National Alignment of Vehicle Modification Legislation
(Tasmanian Pre-Election Commitment)
1 May 2021
We have forwarded the email below, to all Tasmanian political parties who are registered with the Australia Electoral Commission (TAS), for the Tasmanian election on 1 May 2021:
Tasmanian 2021 Pre-Election Request
Change Vehicle Modification Standards
Dear Tasmanian Political Parties et el,
On behalf of the Australian aftermarket modified motoring community, we are dissatisfied that every state and territory government have different legislation, standards, processes, and regulations regarding modifications for in-service motor vehicles, which in turn are different to federal Australian Design Rules (ADRs).
It has taken over 10 years for state governments to jointly develop the National Code of Practice (NCOP) for vehicle modifications, and even after this amount of time, no two states have the same modification and certification standards and processes. Some states such as Queensland have increased bureaucracy levels further by introducing a Queensland Code of Practice (QCOP), which sits on top of NCOP and ADRs, and they have changed the codes used for some modification categories, to cater solely for their state’s requirements.
It is unacceptable that vehicles which have undertaken modifications in one state jurisdiction, and have passed testing and engineering certification requirements by Australian qualified auto-mechanical engineers and approved persons or signatories, cannot be sold or transferred into other state jurisdictions, without having to be fully re-engineered and re-certified in the new state.
Australia no longer has a new vehicle manufacturing industry, and misaligned legislation / standards / processes across state borders does nothing to help the aftermarket industry and general consumers. Australian Recreational Motorists Association would like to see a national motoring cooperative established federally (representing all motoring communities / genres) stating their requirements to industry, who use their aftermarket associations / engineering affiliations to filter the requirements and document how they could be implemented using safe / practical / affordable processes, leading to a mutually agreed set of modification standards, which are then ratified as federal government legislation, for automatic implementation across all state and territories. This way, we have a nation-wide, consumer driven, industry validated process to support the Australian aftermarket industry.
The Australian Recreational Motorists Association believes in a philosophy of Safe, Practical and Affordable approach to vehicle modifications, where they should be:
• Safe for both on-road and off-road use, and other road users;
• Practical testing and certification procedures are not mandated where facilities are not available across the state, or the low volume of modifications, or minimal risk, should reduce the requirement for overly excessive testing; and
• Affordable testing and certification procedures are not cost prohibitive to the general public.
There are also many unreasonable restrictions in state modification legislations, which are overly more so than in the ADRs. Some vehicles can be modified under the federal Second Stage Manufacturing (SSM) process and have much more flexibility in engineering, however these same types of modifications cannot be applied to vehicles which are currently registered in Tasmania, as the NCOP / VSB-14 modification standards are more restrictive than new vehicle modification standards. This means that any certified engineering / modifications undertaken on a brand-new vehicle using the federal ADR SSM process, cannot be applied to the exact same make and model of brand-new vehicle in Tasmanian, if it has already been registered with Transport Services; this is a massive restriction on the aftermarket automotive industry, due to misalignment of legislation.
Disparate vehicle standards are disruptive to the Australian general population, motoring industry, motoring communities and generates an unnecessary level of bureaucracy, with many people losing faith in the role of state and territory governments.
The Australian Recreational Motorists Association’s Time-To-Align campaign to address mis-aligned vehicle modification standards, has so far achieved majority support by all the major political parties, prior to the 2019 Federal Election, 2019 New South Wales Election, 2020 Northern Territory Election, 2020 Queensland Election. While the recent ACT and WA ALP parties did not provide formal agreements prior to winning their state elections, the Queensland ALP did, and have now commenced a Parliamentary Inquiry into vehicle modification standards, in order to address misaligned legislation between federal, state and territory jurisdictions.
Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into vehicle modification regulations:
All written pre-election commitment letters from all elections: https://www.timetoalign.org.au/
The motoring community would also like to see a review of the Tasmanian Special Interest Vehicle Registration, and Vintage and Street Rod schemes, to review the qualification age and remove some of the restrictions imposed on when a vehicle registered under the schemes can be used. With the loss of new vehicle manufacturing, development and investment needs to be refocused into the aftermarket industry so they can continue to support the Australian recreational and motoring communities, including our historical and street groups.
Therefore, we request your political party provides a pre-election commitment prior to the Tasmanian election, to:
• Acknowledge disparity in vehicle modification standards and processes across all state and territory jurisdictions;
• Position the National Code of Practice (NCOP) as reference guides for un-certified / un-engineered vehicle modifications;
• Introduce an engineering and certification program where Australian Chartered Professional Engineers (CPE) are empowered, responsible, and able to freely undertake vehicle modifications based on sound Australian Standards and engineering principles (similar to schemes in NSW and SA), using the Australian Design Rules (ADRs);
• Allow all Second Stage Manufacturing (SSM) modifications approved under federal ADRs to be automatically approved and accepted under state modification standards for current in-service vehicles (same modifications for same vehicles);
• Recognise interstate modifications for registration transfers, or currently registered Tasmanian vehicles, where the modifications are undertaken by a CPE from interstate, and an appropriate engineering report is provided;
• Commit to regular reviews of restrictive regulations, standards and red tape, where clear modification and certification details are already provided within the Australian Design Rules, equivalent international standards, or where there is lack of evidence to prove modifications are unsafe;
• Establish a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) from motoring community and industry groups, to review, advise and approve requirements for department of transport enactment;
• Adjust the Vintage and Street Rod club registration to allow 60 days of unrestricted vehicle use, on top of the current club sanctioned events;
• Work with motoring community and industry groups to generate education programs to cover safe modifications and driving in non-standard conditions, such as sand driving, towing caravans, undertaking vehicle recoveries;
• Engage other Council of Australian Governments (COAG) representatives and seek to harmonise vehicle standards and regulations where possible, through the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board (AMVCB);
• Agree to transfer responsibility of vehicle modifications regulations and standards to the Commonwealth (or a national regulator), on the condition that:
o Moving to a Federal model does not negatively reduce, restrict, or prohibit those provided by the state, and committed above; and
o It is agreed by Tasmanian motoring community and industry representatives.
Australian Recreational Motorists Association