Lambo barrister’s cheeky new plates
A colourful Sydney barrister who took Transport NSW to court in a bid to hold onto his "offensive" Lamborghini number plates has revealed the cheeky replacement.
Peter Lavac, a renowned criminal defence expert and former Hong Kong crown prosecutor, had the new plates fitted on his prized yellow racing car last Monday - XXLEGO.
"The new plates stand for 'extra large ego'," the 74-year-old told news.com.au
"Every criminal lawyer and athlete has a massive ego - you need it to do battle in court or to win at sport and you particularly need a big ego to take on bullies and kick their arses."
He added, "I promised these fat cats I would give them a war they would not believe and I've kept that promise."
Mr Lavac told The Sunday Telegraph he had considered a few other ideas for his new plates, including SPRDEM (spread 'em) and FCKOFF - but knew they would "never pass muster", so he settled on XXLEGO.
"They would be scrutinising my application with a microscope," he said.
Mr Lavac made headlines last year after he was ordered to hand in his prized "LGOPNR" plates - which were short for "leg opener", a "tongue-in-cheek" reference to his reputation as a ladies' man.
The Northern Beaches legal personality took on the authorities, arguing that "recreational sex between consenting adults" could never be offensive, and that most people didn't understand the joke regardless.
He won the first round in court on a technicality, but Transport NSW continued to pursue him, warning that if he didn't hand the plates back his licence would be suspended.
Mr Lavac appealed again and the matter was listed for hearing at the Downing Centre Local Court in early December - but days before he was due to appear, he was pulled over by police a few hundred metres from his home in Manly and the plates were seized.
"They finally unleashed the nanny state's ultimate weapon - the boys in blue," Mr Lavac told news.com.au at the time.
He continued to fight the matter, seeking to have the plates returned and a court declaration that they could not be deemed offensive.
Appearing before Magistrate Greg Elks, his lawyer Jim Conomos quoted 19th century English politician and writer Lord Acton when he told the court that "absolute power corrupts absolutely".
"I don't find this case humorous - maybe I'm getting old in that regard," Mr Conomos told the court. "This is an important matter of principle."
Mr Lavac argued the vanity plates were a "tongue-in-cheek, funny, humorous, taking-the-piss tribute to my reputation as a playboy".
Transport NSW lawyer Taylor McAnderson told the court that according to their terms and conditions, the government owned the plates and they had "absolute discretion" to recall them at any point if they were deemed "unsuitable or offensive".
Mr Elks ultimately ruled in favour of Transport NSW, which he said retained ownership of all number plates in the state and could recall them at will.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Mr Lavac was defiant. "The main reason I took these people to court was to send a message," he said.
"And that was my way of saying, as politely as I know how, 'Hey guys, this is the 21st century. This is Australia. This is a free country. This is a democracy. This is not the Soviet Union.' So get a life. Get a sense of humour and get over it."
Mr Lavac, a cancer survivor who once set a world record for a 900km surfski voyage from Hong Kong to the Philippines, said he felt he deserved his new number plates.
"I paddled a surfski across the South China Sea, I won gold and bronze at the world champs in Florida, I disarmed a gunman at the Sydney Hilton, I saved a judge's life when he was attacked in court, I saved a father and son in a double surf rescue in huge seas, and last but not least I beat the deadliest bully of all, lung cancer," he said.
"So I'm pretty damn sure I've also earned these plates as well."
Mr Lavac explained that the reason he "took on these PC bullies was because at age five, me and my family escaped Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia".
"Where the soil was soaked red with the blood of Czech martyrs, who lost their lives standing up to the Communist thugs and bullies while fighting for liberty and human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom from censorship - basic rights which most Aussies take for granted but which are slowly being eroded by the woke weirdos, the political correctness crazies and the left-wing lunatics," he said.
He referred to the arrest of Ballarat woman Zoe-Lee Buhler last September for a Facebook post encouraging an anti-lockdown protest.
"Who can ever forget the disgusting TV images of jackbooted thugs arresting a pregnant young mother in her own home and handcuffing her in front of her children for committing the heinous crime of posting something on the internet that Chairman Dan didn't like?" he said.
"Wake up, Australia, before it's too late."
Mr Lavac said he has been heartened by the community response to his story.
"Ever since this story went viral, and thanks to freedom of the press, made international headlines, we have attracted massive overwhelming support from all over the world," he said.
"We have won where it really counts in the court of public opinion and the pub test. As an added bonus, we put a much-needed smile on a lot of people's faces during these dark, difficult times."
- with NCA NewsWire
Originally published as Lambo barrister's cheeky new plates