Positives from 4wd meeting

DAVID Robertson hopes the State Government makes a decision as soon as possible about tag-along tours for Fraser Island so operators can prepare their fleets.

The secretary of the Fraser Coast 4WD Hire Association met Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan in Brisbane on Wednesday to discuss rules for tag-alongs.

Joining him was Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism general manager Damien Massingham.

The pair agreed the meeting went well and that Ms Nolan had listened to their concerns.

Those concerns include waiving the seven seat limit for vehicles used for tag-along tours.

“We want to make sure all people travelling to Fraser Island do so in a safe and protective way and in a way that is also good for the environment,” Mr Massingham said.

“Tag-along tours mean you've got an accredited driver in the lead vehicle and that immediately increases the safety of the tour.”

An expert guide also meant the environment would be protected, Mr Massingham said, because they would ensure tourists did not drive on dunes and did not speed.

Communication between Fraser Coast 4WD and tourism representatives and Ms Nolan will continue until tag-along tours are given the official green light.

Earlier this year Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones verbally gave the go-ahead on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the compliance details are down to Ms Nolan's office.

Mr Robertson expects a decision to be made mid-December: “The minister gave us a very good hearing. Now her department will review it and make a decision.

“It would be in all fairness for all operators to make the decision as quickly as possible.”

A date has not been set for hire companies to start converting their vehicles to meet new safety rules. When it is they will have 12 months to reduce seats from 11 to seven for self-drive tours and store all luggage inside instead of on roofs.

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