Legislation to doing things legally but affordably

Discussion in 'General chat' started by sun burn, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    A letter I wrote to the government today

    Ok, it was off the cuff and so its not a polished argument but I do believe in writing letters to make yourself heard. Sometimes it has an effect know from first hand experience. Of course this is a harder one to achieve changes and i don't expect writing to bureaucrats will achieve much but its a start. Anyhow this is what I am interested in mostly. When i mentioned getting around the system, i don't mean hiring kitchens and other such things, I mean ways of getting around the bureacratic hurdles so it costs less. I know i don't explain myself very precisely. Those sorts of ideas might work for some people. I haven't got the energy for those type of solutions. I want a better deal from government.


    I should really be addressing my letter to a politician and if more people were doing it, i think that's the way to get to change.
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I wouldn't mind if that quote was not italicised. Is there anyway to change that. Its not so easy to read italics.
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    That's a pretty good letter sun burn for something off the cuff. Well done.

    I have a few questions:

    - Is it federal law that stops you doing what you want to? Or state law?

    - What do local bodies say?

    - Can you post links to the actual rules and/or legislation?

    - who are the fees paid to, and what are the fees for?
     
  4. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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  5. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    Seems to come under State laws, but has a national coverage, and looks to be administered by local gov't (typical bureaucratic maze-building):

    "On 3 November, 2000 an intergovernmental agreement was signed by all States, Territories and the Commonwealth
    to establish a consistent food regulation system throughout Australia. As a result changes were made to the Food
    Act 1981 to incorporate model national provisions
    ".



    More info at:
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/foodsafety/legislation.asp

    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/31563.pdf
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/32766.pdf
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/31559.pdf
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/ehu/32261.pdf

    and some interesting cases here:
    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/industry/food/prosecutions.asp (looks like they do chase some of the bigger players)
     
  6. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    No, Grasshopper, they didn't. What they did was require people to have a licence to sell those food items. The food wasn't outlawed. This is important, because if we don't understand what is actually being done, and use hyperbole instead, it's much harder to make changes or find ways to work the system to our advantage.

    The guy in the article appears to have to have done three things:

    - attend a food-handling course

    - put nutritional labelling on his jars

    - have his kitchen inspected once a year.

    There's not really anything wrong with those things per se (although personally I think a full ingredients list is important but nutritional values aren't the sellers responsiblity in a farmers' market). What the council charge him for the licence might be though.
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Thanks Don, will have a look later.
     
  8. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    That's right Don and also Food Safety Queensland.

    https://www.safefood.qld.gov.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&catid=38&id=38&Itemid=32 This is the egg scheme listing what you have to do to get accreditation to sell eggs.

    Also i found the license thing for the local markets. Its about $582!!! for a license for making sticky rice which is not a low risk food so perhaps its a medium risk food.

    https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/7283/FoodLicInformation.pdf This is licensing info and food safety but i am having trouble finding the fees again - typically.....

    https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/7272/FoodBusiness.pdf Fees and application form.
     
  9. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Sun burn, re the eggs, is it just the fee you are objecting to? i.e. you can comply with the other requirements?
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I haven't studied the other things too closely but it is mainly the fees. Yes. I don't mind making things safer although if some of the requirements were inappropriate for a small outfit then yes i would object to that also. You can see that a lot of the requirements really are designed for bigger operations.

    You can see how the women who make sticky rice and other cakes would not find it reasonable to pay that license fee and so it means they stop making the rice item even though there is nothing wrong with it.
     
  11. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I understand your frustration Sunburn, but it might be useful to look at the bigger picture.

    You see, people want roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and all that jazz. Increasingly local governments are being forced to pay for all that stuff while State and Federal governments take bigger slices of the pie in terms of revenue. So what they do is raise rates, increase fees, implement new fees etc. etc. It is far less about the actual health implications and much more about raising revenue. It is the system. Lets say you are suscessful in getting them to let people sell what ever they want, they will just go looking for the money elsewhere - they'll sting you with higher rates or something else.

    It might be more worth your while working towards abolishing one level of government, in my opinion the State governments would make most sense.

    Failing that you need to re-assess the things you do and the services you use. I'm happy for us to abandon the whole idea of roads for public transport. I'm also reasonably happy to see the school system as it is dumped. I'm sure we could easily get rid of a whole host of hospitals and the need for them if we got back to working with the land and eating real food. But I wouldn't feel right complaining about things like local government fees unless I was willing to forgo all of those things. Are you?
     
