When I was a kid, I loved the license plate game on road trips. Who could be the first see a car with a license plate from a state not seen before? With 50 states that could keep three young boys busy for a long time. In Australia – with only six states and two territories – it’s not the same challenge .
I also enjoyed the sayings on each plate that described how the state wanted you to think about the state. Growing up in Colorado, I liked the image of “Colorful Colorado” and especially liked when they changed the plates to have a profile of the Rocky Mountains.
The same used to be true in Australia. Queensland is the Sunshine State, with its expansive beaches and even a section of the state called the Sunshine Coast. New South Wales was the first area populated by non-indigenous people. Victoria does have lush vegetation.
Apparently these traditional images were not progressive thinking enough. So new plates in Victoria say:
On the Move – Is this a reference to the car moving down the road? Are Victorians’ especially itinerant?
The Place to Be – Is this a metaphysical statement about Victorians’ state of being
My favorite license plate nonsense, however, comes from the Queensland. New license plates now say:
If Queensland represents the smart state, which one is the dumb state – or is this a reference to classy clothes they wear in Queensland?
Then there is the marketing director’s nightmare – the saying that was forward thinking at one time, but now totally dated.
But then I guess one could ask if Colorado is the colorful state, which is the non-colorful state. I’m happy to nominate several.
On a slightly different subject – You will note that the image with the “Victoria: The Place To Be” plate shows the one major automobile company in Australia not found in America – The Holden (logo of a lion with its foot on top a spherical stone). This traditional Australian-made car is now owned by General Motors and competes with the car manufacturers we typically find in the US – Ford, Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan (pronounced “nis-son”), Subaru, Mazda (pronounced “maaz-da”). . . .