Article – Old-fashioned laws to be cut25 November 2015
17 November 2015
The West Australian
The State Government will today introduce legislation to scrap redundant laws from as long ago as 1830 as it cuts red tape in a bid to save taxpayers $150 million over five years.
Ten pieces of legislation will be abolished under the Obsolete Legislation Repeal Bill 2015, which will be introduced in State Parliament as part of Repeal Week.
The oldest is the Infants’ Property Act 1830. It says married women are treated similarly to people under the age of 21 and “idiots, lunatics and persons of unsound mind”.
Another is the Sunday Entertainments Act from 1979, which prohibits paid entertainment on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.
The Government’s inaugural Red Tape Reduction Report Card, to be released today, includes 36 measures that cut up to two months from housing and renovation approvals for single homes, save money through online property conveyancing and move business vehicle registration renewals online.
Finance Minister Bill Marmion, who will introduce a Bill to cut licensing regulation and move government systems online, said a big focus had been to increase the number of transactions that could be done online.
Premier Colin Barnett said the obsolete Acts were a waste of time, so the Government would continue to get rid of unnecessary regulation and approvals. He said the Sunday Entertainments Act no longer reflected community attitudes and placed an unnecessary burden on businesses, which had to apply for an exemption.
“No other government has had a repeal week, so these useless, obsolete pieces of legislation just stay there and they can create problems,” Mr Barnett said.
“We need to keep our laws of the land as simple as we can.”
The Retail Trading Hours Amendment Bill 2016, which will allow shops to open from 7am Monday to Saturday and close an hour later on Saturdays, will be introduced in Parliament on Thursday.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said Repeal Week didn’t really deal with red tape issues, because “they repeal laws that are already inoperative or rendered obsolete by other Acts or never enforced”.
PHOTO: The oldest law to be scrapped is the Infants’ Property Act of 1830.
Courtesy of the West Australian