Saturday, July 18, 2015

Australian Senate launches inquiry into 'nanny state'

AM - Senator David Leyonhjelm pushes for parliamentary inquiry into 'nanny state' 26/06/2015 - AM with Michael Brissenden, Australian Broadcasting Corp.:

June 26, 2015 - "MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: The independent libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm has won support for a broad ranging parliamentary inquiry into what he calls the 'nanny state'.

Essentially an examination of laws and regulations that restrict personal choice, with things like bicycle helmets, alcohol laws and pornography in the spotlight....  Senator Leyonhjelm joins me now. Senator,  ... where do you draw the line? The inquiry will be looking at areas, like I said, that restrict personal choice like bicycle helmets, but not drugs or firearms.

DAVID LEYONHJELM: Well, we're looking at marijuana, certainly not firearms.

The issue here is, to what extent is the Government entitled to legislate – and we're not talking about just giving advice - but to legislate, to protect you from your own bad choices. Bicycle helmets are a very good example of that: nobody is hurt if you fall off. If you don't wear a bicycle helmet, you're head's not going to crack into somebody else and damage them.

It's all about you and your safety, and yet the Government has decided that it's an offence to ride a bicycle without a helmet. Now, I personally think that's going too far, but the inquiry will be looking into that, looking for justifications.

 MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: But you have a view about firearms as well too, don't you, that that goes too far. So do you concede that those sorts of restrictions go too far? Do you concede that there's a role for the state in any of this?

DAVID LEYONHJELM: Yes, there's a role for the state. Firearms won't be brought into this inquiry, because that's not a nanny state thing; that's an issue about to what extent do you regulate the availability of firearms to protect other people if they're misused. That's a different matter.

What we're talking about here is, to what extent do you intrude, does the Government intrude into an individual's life to protect them from themselves.

So we'll be looking at the sale and service of alcohol, smoking and e-cigarettes, bicycle helmets I've already mentioned, classification of films and video games. That sort of stuff.

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: And do you have much support for this?

DAVID LEYONHJELM: Yes, it went through without objection from any of the other senators. It went through on the voices.... [O]ne of the reasons why the Liberal Democrats are a good party to take this up is because we take a philosophical view of it; we don't like the Government intruding into our lives except to protect other people.

But in each party, and I'm talking Greens, Labor, Coalition, there is always an issue, an individual issue that bugs them, and they'd like something done about it. But individual senators find it hard to do something about that when their party has a position."

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