Traffic record regret for Murdock
ON the day Tania Murdock announced she would nominate as the National Party candidate for the federal seat of Richmond, she was at Tweed Heads Local Court trying to pass herself off as a Queenslander to avoid a driver’s licence suspension.
The Roads and Traffic Authority had caught the Pottsville pharmacy manager driving on a Queensland licence under her parents’ Runcorn address when her New South Wales licence was suspended.
Mrs Murdock attempted to appeal the suspension on Tuesday on the grounds she was a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
But Magistrate Michael Dakin was quick to dismiss the application when it was revealed the 40-year-old had accumulated 26, mostly speeding related, traffic offences in Queensland between 1988 and 2008.
Her NSW record was not publicly available.
The long-time campaigner for extra police resources on the Tweed was forced to apologise yesterday.
“I am sorry,” Mrs Murdock said in a statement sent to the Tweed Daily News.
“While I never caused any accidents or drove under the influence, an accumulation of demerit points, particularly over double demerit weekends, has led the RTA to suspend my driving privileges until next April.”
She claimed she transferred to a Queensland licence earlier in the year when she temporarily lived with her parents in Brisbane.
“I looked for legal means to avoid losing my driving licence, and with hindsight now regret that too.”
“Like many local working mums, I do a lot of driving and I just didn’t give myself enough time to get from one place to another.”
“I fully support the road rules, accept the court’s decision and hope this will serve as a reminder to others that you really do have to keep a very close eye on your speed.”
The RTA sent a letter to Mrs Murdock’s Queensland address stating it had banned her from driving in NSW and she took up the option to appeal the decision at court.
“The RTA was advised you have transferred your licence to another state ... in view of the demerit points that have accrued for an offence committed by you while your former NSW driver’s licence was subject to good behaviour conditions, the RTA has determined that it will take action in respect to your driving privileges in this state (NSW),” the letter, which was submitted to the court, said.
“Driving privileges which allow you to drive in (NSW) while the holder of a driver’s licence in another jurisdiction will be withdrawn.”
Mrs Murdock said she hoped the incident would help others avoid the same fate.
“There is a silver lining in every cloud. In this case, I hope some of the people reading about this will take the foot off the pedal and avoid suffering a similar fate.”
Mrs Murdock is the president of the Pottsville Beach Business Association and narrowly missed election to the Tweed Shire Council last year.
If her nomination is accepted by the National Party on December 6, she will be up against former Tweed mayor Joan van Lieshout and current Richmond MP and sitting member Justine Elliot.
Mrs Murdock and her husband Colin have three young boys and have operated pharmacies at Pottsville for 14 years.