Just when you thought the world could not get much crazier, along comes the Clarence Council in Tasmania that wants to ban beach cricket unless you have a permit. Beach cricket is a traditional Australian summer pastime that bears some, but not a lot, of resemblance to the more formal game. It is generally played with a tennis ball or beach ball and a plastic bat.
What next? Perhaps a permit to bring a beach ball or to open a beach umbrella at the beach?
Sadly, there is a pattern here of councils, whose job it is to collect the garbage once a week and maintain the parks, being well above their station. Councils like to express opinions on foreign affairs and national affairs. As individuals, these councilors have the same rights as anyone else to an opinion, but as custodians of rate payer’s money they should not be entitled to run their own agendas at rate payers’ expense.
We have previously seen councils force cubby houses to be taken down because they don’t comply with the building code. And seeking to ban exercise in parks as it apparently “wears out the grass”.
A study from New Zealand compared teenagers today with their parents. Weight, height and physical fitness were compared of those who were 15 in 1986 and their children at age 15. The girls were on average 3mm taller and 8kg heavier. The boys were 11kg heavier. Physical fitness was 24% lower in girls and 14% lower in boys.
This is hardly a surprise and reflects the changes in diet and exercise patterns since the 1980s. In particular in the early 80’s we had the introduction of low-fat dietary guidelines which have coincided with the major increase in obesity and type two diabetes since that time.
Governments spend significant amounts of our money telling us to exercise more. Clearly, they want us to exercise more, other than at the beach and in parks. And god forbid a child plays in a tree house or cubby house instead of playing x-box.
The Clarence Council’s actions are in keeping with the relentless rise of the nanny state where no action by the individual is to insignificant not to attract the full weight of the law.
In my home state of WA there is the beginning of a push back. Aaron Stonehouse has established a committee to inquire into and report on the economic and social impact of measures introduced in Western Australia to restrict personal choice ‘for the individual’s own good’, with particular reference to —
(1) risk-reduction products such as e-cigarettes, e-liquids and heat-not-burn tobacco products, including any impact on the wellbeing, enjoyment and finances of users and non-users;
(2) outdoor recreation such as cycling and aquatic leisure, including any impact on the wellbeing, enjoyment and finances of users and non-users; and
(3) any other measures introduced to restrict personal choice for individuals as a means of preventing harm to themselves.
For those who want to make a submission, click the link here.
This is a breath of fresh air. In a free society, laws exist to protect us from the actions of others, not the choices we make about our own lives. The most egregious example is the laws on vaping where smokers risk a fine of $45,000 for using a method of quitting smoking that is at least 95% less harmful then smoking.
This makes absolutely no sense!
Europe manages to have far more bike riders than Australia without compulsory helmet laws. There is no evidence that their rates of head injury are any greater than here. The key point is not whether one should wear a helmet in certain circumstances when riding a bike (for example on a busy road with cars) but whether it needs to be compulsory in all circumstances.
The fundamental problem is that the elites sipping latte in green inner suburban enclaves do not like or trust the rest of us. Hence, they feel the need to get paid to tell us what to do.
It is time we rose up against them.
Dr Joe Kosterich is a Medical Doctor, author, speaker, media presenter and health industry consultant, who wants you to be healthy and get the most out of life.
Joe writes for numerous medical and mainstream publications and is also a regular on radio and television. He is often called to give opinions in medico legal cases and is an advisor to Reed Medical Conferences.
Joe is Medical Advisor to Medicinal Cannabis Company Little Green Pharma and sits on the board of Australian Tobacco Harm Reduction Association.