Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Rise and Rise of Australian Laws

Back in 1926, the New England politician David Drummond complained about the increasing volume of legislation being passed by the NSW parliament.

Drummond was not opposed to state action. Far from it. His point was the problems created by the increasing volume of legislation.

My thanks to Club Troppo and Nicholas Gruen for the above chart. You can see how much worse the problem has become.

In 1980 I was a member of a Regulation Review Taskforce established by the Fraser Government. We looked at page after page of Government regulation.

The problem in each case was that laws and supporting regulations had been established to meet a particular need. Any attempt to handle excessive regulation on a case by case basis was bound to fail because you came into argument with those supporting the need.

The only solution was a systemic change that would make it harder for Governments to regulate. And that was not possible.

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