NSW bureaucrats claim GRN4DE plate is offensive
Almost as soon as the news arrived that Victorian street machiner Peter Hansen was enjoying a hard-fought win over VicRoads with the return of his WEPN number plates (see Broadcast, p. 5), it was the turn of NSW Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) to bat for Team Fun Police. Well-known street machiner Stephen Sherry has been denied the number plate GRN4DE by the RMS.
Stephen has owned his Sting Red LJ Torana since 1986, but the blown 383ci small-block has been swapped out for a tamer street-spec 307ci Chev so he could engineer and register the car for the first time in decades. “I’ve owned the car for 34 years and it has had four or five rebuilds, but it was never registered, so I used the show plates GRNADE,” Stephen says. “The funny thing is, I had GRNADE plates on my VE SS family car, and those plates are still on it on NSW roads! I don’t understand how those plates are allowed, but the minute I applied for GRN4DE I was rejected. I applied for the GRN4DE plates on 21 November, paid for them and then received the rejection letter two days later.”
The letter states that MyPlates and RMS rejected GRN4DE on the grounds of it transgressing community standards for violence, and this doesn’t sit well with Mr Sherry.
“If community standards are the issue, how can our sports teams be named after weapons, like the Essendon Bombers, the Brisbane Bullets and the like?” he questions. “My argument is that with the rebuilds of the engine, and the fact my engines never lasted, I went with a version of ‘grenade’.”
Stephen isn’t the only person in the sights of the RMS – Sydney lawyer Peter Lavac’s LGOPNR (‘leg-opener’) plates have also come to their attention. At first he had the request to surrender the plates overturned in court, only to have the fuzz pull him over, remove them from the car and demand he have it towed home!
Stephen recently spoke to Peter Hansen about Pete’s fight with VicRoads over his WEPN plates, and he took heart in the response.
“They say in their ads for MyPlates that number plates give a loved car an identity, but then something must have gone wrong for them to deny me the GRN4DE plates but not have a problem with GRNADE or any of the other plates doing the rounds talking about drugs or guns and weaponry,” he offers.
“Going by the reaction to what I posted on Facebook, it isn’t just car nuts who are upset about this. You can identify our cars by the plate, and it gives that machine a personality. It seems to be a bit of an oxymoron where they want to sell you an image and take your money until one person at the RMS gets offended.
“The people I’ve spoken to at the RMS say they understand the connotation of grenade and an engine blowing up, but they had to refer to their team who review these things, so the issue is in their hands at the moment.”
Needless to say, we’ll keep you updated on the progress of Stephen’s fight against bureaucracy.