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Constitution of Australia
Created 1898-1900
Ratified 9 July 1900
Location National Archives of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Authors Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, Andrew Inglis Clark, (et al.)
Signers Queen Victoria
Purpose To unify the Australian colonies as a single nation, and create the law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates
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The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Constitution was approved in referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The Commission of Assent was signed by Queen Victoria on 9 July 1900, upon which the Constitution became law. The Constitution came into force on 1 January 1901. Even though the Constitution was originally given legal force by an Act of the United Kingdom parliament, the Australia Acts removed the power of the United Kingdom parliament to change the Constitution, and only the Australian people can amend it (by referendum).

Other pieces of legislation have constitutional significance for Australia. These are the Statute of Westminster, as adopted by the Commonwealth in the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942, and the Australia Act 1986, which was passed in equivalent forms by the Parliaments of every Australian state, the United Kingdom, and the Australian Federal Parliament. Together, these Acts had the effect of severing all constitutional links between Australia and the United Kingdom. Even though the same person, Queen Elizabeth II, is the monarch of both countries, she acts in a distinct capacity as monarch of each.

Under Australia's common law system, the High Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia have the authority to interpret constitutional provisions.[1] Their decisions determine the interpretation and application of the constitution.

Contents

History

The history of the Constitution of Australia began with moves towards federation in the 19th century, which culminated in the federation of the Australian colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. However, the Constitution has continued to develop since then, with two laws having particularly significant impact on the constitutional status of the nation.

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Federation

In the mid-19th century, a desire to facilitate cooperation on matters of mutual interest, especially intercolonial tariffs, led to proposals to unite the separate British colonies in Australia under a single federation. However, impetus mostly came from Britain and there was only lacklustre local support.[2] The smaller colonies feared domination by the larger ones; Victoria and New South Wales disagreed over the ideology of protectionism; the then-recent American Civil War also hampered the case for federalism. These difficulties led to the failure of several attempts to bring about federation in the 1850s and 1860s.

By the 1880s, fear of the growing presence of the Germans and the French in the Pacific, coupled with a growing Australian identity, created the opportunity for establishing the first inter-colonial body, the Federal Council of Australasia, established in 1885. The Federal Council could legislate on certain subjects, but did not have a permanent secretariat, an executive, or independent source of revenue. The absence of New South Wales, the largest colony, also diminished its representative value.

Henry Parkes, the Premier of New South Wales, was instrumental in pushing for a series of conferences in the 1890s to discuss federalism – one in Melbourne in 1890, and another (the National Australasian Convention) in Sydney in 1891, attended by colonial leaders. By the 1891 conference, significant momentum had been built for the federalist cause, and discussion turned to the proper system of government for a federal state. Under the guidance of Sir Samuel Griffith, a draft constitution was drawn up. However, these meetings lacked popular support. Furthermore, the draft constitution side-stepped certain important issues, such as tariff policy. The draft of 1891 was submitted to colonial parliaments but lapsed in New South Wales, after which the other colonies were unwilling to proceed.

In 1895, the six premiers of the Australian colonies agreed to establish a new Convention by popular vote. The Convention met over the course of a year from 1897 to 1898. The meetings produced a new draft which contained substantially the same principles of government as the 1891 draft, but with added provisions for responsible government. To ensure popular support, the draft was presented to the electors of each colony. After one failed attempt, an amended draft was submitted to the electors of each colony except Western Australia. After ratification by the five colonies, the Bill was presented to the Westminster Parliament with an Address requesting the Queen to enact the Bill.

Before the Bill was passed, however, one final change was made by the imperial government, upon lobbying by the Chief Justices of the colonies, so that the right to appeal from the High Court to the Privy Council on constitutional matters concerning the limits of the powers of the Commonwealth or States could not be curtailed by parliament. Finally, the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1900. Western Australia finally agreed to join the Commonwealth in time for it to be an original member of the Commonwealth of Australia, which was officially established on 1 January 1901.

In 1990, the original copy of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 from the Public Records Office in London was lent to Australia, and the Australian government requested permission to keep the copy. The British parliament agreed by passing the Australian Constitution (Public Record Copy) Act 1990.

