The Commerce (Meat Export) Regulations (Cth) – prohibited export of meat unless slaughter was carried out in premises registered under Cth regs. Noarlunga – had Cth registration, but not State licence Held, by majority – comprehensiveness of Cth regs demonstrated intention to cover the field of premises used for slaughtering. SA act could not apply. Fullager J Elaborate and detailed scheme under the legislation; State would be prohibiting the use of the premises for the purpose they had been registered with the Cth – registration set out authorised use, including slaughter
Three judges considered registration under Cth regulations concerned grant of an export permit, not regulating slaughter of stock – ie different fields Consider – impact on federalism. Two ways of viewing this- Commonwealth regulation scheme is primary and the state is thwarting the Cwl scheme. Stock Motor Ploughs Ltd v Forsythe (1932) 48 CLR 128, 145 (Evatt J): Noted a movement away from impossibility of obedience – the two laws conflict in what they require – to the broader covering the field concern, despite the possibility of simultaneous obedience On ‘cover the field’: ‘It is no more than a cliché ; for expressing the fact that, by reason of the subject matter dealt with, and the method of dealing with it, and the nature and multiplicity of the regulations prescribed, the Federal authority has adopted a plan or scheme which will be hindered and obstructed if any additional regulations whatever are prescribed upon the subject by any other authority’ (147) Argued that it is difficult to conceive of Cth law as completely covering the field for a number of s 51 subjects – e.g. State law imposing separate duties on aliens; e.g. State law imposing taxation (148) Manufacturing inconsistency? What should be the role of a declaration within legislation that the Cth intends to cover the whole field? A valid legislative tool for indicating intention? Attempt to enlarge power? General proposition – the Cth cannot enlarge its own powers by attempting to define them broadly beyond the scope of the Constitution. E.g. ‘lighthouses’; ‘alien’; ‘marriage’ Commonwealth cant directly target state law and say it does not apply. But it can direct an intention to cover the field in a certain area. While a Cth law cannot attempt to deny validity to a State law by direct force, the Cth may expressly evidence an intention to cover the field (ie, so that s 109 applies): Western Australia v Commonwealth (Native Title Case) (1995) 183 CLR 373 , 466 ‘ the intention may appear from the text or from the operation of the law . The text may reveal the intention either by implication or by express declaration. And if it be within the legislative power of the Commonwealth to declare that the regime prescribed by the Commonwealth law shall be exclusive and exhaustive, it is equally within the legislative power of the Commonwealth to prescribe that an area be left for regulation by State law.’ Whether the commonwealth is seeking to enlarge its power beyond the scope of the legislation itself. It could
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