• intouch Magazine

The Hands (and Laws) of Time


Much of our lives is underpinned by the operation of legislation and regulations; often without us realising it. Take daylight saving, for instance. We all appreciate its presence through Summer because it means we can maximise our time outside but have you ever thought to question what dictates its existence?

Well, let me introduce you to the Standard Time Act 1987 (NSW). This little-known Act operates purely to prescribe exactly how “time” (which incorporates Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time) operates in NSW.

Under this Act, Standard Time in NSW is defined as “10 hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time”, which is a period determined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures and maintained under a separate Commonwealth Act: the National Measurement Act 1960.

In 2005, all Australian states adopted the International Bureau of Weights and Measures’ “Coordinated Universal Time” (UTC) as the benchmark of all standard Australian times. UTC is often referred to as Greenwich Mean Time (named after the place in England treated as the