June 1, 2011

Fuck it

If Kevin Rudd visits Victoria - a lot - we're going to be a very wealthy state.
Under the definition of "public place" in the Act, swearing is illegal on any public highway, road, street or bridge, which is bad news for frazzled motorists unlucky enough to have a twitchy policeman as a passenger.
  • It is also illegal in any "race-course, cricket ground, football ground or other such place", which spells trouble for the Collingwood cheer squad but may come as welcome news for AFL match officials (aka "you f---ing idiot, umpire")
  • Also out of bounds is any "wharf, pier or jetty", which means fishermen may need to call upon some fresh words when dealing with tangled lines, lost hooks and the one that got away.
  • Swearing is also prohibited in "any public hall, theatre or room while members of the public are in attendance". Whoops. There goes the next Malthouse season.
  • Oh, and swearing is not permitted at "any licensed premises". Frankly, a pot without a potty mouth is just un-Australian. It's enough to make you wonder what's the point in even going out? 
In a much-noted ruling in 2002, NSW magistrate David Heilpern observed of the F word that "one would have to live an excessively cloistered existence not to come into regular contact with the word, and not to have become somewhat immune to its suggested previously legally offensive status".

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark acknowledged yesterday that community standards relating to profanity had changed, but said the government still wanted to send a message that bad behaviour in public would not be tolerated.

"Victorians ought to be able to go out at night, to be able to go out with their families and not be ... offended and have their trip made miserable by the obnoxious and offensive behaviour of louts," Mr Clark said. "We are going to give the police the power to issue infringement notices to send the message that this sort of obnoxious and antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated."
Surely Victorians ought to be able to go out, night or day, and not have their ordinary gatherings and conversations interrupted by the issuing of fines for the use of language that is so common  even members of the constabulary and former Prime Minister have been known to use it.

$238.90 on the spot fines for offensive language in Victoria - Australia

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