Emma Laukens is looking forward to an exciting rest of 2024

Emma Laukens, Chair – 4WD Industry Council
The Australian 4WD Industry Council is a non-competitive, specialist council of the AAAA. It has been formed to provide advice, understanding and a strategic approach to market issues from regulators, governments, 4WD enthusiasts and community groups.

The past year has been huge for the Committee – our agenda has never been more full, and while the sales growth across the industry may have normalised somewhat from the unprecedented numbers we were seeing off the back of COVID, there has been no shortage of industry activity.
4×4 shows were back in full swing this past year and I am pleased to say that the 4WD Industry Council were able to run fantastic member networking events at all of the major shows once again for the first time since prior to the pandemic. This year’s events were better than ever, including panel sessions in Sydney and Melbourne which covered the important topic, ‘Managing your brand in the hands of influencers.’
We were pleased to have capacity attendance in Melbourne and Brisbane, while the Sydney event moved from Breakfast to an evening event and saw a record attendance. Meanwhile, the Adelaide and Perth events were far less formal, which created a fantastic forum style atmosphere which was really well-received.

Looking ahead, we have some big items coming up on the Committee’s agenda.
Advocating for the national rollout of the Cert II in Automotive Accessory Fitting (AUR 22021), assisting the AAAA on amendments to the GCM code, and the big one – the review of the National Code of Practice, VSB14 – are all high priority for the Committee. Looking at the VSB14 review in particular, this will be wide-reaching review and represents an important opportunity to clarify some of the grey areas that have led to state interpretations, and also to address new technologies.
Also coming up are our Committee elections, which are due to be held in July. In accordance with our charter, Committee elections are held in two rounds, ordinarily with six of the twelve positions up for election every two years. Successful candidates are then elected to the Committee for a four-year term. Dividing the elections into two halves in this way ensures continuity in Committee matters.
Anton Griffiths (Tuff Group), David Cook (Exclusive Tyres), Stephen Handbury (Saber Offroad) and Chris van der Horst (Club 4×4) are all due to retire from their Committee positions this round, however all retiring Committee members are eligible to nominate for re-election.
If you are a 4WD Industry Council member and you are keen to contribute to the governing committee to help drive change for the 4WD Industry, we would love to see your nomination – nominations close on Friday the 21st of June – contact Nigel Bishop at nbishop@aaaa.com.au for details.
And if you’re an accessory manufacturer, supplier, retailer, or fitter, but not yet a member of the 4WD Industry Council, please don’t just sit on the sidelines – take an active role in future-proofing your industry by becoming a member and make your voice count!