Much has happened of late as several organisations have one by one abandoned the hard C spine collar.
Following this in October 2014, PHARM reported that the entire Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) would in 2015 be ceasing the use of hard cervical collars.This was confirmed, when in December QAS released their rationale for the change, explaining why they would be replacing hard collars with soft collars. Their cervical collar procedures policy, released in February, is provided here. They are following the lead of their state-wide tertiary referral centre for spinal injuries, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, who abandoned hard collars in 2009 and have had no adverse outcomes as a result with an attendant significant reduction in complications.
This is a very significant change in practice in a large state of Australia.