The State Government has resolved a long-running row with the Australian Football League over the manufacture, marketing and distribution of car licence plates bearing the logos of AFL teams.
However, it could be several weeks before they become available to consumers - and they will almost certainly cost more.
The Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Francis Logan, said the AFL had ordered a halt to the sale of the plates in May this year.
The Department for Planning and Infrastructure (DPI) was forced to suspend production of the plates, pending the development of a new and revised agreement between the two organisations.
The AFL had claimed all rights to the intellectual property of each club design and revoked the department’s authority to use AFL club logos on vehicle licence plates.
Under previous arrangements, AFL supporters clubs were able to purchase the plates from DPI at a wholesale price and then on-sell them at a profit as a way of raising funds for their organisation.
The plates - which include three designs for the Fremantle Dockers and four for the West Coast Eagles - have always been popular with members of the public.
Mr Logan - who is responsible for licensing in Western Australia - said the department had worked hard to overcome the many issues involved in the AFL’s directive.
“While it is good that we are close to resolving this dispute, it is a pity this could not be achieved before the Grand Final,” he said.
“I would expect quite a big demand, especially for Eagles plates.”
Under the new arrangement, the plates will be provided through a third party, the Malaga office of the Queensland-based LicenSys Pty Ltd, and manufactured and issued by the Department for Planning and Infrastructure.
Mr Logan said LicenSys would handle copyright and royalty issues with the AFL. However, the involvement of a third party would lead to inevitable cost increases.
“It is also disappointing that the AFL went down this path during the season, creating considerable confusion and frustration with its supporter base,” he said.
The Minister said further consultation was necessary to ensure all the plate designs had AFL approval.
“We will also be liaising with Eagles, Dockers and other AFL club supporters groups to advise them of our progress and the changes that will come as a result of the new arrangement,” Mr Logan said.
“It is anticipated that full consultation will begin in the week following the AFL Grand Final, with plates being available once again in the not too distant future.”
Minister's office: 9222 8950