Ballina and Byron Shire councils are in discussions about a motion calling for camper vans with sexist slogans to be banned.
The move comes after Splendour In The Grass organisers posted a warning on the Splendour website, telling punters; “If you’re booking a campervan, please steer clear of sexist slogans! You know who you are. It’s 2016. Get with the program.”
The vans in question are notoriously hired out by Wicked Campervans, who don’t seem to have taken any action to remove the slogans despite owner John Webb committing to change the slogans back in 2014.
Councillor Duncan Dey is considering calling on the Federal Government to legislate against the vans, as it appears the motion may not pass. “The motion has been looked at by council staff,” Mr Dey told the ABC. “What they’re saying is that enforcement on offensive language is not something that a council can do.”
Dey strongly believes that councils should have the power to legislate on the matter. “Any landowner can do it and so council could do it in relation to those vans trying to enter onto council property like a caravan park.”
Deputy Mayor of Ballina Council Robyn Hordern has challenged the NSW State Government to step in and take action. “We have no control over the state roads so therefore it will actually be a letter to the minister to encourage him to make changes in NSW,” she said.
“I want it to be clear that I see these messages as being coarse, disgusting, and simply quite offensive. They’re not appropriate to have parading up and down our highways,” said Hordern.
A Facebook group called Boycott Wicked Campers has been up and running since 2014. A spokesperson for the campaign said they are happy with the move by Splendour to discourage the vans, but agreed that legislation is needed to prevent them moving forward.
“I think it’s fantastic that Splendour took this stand after being contacted,” said Paula Orbea in a statement. “Wicked Campers is a business that writes slogans that are not afforded – by law – to be exhibited by any other platform. They are getting through because of loopholes in the law.”
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