Let us be the first to congratulate you on the birth of your bouncing infant Workplace Health and Safety Act & Legislation.
Like any new parent you are probably experiencing that time-honoured mixture of anticipation for the future mingled with abject confusion about what to do with them in the meantime?
As an event professional you are in the unenviable position of having to be cook, nursemaid and bottle washer in terms of the relevant statutory laws of Australia and face the daunting challenge of ensuring that the WHS Act & Regulations play nicely with other legislation and that no one on your team spits the dummy or throws their toys out of the pram.
It’s not enough that you have to be at the top of your respective game, know volumes about industry best practice, keep abreast of legislative changes, be conversant in contemporary & technical issues – somehow you’re expected to be a lawyer at the same time.
But historian is probably a required role that you never considered in a million years when you got up out of bed this morning?
In a society as layered and rich in history as the “Lucky Country”, we have a Parthenon of Statutory laws that have evolved as our nation has waddled out of it’s infancy and like that item of child’s clothing you just cannot bear to throw away for nostalgia’s sake – so a range of weirdly archaic and sometimes downright bizarre items of statutory legislation are still in force to this day.
Say, for example, that one of your Western Australian event suppliers owes you payment for services rendered – it may come as quite a shock to them that King William the Third foresaw this eventuality and that event supplier is still subject to the “Debts Recovery Act” of 1830 that is in force – although their original nomenclature of “An Act for the relief of creditors against fraudulent devises.” may leave them slightly more confused!
The busy event professional organising a maritime event in New South Wales, such as the Sydney Boat show or a harbour tour can take great comfort from the fact that, in the unlikely event that their patrons are accosted by large one-legged bearded gentlemen with a penchant for parrots and a worrying tendency to say “ARRRR” – then the law has their back through the “Piracy Punishment “ Act of 1902.
“ Whosoever with intent to commit, or at the time of, or immediately before, or immediately after, committing the crime of piracy, in respect of any ship or vessel, assaults with intent to murder any person being on board of or belonging to such ship or vessel, or stabs, cuts, or wounds any such person, or unlawfully does any act by which the life of any such person may be endangered shall be liable to penal servitude for life.”
Well that’s reassuring isn’t it?
Similarly organiser’s of Sydney Music Festivals’ must be enormously reassured that, 50 years before the first primordial DJ laid stylus to vinyl and gave the world Acid House music and all that goes with dance culture, that the far sightedness of the NSW Government was WAY ahead of them when they put in force the “Lunacy & Inebriates” Act in 1937.
Big up to NSW Premier Sir Bertram Stevens and his posse for being ahead of the curve.
Yes it seems that whatever the wide brown land can throw at us then there has been an item of statutory law that has seen us coming a mile off and still binds us by legal obligation to this day.
Whether you’re trekking across outback NT armed only with a copy of the “Desert Knowledge” Act of 2003 & a Swiss-army penknife, determining that the truth is really out there with the Tasmanian “Aliens Act” of 1913 (“An Act to enable aliens to acquire, hold, and dispose of property of every description, and to make certain provisions respecting the trial of aliens”), have lost it all on the roll of a dice in a Gold Coast Casino and are in desperate need of the “Vagrants, Gaming & Other Offenses” Act of 1963 or are fighting for equality in South Australia with the eye-wateringly named “Sex Disqualification” (Removal) Act of 1921 – it’s nice to know there is a law in force to neatly confound & confuse you.
So the next time you are up half the night nursing your newborn WHS Legislation through one of those often difficult transitional periods, take comfort from that fact that, in a few years time when it is ready for solids, it too will probably conform to Alvin Toffler’s “Law of Raspberry Jam” that states “The wider a culture is spread – the thinner it gets.”
It’s the Law.
* this article submitted by Beaspoke Safety – principals Bea Tomlin and James Laity
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