The Statute of Westminster and the Australia Acts

Although Federation is often regarded as the moment of "independence" of Australia from Britain, legally the Commonwealth was a creation of the British Imperial Parliament, through the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), which applied to Australia by paramount force. As a result, there was continued uncertainty as to the applicability of British Imperial laws to the Commonwealth. This was resolved by the Statute of Westminster 1931, adopted by the Commonwealth via the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942. The Statute of Westminster freed the Dominions, including the Commonwealth, from Imperial restrictions.[3] Legally, this is often regarded as the moment of Australia's national independence.

However, Imperial laws continued to be paramount in Australian states. This was resolved by the Australia Act 1986, which was passed in substantially the same form by the parliaments of Australia, the United Kingdom, and each of the states. In addition to ending the British Parliament's power to legislate over Australian states, the Australia Acts also cut the last avenues of appeal from the Australian courts to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. As a symbol of the significance of this legislation, Queen Elizabeth II travelled to Australia to personally sign the proclamation of the law.

One result of these two laws is that Australia is now a fully independent country, and the text of the Constitution is now regarded as fully separated from the text in the original Act, since only the Australian people can amend the Constitution, by referendum[citation needed]. However, the Act remains on the UK's law book with a citiation noting "The Constitution is not necessarily in the form in which it is in force in Australia". Even if the United Kingdom Parliament were to repeal the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, it would have no effect on Australia[citation needed].

Articles

The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp) contains a Preamble, and nine sections. Sections 1 – 8 cover clauses outlining the legal procedures for the establishment of the Commonwealth. Section 9, beginning with the words "The Constitution of the Commonwealth shall be as follows ...", contains the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Constitution itself is divided into eight chapters, containing 128 sections.

The Parliament

Chapter I sets up the legislative branch of government, the Parliament of Australia, which consists of three constituent parts: The Sovereign (King or Queen) of Australia, who is represented by the Governor-General of Australia; the House of Representatives; and the Senate. Section 1 provides that legislative power is vested in this Parliament, which has paramount power of governance.

Part II of this chapter deals with the Senate. Senators are to be "directly chosen by the people of the State", voting as a single electorate. Each State is to have the same number of senators. Currently, there are 12 senators for each State, and 2 each for the mainland territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Part III deals with the House of Representatives. As nearly as practicable, Section 24 requires the House to be composed of twice as many members as the Senate, each elected by a single electorate. This is the so-called 'Nexus', which is designed to prevent swamping of the senate's power in the case of a joint sitting (see Section 57 below). The number of electorates in a State is to be (roughly) proportional to its share of the national population.

Part IV ("Both Houses of the Parliament") deals with eligibility for voting and election to the parliament, parliamentary allowances, parliamentary rules and related matters.

Part V deals with the powers of the parliament. Section 51 deals with powers of the Commonwealth parliament and are called "specific powers". These contain "concurrent powers", in the sense that both the Commonwealth and States can legislate on these subjects, although federal law prevails in the case of inconsistency (Section 109). Of the thirty-nine elements of section 51, a few have become critical in determining the scope of Commonwealth government action, including the Trade and Commerce Power, the Corporations Power and the External Affairs Power. Section 52 deals with powers exclusively vested in the Commonwealth parliament. States cannot legislate on these subjects.

The Executive

Chapter II sets up the executive branch of government. Executive power is to be exercised by the Governor-General, advised by the Federal Executive Council. Under this Chapter, the Governor-General is the commander in chief, and may appoint and dismiss the members of the Executive Council, ministers of state, and all officers of the executive government. These powers, along with the powers to dissolve (or refuse to dissolve) parliament (Section 5, Section 57), are termed "reserve powers", and their use is dictated by convention. Generally, the Governor-General acts only on the advice of the Prime Minister. There has been only one instance of the Governor-General acting outside the advice of the Prime Minister of the day, when Governor-General Sir John Kerr, acting on his own authority, dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.

Reserve powers in all Westminster nations are only extremely rarely exercised outside of the understood conventions. However, in contrast with the constitutions of other Commonwealth Realms such as Canada which formally grant extensive reserve powers to the Monarch, even the formal powers of the Queen of Australia are extremely limited, and most powers are only exercisable by the Governor-General.

The Judicature

Chapter III sets up the judicial branch of government. Section 71 vests judicial power in a "Federal Supreme Court" to be called the High Court of Australia, and such other federal courts as Parliament creates, and in such other courts as Parliament invests with federal jurisdiction. Such courts are called "Chapter III Courts" are the only courts that can exercise federal judicial power. Sections 73 and 75-78 outline the original and appellate jurisdiction of the High Court. Section 74 provides for the circumstances in which an appeal can be made to the Queen in Council. Section 79 allows Parliament to prescribe the number of judges able to exercise federal jurisdiction and section 80 guarantees trial by jury for indictable offences against the Commonwealth.

