Operation Lift refunds?

If you received an infringement notice from Operation Lift, you might be entitled to a refund

Operation Lift, which you will remember occurred last September in Queensland, incensed the 4WD community all around the country, with enthusiasts having their pride and joy defected due to confusion and a complete lack of understanding of the laws by all involved.

However, the 4WD Queensland Association Facebook group claims that people who were fined for having an ESC vehicle with a lift greater than 50mm during the period where the laws and regulations would change between 50mm and 75mm of allowed lift, can now have their infringements reviewed and possibly receive a refund.

If you believe you fall into this category or know someone who does, email the infringement number or a copy of the infringement to ask for it to be reviewed for cancellation.

Unfortunately this may not help everyone who has been affected by the changing lift laws in Queensland, as your traffic defect or infringement notice must state specifics, such as “Tyres on ESC 4WD are 44mm”. This means if your notice says something vague such as “Drive Defective Vehicle”, you may not be eligible for a refund, as they may argue you received the notice for “another reason”.

If you are in doubt about whether you are eligible for a refund, it is still worth sending your notice through to TMR Vehicle Standards to see if something can be done.

We got in touch with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to confirm the story and were told by a spokesperson that;

“We are working with QPS to review any infringement notices drivers believe have been issued in error, but at this stage we are not aware of any instances where this is the case. If drivers believe they have been issued an infringement notice in error, there are processes in place to review these infringements by following the instructions on the reverse side of the notice.”

Check out 4WD Queensland Association’s original Facebook post below:

Queensland (and some interstate) 4WD owners will remember approximately 12 months ago when Queensland Police Service…

Posted by 4WD Queensland Association on Saturday, 6 July 2019




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  • First off I do not understand why people would want to lift their vehicles and change the centre of gravity. If lifting the height on a vehicle was a good thing then the military, due to the nature of their work and the terrain that they work in would do it but they do not.

  • I don’t get this:
    If it was illegal at that time, then why should they be refunded. They were still breaking the law – just because the laws have changecd since does not make it ok.

    • Explained on their Facbook site Ben:
      Many 4WD owners ended up with vehicle defect notices, including minor modified vehicles which were equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The early versions of TMR’s Vehicle Standards Instruction G19.1 (Minor Modifications), stated vehicle lifts of 75mm were acceptable under self-certification, if the operation of ESC was not affected. However, later versions of VSI G19 were updated on the TMR website to say ESC vehicles are restricted to 50mm lift in suspension only, yet there was no communication to the 4WD community, general public, or a parliamentary review of these changes, and QPS were using the updated guidelines to defect vehicles, and in some cases, issue Type 2 Anti-Hooning offences or vehicle impoundment.

      • Further:
        “While Mark Bailey MP updated the LS9 and LS10 suspension codes to allow a maximum 150mm lift for non-ESC vehicles, the lift was also increase to 75mm on ESC, however there were several years where ESC was 75, then 50, then back to 75, and 4WD owners were being retrospectively defected based on conflicting guidance from TMR, and QPS interpretation. TMR also gave AAAA verbal agreement that no enforcement action would be undertaken against vehicles which had ESC modifications, however this information appears not to have made its way to QPS, and people were still being defected.”

      • The VSI is a guide, not legislation, and always stated that ESC vehicles were limited to 50mm suspension. Again, lies from 4WD QLD.

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