It's only fair to share…

The stupidity of government never ceases to amaze me. So far this year we have seen one local government wanting to charge people to exercise in its parks and a councilor in another claim that the City to Surf race should be “run somewhere else” (rather than to the beach).

Now just in time for summer we have Cottesloe council proposing a new raft of laws to make a day at the beach as much fun as a day listening to the thoughts of councilors. As usual this is all done in the name of making the beach safer and claims to be targeting “bad behavior”.

So what sort of dastardly crimes do the law abiding beach goers of Perth need to be protected from?

A few of the activities to be outlawed are digging holes (which are too big), flying a kite, taking photographs, playing with toy vehicles and having a gathering of more than ten people.

Just who will determine when a hole is too big? Will we see rangers with tape measures deciding whether the hole dug by a five year old meets council standards. And too bad if your family has more than ten members, or if you have a group of friends, who like to go with you to the beach. And naturally any child caught bringing a toy car to the beach will rightly have it confiscated.

Ultimately this is all about petty bureaucrats and small-minded councilors trying to decide what people can do at the beach and raise some revenue into the bargain. The excuse is that the propose laws are in response to incidents. Even if there have been isolated incidents of “problems” due to a kite is banning flying kites for everyone the answer?

Of course not!

The increasing attempts by petty officials and small minded politicians at all levels of government to control each aspect of peoples lives needs to be stopped. Already a protest is being planned for Cottesloe Beach and a facebook group has started. There are signs that due to the publicity the council is already backing away and is trying to blame some junior official for “misunderstandings”.

Fun and purpose is one of the pillars of DIY health. Petty laws which make it almost impossible to have fun at the beach without tripping over some ridiculous by-law is actually bad for the health of the community.

We need to have more fun, not engage more fun police.

There are enough laws to deal with antisocial behavior by the few. Infringing the rights of the majority with petty, stupid laws which seek to restrict and codify every possible use of the beach is an attempt by the totally humorless to inflict their view of the world on those who want to have fun. It is also a lazy way for governments to try and stamp out the behavior of a few by penalizing the many.

Freedom is one of those intangibles that we can take for granted until it is gone and you wake up one day to find you cannot play with your children at the beach. Health and freedom are related. Attacks on freedom need to be resisted.