to the conditions especially the numerous washouts on the east side of Fraser

  • Until it’s all sorted, Queensland is now off our holiday destination list. It’s unfortunate but we’ll go to South Australia and NT instead.
    I feel for our brothers and sisters in the 4WD After-Market industries who have now had their legitimate business futures wiped-out overnight. Lots of Mom and Dad’s and their families who are hurting by lack of thought and vision by the same usual suspects.
    Queensland, for the sake of your tourism and small business owners, get yourself sorted out.

  • I have seen 4WD’s that would certainly need a ladder to get into the the vehicle.
    This sort of lift IS ridiculous and most certainly should be banned.
    People, keep in mind that not only is your safety at risk along with other road users,
    what about your wife & kids. ? ?

  • Hi Rod,
    the dual cabs & Patrol/Landcruisers on Channel 7 had wheels well outside the mudguards, on the Gold Coast! I see this often north of Brisbane, but my other comment to this is the lack of extension mirrors for idiots who don’t give a care, even from interstate, ie: a Jeep pulling a Whittley craft. I also think the Transport Inspectors should do the audit, not police, they have enough to do!

  • The Scenario on a 2016 Ranger So if I was to install a lift of say 50mm and a tyre size 50mm larger than standard on a qld registered 4wd with ESC……….
    Rear suspension kit to be 300KG (50mm lift) permanent load over and above standard leaf springs
    front suspension , (coils) adjusted spring rate for a steel bull-bar (50mm lift)
    The vehicle will have a permanent 300Kg payload above standard tare weight on the rear axle.
    I assume that the vehicle guard will come down to the stock height approx.
    My query is would the cops measure the guard height as is or do they go by the 50mm lift kit height + 25mm extra height for the oversize tyres?

    Now to make it really complicated………..
    So then I hook up the van with a ball weight of 200KG, the rear is going to be lowered due to
    an additional load of 300KG at the rear axle due to the caravan Ball weight, and the front suspension is going to be up in the air.
    The front guard height is now going to be illegal (in Qld) as it will be higher than the total 50mm lift.
    I would need a weight distribution hitch, I guess.
    If the vehicle is left standard height, then the heights are likely to be legal, but less safe in my opinion.

  • Kevin
    Would it make more sence fron a certain date all new suspension and tyre kits have to be mod plated at the time of fitting. Ones that have been done previousley but fall into the exsisting laws are ok.

  • Spot on with this comment. It has been like this from the very beginning with different gauge railway lines in each state. Out Polly’s really are a bunch of idiots and always have been. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the situation is improving…

  • Have a look around the roads, probably be only ,10% of all 4wd raised to the point to be certified. Anyway, who tells the government why these need mod cert, probably some busted arse mechanic who wouldn’t know his arse from his elbow. Get a life

  • The rollover on Fraser was a 4WD driven by inexperienced back packers with cargo piled on the roof so to blame that rollover because of tyre and suspension lift is absolute crap because it was a 4WD with factory suspension and tyres

  • I find it interesting that they are using the reason of rollovers on fraser island to reduce the lift heights when the vast majority of these incidents were in hired or “backpacker” 4wds that are not lifted at all but driven by people without any understanding of the size and handling characteristics of the troopy they are driving

  • So I can bring a stock 1990 Patrol over from W/A and it’s deemed safe and compliant even though there is no Wof/Cof roadworthy required in W/A and may not have seen a mechanic in over 10 years?

  • I believe they backflipped the whole issue due to pressure from the 4×4 community and are going to align with the rest of AU rules and regs.

  • 99% of 4WD rollovers on Fraser island is from inexperience first timer BACKPACKERS with overloaded and overcrowded hire vehicles traveling way to fast.(FACT). So we all get scrutinized, Whats next on the hit list, performance upgrades limited to 150kw at the wheels so the new police kia stingers can keep up?

  • Some of you are missing the point. Some of the now illegal cars were previously legal because Qld changed the rules without telling anyone. It’s also in the wind to change again and police know this. The Fraser argument is also BS because they were almost all backpackers in barely modified vehicles so lift and tyres had nothing to do with it.
    No one really wants the moron wife tyres Rangers approved but at least give us the same rules as down south

  • Yep completly confused.

    Dunno how the cops can inforce this at all when its unclear what the hell is going on.

