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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3576


Mr Oakeshott asked the Attorney-General, in writing, on 12 February 2009:

(1)   In respect of the 2006 High Court Case New South Wales v Commonwealth (WorkChoices Case), are the following statements factually correct: (a) “It is true that Corporations in NSW fall/fell within the purview of the WorkChoices legislation.”; (b) “It is true that public sector corporations within NSW and other States fall/fell within the purview of the WorkChoices legislation.”; and (c) “Following the High court ruling, it is also true that the Commonwealth does have powers under section 51(xx) over public sector corporations at a State level.”.

(2)   If (1) (a) to (c) are incorrect, why.

(3)   If (1) (a) to (c) are correct: (a) from the Commonwealth’s perspective, what constitutional questions arise in relation to Section 109 of the Constitution and matters of authority, consistency and jurisdiction; and (b) could he provide the States’ perspective on this issue.


Mr McClelland (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

It is not appropriate for me to provide legal advice or commentary on the High Court’s decision in New South Wales v Commonwealth (2006) 229 CLR 1. Questions relating to the operation of workplace relations legislation should be referred to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.