The anchovy method and statutory reform

The Anchovy Method And Statutory Reform

In the nineties, the long-haired, carefree (mortgage-less) version of me forged a living (just) touring the country with cover bands. Many eyebrows were raised by the cynics who considered my rock ’n’ roll lifestyle to be a disrespectful utilisation of my parents’ significant investment in my education. However, roaming the boundless plains of this vast country (mostly between the hours of 1am and 6am after packing down the show and driving to the next town) and observing nature’s gifts of beauty, rich and rare enlivened my soul and stimulated quiet introspection.

The second-best-named restaurant I visited on tour was a pizza place opposite the Clovelly Hotel in Sydney called “The Jilted Anchovy” (the best-named was an Indian restaurant in Airlie Beach called “Get it India”). As I scoffed my pepperoni and anchovy pizza after the show (occasionally attempting to pluck the tiny “hairs” from my gums), I imagined the dejection of the little fish fillets as every second customer (or more) pitilessly pleaded for “no anchovies”.

It seems to me, where a menu item includes anchovies in the description, there is a cross-jurisdictional implied term that anchovies are optional, notwithstanding the plain terms of the (contract) menu. Anchovy-lovers can accept the meal as described in the menu and delight in its sumptuous salty savouriness and anchovy-haters (who, according to an unverified internet source, comprise 61% of pizza eaters in the US) can simply opt out. It is that implied right to opt out that I like to call “the anchovy method”.

Interesting fact: according to the unquestionable authority of a recent episode of Spicks and Specks, Snoop Dogg’s favourite meal is a Caesar salad, without anchovies (just don’t ask what’s in the dressing Snoop).

In an upcoming mini debate (I’m relieved it’s not a big one – although the revised title may have attracted a whole new demographic of eager participants) for SCA (Qld) I have been asked to speak in the affirmative for the proposition that the regulation modules should be ditched and there should be a single statute governing bodies corporate in Queensland. Of course, the affirmative argument is the furthest from reality (which is always my preferred position in a debate) – if anything, there’s likely to be further regulation modules in the future to deal with the growing numbers of large and mixed-use schemes. How will I possibly convince the audience that ditching the Modules is the best solution? You guessed it – the anchovy method.

The regulation modules aren’t that different – the helpful statutory explanatory note that summarises the key differences between the 5 modules is only 2 pages long. So, we could simply package up all the regulatory provisions and, applying the anchovy method, give bodies corporate an entitlement to opt out of any provisions that aren’t to their taste. Less is more – so simple, so logical, so environmentally friendly (for those antiquated few of you who prefer hard copies of your legislation). Vote one for team affirmative!

If it appears the audience is finding the anchovy method too hairy to swallow, I’ll seal the deal by giving the AV operator “the nod” to dim the lights and crank up “I am Australian”. The lyrics “we are one but we are many” best epitomise the anchovy method – we are one race but we are many lovers of, haters of and those who are generally ambivalent in relation to the consumption of, anchovies; we are one written menu but we are many variations of meals with or without anchovies; and we are one statute but we are many regulatory provisions that can be opted out of.

And when the analogies are lost in the gulf of chance to fall, as oblivion swallows thought (with apologies and credit to Alfred de Musset) then the success of my affirmative argument will rest on one consideration… who likes anchovies? And if the anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, the affirmative argument will lose comprehensively.

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