Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Page: 12334


Dr EMERSON (RankinMinister for Trade) (17:02): The government's clear legal advice is that the opposition's amendments are unnecessary. It is already the case that any territory law inconsistent with Commonwealth law on marriage, just as with any other subject, would be invalid. The Commonwealth parliament also has the broadest possible power under the Constitution to make laws for the government of any territory. That is set out in section 122. The Commonwealth parliament could use this power to override any territory law, even a territory law that is not currently inconsistent, by making a new inconsistent Commonwealth law.

I would add that it is not appropriate to tack on provisions singling out the Commonwealth Marriage Act to a bill concerned with the general role of the Commonwealth executive government in territory law-making processes without very careful consideration of the specific effects and more general implications. The opposition amendments do not deal in any detail with the differences between the ACT and Northern Territory self-government acts. It is also not appropriate to tack on provisions singling out the Commonwealth Marriage Act to a bill concerned with the general role of the Commonwealth executive government in territory law-making processes. From a policy perspective, the territories bill is not concerned with marriage or any other particular area of social policy. The territories cannot make laws that are inconsistent with the Commonwealth Marriage Act or any other act. This position will not change if the territories bill is passed.