We have the relationship between citizen and state backwards

Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm touched on a vital point in his column for the Australian Financial Review last week – that regulators reverse the relationship between citizen and state:

It seems everything is illegal in Australia unless a bureaucrat gives permission. What’s worse, you have to go to the trouble and expense of asking for permission, because if bureaucrats were proactive they would run the risk of serving the public.

A good example is the case of e-cigarettes. These inhalers deliver a warm puff of nicotine, without the carcinogenic tar and industrial solvents of cigarette smoke. Alternatively, they can deliver a puff of anything else you could wish for, such as the flavour of chocolate or whisky.

In Australia, it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to deliver nicotine. Not because a bureaucrat has made a decision to ban them, but because no one has yet asked the right bureaucrat for permission.

Senator Leyonhjelm’s full piece is well worth a read.


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