International students are subject to the same State and Federal laws as citizens and permanent residents.

The law governing the following matters should be given particular attention:

  • Contractual agreements – be aware that all written agreements such as tenancy contracts, hire purchase agreements, and agreement to purchase contracts are legally binding. Read the fine print and make sure you understand everything before you sign.
  • Alcohol – if you are under 18 years of age, you are not permitted to purchase alcoholic drinks. Driving while under the influence of alcohol (that is, having a blood alcohol level exceeding 0.05) is a serious offence and places you and other people in serious danger. Regular breath-testing is carried out by police and if you are caught, you will be fined and may lose your driver’s licence or be imprisoned, depending on your blood alcohol level.
  • Loud noise – (such as playing loud music or shouting) late at night is against the law.
  • Gambling – it is illegal to gamble except through officially licensed agencies such as the Burswood Casino, TAB and Lotto.
  • Bribery – is a serious crime. Do not attempt to bribe anyone and be careful not to allow your actions to be interpreted as a bribe.

Other laws that you should note are those involving motor vehicle accidents, road rules (such as speeding, driving without a valid licence) and disagreements with neighbours.

The Police

Police Services (State and Federal) in Australia are part of the Public Service and not part of the Armed Forces. Their job is to prevent and solve crime, protect life and property and to maintain law and order. 

If you have to deal with the Police, it will be to your advantage to co-operate and conduct yourself in a polite and unexcitable manner. 

You are also entitled to certain legal rights

Proof of age card

Students may find it useful to obtain a Proof of age card as identification when visiting licensed premises (one that sells liquor/alcohol). It saves you from having to carry your passport for identification.

Student campus cards are generally not accepted as evidence of age.