Councils back campaign against ‘obscene’ Wicked slogans
BOTH Ballina and Byron shire councils have unanimously backed motions that support the removal of inappropriate slogans from Wicked camper vans.
Byron council's tough stance will see them ask local police to act against the vans under the Summary Offences Act relating to offensive language.
The seven point resolution "reaffirms our community's commitment to respect for all residents and visitors and that indecent, sexist, racist, homophobic, misogynist and other offensive language and images displayed publicly are inconsistent with this principle".
Council will also write to the Australian Human Rights Commission, NSW Premier Mike Baird and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Finally, the council will look at erecting signs warning that vans with offensive slogans were not welcome in the shire.
Vans could also be excluded from council caravan parks.
At Ballina council's meeting, Cr Robyn Hordern's motion was also backed unanimously.
The council voted to write to the relevant state and federal ministers to "encourage and support any actions or legislative changes that can or are to be taken to remove or ban the inappropriate messages that are printed on Wicked camper vans".
The council will also raise the issue at the National Assembly of Local Government conference.
Byron Bay grandfather Paul McCarthy, who kicked off the campaign in Byron Bay last month, said the support meant a lot to him.
"It demonstrates that the community cares for our children, women and girls," he said.
"When the chips are down the town always rallies to protect our piece of paradise and the people who live here."
Mr McCarthy has two granddaughters and he has been particularly disturbed by the misogynistic nature of the Wicked van slogans.
"These messages are all aimed at denigrating women," he said. "The signs are really intimidating to girls."
Mr McCarthy also took a swipe at Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm who released a statement yesterday saying "councils and wowsers in northern NSW should leave Wicked camper vans alone".
"Truly, this bloke is the Donald Trump of Australian politics," said Mr McCarthy.
"He is just scoring cheap political points in an election year.
"He's probably never been to Byron Bay; we are not wowsers here. This has nothing to do with free speech this is about protecting our kids from obscenity and the denigration of women."
Mr McCarthy also some words of advice for the owners of Wicked Vans.
"Mate, you had a great idea but you have gone too far," he said. "Get back on the right side of the road before you have a head on."