Over the years, laws change; this is down to the developments in society and the need to ensure new developments or inventions are included in regulation. Everyone knows the basic laws, but it should come as no surprise that there are many that we don’t know about.
Luckily, in Australia there are many knowledgeable legal professionals such as Franco Pomare and Gabriella Arvanitis from The Norton Law Group that can answer any of your legal questions.
However, these legal professionals can only help you when the laws are legitimate. Interestingly, whilst new laws may get added, oftentimes, the old ones still remain. This means that many countries, Australia included have some bizarre rules. But how many of them are fact and how many are just fiction? Keep reading to find out.
Possessing 50kgs of potatoes
It has been claimed that in Western Australia it is illegal to have 50kgs of potatoes. As strange as it sounds, this is a fact.
So, what actually is the law for this? Well, section 22 of the Marketing of Potatoes act 1946 forbids anyone from selling, delivering, purchasing or owning 50kgs or more of potatoes. This law does not apply if you are a member of the Potato Corporation- but since you are probably not an authorised agent, it is best to avoid having large quantities of potatoes!
You must be thinking that there can’t possibly be a consequence for this, but you are wrong! In fact, you could be fined up to $2000 for a first offence or $5000 for any further offences, in addition to an amount up to twice the value of the potatoes.
Replacing your lightbulb
You may have heard the strange rule that prohibits occupants of Victoria from changing their own lightbulb. It would certainly get expensive if you had to hire an electrician every time you needed to change a lightbulb, so thankfully this law is fiction.
It is important to note that in Victoria, you are not allowed to do your own electrical work, and this may have been where the fictitious law came from. However, changing a lightbulb doesn’t count- so feel free to change the lightbulbs in your house as often as you wish.
Interrupting weddings or funerals
Many people have heard about the South Australian law that state it’s an offence to interrupt a wedding, funeral or any other religious ceremony. Whilst it may just seem to be good manners to not disturb these events, you may be surprised to find out that it is actually fact.
The law stems from the Summary Offences Act 1953 which also indicates that it is illegal to disturb or prevent anyone from leaving these events.
The punishment for these crimes? Interestingly, the punishment is quite harsh, with a maximum fine of $10,000 or two years in prison.
Hot pink pants on a Sunday afternoon
This is one of the most publicised weird Australian laws, with many websites claiming that it is illegal to wear hot pink pants on a Sunday afternoon in Victoria. However, there is nothing mentioned in old or new legislation that supports this. Therefore, this one is fiction!
You are free to wear hot pink pants on any day of the week and in any state in Australia.
Rebecca is a writer and an editor at ‘Best in Australia‘ who has written on a range of topics. She is enthusiastic and passionate with an interest in food, health, entertainment and politics. She is the editor responsible for our health section.