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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    chassamui's Avatar
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    Is the relaxed Aussie lifestyle a myth?

    Australia's nanny state: A case of arrested development? - BBC News


    For me, the laid-back, easy-come, easy-go, throw-another-shrimp-on-the-barbie stereotype of Australia is encapsulated in the vibe of its unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda, where a swagman pinches a local sheep for his supper.
    In reality, these days our jolly swagman would probably be pulled up for pitching his tent without a proper permit, lighting an illegal fire or sparking up a ciggie in a public place.
    Populated by convicts in the early days of British settlement, Australia still loves to lay down the law.
    And now an Australian senator has set
    up a parliamentary inquiry into the extent to which the country has become a "nanny state".
    Senator David Leyonhjelm says Australia's once "adventurous spirit" has been paralysed by rules and regulations, and millions of dollars are being wasted on bureaucracy.
    Image caption The original swagman's story doesn't end well "Australia is increasingly becoming a nanny state," says Senator Leyonhjelm, the sole parliamentary representative of the Liberal Democratic Party.
    "The government is taking decisions out of the hands of adults and making decisions for them on the basis that the government knows best."
    Senator Leyonhjelm says the idea of Australia as a relaxed country is no longer true.
    "Unfortunately, the external image is not matched by the internal reality," he says
    "Historically, going back several decades, we were a very relaxed place and governments tended to leave people alone. That is absolutely no longer the case."
    And for me personally, I have to say Australia is without doubt one of the most rule obsessed and bureaucratic places I have ever lived.


    When I first found out I was moving to Sydney in 2013, people told me: "Ooh, you'll love it over there. Australia is so relaxed."
    The reality is that it can be a bit uptight.
    Senator Leyonhjelm singles out compulsory bicycle helmet laws, tough anti-smoking policies, restrictions on e-cigarettes and alcohol licensing laws as examples of "nannystatism."
    The 63-year-old senator is enlisting a team of psychologists to find out what, at least in his view, has gone wrong.
    "There's a sort of moral obligation on politicians to do something when there's a problem," he says.
    "If it was raining cats and dogs you'd almost expect the media and the public to say politicians should do something about it, to fix any problem that arises rather than just let it sort itself out."
    He also argues that Australia's public health lobby has become too powerful and is pressuring the government to introduce unnecessary laws.
    An innocent abroad on the streets of Sydney, I confess I have fallen foul of some of its laws.
    I was fined A$71 ($51, 32) and threatened with court for crossing the road on a red light, unbeknown to me an offence in the state of New South Wales.
    The jovial policeman who stopped me asked, out of the blue, what would happen if I were to punch him in the face.
    "I wouldn't want to try it," I replied looking up at his bulky frame.
    "Don't worry," he said
    "Nothing would happen"
    He told me the courts would probably let me off if I argued I was having a stressful day.
    But jaywalking, he said, "the courts take that very seriously".
    I wondered what Senator Leyonhjelm would make of my story.
    "The one thing I will say about Australians is that we still have a healthy tendency to ignore laws so I am quite pleased to hear you ignored it too," he told me.
    "In fact, I wish everybody would refuse to pay their on-the-spot fines for these silly sorts of things and go to court. It would jam up the magistrates courts something terrible and they would go back to the police and say 'stop being so stupid'."
    Perhaps I'll quote the Senator when I'm standing in the dock.
    Then again, maybe not.
    Because for now at least, in Australia the law is the law.

    The only ones I know are those outside the home country and they certainly live up to the laid back label. They all happen to be pretty successful in life and they can run a good business with level headed common sense. The odd nutter excepted.

  2. #2
    Utopian Expat
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    Must be the thought of their nice fat pensions keeping them laid back.

  3. #3
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    Awstralia is great but has become indolent and nannyfied, too pc and tied to the umbilical good life.
    sure beats some of the alternatives tho, ie a leaky boat trying to get there.

