The rationale behind bicycle helmets, marijuana laws, film classifications and possibly even pool fences will be examined by the Senate starting today, as part of an inquiry into the Australian “nanny state”.
The “personal choice and community impacts” inquiry, which was instigated by Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm, has attracted a wide array of submissions from people who feel the Government is intruding into their lives.
Raw milk enthusiasts want health laws wound back, paintball businesses would like fewer regulations governing their sport and convenience stores are demanding a greater say on issues like the sale of lottery tickets.
“What I want to do is go back to the way Australians used to be,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
“I want to change this culture that the government is there to protect us from poor choices.”
The inquiry’s priority will be bicycle helmets, alcohol laws, marijuana and tobacco sales and the classification of publications, films and computer games.
In particular, Senator Leyonhjelm said he wanted to investigate whether alcohol lock-out laws in “Sydney’s naughty suburb of Kings Cross” are actually working.
“Here we’re a bunch of anal-retentives,” he said.
“I’m the only parliamentarian in the Federal Parliament who calls for recreational marijuana use.
“Why do we insist the Government knows best when it comes to smoking dope?”
There will be a “catch-all hearing” at the end of the inquiry, where Senator Leyonhjelm expects “pressure” to examine the rationale behind pool fences, before a final report is issued in June next year.
“The argument [against pool fences] is parents are responsible for their children and the Government is taking that responsibility away from them,” he said.