The 4WD Industry Council 4WD Networking Breakfast was at capacity at the Brisbane National 4×4 and Outdoors Show

Hosted by 4WD Industry Council Convenor, Nigel Bishop, the 4WD Networking Breakfast kicked off the 2024 Brisbane National 4×4 and Outdoors Show, with attendance a sell-out.
To open the morning’s official proceedings, Nigel provided an update on industry news before inviting keynote presenter, AAAA Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Charity, to speak about the recent political activity organised in response to the crippling delays and inefficiencies AAAA members have been struggling with whilst navigating the federal Rover system.
“To have the room fully sold out was really great and shows the appetite our industry has for insights and networking opportunities within our rapidly evolving industry,” Nigel said.
“I was pleased to present a number of topics around 4WD Industry Council activities, including progress with the Certificate 2 in Automotive Accessory Fitting, and the next steps we need to take as an industry to see the course rolled out nationally.
“It was a six-year journey for our Council, working with members, RTOs, and the Skills Services Organisation advocating for the development of this new national qualification.
“We are excited to see the course available in Queensland, and we are asking our members to help demonstrate the national industry demand so we can encourage training organisations in other states to follow the lead of the MTAQ Institute and invest in offering the course.
“I was really pleased to be able to outline the opportunities here to the Breakfast attendees, and to invite them to lend their support in taking this to the next level – encouragingly, there was a lot of support in the room, and I look forward to working with our members further on pushing this course forward.”
Another area focused on at the Breakfast was an update on the GCM (Gross Combination Mass) Modification Code.
“There are a number of sticking points that are impeding the GCM pathway, both here in QLD where the code is active, and in other states where the code has not yet been implemented,” Nigel said.
“The national rollout of the GCM code has been delayed in some states following the announcement of a forthcoming review of VSB14 (of the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification), although the start date for this review has yet to be advised.
“While the GCM code affects a proportion of our membership, the VSB14 review will touch every business that is involved in any kind of modification whatsoever, and so was an important topic for the attendees at this event to be aware of.”
Stuart delivered important updates on the AAAA’s recent delegation of Second Stage Manufacturers to Canberra, explaining how the delegation had met with Members of Parliament and Senior Officials from the Department of Transport to advocate for an urgent overhaul of the Rover approval process.
He outlined how those urgent meetings highlighting these issues and the financial impacts have been pivotal in addressing the bottlenecks affecting SSMs, and are a fantastic example of the wider industry advocacy work undertaken by AAAA and the 4WD Industry Council on behalf of members.
“Individually, it is very difficult to affect change at a policy level; but collectively, when we come together as an industry, we have the strength to influence and negotiate for better outcomes, and we look forward to continuing our work on behalf of industry at the 4WD Industry Council,” Nigel said.
Amongst the attendees were special guests, Scott Hall and Anna Flowers from Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads.
“To have two senior representatives from the Queensland Department of Transport in the room with us in the area of Vehicle Standards was fantastic,” Nigel said.
“We deeply value our relationship with the Department and their willingness to work with industry, so were very appreciative that Scott and Anna accepted our invite not only to the Breakfast, but also a post-event meeting to talk through the issues with the GCM Modification Code.”

For more from the 4WD Industry Council, visit www.4wdcouncil.com.au