  4. #4
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    I'm living in Oz right now and can confirm that the place has become over-regulated, however it's mostly in cities where you notice it.

    Regarding smoking in public places : I agree with whatever bans are in place and I waited avidly for decades for them to come in.

    Most of the other over-regulation irritates me intensely. The only relief is in regional areas where people are still fairly relaxed.

    I live in Queensland which has always had the reputation of being right-wing. The cops here have always been idiots, too.....the job seems to attract people with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove. That, or the lowlife they regularly deal with make them that way.

    Speed limits in suburban areas have been lowered from the 60 kmh they were for many years, down to 50 kmh. The thing is though : they calculate exactly where on a road people are most likely to slightly exceed that limit, and set up radar traps there. They used to give a few kmh leeway, but that leeway has been lowered THREE TIMES in the last few years....and they refuse to tell people what it now is. My guess is: probably 52 kmh.

    This is STUPID and insulting : motorists who are otherwise cautious drivers are fined for doing slightly more than the limit on sections of road where it is often safe to do so.....downhill sections where you naturally go slightly faster, and nowhere near schools. NOT sections where it has been seen to be dangerous to speed slightly.

    Everyone call it "revenue raising", but I call it "insulting idiocy". Because the cops I've met are over-zealous and actually convinced that they are contributing to saving lives.
    Last edited by Latindancer; 28-08-2015 at 06:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Australia is a great country to live in but to enjoy it one must have a shit load of money.

    The thing I always find on my trips back and always have done is just how over regulated and fookin boring it is compared to the madness of Asia.

    I'll be back there in 4 weeks for my 6 monthly return trip. The best part about Perth for me is its closeness to Asia which means I can go back in a Heart beat if need be.

    I'll check my business, see my mates, hook my camper up to my car and go touring for a week or so.

    2 weeks- 3 weeks Max is enough and I'm gagging to get back to Asia.

    That's just me though. Not suggesting everyone should feel the same.

    The regulations are way over the top though, drives people fookin nuts.
    Stroller is a Yerman faggot.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui
    When I first found out I was moving to Sydney in 2013, people told me: "Ooh, you'll love it over there. Australia is so relaxed."
    The reality is that it can be a bit uptight
    Funny, I just had a chap I know tell me that the other day.

    He was recently in NZ and compared it favorably to AU in that respect which surprised me a little bit. NZ isn't exactly lacking in laws/regulations either.

  7. #7
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    In my younger days, we, guys and girls would go down the surf coast, find a beach some where, set up camp, build a fire, sometime shoot a few rabbits for the BBQ, drink beer and camp the night.

    Today, no fires, no shooting, no drinking, no camping, no sleeping in cars within 1 KM of the coast, think no ball games as well.

    Instead of signs saying what you can't do, they need to say what you can do.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    I was in Sydney for year in 1992.

    Even back then a lot of sydneysiders reckoned the place had gone down the tubes - principally because it had got too crowded.

    I didn't have to bother about such comparisons, and so enjoyed life there.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    mmmmmmm

  10. #10
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    Australia was once a producer before urbanization arrived.
    Now we are a world leader in "service industries" read telling people what to do.
    It's all about dumbing down , mediocrity and bringing the west back to the pack.

  11. #11
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    Used to be that mobile home owners could park up anywhere at a spot alongside the road so long as it didn't present a danger to other traffic. Now several councils in NZ have legislated against this so-called freedom camping so now you need to book into a legitimate sanctioned camping ground or else risk a hefty fine. So beware, the health and safety Nazi's have a grip on the various revenue-gathering bureaucracies in NZ, another good reason to be in Thailand.

