Australia is fast becoming "the world's dumbest nation" because of nanny state rules and restrictions, says Canadian journalist and magazine publisher Tyler Brûlé.
He argued that Australians were increasingly being "mollycoddled" through health and safety laws, and that our cities were at risk of becoming over-sanitised.
"This country is on the verge of becoming the world's dumbest nation. There will be a collapse of commonsense here if health and safety wins out on every single discussion," he said.I think that he is pretty right, although I would have thought that Canada suffers from the same disease. Here local government has become more and more a delivery arm of State based regulation and control. However, that got me thinking on a different if related topic.
"People think it's a little bit nuts here."
It used to be the case that Melbourne was more restrictive than Sydney, Victoria more tightly controlled than NSW. Then things switched and I was wondering why. It wasn't until freer Melbourne with its growing life style started really threatening regulated Sydney to the point that Mayor Clover Moore that certain restrictions started to be relaxed.
There have been some really funny decisions in NSW, like creating a regulatory regime that encouraged drinking palaces while stopping pavement living. I am not talking about the clubs here, that's a different question, but the rise of the poker pubs along with the creation of cost structures that meant that only big venues could afford the regulatory cost burden. Yes, there has been a burgeoning of cafe strips, but itis very localised.
So what is it about NSW?