A NUMBER plate collectors’ club has been trying in vain to get the Department of Transport to change existing laws around number plate collection.
The bona fide collectors possess number plates as part of their hobby, but one Chidlow member has already had his collection confiscated.
Clint Roworth (34) said he was seeking to get recognition for his 20-year-old hobby.
“WA is the only state in Australia where number plate collecting is not permitted,” he said.
“But my plates should be returned to me as I have never been charged with any crime.”
At this stage, Mr Roworth is the only one of 60 members in WA who has had his plates confiscated by police – in November 2008 – and handed over to the Department of Transport.
He said there were a further 1200 members in Australia who collect number plates but he was the only collector who had had his plates taken from him.
The club’s WA co-ordinator, who declined to be named to protect his collection, said the sensible solution would be to change the law to reflect collectors’ passion.
“Laws have been changed for gun, knife, sword and army tank collectors, so why have number plates been discriminated against?’’
The co-ordinator said the existing laws dated back 90 years and were preventing a harmless pursuit from continuing.
“Collectors are preserving our unique heritage for future generations,’’ he said.
Department of Transport spokeswoman Louise Jess said number plates were the property of the State and were issued by the director-general to identify licensed vehicles and regulate vehicle use on roads.
"DoT cannot comment on individual matters,” she said.
Ms Jess said West Australian police administered the firearms and weapons legislation. And while number plates were the property of the State, guns and knives were not.