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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 944

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) -Senator Wright has just put forward fine sentiments. But really when we come to examine them we find that they relate to a provision for an exemption in regard to what is done by the States. I think that the degree of exemption leans a long way towards the States. Though the exemption is narrowed an exception is indicated. That is an exception by regulation.

After all, a regulation is a delegated operation of this Parliament. As we know, any regulation which is made is subject to the supervision of this Parliament. It is disallowable by either House. Sometimes it may be necessary to move quickly. If a State in this situation were undermining what was intended by the Federal Act, the situation ought to be able to be met and it may need to be met quickly. As I have said, the regulation making powers are subject to the supervision of both Houses of this Parliament The Parliament's power to disallow a regulation would be readily used if in some case it was thought that a regulation had been made inappropriately.

We submit that there is nothing wrong with this provision. It is said that a regulation would cut down a State Act. That is certainly no novelty. Ever since regulations have been made, the effect of the making of a regulation under an Act of this Parliament- that is the delegated legislative power of this Parliament- has operated in that way. Senator Wright, with his extraordinary memory, will conjure up in a moment the many cases which have come before the High Court of Australia and in which it has been held that a State Act fell because it was in conflict with a Federal regulation. There is nothing new about this. It is not as if we are venturing into the unknown or into unchartered waters. Here is something which is being done and which I think ought to be welcomed by the States. I think it would be welcomed by the States.

We are saying, in effect, that if a State authorises something to be done it will not be in contravention of this enactment. That is going a very long way towards acting graciously, if I may put it that way- I do not know whether that is the best term to use when referring to legislationtowards the States; and we are putting in the legislation a narrowing or limiting provision to the effect that in an appropriate case the capacity of the States simply to thwart the legislation would be met by the introduction of a regulation which would be made under this Act and which would be subject to the supervision of both Houses of this Parliament.

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