We all need laws. To make things fair. To keep us safe. And to protect our environment.
But when laws over-reach they begin to destroy the very life they are supposed to protect.
Who’s read General Local Law No 2? It’s 22 pages long.
So to give you a little snapshot of how some of these laws might affect us, I’d like to tell you a little story about my typical weekend here in Daylesford. See if you can count how many local laws I’m breaking.
On any given weekend I might take my kids to the skate park for a birthday party, assisting my daughter to ride her new bike along the footpath.
On the way I stop to buy a bunch of daffodils from a roadside stall, and see a dead wallaby so I remove it from the road to check its pouch, pick up some rubbish blowing along the roadside and place it in a council bin.
While the kids are at the party I run a ballroom dancing class at a local church hall and pop out a sign on the footpath to direct people in.
Afterwards I meet up with my book club friends at a local pub. I pick up the kids, but on the way my car gets a flat tyre, so I stop to change it while the kids collect some kindling for the fire. On the way home we drop in at the tip to grab some materials to make a chook shed.
Next day I weed the vegie garden I’ve planted on the nature strip, and go to the footy breakup party at the local sports ground. Sounds like a normal weekend?
How many laws did I break?
8 of these things require a permit. 6 are prohibited. I just broke 14 council laws.
Now, you may say, “Council will never police that. They don’t have the resources to chase all those permits.” Which, in fact, council staff have actually admitted.
But if it’s written in the law, it can be enforced.
And in case you’re wondering if any council would ever even bother to enforce any of these laws, here’s a breaking news story from just last Friday.
ABC News reports
An eastern suburbs council in Adelaide fines a mother $187 for hiring a magician, without a permit, to entertain a small group of children in a local park for her son’s birthday party.