Finance and Trade

Chapter IV deals with finance and trade in the federal system. Section 81 prescribes that all Commonwealth revenue shall form the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Parliament can make laws as to the appropriations of money (Section 53). Unlike most other powers of the parliament, laws made under the appropriations power are not ordinarily susceptible to effective legal challenge. Section 90 gives the Commonwealth exclusive power over duties of custom and excise.

Section 92 provides that "trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States shall be absolutely free". The precise meaning of this phrase is the subject of a considerable body of law.

Section 96 gives the Commonwealth power to make grants to States "on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit". This power has been held to be unconstrained by any other provision, such as Section 99 which forbids giving preference to one State or part thereof over another State or part thereof. It is subject only to Section 116, freedom of religion, and possibly other such freedoms. This power, although evidently envisaged as a temporary measure ("during a period of ten years ... and thereafter until the Parliament otherwise provides"), has been used by the Commonwealth to encourage cooperation by the States to various extents over the years.

Section 101 sets up an Inter-State Commission, a body which is now defunct, but which was originally envisaged to have a significant role in the federal structure.

The States

Chapter V contains provisions dealing with the States and their role under the federal system. Sections 106-108 preserves the Constitution, powers of the Parliament, and the laws in force of each of the States.

Section 109 provides that, where a State law is inconsistent with a federal law, the federal law prevails (to the extent of the inconsistency).

Section 111 provides that a State can surrender any part of the State to the Commonwealth. This has occurred on several occasions, most notably the surrender by South Australia to the Commonwealth of the Northern Territory.

Section 114 forbids any State from raising a military force, and also forbids the State or the Commonwealth from taxing each other's property.

Section 116 establishes what is often called "freedom of religion", by forbidding the Commonwealth from making any law for the establishment of a religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the exercise of a religion, or religious discrimination for public office.

New States

Chapter VI allows for the establishment or admission of new states. Section 122 allows the Parliament to provide for the representation in Parliament of any territory surrendered by the States, or placed by the Queen in the authority of the Commonwealth. Section 123 requires that changing the boundaries of a State requires the consent of the Parliament of that State and approval by referendum in that State.

No new states have been admitted to the Commonwealth since federation.

Miscellaneous

Chapter VII provides that the seat of government of the Commonwealth (now Canberra) shall be located within New South Wales but no less than one hundred miles from Sydney, and that the Governor-General may appoint deputies. Section 127 previously provided that Aborigines cannot be counted in any Commonwealth or State census. This section was repealed in 1967.

Alteration of the Constitution

Chapter VIII specifies the procedures for amending the Constitution. Section 128 provides that constitutional amendments must be approved by a referendum. Successful amendment requires:

  • an absolute majority in both houses of the federal parliament; and
  • the approval in a referendum of the proposed amendment by a majority of electors nationwide, and a majority in a majority of states.

The referendum bill must be put to the people by the Governor-General between two and six months after passing parliament. After the constitutional amendment bill has passed both the parliamentary stage and the referendum, it then receives Royal Assent from the Governor-General. When proclaimed, it will be in effect, and the wording of the Constitution will be changed.

An exception to this process is if the amendment bill is rejected by one house of Federal Parliament. If the bill passes the first house and is rejected by the second, then after three months the first house may pass it again. If the bill is still rejected by the second house, then the Governor-General may choose to still put the bill to the people's vote.

Amendments

As mentioned above, successful amendment of the Constitution requires a referendum in which the "Yes" vote achieves a majority nationally, as well as majorities in a majority of states.

Forty-four proposals to amend the Constitution have been voted on at referendums, of which eight have been approved. The following is a list of amendments which have been approved. For a complete list of all referendums and plebiscites held, see Referendums in Australia – Referendums and plebiscites by year.