    Maybe the police minister needs to step back and saying hangon since its so unclear they wont issue any more defects untill the issue is resolved.

    Put it back to the state goverments sonthe police arnt targeted.

  • Just yet another reason to get rid of State governments!
    Have you tried getting a fishing permit, fossicking permit or National Park permit hat covers every State?

  • so true, Kevo. Until we have it in black and white (IE passed by the relevant authorities) what is deemed legal and what isn’t, the police should hold off on issuing fines.
    Well done the 4wd community for putting pressure on the ‘powers that be’ to listen to a bit of common sense. I can’t see how the Government can allow fines to be issued to vehicles that have had lifts in place for years, but with a flick of a pen those same vehicles become ‘unsafe’ and ‘illegal’. If the rules are to be changed, then people need a period of grace to sort out their vehicles.
    I agree with the comments that if this ‘new law’ is due to Fraser Island roll overs, the government should look at the root cause of those roll overs. The vehicles were not modified but they were driven by people who didn’t know what they were doing.

  • To bloody right. Piss off these ridiculous state governments and have one rule of law for all, much like the UK. Ya reckon the pollies will have a referendum about that. No chance they’d do themeselves out of a job the leeches.

  • Most of it is pretty easy going as long as you how to handle some of soft dry stuff, mostly momentum. Though i have seen some rampovers near tree roots created by the big tourst busses. Big tryes + air suspension. When the bus’s get a bit of air on the dry stuff they can dig out tracks a bit. Fine with my 4by but with little lift it could come close. Id deffinatley by worried up near the cape though.

  • Any solicitor will tell u that QLD CANNOT defect NSW or other vehicles. The Constitution (believe it or not) has a special section designed to stop this. It was designed to prevent states from stopping people at the border: no state can pass a law which prevents free trade between states and defecting interstate vehicles has already been deemed to “prevent free trade between states” ….
    Of course his does not stop the average copper from doing this because they know nothing of the Federal laws or constitution!

  • Maybe the foreign tourists driving in Australia on “international” drivers licenses are the issue at the heart of the problem here. I think “international” driver license holders should have to do a local road rules knowledge and competency test before being allowed behind the wheel of a regular car, and larger vehicles such as motor-homes and 4WD vehicles should require extra competency checks, before these tourists are let loose on some of the most demanding driving conditions on the planet. I wouldn’t expect to be competent driving in Finland on snow and ice at highway speeds without training or years of building appropriate skills, so why should Euro tourists be competent here on a sandy beach in any vehicle at speed ? Let’s be honest here, Toyota Troopies are not the most dynamically stable vehicle on the road, they are a specialist heavy-duty workhorse built for that specific role; so WHY are they being hired out to off-road novices ?
    I have had a few near misses with foreign tourists on our roads, and I reckon most of us here in OZ can say the same. Recently I had a very near miss with a Chinese tourist forgetting we drive on the LEFT side of the road. He was completely on my side rounding a sweeping blind corner at night. I was grateful for my ABS brakes and bull-bar when I flattened a few guide posts getting out of his way !

  • Even the editor doesnt get it WIDE TRACK IS ILLEGAL

    All the arguments seem to focus on lift and tyres.
    Look at most of these vehicle’s and they have changed their wheel track . Made it wider for a look . These modifications are dangerous and illegal in every state. Some making their track up to 100mm wider than the most lenient state QLD which allows 50mm wider. Most other states allow 25mm Maximum. These owners do this with very little regard for the laws and other road users. It is dangerous behavior on their part. So the lift thing and the tyre thing may be a part of the discussion. It is only part of the problem. Nobody wants to recognize the failure to adhere to the law. Because they all know better than the qualified people who do. Including all 4×4 magazine publications and 4×4 tv shows that have pictures of road going vehicle’s that are clearly outside the law. They are okaying this Behaviour rather than bringing the Vehicle’s that are illegal and unroadwothy and obviously
    ingnorant owners into Focus. And keeping all road users safe. Please take note for my family and your own.. stop being an ignoramus and do the right/safe thing.
    If you get booked dont go crying on social media.

  • MAX
    I don’t think upgrading license laws would make any difference, because the trend now is to drive unlicensed anyway.The 14/15 year old joy riders and loss of license,couldn’t care less drink driver re-offenders etc.just flip the bird and flaunt the law anyway.Legislate for that!!

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