Crazy Australian legislation you never knew about

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From carrying too many potatoes to wearing the wrong colour shoes, Australia is home to some of the weirdest laws in the world. Here are some of the more bizarre.

1. Carrying too many potatoes in WA

Western Australia is the only state in the country with a potato regulator. The Potato Marketing Corporation of Western Australia is charged with managing the supply of fresh table potatoes in Western Australia and dictates the varieties and volume in the WA potato market. One of the laws it enforces is that it is illegal to be in possession of more than 50kg of potatoes in the state. The law gives the Corporation the power to stop and search any vehicle suspected of carrying more than 50kg of potatoes.

2. Offering rewards for return of stolen property

If you live in South Australia or Tasmania and publicly advertise a reward for the return of lost or stolen property with no questions asked, you can be found guilty of an offence and slapped with a fine, up to a maximum of $500. Any publication that prints the advertisement is also guilty of an offence. The law basically exists to ensure thieves are not let off the hook.

3. Disrupt a wedding

We can’t remember being at a wedding where we were asked ‘speak now, or forever hold your peace’ but if you hear it in South Australia, you are best to choose the latter option, as disrupting a wedding comes with some pretty serious consequences. If you are found guilty of disrupting a wedding or a funeral, you could face fines of up to $10,000 or two years’ imprisonment.

4. Prank births, deaths and marriages

If you want to make up a humorous birth notice, you best not do it in Queensland. They don’t take too kindly to jokes in the Sunshine State and anyone who publishes a false advertisement about a birth, death, marriage, engagement or job opportunity could be sentenced to six months’ imprisonment.

5. Wearing the wrong shoes

Last year, a Sydney taxi driver was fined $100 for wearing brown shoes. This was thanks to New South Wales’ strict uniform rules for taxi drivers. According to the NSW Passenger Transport Act 1990, “the driver of a taxicab that is connected to a taxicab network must wear an approved network uniform at all times while driving”. The specific mention of wearing black shoes was scrapped in December 2015, and the Sydney taxi driver later had his charges dropped.

What other Australian strange laws do you know about?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 5
  1. 0

    Don’t call Potato Scallops (as we know them in the northern states) in the lower regions of NSW, Victoria, or Tasmania, they’re Potato Cakes.

    • 0

      Yes but is that a law?

    • 0

      Is this something like cantaloupes or rockmelons? How about school cases or ports? Kids have play lunch in one state and little lunch in another. Having spent a fair bit of my life moving from one state to another it was not unusual to ask for something to be met by a blank stare as it was called something else where you are shopping.

  2. 0

    You are seriously out of date… The Potato Marketing Corp. is defunct… it was the last remnant of food control from the 2nd World War… Nothing much has changed.. we still don’t have a broad range of spuds….

  3. 0

    Not sure if it’s still current, but a while back there was a law in NSW that if you saw a horse on or near a road you had to take your car apart and hide it In the bushes.

    In Seattle, USA, it’s against the law to ride an ugly horse, and if you are going to Seattle to commit a crime, you must write to the Mayor and detail your intentions before arrival!



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