Crazy Australian Laws



There are some laws in Australia that seem ridiculous. Looking around I found a few. They crop up in odd places, often as jokes, but to me they seem to be bureaucracy gone mad. Most don’t make much sense, so I have to wonder why they ever became law in the first place.

I picked up these examples from here and there and anywhere. They are just a sample of what is to be found, particularly on the internet. Whether any of them are still valid or have, sensibly, been removed I don’t know.

Of course, it is possible that some (most?) of them are spoofs. In most cases, I was unable to find out enough to decide, so take them with the proverbial ‘pinch of salt’. On the other hand, anything is possible when politicians start messing with the law. So perhaps there is some truth in all of them.


After midday on Sunday in Victoria it is illegal to wear pink hot pants.

Bars are required by law to stable, water and feed the horses of patrons.

Children under the age of 18 are prohibited from buying cigarettes, but they can smoke as many as they like because there’s no law against it.

Coming within 100 metres of the carcass of a dead whale is against the law. 

In Queensland taxi drivers must keep a bale of hay in the boot of their car.

In Victoria it is illegal to change a light bulb unless you are a qualified electrician.

It is illegal to be 'drunk' in pubs in Australia.

It is illegal to wear a disguise without a lawful excuse.

It's illegal to walk on the right hand side of a footpath.

On Melbourne's Brighton Beach, bathers are breaking the law if they do not wear a neck-to-knee swimsuit.

You can be fined $500 for advertising a reward for lost or stolen property and stating "no questions asked" for its return.


I won’t comment on these laws as I wasn’t able to find out enough about them to know which ones, if any, are still valid and which ones, if any, have disappeared. Perhaps there was a good reason, at some time, for some of them, but most just seem to be too ridiculous to have ever had a sensible basis. It might be that sometime in the past they made sense. Or maybe not. With most of them I doubt that they ever made very much sense.

Most of these laws are ignored, which is not a good thing. Laws shouldn’t be made unless they are intended to be obeyed, and for a good reason. Useless and ignored laws only bring the whole structure of laws and justice into contempt, because people just laugh at them.