Quotes and Examples – Federalism and the Constitution

Quotes

Alfred Deakin The rights of self-government of the States have been fondly supposed to be safeguarded by the Constitution. It has left them legally free but financially bound to the chariot wheels of the Central Government

 

Republic referendum

A proposed law: to alter the Constitution to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament.

A majority in no State and an total of 55% against, 45% for.

Federalism

  • Anything from $9 to $20 billion wasted as a result of duplication of systems, according to the BCA

Vertical Fiscal Imbalance

  • 80% of revenue raised by C’th, only 50% expenditure. 20% raised for States, 50% expenditure.
  • LATEST STATS 2014: According to Tony Abbott’s recent speech on this topic, States raise $130 bil but spend $230 bil.
  • Through tied grants and SPGs
  • Coerce States by withholding funding – Brendan Nelson on WA’s OBE

Grants Commission est. 1933 governed by the Commonwealth Grants Commission Act 1973

Loans Council est. 1927 – Financial Agreement Act 1928

Imbalance of Power

Constitution

  • s 109 re inconsistency between laws
  • s 87 and s 94 Customs and Excise
  • s 90 exclusive customs and excise.
  • s 96 terms and conditions
  • Although s 106 to 108 protects States rights

Referendums

  • Social Services referendum in 1946, adding s 51(xxiiiA)
  • State Debts (1928 – 105A)
  • Aborigines 1967 – re. s 51 xxvi

Referral of Powers

  • Re Wakim 1999 – cross vesting
  • 1974 – SA and TAS gave the management of railways
  • 1996 – VIC gave industrial relations
  • 2001 – TAS gave industrial relations
  • 2003 – Terrorism laws
  • 2010 – Credit (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2010

Unchallenged Legislation

  • Uniform Gun Laws 1997
  • Snowy Mountain Scheme (1940)

More Examples of Cooperation

IGA on Federal Financial Relation (SPPs – 5):

  • $60.5 billion in National Healthcare SPP
  • $18 billion in National Schools SPP

National Agreements (7):

  • National Healthcare Agreement
  • National Education Agreement
  • National Indigenous Reform Agreement

 

National Partnerships (with rewards, i.e. the carrot, also 7):

  • National Partnership on Preventative Health
  • NP on Literacy and Numeracy
  • NP on Improving Teacher Quality

 

National Partnerships (17):

  • National Partnership on Health Services
  • NP on Health Infrastructure
  • NP on Low Socio-Economic Status School Communities
  • NP on Indigenous Economic Participation
  • NP on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes

 

High Court cases

Industrial Relations External Affairs (s 51 xxix) Finance

1904 – D’Emden v   Pedder

‘implied immunities’ and ‘implied prohibitions’ doctrine

1936 – R v Burgess 

 

 

1908 – NSW v Commonwealth (Surplus revenue)

 

 

1906 – Federated Amalgamated Government Railway and Tramway Service Association v NSW Railway Traffic Employees Association (Railway Servants)

C’th Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 could not apply to State government employees. under S 51 xxxv

1982 – Koowarta v Bjelke-PetersonRacial Discrimination Act 1975.

 

1926 – Vic v Commonwealth

S 96

(Bruce’s Main Roads Development Act 1923)

 

1920 – Amalgamated Society of Engineers v Adelaide Steamship Co (Engineer’s)

Reversed Railway Servants. Under s 51 xxxv.

1983 – Commonwealth v Tasmania (Tasmanian Dams)World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983

1942 – SA v Commonwealth (Uniform Tax)

Uniform (Income) Tax Agreement Act 1942

s 51 ii

According to Prof. Black (Curtin), as a result of this, C’th revenue collection rose from 16% to 45%.

1971 – Strickland v Rocla Concrete Pipes Ltd (Concrete pipes)

The Trade Practices Act 1974.

1957 – Vic v Commonwealth (2nd Uniform tax)

As above. Challenged again.

2006 – NSW v Commonwealth (WorkChoices)

Workplace Relations Amendment Act 2005.

s 51 xx.

1997 – Ha v NSW

Business Franchises Licences Tobacco Act 1987.

s 90

Cut revenue by 20%, increased C’th to 80%.

 

COAG

Est. 1992 by Paul Keating

 

 

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