Time to Align campaign gains government commitment

Navara NP300 TJM bullbar
Suspension lifts are a great way of improving your off-road capability, but what is legal, and where?

The ‘Time to Align’ campaign that has been spearheaded by the 4WD Australia Association, has now received a vast majority of support across all registered federal political parties, with just three out of 47 refusing to commit to supporting an alignment of the states’ modification laws. All major parties have confirmed their commitment, and the vast majority of the smaller parties.

The ‘Time to Align’ campaign should not be anything new to those with four-wheel drives, as the 4WD Associations for the different states, and indeed the overarching 4WD Australia Association have had this campaign gaining momentum for some time. Essentially what the campaign aims to achieve, is an alignment of modification laws across Australia, as opposed to state-by-state rules and regulations.

As an example, the most often spoken about set of rules – Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB 14) – is the federal set of rules that were implemented for vehicle modifications. The states have mostly adopted these rules, however are still able to pick and choose how to interpret and apply them (which they have). Essentially something that may be legal and self-certifiable in New South Wales, is deemed illegal and dangerous in Queensland, and attract fines and treatment under the anti-hooning laws. There is further concern with vehicle owners travelling interstate for work or holidays being fined and defected in another state, which has happened in Queensland, despite the Minister for Main Roads unequivocally confirming that this would not happen. Thus, the push for federally-aligned modification laws and requirements is at the forefront for many four-wheel drive owners at the moment.

Where the greater concern begins, however, is that despite having a federal commitment that it is time to align, it does still boil down to the state governments getting on board. In the image below, you’ll see the current responses received by 4WD Australia Association. It would seem, based on the information to hand, that the Liberal governments currently in control of the state governments, are more than happy to align to a national standard, whereas the Labor governments refuse to respond. Indeed Miles Brennan of 4WD Australia Association has requested many times to meet with Mark Bailey (Minister for Main Roads in Queensland – Labor Government), however has been ignored or rebutted on every attempt.

Something for the governments of each state to remember, is that there has never been more four-wheel drives in driveways across Australia. The Time to Align commitment is not being sought from the government to enable 4X4s to be running around the streets with six-inch lifts and 40-inch tyres. Instead it is about bringing all states in line together, with practical and safe modifications able to be undertaken by all owners, the mums and dads of Australia. Simply being able to raise your four-wheel drive enough to fit the next size up in tyre makes it illegal in some states, and deemed dangerous, yet is quite acceptable in others, and indeed government vehicles often have these same modifications.

When will things change? When will we receive a commitment from the states’ Labor governments that it’s time to align?


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  • The Involuntary Medication Objectors (vaccination/fluoride)Party didn’t respond. Looks like the bill is screwed 🙂 not sure what’s worse, that they didn’t respond or that they exist at all… actually I do know which one’s worse.

  • I agree with the proposal.
    On a side issue and to highlight how ridiculous State laws have become, if I buy a motor scooter and ride it using my driver’s licence in Queensland but cross the border and ride it into NSW, I will be breaking NSW laws which dictate that I must possess a motor cycle licence.

    • You can ride a bicycle on the footpath in Qld, to stay out of the way of 4WDs, but if you cross the NSW border then you will be breaking the law. Until recently, NSW used to force kids as young as 12 to ride in the traffic, and Victoria still does.

      • Incorrect Rob with regards to Victoria forcing kids to ride in traffic. It is perfectly legal for a child to ride on a footpath up to the age of 12. Even an adult can ride on a footpath in Victoria so long as accompanying a child who is also riding.

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