In July 2000 the Environmental Protection Authority introduced a new regulation requiring all motorcycles fitted with an aftermarket exhaust to carry a specific label on it or face a $200 fine.
The EPA made no attempt to inform riders of this new law, and failed to make available, any useful information about it
Fines and defect notices were being issued by EPA inspectors and the Police.
This regulation was retrospective
The Police used Random Breath Test stations as a means of collecting motorcycles from the road for the EPA and the Police to issue fines.
Riders were effectively arrested so the EPA (now DECC) can noise test their machines, and check for stickers causing delays for up to two hours on the roadside.
This enforcement regime has soured relations between Police and riders at a time when it was hoped riders and Police could work together towards real improvements in road safety.
Other agencies of Government have been working with riders to improve safety and these actions initiated by EPA (now DECC) destroyed several years of good work.
The law appeared to be used primarily to raise money, rather than being used to target excessively noisy motorcycles.
A new law to collect a 'sticker tax' - pure revenue raising. Bikes that were at or below the legal noise limit were fined! Clearly it was not related to noise output.
DEC commissioned a survey of community attitudes to noise. A survey will only return a result in accord with how the questions are put to the respondents. This survey was not designed to discover facts, but to re-inforce a political "spin" that was pre determined. As a result, the sham "survey" was waved about, pointing out that the biggest noise problem to reidents in NSW was from motorcycle noise. They forgot to include noisy neighbours and barking dogs amongst many other omissions.
Yet another example of "spin doctors" detouring valid community debates - business as usual for NSW Labour.
The DEC attempted to modify the law, making it even more onerous and a Motion of Disallowance in the Legislative Council was supported.
Clause 19 was repealed.
The EPA had also continued to issue fines for failing to carry a sticker on the fuel tank which says "unleaded fuel only", despite the law requiring this label having been repealed when leaded fuel was phased out.
DECC staff changes have introduced some good people who can actually understand this area.
EDITING NOTE - ADD IN HANSARD, SURVEY, LEGISLATION REFERENCES
The Motor Cycle Council of NSW is made up of unpaid volunteers. This webpage was prepared by the Noise Committee of the MCC of NSW.
The MCC of NSW is in dialog with the NSW government. This webpage and it's content is part of that dialog.