Tania Murdock.
Tania Murdock.

Suspended driver uses Qld licence

ON THE day Tania Murdock announced she would nominate as the National Party candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond, she was at Tweed Heads Local Court trying to pass herself off as a Queenslander to avoid a driver’s licence suspension.

The Roads and Traffic Authority had caught the Pottsville pharmacy manager driving on a Queensland licence under her parents’ Runcorn address when her New South Wales licence was suspended.

Mrs Murdock attempted to appeal the suspension at court on Tuesday on the grounds she was a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

But Magistrate Michael Dakin was quick to dismiss the application when it was revealed the 40-year-old had accumulated 26 mostly speeding-related traffic offences in Queensland between 1988 and 2008.

Her NSW record, which would have contained further infringements, was not publicly available. The long-time campaigner for extra police resources on the Tweed was forced to apologise yesterday.

“I am sorry,” Mrs Murdock said in a statement. “While I never caused any accidents or drove under the influence, an accumulation of demerit points, particularly over double demerit weekends, has led the RTA to suspend my driving privileges until next April.”

She claimed she transferred to a Queensland licence earlier in the year when she temporarily lived with her parents in Brisbane.

“I looked for legal means to avoid losing my driving licence, and with hindsight now regret that too,” she said. “Like many local working mums, I do a lot of driving and I just didn’t give myself enough time to get from one place to another.

“I fully support the road rules, accept the court’s decision and hope this will serve as a reminder to others that you really do have to keep a very close eye on your speed.”

The RTA sent a letter to Mrs Murdock’s Queensland address stating it had banned her from driving in NSW and she took up the option to appeal the decision in court.

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