  • 1906 – Senate Elections – amended Section 13 to slightly alter the length and dates of Senators' terms of office.
  • 1910 – State Debts – amended Section 105 to extend the power of the Commonwealth to take over pre-existing state debts to debts incurred by a state at any time.
  • 1928 – State Debts – inserted Section 105A to ensure the constitutional validity of the Financial Agreement reached between the Commonwealth and State governments in 1927.
  • 1946 – Social Services – inserted Section 51 (xxiiiA) to extend the power of the Commonwealth government over a range of social services.
  • 1967 – Aborigines – amended Section 51 (xxvi) to extend the power of the Commonwealth government to legislate for people of any race to Aborigines; repealed Section 127 which stated that "In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted."
  • 1977

The role of conventions

Alongside the text of the Constitution, and Letters Patent issued by the Crown, conventions are an important aspect of the Constitution, which have evolved over the decades and define how various constitutional mechanisms operate in practice.

Conventions play a powerful role in the operation of the Australian constitution because of its set-up and operation as a Westminster system of responsible government. Some notable conventions include:

  • While the constitution does not formally create the office of Prime Minister of Australia, such an office developed a de facto existence as head of the cabinet. The Prime Minister is seen as the head of government.
  • While there are few constitutional restrictions on the power of the Governor-General, by convention the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

However, because conventions are not textually based, their existence and practice are open to debate. Real or alleged violation of convention has often led to political controversy. The most extreme case was the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975, in which the operation of conventions was seriously tested. The ensuing constitutional crisis was resolved dramatically when the Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismissed the Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, appointing Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister pending the 1975 general election. A number of conventions were said to be broken during this episode. These include:

  • The convention that, when the Senator from a particular State vacates his or her position during the term of office, the State government concerned would nominate a replacement from the same political party as the departing Senator. This convention was allegedly broken by first the Lewis government of New South Wales and then by the Bjelke-Petersen government of Queensland who both filled Labor vacancies with an independent and a Labor member opposed to the Whitlam government respectively.[4]
Note: The convention was codified into the Constitution via the national referendum of 1977. The amendment requires the new Senator to be from the same party as the old one and would have prevented the appointment by Lewis, but not that by Bjelke-Petersen. However, the amendment states of the appointee that if "before taking his seat he ceases to be a member of that party...he shall be deemed not to have been so chosen or appointed". Bjelke-Petersen appointee Albert Patrick Field was expelled from the Labor Party before taking his seat and would therefore have been ineligible under the new constitutional amendment.[5]
  • The convention that, when the Senate is controlled by a party which does not simultaneously control the House of Representatives, the Senate would not vote against money supply to the government. This convention was allegedly broken by the Senate controlled by the Liberal-Country party coalition in 1975.[4]

Interpretation

In line with the common law tradition in Australia, the law on the interpretation and application of the Constitution has developed largely through judgments by the High Court of Australia in various cases. In a number of seminal cases, the High Court has developed several doctrines which underlie the interpretation of the Australian Constitution. Some examples include:

  • Separation of powers – The three separate chapters dealing with the three branches of government implies a separation of powers, similar to that of the United States, but unusual for a government within the Westminster system. Thus, for example, the legislature cannot purport to predetermine the legal outcome, or to change the direction or outcome, of a court case.
  • Division of powers – Powers of government are divided between the Commonwealth and the State governments, with certain powers being exclusive to the Commonwealth, others being concurrently exercised, and the remainder being exclusively held by the States.
  • Intergovernmental immunities – Although the Engineers' Case held that there was no general immunity between State and Commonwealth governments from each other's laws, the Commonwealth cannot enact taxation laws that discriminated between the States or parts of the States (Section 51(ii)), nor enact laws that discriminated against the States, or such as to prevent a State from continuing to exist and function as a state (Melbourne Corporation v Commonwealth).

The vast majority of constitutional cases before the High Court deal with characterisation: whether new laws fall within a permissible head of power granted to the Commonwealth government by the Constitution.

Criticism

Protection of rights

See also Australian constitutional law – Protection of rights

The Australian Constitution does not include a Bill of Rights. Some delegates to the 1898 Constitutional Convention favoured a section similar to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, but the majority felt that the traditional rights and freedoms of British subjects were sufficiently guaranteed by the Parliamentary system and independent judiciary which the Constitution would create. As a result, the Australian Constitution has often been criticised for its scant protection of rights and freedoms.