  12. DonHansford

    DonHansford Junior Member

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    Just a quick thought - this idea was used many years ago to circumvent the gambling laws in Qld. (of course, there wasn't actually any gambling, or prostitution, or drugs, or sp bookies, just ask Joh)

    If you held an event, people could buy "funny money" at the gate. They used that to gamble with, so no legal tender was being gambled. At the end of the night, you went to the "bagman" and exchanged your funny money for the real thing (if you had any left, that is :p)

    How about a variation on that, where people get some form of credits that they can then use to purchase items from your stall? Just thinking that if there is no "real" money changing hands, can you be classed as "selling" your goods?

    Actually, I just had another "Aha!"

    Sun burn, you need to find out if there is a LETS system operating in your area. Great way to cut down the amount of cash you need for your building program, and keep things local at the same time.
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Eco suggested the LETS system Don. I had a look on google but i don't think i found anything much. They don't even have an email address! And the postal address is in Kuranda which is an hours drive away. No phone number either. They seem to be active in south eastern queensland. At least there's lots of contact details for that region.

    Funny money, do you really think that anyone could get away with it these days.

    Sorry Graham i don't buy your argument that one would have to forgo hospitals schools and roads as an exchange for such high fess for small producers. Sure the governments need to raise revenue but some of the fees really are over the top. Take photography rates for national parks and public places. It costs something like $700 per day!!! They come up with these numbers becuase they are thinking about a certain type of person working in the field of photography. They treat everyone as if they are working in that way and only end up making it impossible for most photographers to use that location. Its the same with selling eggs and so on. Only the big producers can afford to do it. For the small producers its simply too expensive. So one could argue that the government is losing revenue by not making it affordable for more people to participate. Instead of say 10 big producers, there could be 100s of smaller ones. The reasonable fees of 100s could earn the governments more than the expensive fees that only the big producers can afford to pay. Ditto for photographers and everyone else. Its a way of controlling the number of people in the market but i don't know if the government is aiming for that or if its unintentional side effect or if its the industry twisting the arm of government. Certainly with regard to photography rates, i doubt these fees are anyone's decision but the councils and with next to no consultation with industry. All they know is that if they want to hire a commerical photographer they have to pay a lot of money. That's because they go to the best or biggest or most established operation. They don't think about the rest of the fish trying to swim in the sea. And of course they don't understand anything much about industry i believe. My experience in business in tasmania showed me that public servants in the state government at least move up a rung on the ladder every two years. They know nothing about the field when they move into the job and pass nothing on to the person who follows them. They don't care. Their goals it move higher up the ladder on the pay scale. They often move between departments that have little resemblance in content.

    If you want to fight for the abolishment of one layer of government, be my guest. I am not sure that it would make much improvement. I am just not sure. I mean i would like the education system and health systems etc to be all under the one government and be uniform across the country but its probably handy to have state representation of business and tourism and arts. But I think there'd just be a whole lot of new problems. I think in France they have a centralised government. Just two layers of government. I am not sure how well it works. I am not sure how efficient it is in terms of savings bla bla bla. There's no easy solution to the problems that concern us.
     
  14. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Hey Sunburn, I certainly didn't want to infer that local governments (or any level of government for that matter) were in any way intelligent or smart about how they collect money! But that is basically what their job has come down to.

    In Victoria there are now a number of local shire councils which are unable to pay for basic maintenance of roads, roadsides, bridges and whole bunch of other things. A lot of this has to do with the way GST is distributed to the states (virtually nothing goes to local councils). Gradually the infrastructure is eroding, whilst things like huge federally funded 6-lane free-ways to by-pass local communities continue to be built! Or better still we pay millions of dollars for Tiger Woods to come and play golf here. That money has to come from somewhere! Surely you are not suggesting a few hundred people should miss out on the opportunity to see Tiger play in Australia just so you can go and take free photos in the woods???!!

    My point is, you are living a greedy capitalist monetary system, everything is about money and getting more of it. If you don't like it all you can really do is operate outside of the system (perhaps illegally) and not to engage in using the system. Because as soon as you use any aspect of the system you support it. I don't believe you can be a little bit in the system and a little bit out of it. Or pay the fees and accept that it is not about taking photos, just think of it as a donation to the collective pool of money that will pay for the things many of us take for granted.

    Do you get my drift?
     
  15. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Markets would be your best option I reckon... A $20 stall is a lot less than the $400 you have mentioned...

    From my understanding the operator of the market has to register their intent to sell food or produce it from the market and this I believe covers stall holders. You are simply renting a stall from a registered Market....

    If you have a collection of things to sell you pay the fee.... if you have nothing for 3 weeks you pay nothing.... much fairer than paying $400 for the right to sell YOUR OWN stuff.
     
