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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3001


Senator COLSTON —Can the Attorney-General advise what High Court challenges the Queensland Government has instituted against the Commonwealth Government since 1972? What have been the results of those challenges and what legal costs have been incurred by the Queensland Government in relation to those challenges?


Senator GARETH EVANS —There have been six High Court challenges by Queensland since 1972 to Commonwealth legislation. The only successful one was in 1975 to the validity of the Petroleum and Minerals Authority Act 1973 on a narrow technical ground. I do not have the information as to the cost that may have been incurred by the Queensland Government in the conduct of those matters. I will make available to Senator Colston the full detail of the cases in question. However, briefly, they were: Queensland against Whitlam, which was the challenge to the Bill being put to a joint sitting; Queensland against the Commonwealth, which was the challenge to the validity of the Seas and Submerged Lands Act; Queensland against the Commonwealth, which was a challenge to the validity of the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act; Queensland against the Commonwealth, which was the successful challenge to the Petroleum and Minerals Authority Act based on the technical question about Senate procedures; Queensland against the Commonwealth, which was a further challenge to the Senate (Representation of Territories) Act; Queensland against the Commonwealth, which was the challenge, of course, in the Koowarta case to the validity of the Racial Discrimination Act. So the batting average has not been all that sensational.