    (Not to say that freedom camping in Thailand would be something to do)

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munted
    Used to be that mobile home owners could park up anywhere at a spot alongside the road so long as it didn't present a danger to other traffic. Now several councils in NZ have legislated against this so-called freedom camping so now you need to book into a legitimate sanctioned camping ground or else risk a hefty fine. So beware, the health and safety Nazi's have a grip on the various revenue-gathering bureaucracies in NZ, another good reason to be in Thailand. (Not to say that freedom camping in Thailand would be something to do)
    Freedom camping in NZ sounds like it has been made more challenging and also more fun.
    I'm thinking DPM IRR paintwork, a small silenced generator and a perimeter marked with home made tripflares.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    Challenging would be trying to freedom camp in Thailand, but possible could be done from an inconspicuous van if done in an inconspicuous manner. I can see here some good content for a vblog of some sort which might gather in a decent potential income stream.

  14. #14
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister
    down the surf coast
    Where is this 'Surf Coast'? Weren't you a cop in the UK before you came to Australia?

    Of course Australia has ended up with many more rules and regulations . . . but then it always had them . . . this doesn't make it any different from any other western country. I can see it here in NZ as well - rules and laws from a to z . . . and they are followed

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat
    Where is this 'Surf Coast'? Weren't you a cop in the UK before you came to Australia?
    Great ocean road Vic.
    Went to the UK and became a cop.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chassamui View Post

    Freedom camping in NZ sounds like it has been made more challenging and also more fun.

    The upside is that Australia has lots of free camp sites, I love my road trips back home and being to either camp in the bush or go to a free site somewhere that is spacious and has real shitter is great.

    Not that a shitter is Important simply because I have this little cracker.

    Free camping = free shittin.


  17. #17
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I use this brilliant book for info on Free camps. A must for any Aussie camper.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    When I'm going Norf there's plenty of room to just do this. NZ ain't got the room though so maybe why Free camps ain't everywhere.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Looks like your bottle opener has popped a few caps, tel.

  20. #20
    Cenosillicaphobiac
    Plan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    NZ ain't got the room though so maybe why Free camps ain't everywhere.
    No, it's because of this...

    Quote Originally Posted by terry57
    Free camping = free shittin.
    Loadsa Euro freedom campers come through and stay on beaches and in carparks and decide they can just take a dump anywhere. Hence most local councils have banned them.

  21. #21
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    This is my pet topic "over-regulation"... we are inundated by insignificant/pointless laws, that govern every facet of our life here.

    That is the one thing I love about Thailand... the sense of freedom there (perceived or otherwise) it still feels more free than NZ.

    The amount of permits from local council one must have, just to build your own home is mind boggling. To illustrate my point, it is dictated that one must have a certain space/gap between fence posts so that the local bobby can peer freely into your home *just to make sure you aren't up to any mischief (wankers)...

    The cops here are more worried that Mr. joe smith, might drive 0.001 kmph over the strictly imposed speed limit, whereby opening a vortex in the space, time meridian causing the universe to implode on itself...

    Of course, revenue gathering (oops!) saving us from ourselves, is far more important than catching rapists, thieves, murderers, etc... (much less dangerous and a hell lot more profitable!)...

    The relaxed lifestyle *Aussie/Kiwi is just a myth now, the days of milk and honey are far behind us... God I miss the NZ from the 90's! I loved my country then (jing jing).

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plan B View Post

    Loadsa Euro freedom campers come through and stay on beaches and in car parks and decide they can just take a dump anywhere. Hence most local councils have banned them.

    This free camp was on a river. In the distance you will see the Government provided Free shitter. Payed for and maintained by our Taxes. Bloody good they are and more being supplied every year.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    They are also cracking on with supplying these concrete tables. Really good for putting a slab of Coopers Sparkling Ale on. Fire rings are a nice addition also.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    Oh yes, it's nice out there.


  25. #25
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    It is any coincidence that over the last 30 years, Austrialian "diversity" has increased more or less in concert with the tightening up of regulations?

    Old graph, but shows a trend




    It of course would be unacceptable to suggest that the Austrialians of NW European stock tend to not need telling what is fair dinkum as much as the new incomers from the less civilised parts of the world.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQVmkDUkZT4

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

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