Same thing here - I thing the restrictive laws are aimed at what we call "P" platers - after passing their driving test, up to age 18, people have to drive on a restricted or "P" licence. restrictions on power to weight ratio of vehicle driven, maximum speed, no driving between midnight and 5:30, no use of mobile phone even with a bluetooth or car kit whatsoever and - big one - ZERO alcohol in blood. For other classes of drivers (except taxi drivers and drivers of other prescribed classes) it's 0.05% BAC is the limit. Taxi drivers are zero BAC as well. And yes, P platers do some stupid bloody things to their cars as well ..... like ramping up the engine but not paying attention to the brakes or suspension - or dropping the suspension right down "because it looks cool".
Australia is pretty big into tuning - but unless you have a V8 .... forget it, there is not much for you. If I had a V8 Ford or Holden I could get Supercharger kits and turbo kits a-plenty - but one Aussie company I spoke to was excited to announce their intention to consider the possibility of doing Super and turbo kits for V8 BMW's...... Having said that, KPM Motor sports here in Adelaide is good for European cars, but apart from a modified chip, not much in the way of tuning for a small M44 engine.
This country is obsessed with V8's !! I live in Adelaide and we host the Clipsal 500 in March.... which is becoming the worlds premier V8 supercar event.... Roads are shut off and cars race around the streets of Adelaide a la Monte Carlo. When I say cars.... as long as those cars are V8 Holden's or Fords..... that's it, no other marques or makes. Ford and Holden V8 and THAT is what Australian tuning is aimed at.
For the rest of us who drive real cars, well.... we are left to scrimp and buy from overseas. That's OK - it usually works out cheaper
Once I have the new cover, I will keep that as my "original" (because it is new) and will have no compunction about modifying the old existing cover. I will post pics of what I have done so you can see what I had to do to get it to work and what the end result is. Beings I have ordered and paid for the cover, I may even do that today !!
I am a BIG fan of Pelican Parts. I like being able to go to RealOEM.com, find the part I need for my exact model, then take that part number, plug it into Pelican Parts and BANG.... there it is. I had no idea what that part was called.... but it took me all of 30 mins yesterday to go to RealOEM.com, look it up, put the part number into Pelican, find it , order it (and order some high power dual electrode Bosch spark plugs as well.... pretty cheap at USD $6.00 each !!) and pay for the whole lot. The cover is a special order from BMW, they have given me a predicted shipping date of 3/2/12 and I know I will receive it here in Aus about a week after that.