Federal Courts (Consequential Provisions) Bill
|About this Item||Speakers||McManus Mr Ian
||Business||Bill, First Reading, Second Reading
Bill introduced and read a first time.
Mr McMANUS (Heathcote—Parliamentary Secretary), on behalf of Mr Debus [8.01 p.m.]: I move:
This bill amends a number of State Acts so as to omit provisions that purport to confer State jurisdiction on Federal courts. It also makes minor amendments to the Corporations Act which are consequential on changes made to the Corporations Law by Commonwealth legislation. There are several State-Commonwealth schemes which provide for Federal courts and tribunals to exercise State jurisdiction. Of these, the Corporations Law scheme has attracted most public attention in recent years. In Re Wakim: ex parte McNally (1999) 163 ALR 270 (Re Wakim), the High Court considered whether arrangements in State laws to confer jurisdiction on Federal courts were valid. The court concluded that only the Commonwealth could confer jurisdiction on a Federal court as a matter of the interpretation of the Constitution. The decision meant that arrangements in these schemes for the exercise of jurisdiction by the Federal Court were inoperative, because the source of the jurisdiction was a law of the State.
That this bill be now read a second time.
Following the decision in Re Wakim, all States enacted legislation to validate decisions which were found to be invalid as a result of that decision. This legislation was developed through the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General, or SCAG. The New South Wales Parliament passed the Federal Courts (State Jurisdiction) Act 1999, which commenced on 9 July 1999. Attention is now being directed to those provisions in State Acts which are inoperative because of Re Wakim. This bill will amend the State Acts which established schemes to confer State jurisdiction on Federal courts. It will remove or amend these inoperative provisions.
The bill amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (New South Wales) Act 1994, the Competition Policy Reform (New South Wales) Act 1995, the Co-Operatives Act 1992, the Corporations (New South Wales) Act 1990, the Gas Pipelines Access (New South Wales) Act 1998, the Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-Vesting) Act 1987, the National Crime Authority (State Provisions) Act 1984 and the Price Exploitation (New South Wales) Act 1999. The bill is modelled on legislation which was developed through SCAG and has been enacted in Victoria. The bill also makes minor amendments to the Corporations Act which are consequential on changes made to the Corporations Law by Commonwealth legislation. This bill does not deal with the major issue of the future regulations of corporations. It merely makes minor changes which are consequential on the decision in Re Wakim. I commend the bill to the House.
Debate adjourned on motion by Mr R. H. L. Smith.