Spray-painting grandpa takes anti-Wicked campaign to council

UPDATE 2PM: PAUL McCarthy, the Byron local pushing to ban Wicked campers vans with obscene and misogynistic messages off the streets of Byron shire took his campaign to Byron Council today.

He received strong support from the gallery when he spoke at public access calling on the Queensland government to "stop throwing their rubbish over the fence into NSW" and change the law to prevent the Queensland based company's vans carrying offensive slogans.

Outside the meeting he got strong support from Councillors Diane Woods and Rose Wanchap who both said they were appalled at some of the slogans written on the vans.

Like Mr McCarthy the councillors were concerned that young children would read the inappropriate messaging.

"It's porn in public," said councillor Wanchap.

"I can't understand how this can legally (be allowed to happen) happen," said Cr Woods.

"I think we have to send a request down to the Minister for Transport, the Premiere and every damn minister in the NSW government and ask them to please bring in legislation that disallows this kind of foul and disgusting (content to be painted) onto vans.


TOO FAR: Another van spotted at Main Beach car park with Paul McCarthy Photoshopped in to cover the offending word. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News
TOO FAR: Another van spotted at Main Beach car park with Paul McCarthy Photoshopped in to cover the offending word. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News Christian Morrow

THURSDAY 11AM: MOMENTUM is building to force Wicked Campers to change or remove slogans on its vehicles with a Northern Rivers Labor branch passing a motion against vehicles with offensive slogans and Queenstown council announcing $300 fines.

A motion that was put forward in response to Byron grandfather Paul McCarthy's vigilante action last month, when he spray painted over a Wicked vehicle slogan, was carried unanimously at the April 5 meeting of the Mullumbimby-Brunswick Valley branch of the Labor party.

"This branch strongly supports whatever action of legislative or regulative change is required to prevent the public exhibition of words, slogans or images that are offensive, crude and frequently sexist in nature and offend any reasonable person," the motion stated.

"State and or local government should have the power to prevent/remove these types of signages on vehicles or any form of mobile public display, as they now can with any fixed billboard.

"The role of the Advertising Standards Board also needs questioning and or strengthening.

"The action of an individual in painting over an offensive and publicly displayed crudity may well be deemed illegal, however legislators need to act to ensure enforcement action by an appropriate authority to remove this type of offensive matter.

"The Mullumbimby Brunswick Valley ALP branch demands Ballina duty MLC Walt Secord urgently assist ALP members in having this matter addressed by Labor Shadow Ministers and caucus to bring about any required legislative change to reflect public sentiment."

The motion was emailed to Labor leader Luke Foley and cc'd to several Shadow Ministers.

Meanwhile, Queenstown council on New Zealand's south island is set to fine Wicked campers $300 if vehicles with derogatory slogans are seen in its local government area.

The council gave Wicked Campers the opportunity to address the situation, by not allowing vehicles with sexually explicit or offensive slogans in the region - but Wicked didn't see a problem.

Lee Webster of Queenstown council told newspaper Mountain Scene the council will be implementing the $300 fines.

"We disagree so when we have evidence of a sign-written camper that we believe is sexually explicit, lewd or otherwise offensive, we will issue a $300 infringement," he said.

"That will either be when one of our routine parking patrols finds a vehicle that breaches our rules, or we receive a complaint from the public."

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