Some express rights were, however, included:

  • Right to trial by jury – Section 80 creates a right to trial by jury for indictable offences against Commonwealth law. There are serious conceptual limitations to this right however, since the Commonwealth is free to make any offence, no matter how serious the punishment, triable otherwise than on indictment. As Justice Higgins said in R. v. Archdall & Roskruge; Ex parte Carrigan and Brown (1928) 41 CLR 128: "if there be an indictment, there must be a jury, but there is nothing to compel procedure by indictment". In practice, however, no major issue of abuse of this loophole has been raised.
  • Right to just compensation – Paragraph 51(xxxi) creates a right to just compensation for assets taken by the Commonwealth.
  • Right to freedom of religion – Section 116 creates a limited right to freedom of religion, by prohibiting the Commonwealth (but not the states) from "making any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion." This section is based on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but is weaker in operation. As the states retain all powers they had as colonies before federation, except for those explicitly given to the Commonwealth, this section does not affect the states' powers to legislate on religion, and, in accordance with High Court interpretations, no Federal legislation on religion, short of establishing an official religion of Australia, would be limited by it either.
  • Right to freedom from discrimination against out-of-State residents -Section 117 prohibits disability or discrimination in one state against the resident of another state. This is interpreted widely (Street v Queensland Bar Association), but does not prohibit states from imposing residential requirements where they are required by the State's autonomy and its responsibility to its people.

In 1992 and 1994, the High Court of Australia found that the Constitution contained an "implied" right to freedom of political communication, in a series of cases including the Australian Capital Television case and the Theophanous case. This was seen as a necessary part of the democratic system created by the Constitution. The application of this "implied right" has, however, been restricted in later cases, such as Lange v ABC. It is in no way equivalent to a freedom of speech, and only protects individuals against the government trying to limit their political communication: it offers no protection against other individuals.

In 2007, the High Court of Australia in Roach v Electoral Commissioner held that sections 7 and 24 of the Constitution, by providing that members of the House of Representatives and the Senate be "directly chosen by the people", created a limited right to vote. This entailed the guarantee of a universal franchise in principle, and limited the Federal Parliament's legislative power to modify that universal franchise. In the case, a legislative amendment to disqualify from voting all prisoners (as opposed to only those serving sentences of three years or more, as it was before the amendment) was struck down as contravening that right.

Other attempts to find other "implied rights" in High Court cases have not been successful.

Preamble

While a pro forma preamble prefaces the Imperial Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, the Australian Constitution itself does not contain a preamble. There have been some calls for the insertion of such a section to express the spirit and aspirations embodied in the constitution. However, there has been fierce opposition, usually on the basis of the content of the preamble, as well as possible legal ramifications of this text. In 1999, a proposed preamble, principally authored by John Howard, the then Prime Minister, was defeated in a referendum held concurrently with the Republic referendum. The "Yes" vote (in favour of the insertion of the preamble) did not achieve a majority in any of the six states.

Republic proposals

At various times since Federation, debates have occurred over whether Australia should become a republic. On 6 November 1999, Australians rejected a proposal to remove the Queen and replace the Governor-General with a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament. This was despite opinion poll results suggesting that the majority of Australians are in favour of some form of a republic[6]. Many voters who voted against the 1999 referendum cited the appointment of the President by a joint action of Parliament, rather than through direct election, as a fatal flaw in that referendum. In research and polling following the 1999 referendum, the single greatest concern expressed about the referendum as written seemed to be that it did not create and respect a meaningful separation of powers between a Republican President and Parliament and its legislative authority. By being able to appoint the President, rather than having the President popularly elected from the entire nation for a fixed term, many felt that too much power was being focused into Parliament's hand with no check or balance on that power. Support for holding another referendum in the foreseeable future seems to be growing, and another referendum being held is more possible than it has been recently. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has stated that while it is not an active priority, the current structure "no longer reflects either the fundamental democratic principles that underpin the Australian nation or its diversity", [7] and he has given some indications that a referendum for an independent, elected President, repairing the main issue of the 1999 vote, is being considered. He went on to say that "over the next year there would be an "accelerated public debate" about the monarchy question".[8]