  16. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Alas it doesn't work like that milifestyle. Just because you have a stall doesn't mean you can avoid all the licenses and permits. Some markets make you get insurance as well and some have it already provided for you.

    I used to have my own market stall. But also as i think i indicated the people who are no longer allowed to sell their sticky rice sweets can't do it because they don't have the food licences.

    I would probably look into having a stall at hte local markets also down the track but only if i thought i needed the extra income from them. I am really well located to sell from my own land as our place is on the highway and a major tourist route. Our place is the corner block and there's plenty of room for parking. But we have two markets nearby and people come from all over the tablelands and cairns to attend the one at port douglas with their stalls. People sell fresh fruit and vegie produce and I could do that too of course without much drama but once i start selling juice or preparing the food or put eggs on sale, i need permits and licences for all those things. Even to sell fruit juice you need a $333 licence. I think. Anyway the details are in the link i posted before.

    If i were to have a cafe of any sort, it would be way down the track. My idea about it is not to have it open all the time. I would mainly like to provide something for my suburb and for customers who stop in for other reasons. that's my thinking at the moment. Its not even very practical but its just an idea that i would like to do if things seemed to suggest it a worthwhile thing to do.

    Which reminds me, when i lived on Bruny Island, once a year there was a german woman who would have a big dinner for anyone who wanted to come. Everyone paid something like $20 to cover the cost of the food. I guess it was a fixed number of seats and unfortunatley i never made it to the event. I wish i had. (Bruny is such a great place for community activities) but it would be nice to do something like that here too. Now i wouldn't need a permit or a license to do that i think because I would not be making any money from it. Sort of strange isn't it that can you make and serve food to anyone without a a licence and health inspectors but not if you are making money from it.

    This year just a couple of weeks ago one of the people who lives in this tiny suburb held an event inviting anyone from the public. It was for halloween and was a big to do. I tried to go but got sick of standing in line. I wonder if this guy went to the trouble of having special insurance or if his insurance for house and other business would have covered it. Anyway i know he took great care to avoid accidents but what a wonderful thing to do. He didn't charge anyone any money and he's going to do it next year too. Obviously money is not in short supply at his place either.
     
  17. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    I think you will find in many cases the person running the Market pays a hefty PL Insurance.

    We have a Market Stall every weekend and we were informed we could sell our own produce produced in our own kitchen - no fees or obligations. We are simply selling our own stuff. Consumers attending markets will be doing so with the understanding that what is being sold is "Home Made" as such assuming a small amount of personal liability in their purchases.
     
  18. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    ..... Another option is to have a calling card that you CAN sell... horse manure or flowers...

    When people come in give them a flyer with the other things you have to sell. Or have a sign up inside your yard that can only be viewed when people enter the property.

    If you promote things as being Home Made from your own kitchen, consumers know what they are buying and again assume their own risk.

    If you package things so they look like they should be sold in Coles or Woolies you might find yourself in strife.... make them look neat and tidy but maintain the home made look.

    Licenses and regulations are in place to prevent deceit (selling something as something it isn't) and for food hygiene regulations.
     
  19. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    My understanding of what sun burn was saying is that producers need the licence (not sellers), for something like eggs at least. Sun burn just happens to be both but it's the production side the authorities are worried about. I assume you don't need that licence to sell flowers and such because they're not being ingested.
     
  20. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Right i see you are in Bernie, mylifestyle. I know tassie a little. When i had my stall at salamanca the council who runs the market had the public liability insurance for us stall holders. However, when i went to music festivals, we had to have our own insurance. I can't remember what the situation in Port Douglas is. I vaguely think people here have to have their own insurance but i am not sure. I don't think that market insurance that the council provides would cover food poisoning somehow. I think it would cover accident and injury. But anyway i am sure your local council would have detailed on their website. Also with regard to food, even here the stall holders have been selling sticky rice for a long time so i think its just that the food inspectors decided to do a blitz.

    Yes you are right - sell something that has no problems attached. The problem is i would like to sell my eggs and people want to buy them. Of course i can do it illegally. And of course some passing inspector reading this page could come and nab me for it too. (up yours inspector!) Anyhow, i've got the chooks and ducks to manure my garden, the eggs are a side effect and as i have to buy feed to keep them alive, i think it makes sense to get some money for the eggs if its possible.

    But back to the bigger picture, i think it would be good (better) if people really could produce what they are capable of doing well and not be prevented by a bunch of large fees from government cause i think that sucks. Especially when it seems to me that the risk of food poisoning is really quite low.
     

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