Australia’s government and its citizens take great pride in their country’s unique and diverse culture. This is a great reason to visit it, but it also means that there are certain laws and customs you need to be aware of before you travel.
If you break any of the local laws while visiting the country, you could face serious penalties, including fines or jail time.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common Australian laws and customs that travellers should be aware of before they enter the country.
Will I Need to Undergo Any Health Screening?
Most travellers entering Australia will not need to undergo any health screening.
With this being said, there are situations when this will be applicable. For example, if you are making an application for a permanent visa, you may need to undergo a health screening and medical examination. This includes having your temperature taken, your blood pressure checked, a chest x-ray, and an HIV test.
You may also be asked to provide proof of vaccination for certain diseases such as tetanus or rabies. The reason for these tests is that the country has strict regulations regarding health and safety, and people from all over the world are visiting it every day.
Again, if you are only visiting Australia for a holiday, you’ll have nothing to worry about!
Before we move onto more Australian local laws, we want to mention that this list doesn’t contain any information on Australian criminal laws. That’s because as a tourist, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to become a victim of a criminal offence.
If, however, you do find yourself a victim of a crime in Australia, make sure to seek professional help from criminal lawyers such as LY Lawyers.
Understanding Australian Customs Law
Australian customs law is comprehensive. It covers the importation, exportation, and possession of a wide range of goods, including firearms, drugs, and weapons. You can find out more about the customs regulations here.
The importation of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs is strictly controlled in Australia. If you're travelling with prescription medication, be sure to bring along your doctor's letter confirming that it's for your own use and take extra care to store them safely when travelling.
If you're planning on bringing back any souvenirs from your trip to Australia, make sure they're not protected by copyright laws before you buy them. For example, Aboriginal artworks are protected under the Australian law and cannot be legally sold outside their home state without government approval.
Driving on Australian Roads
Driving in Australia is done on the left-hand side of the road. You must also be careful to obey all traffic laws and be aware that there are strict penalties for breaking them.
If you are driving a non-Australian car, you must carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) with you at all times. Your licence may not be recognised in Australia, so carry your IDP with you at all times while driving.
Moreover, if you’re caught speeding excessively or using your mobile phone while driving, the penalties can be severe. In addition to fines and demerit points, drivers who commit these offences may also have their licence suspended or revoked.
It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless it is hands-free or in a cradle attached to the windscreen or dashboard of the vehicle. If caught using a mobile phone while driving, you will receive three demerit points and a fine of $1,078 (AUD).
The Transport Accident Commission revealed that around 1 in 5 drivers and riders die every year in Victoria due to excessive alcohol consumption. So there are also severe penalties for drunk driving in Australia. The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers in Victoria is 0.05% BAC for most people over the age of 21 years (and 0% if under 21 years).
Speed limits also vary quite a bit by state, so it's important to know what the limit is where you're driving. The general post speed limit on Australian highways is 110 km/h (70 mph), but this can change depending on the type of road and state.
For example, the limit in Victoria is 50 km/h on most rural roads and 110 km/h (70 mph) on country roads.
In South Australia, the limit varies by road classification and signposted speed limit. In Northern Territory, rural roads have a default speed limit of 110 km/h (60 mph).
Can I Drink Alcohol While Travelling in Australia?
Australia has a very strict alcohol policy. It is illegal to drink or purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18 years.
In addition, there are different laws on alcohol restrictions for each state and territory in Australia. For example, you cannot drink alcohol in public places, on public transport, and in public parks in Victoria. If you’re caught doing any of this, you can be fined up to $1100.
It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a car unless it was purchased at a licensed store or restaurant prior to entering the vehicle, or if you are travelling in a taxi or limousine service.
Drug Use & Possession
If you're caught with drugs in Australia, you can be charged under state or federal law. The penalties for drug possession range from fines to prison time, depending on the drug category, the amount you are carrying, and the state you're in.
Penalties for possessing a small amount of marijuana are usually less severe than those for other drugs - with this being said, marijuana is still illegal in Australia, and it is likely that penalties will apply.
If you are caught with larger quantities of illegal drugs, you could face harsh penalties that include imprisonment or deportation. In addition, if you are caught selling illegal drugs in Australia, you can be sentenced to a significant amount of prison time.
Australian Local Laws Simplified
So those were some of the local laws you need to be aware of when visiting Australia.
Posted By Rebecca
Updated : 2nd February 2023 | Words : 1029 | Views : 161