The community has a right to know about the laws it must abide by. People need to understand how their business or lifestyle is regulated in a from that they can readily understand – not in some obscure legalese.
If the law is not understandable, even people with the very best intention may transgress.
Planning new laws
Government agencies often develop new ideas aimed at improving our community or implementing government policies.
Consultation with the community can increase acceptance of the laws that implement these ideas, and can also provide helpful input from stakeholders.
Public consultation documents are generally persuasive in nature, seeking to convince stakeholders that the new idea is worthwhile and workable. Ideas need to be conveyed positively with good, solid rationale.
Consultation documents must also be very clear about the workings of any proposed legislation and how it will impact people and business. If a consultation document does not accurately and clearly explain a proposed measure, the community may rightly feel cheated or tricked.
Introducing new laws
The community’s main interest in a new law is how it impacts their business or lifestyle. People need clear information about anything new they must do, or now must not do.
The mechanism of any new laws; new permits, restrictions, fees, etc; need to be set out clearly. The consequences of not complying with the law should also be clear.
Reminders of existing law
Reminding people of existing legal obligations may be more appropriate than enforcement action in some cases. The aim of the law is to impact behaviour, not get people into trouble.