diminishes criminality is the certainty of the punishment and not the size of it'
The phrase above couldn't express better the way Law works in Australia. Here you can be sure that any crime's author will have the punishment that deserves. Those who come to Australia for a short period may not take note of this process, but with time, you will see the number of rules and laws that govern our lives, day after day. In my opinion, they are excessive but necessary to keep the order and protect people. One day, I was with an American, a New Zealander and a Brazilian joking about each one's lives in each respective country. After gallons of beer, we came to a conclusion that USA is the "cannot country", New Zealand is the " I am sorry but it's not allowed", Brazil is " Everything is possible", and Australia is " No way".
aside, we all know that laws are absolutely necessary for the maintenance of any society and its' development. In Australia, you can say that "The Law Is the Law", independent of social status or the amount of money a person has in the bank. Police are very well trained and equipped, with top class and respectful professionals, men and women. Justice is fast with prosecutions swift also.
But, there is a problem on the way called Civil Liability. It is destroying Australia in innovation and happiness. Because of the high price of insurance premiums to cover liability from anyone, Doctors are going out of business, tours operators are shutting down their risky operations, and even Councils are taking parks out of children playgrounds. It is sad but it is true. Four million dollars was given to a person who hit his head on a sand bar in Bondi beach (Sydney) between the life saving flags. These guys who protect your life were cited as irresponsible and ordered to pay absurd compensation. Not to go too deeply into it all, I recommend a movie called " The Man who prosecuted God". It explains exactly what is happening with the liability situation in Australia. Why don't they just copy New Zealand? which has a governmental controlled compensation system, simply the best in the world.
You Can't : No, No, No!!!
Smoking in any place that is not outdoors. A few work places allow you to smoke in the office, and some areas inside pubs. No way, inside a Taxi, Bus, Shopping Centres, Airports, Food Courts, etc... etc...
No drinking alcohol in public areas such as parks, beaches etc.. But you can drink inside your home, in a licensed restaurant or in a pub. Drink driving is a very serious offence, and the limit is about 2 cans of beer, or 1 glass of wine or half a glass of spirit. Fines starts at AU$ 75 for public places and go into there thousands for drinkdriving. For this last one, you will have to go to Court. To buy alcohol and tobacco you need to be 18.
but.., you can not sell or produce illegal drugs. The consumption is tolerated but reprehended, in case of foreigners it can lead to
jail and deportation.
You can't sell anything on the streets including to other business without a license. For example, you can't catch a beautiful fish and sell it to a restaurant, or produce food in your home to sell to the general public. There are heavy fines to do so. Anything you plan to sell will require a license, except in markets or garage sales.
Riding your bicycle without a helmet and driving a car without seat belts attracts AU$ 110 fine. Bicycles are considered vehicles in Australia, and car drivers are expected to consider you as another vehicle and give space to you. (they don't do it very much) . You must also signal with your arms when turning right or left and stop at intersections and signals just like a car does. Bicycles are not allowed on motorways or high speed freeways. In the big cities there are exclusive bike lanes for you to ride.
is prohibited by law to work in Australia
with a Tourist Visa.
Not to pay your fines, may lead to bigger and bigger fines, and confiscation of your assets to cover it in case you don't have money, or even prison. If you leave Australia and leave unpaid fines, when you return in the far future you may have a very big surprise
- if they let you return!
Working without the correct visa may lead to prison and deportation. Student visas holders can apply for a permit for part time work (20 hours per week) Also, there are holiday working visas, which give permission for some countries who have agreements with Australia to work for a certain period in Australia. Overstaying your visa in Australia may bring fines or deportation. If you intend to extend your stay in Australia, you must visit an Immigration office before your visa expires.
For the ones who love to
fight, know that touching a person without consent is considered invasion of privacy and physical aggression that can lead to prosecution. It means it is not necessary to break the other person in half, just by touching them is already an offence. You can shout, scream, throw things on the ground or fart, but if you verbally offend or punch a person you are in trouble. Courts solve these cases in a flash usually with fines to the aggressor.
Getting rid of
trash, or throwing anything on the streets including cigarette buts, calls for a AU$ 75 fine.
Racial, Religious and discriminatory matters, are passive of prosecution and even jail. Also, when you plan to photograph someone you don't know, ask their permission before do so. Supplying phone numbers and addresses without a persons' consent can also lead to prosecution by breach of the privacy act. Sex, colour age and race, are a no no field for discrimination, with the same consequences as above.
Pedestrian Crossings aren't there only to make the street look more beautiful or to decorate the street. Wherever there is a ped crossing without pedestrian lights to help you cross the road, you must stop and wait until a person finishes crossing. In case of intersections with traffic lights, you have to follow the lights. Also, other indication signs on parks, beaches, and streets govern the rules.
Well, we can't place all Australian legislation on a page, but these are the most frequently asked questions about Australian Rules and Laws. Hopefully you will obey the law!
Notice: yesaustralia.com has changed in January
2007 into a newer and more comprehensive
The English version on the new website is not
completed yet, so we recommend to stick with this
one for a while.