Commemoration

Constitution Day is celebrated on 9 July[9], the date the Constitution became law in 1900. The date is not a public holiday. Constitution Day was first held on 9 July 2000 to mark the centenary of the Constitution in the lead up to the Centenary of Federation, although commemorations were low key and were not widely held after 2001. Constitution Day was revived in 2007 and is jointly organised by the National Archives of Australia, which holds the original Constitution documents, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.[10]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The High Court's jurisdiction is under s.30, and the Federal Court's s.39B, of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth)
  2. ^ Parkinson (2002)
  3. ^ Blackshield and Williams (2002)
  4. ^ a b Gough Whitlam. The Truth of the Matter. Penguin. 1979 (Reprint: Melbourne University Press. 2005.)
  5. ^ Reflections from the Seventies (transcript), ABC TV Four Corners, accessed 13 January 2010
  6. ^ republic.pdf "Newspoll: January 2007 republic poll (PDF)". http://www.newspoll.com.au/image_uploads//0103 republic.pdf. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  7. ^ Kevin Rudd Vows To Make Australia A Republic http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1584378/Kevin-Rudd-vows-to-make-Australia-a-republic.html
  8. ^ Kevin Rudd Vows To Make Australia A Republic http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1584378/Kevin-Rudd-vows-to-make-Australia-a-republic.html
  9. ^ "9 July – Constitution Day". National Archives of Australia. http://www.naa.gov.au/whats-on/constitution-day/events-08.aspx. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  10. ^ "Constitution Day Celebrations". 2008-07-09. http://www.alp.org.au/media/0708/mssms090.php. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 

References

  • Parkinson, Patrick (2002). Tradition and Change in Australian Law. Sydney: LBC Information Services. ISBN 0-455-21292-9. 
  • Blackshield, Tony; Williams (2006). Australian Constitutional Law and Theory. Sydney: Federation Press. ISBN 1-86287-585-5. 

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act

Contents

The Act

An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia. [9th July 1900]

Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established:

And whereas it is expedient to provide for the admission into the Commonwealth of other Australasian Colonies and possessions of the Queen:

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Section 1: Short title

This Act may be cited as the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act.

Section 2: Act to extend to the Queen's successors

The provisions of this Act referring to the Queen shall extend to Her Majesty's heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.

Section 3: Proclamation of Commonwealth

It shall be lawful for the Queen, with the advice of the Privy Council, to declare by proclamation that, on and after a day therein appointed, not being later that one year after the passing of this Act, the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, and also, if Her Majesty is satisfied that the people of Western Australia have agreed thereto, of Western Australia, shall be united in a Federal Commonwealth under the name of the Commonwealth of Australia. But the Queen may, at any time after the proclamation, appoint a Governor-General for the Commonwealth.

Section 4: Commencement of Act

The Commonwealth shall be established, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth shall take effect, on and after the day so appointed. But the Parliaments of the several colonies may at any time after the passing of this Act make any such laws, to come into operation on the day so appointed, as they might have made if the Constitution had taken effect at the passing of this Act.

Section 5: Operation of the Constitution and laws

This Act, and all laws made by the Parliament of the Commonwealth under the Constitution, shall be binding on the courts, judges, and people of every State and of every part of the Commonwealth, notwithstanding anything in the laws of any State; and the laws of the Commonwealth shall be in force on all British ships, the Queen's ships of war excepted, whose first port of clearance and whose port of destination are in the Commonwealth.

Section 6: Definitions

"The Commonwealth" shall mean the Commonwealth of Australia as established under this Act. "The States" shall mean such of the colonies of New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia, including the northern territory of South Australia, as for the time being are parts of the Commonwealth, and such colonies or territories as may be admitted into or established by the Commonwealth as States; and each of such parts of the Commonwealth shall be called "a State". "Original States" shall mean such States as are parts of the Commonwealth at its establishment.

Section 7: Repeal of Federal Council Act

The Federal Council of Australasia Act, 1885, is hereby repealed, but so as not to affect any laws passed by the Federal Council of Australasia and in force at the establishment of the Commonwealth. Any such law may be repealed as to any State by the Parliament of the Commonwealth, or as to any colony not being a State by the Parliament thereof.

Section 8: Application of Colonial Boundaries Act

After the passing of this Act the Colonial Boundaries Act, 1895, shall not apply to any colony which becomes a State of the Commonwealth; but the Commonwealth shall be taken to be a self-governing colony for the purposes of that Act.

Section 9: Constitution

The Constitution of the Commonwealth shall be as follows:—

Chapter I. The Parliament.

Part I.--General.

1. The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is herein-after called "The Parliament", or "The Parliament of the Commonwealth."

2. A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.

3. There shall be payable to the Queen out of the Consolidated Revenue fund of the Commonwealth, for the salary of the Governor-General, an annual sum which, until the Parliament otherwise provides, shall be ten thousand pounds. The salary of the Governor-General shall not be altered during his continuance in office.

