Australians to be fined for 'obnoxious' swearing
Wednesday 01 June 2011
Australians have never shied away from profanities – a television advertisement for a Toyota pick-up truck a few years ago featured only one word, repeated numerous times: "Bugger."
But now people who swear "obnoxiously" in the state of Victoria face being fined nearly A$240 (£155). The move, initiated by the new conservative government, has been likened to the establishment of a state-wide "swear jar". The government is introducing legislation this week that will enable police to issue on-the-spot fines for swearing, similar to parking or speeding notices.
The Attorney-General, Robert Clark, confessed to a bit of colourful language himself yesterday. "Occasionally I mutter things under my breath, as probably everyone does," he told ABC radio. "But this law is not targeted at that. It's targeted at the sort of obnoxious, offensive behaviour in public that makes life unpleasant for everybody else."
Swearing – even in private – has been a crime in Victoria for decades, and perpetrators can be jailed for up to two years. However, it is not clear how many people have been prosecuted. Mr Clark said on-the-spot fines would prevent such cases clogging the courts. "It frees up police time for other law enforcement activities... and [sends] a strong signal that people who engage in criminal behaviour can expect to be dealt with under the law," he said.
The Melbourne newspaper, The Age, reported the move with characteristic Australian directness, declaring: "To put it bluntly, we're all f***ed."
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Comic Con 2014 attendees
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...