As an ex pat Oz not sure what to say after reading all this.
All I can offer is an apology to those overseas guests treated in this way - and a suggestion maybe not all States in Oz neccessarily act the same way. Qld is known to be more of a police state than all the others.
However you should all be aware that despite the laid back attitude of most Ozzies, Oz always has been top heavy on officialdom. Even an Ozzie hero Ned Kelly was shot by them!
The good thing is the natives seem to know how to handle it, usually in a very practical way.
one of the first radar
speed cameras in Perth was taken out by a 4 x 4 that claimed it was blinded by the flash!
And a local radio
station helped raise a fund to help pay the resultant fine and costs for the flattened camera
. Therafter the same radio
show always warned 'people if they did not want thie picture taken on xx Drive this morning, then we suggest you slow down - etc' - and it got away with it OK and saved many of us a speeding ticket.
Maybe some one in Queensland
might try to get the same thing going inside the local sailing community to help fund these guys who don't sound like they can afford the fines awarded?
I'm sure with the right amount of noise
, the local Australian Yachting Association could begin to move some political grunt to sort it out for the future.......
I'm all for protecting Australias fragile eco systems - so have no issues with arrivees having to have a clean bum on the boat or even ensuring any wooden craft are worm free - but to take an old cruising couple to court over this kind of reporting crap makes me ashamed to be an Ozzie.