4. The provisions of this Constitution relating to the Governor-General extend and apply to the Governor-General for the time being, or such person as the Queen may appoint to administer the Government of the Commonwealth; but no such person shall be entitled to receive any salary from the Commonwealth in respect of any other office during his administration of the Government of the Commonwealth.

5. The Governor-General may appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit, and may also from time to time, by Proclamation or otherwise, prorogue the Parliament, and may in like manner dissolve the House of Representatives.

After any general election the Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than thirty days after the day appointed for the return of the writs. The Parliament shall be summoned to meet not later than six months after the establishment of the Commonwealth.

6. There shall be a session of the Parliament once at least in every year, so that twelve months shall not intervene between the last sitting of the Parliament in one session and its first sitting in the next session.

Part II.--The Senate.

7. The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.

But until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of the State of Queensland, if that State be an Original State, may make laws dividing the State into divisions and determining the number of senators to be chosen for each division, and in the absence of such provision the State shall be one electorate.

Until the Parliament otherwise provides there shall be six senators for each Original State. The Parliament may make laws increasing or diminishing the number of senators for each State, but so that equal representation of the several Original States shall be maintained and that no Original State shall have less than six senators. The senators shall be chosen for a term of six years, and the names of the senators chosen for each State shall be certified by the Governor to the Governor-General.

8. The qualification of electors of senators shall be in each State that which is prescribed by this Constitution, or by the Parliament, as the qualification for electors of members of the House of Representatives; but in the choosing of senators each elector shall vote only once.

9. The Parliament of the Commonwealth may make laws prescribing the method of choosing senators, but so that the method shall be uniform for all the States. Subject to any such law, the Parliament of each State may make laws prescribing the method of choosing the senators for that State.

The Parliament of a State may make laws for determining the times and places of elections of senators for the State.

10. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, but subject to this Constitution, the laws in force in each State, for the time being, relating to elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State shall, as nearly as practicable, apply to elections of senators for the State.

11. The Senate may proceed to despatch of business, notwithstanding the failure of any State to provide for its representation in the Senate.

12. The Governor of any State may cause writs to be issued for elections of senators for the State. In case of the dissolution of the Senate the writs shall be issued within ten days from the proclamation of such dissolution.

13. As soon as may be after the Senate first meets, and after each first meeting of the Senate following a dissolution thereof, the Senate shall divide the senators chosen for each State into two classes, as nearly equal in number as practicable; and the places of the senators of the first class shall become vacant at the expiration of three years, and the places of those of the second class at the expiration of six years, from the beginning of their term of service; and afterwards the places of senators shall be vacant at the expiration of six years from the beginning of their term of service.

The election to fill vacant places shall be made within one year before the places are to become vacant.

For the purpose of this section the term of service of a senator shall be taken to begin on the first day of July following the day of his election, except in the cases of the first election and of the election next after any dissolution of the Senate, when it shall be taken to begin on the first day of July preceding the day of his election.

14. Whenever the number of senators for a State is increased or diminished, the Parliament of the Commonwealth may make such provision for the vacating of the places of senators for the State as it deems necessary to maintain regularity in the rotation.

15. If the place of a senator becomes vacant before the expiration of his term of service, the Houses of Parliament of the State for which he was chosen, sitting and voting together, or, if there is only one House of that Parliament, that House, shall choose a person to hold the place until the expiration of the term. But if the Parliament of the State is not in session when the vacancy is notified, the Governor of the State, with the advice of the Executive Council thereof, may appoint a person to hold the place until the expiration of fourteen days from the beginning of the next session of the Parliament of the State or the expiration of the term, whichever first happens.

Where a vacancy has at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of a State and, at the time when he was so chosen, he was publicly recognised by a particular political party as being an endorsed candidate of that party and publicly represented himself to be such a candidate, a person chosen or appointed under this section in consequence of that vacancy, or in consequence of that vacancy and a subsequent vacancy or vacancies, shall, unless there is no member of that party available to be chosen or appointed, be a member of that party.

Where--

(a) in accordance with the last preceding paragraph, a member of a particular political party is chosen or appointed to hold the place of a senator whose place had become vacant; and

(b) before taking his seat he ceases to be a member of that party (otherwise than by reason of the party having ceased to exist),

he shall be deemed not to have been so chosen or appointed and the vacancy shall be again notified in accordance with section twenty-one of this Constitution.

The name of a senator chosen or appointed under this section shall be certified by the Governor of the State to the Governor-General.

