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These Bizarre Offences Could Get You Jailed In Australia

by : Hannah Smith on : 26 May 2021 18:44
These Bizarre Offences Could Get You Jailed In AustraliaPA Images

To the rest of the world, Australia seems like a pretty weird place. So it probably won’t surprise people to learn that the country has its own set of obscure and downright bizarre laws.

But as it turns out, there are more than a few rules that even Australians may not know about. This was the case for one unlucky guy, who landed a $252 AUD fine for the crime of bringing a fridge onto a commuter train back in 2017.

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Apparently, the man was violating an obscure Brisbane law forbidding passengers from bringing oversized items onto a train. And while it’s too late to save him, criminal lawyers Slater & Gordon have a handy list of a few other niche regulations in force in various Australian states to help others avoid getting caught out.

Australia has dozens of obscure laws (PA Images)PA Images

For example, in Western Australia, it’s illegal to possess more than 50 kilograms of potatoes ‘under certain circumstances’, while in New South Wales, drivers who splash mud on people waiting for the bus could find themselves stuck with a $2,200 fine.

Elsewhere, in a law that would presumably see many of today’s most popular artists banned from holding shows in the state, it’s still illegal in Victoria to sing an ‘obscene song or ballad’ in a public place. The state also has a law banning residents from flying a kite ‘to the annoyance of any person’.

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Believe it or not, there are actually other laws that directly concern fridges. In South Australia, it’s illegal to sell a refrigerator with a capacity of 42.5 litres or more, ‘unless all of the doors can be easily opened from the inside or it was brought into the state before 1962’. Apparently, this was to prevent children from locking themselves inside large fridges, which to be fair does actually seem like a reasonable explanation.

A Brisbane man was arrested for bringing a fridge onto a train (PA Images)PA Images

According to Slater & Gordon lawyer Veronika Drago, most of these laws date back to a time when they were genuinely seen as necessary, and for one reason or another, lawmakers have simply never got round to actually repealing them.

Drago says:

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It is likely that some of these offences have not been used for many years, however, others are much more recent and prosecution is definitely a possibility.

It would not be a laughing matter if you were charged with any of these offences and it went to court, because a judge would be bound to apply the law as it is written.

And as the man with the fridge found out, if you’re caught breaking any of these laws by a police officer having a particularly bad day, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket.

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Topics: Life, Australia, Legal, Police

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Slater & Gordon
  1. Slater & Gordon

    14 of the most obscure Australian laws you've never heard of