Motor Vehicles (Offensive Advertising) Amendment Bill


The Minister for Transport has been pretty clear in talking about that, and I expect it will be a matter of discussion again at a national level. Something that has sometimes been raised with me in my electorate is what we do about the idea of offensive materials that clearly cause concern to many people. We already have on the statute legislation that deals with some of these matters.

Whether confining the registration of these cars in South Australia when they are able to go elsewhere resolves the issue without reference to our interstate colleagues and whether that is the best way of handling the issue is where the parliament has not yet progressed this legislation until some of those matters are resolved. The exploration that has been done by the government to determine the best methodology to deal with this issue in light of advice from departments, ensuring that we do not have unintended consequences, is worthy.

I am sure that the member for Reynell's first concern is for the good of the community and not just to have a bill for the sake of having the statute. I am certain that is the case, so I know that she will understand that the government wishes to have a bill that is effective. The government wishes to have an outcome that is effective. This is not a situation that has developed since 17 March last year. These campers have been on the roads, and people have been displaying offensive material for longer than 15 months, so I do not think that it is necessarily something that you want to get an outcome for this week as opposed to two weeks from now or a month from now if the outcome a little bit down the track is going to be better and more effective and more meets the needs of our South Australian community and indeed the national community.

One of the particular recent incidents that was deeply concerning to the member for Reynell, and to many people in the community, particularly involved plates being on a vehicle in a different state. I think the first mover on this interstate saw registrations moved from one state to another. The Labor Party's argument so far has been that if each one does it one after the other, then eventually you will capture everyone. That sounds great, but it does not actually mean that the problem will be resolved in South Australia any more speedily than if we can all come to the same national landing together.

The benefit of having a national solution, if it is a national solution that can be reached, is that everyone then has the same solution, where you have the legislation reflected in every state so that there are not then cracks that can be sorted through and then we just have to come back here again down the track. The point I make is that passing the bill today in its current form, which we are not convinced is as yet in the best form, will not solve the problem the member for Reynell seeks to solve at this stage. A national solution will be better.

The second point I make is that, if there are particular opportunities to enhance the South Australian legislation, absent that national reform, then the Attorney-General has suggested that there may be some enhancements that can be achieved there. I do not make any criticism of the member for Reynell in this speech for bringing this matter to the parliament. I think it is a matter that is worthy of our consideration, and it is receiving active work within government to explore the best way to deal with a solution that will ensure our community standards are upheld.

I think of the impact on young women in particular not only because it is not offensive to all people but because I think the impact on young women can potentially be higher. Indeed, it can impact young men, who can be led to think that this sort of casual, inappropriate and offensive attitude is normal. I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later stage.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.