Seven-seat limit a no-go: operators
REPRESENTATIVES of the Fraser Coast 4WD Hire Association and from Fraser Coast South Burnett Tourism met with Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan late yesterday in an effort to convince the government not to enforce a seven-seat limit for 4WDs used for tag-along tours.
From Brisbane, association secretary David Robertson said Fraser Coast operators were not concerned about the change from 11 seats to seven as a general rule but argued it should not apply for the tours because an expert guide was on hand.
Mr Robertson said if tag-along tours went ahead they would generate 36 tour guide jobs for the industry. However, the general feeling among operators was that they would not agree to tag-alongs if the government did not make the seating concession.
Mr Robertson said the government's argument was flawed because the proposed changes would lead to 3400 more vehicles accessing the island every year. It would also mean the cost of going on a tag-along tour would jump from $225 to $375 per person.
The new government rules, which will include luggage being carried inside vehicles and not on top, are likely to come into effect mid-November or December. Operators will then have 12 months to convert their fleets.
4WD representatives also met with Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen, last night who was in Brisbane for State Parliament.