If the place of a senator chosen by the people of a State at the election of senators last held before the commencement of the Constitution Alteration (Senate Casual Vacancies ) 1977 became vacant before that commencement and, at that commencement, no person chosen by the House or Houses of Parliament of the State, or appointed by the Governor of the State, in consequence of that vacancy, or in consequence of that vacancy and a subsequent vacancy or vacancies, held office, this section applies as if the place of the senator chosen by the people of the State had become vacant after that commencement.

A senator holding office at the commencement of the Constitution Alteration (Senate Casual Vacancies) 1977, being a senator appointed by the Governor of a State in consequence of a vacancy that had at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of the State, shall be deemed to have been appointed to hold the place until the expiration of fourteen days after the beginning of the next session of the Parliament of the State that commenced or commences after he was appointed and further action under this section shall be taken as if the vacancy in the place of the senator chosen by the people of the State had occurred after that commencement.

Subject to the next succeeding paragraph, a senator holding office at the commencement of the Constitution Alteration (Casual Senate Vacancies) 1977 who was chosen by the House or Houses of Parliament of a State in consequence of a vacancy that had at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of the State shall be deemed to have been chosen to hold office until the expiration of the term of service of the senator elected by the people of the State.

If, at or before the commencement of the Constitution Alteration (Senate Casual Vacancies) 1977, a law to alter the Constitution entitled "Constitutional Alteration (Simultaneous Elections) 1977" came into operation, a senator holding office at the commencement of that law who was chosen by the House or Houses of Parliament of a State in consequence of a vacancy that had at any time occurred in the place of a senator chosen by the people of the State shall be deemed to have been chosen to hold office--

(a) if the senator elected by the people of the State had a term of service expiring on the thirtieth day of June, One thousand nine hundred and seventy-eight--until the expiration or dissolution of the first House of Representatives to expire or be dissolved after that law came into operation; or

(b if the senator elected by the people of the State had a term of service expiring on the thirtieth day of June, One thousand nine hundred and eighty-one--until the expiration or dissolution of the first House of Representatives to expire or be dissolved after that law came into operation; or, if there is an earlier dissolution of the Senate, until that dissolution.

16. The qualification of a senator shall be the same as those of a member of the House of Representatives.

17. The Senate shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a senator to be the President of the Senate; and as often as the office of President becomes vacant the Senate shall again choose a senator to be the President. The President shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a senator. He may be removed from office by a vote of the Senate, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the Governor-General.

18. Before or during any absence of the President, the Senate may choose a senator to perform his duties in his absence.

19. A senator may by writing addressed to the President, or to the Governor-General if there is no President or if the President is absent from the Commonwealth, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.

20. The place of a senator shall become vacant if for two consecutive months of any session of the Parliament he, without the permission of the Senate, fails to attend the Senate.

21. Whenever a vacancy happens in the Senate, the President, or if there is no President or if the President is absent from the Commonwealth the Governor-General, shall notify the same to the Governor of the State in the representation of which the vacancy has happened.

22. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the presence of at least one-third of the whole number of the senators shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the Senate for the exercise of its powers.

23. Questions arising in the Senate shall be determined by a majority of votes, and each senator shall have one vote. The President shall in all cases be entitled to a vote; and when the votes are equal the question shall pass in the negative.

Part III.--The House of Representatives.

24. The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of senators. The number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective members of their people, and shall, until the Parliament otherwise provides, be determined, whenever necessary, in the following manner:--

(i. ) A quota shall be ascertained by dividing the number of the people of the Commonwealth, as shown by the latest statistics of the Commonwealth, by twice the number of senators:

(ii. ) The number of members to be chosen in each State shall be determined by dividing the number of the people of the State, as shown by the latest statistics of the Commonwealth, by the quota; and if on such division there is a remainder greater than one-half of the quota, one more member shall be chosen in the State. But notwithstanding anything in this section, five members at least shall be chosen in each Original State.

25. For the purposes of the last section, if by the law of any State all persons of any race are disqualified from voting at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State, then, in reckoning the number of the people of the State or of the Commonwealth, persons of that race resident in that State shall not be counted.

26. Notwithstanding anything in section twenty-four, the number of members to be chosen in each State at the first election shall be as follows:--

New South Wales:- twenty-three; Victoria:- twenty; Queensland:- eight; South Australia:- six; Tasmania:- five;

Provided that if Western Australia is an Original State, the numbers shall be as follows:--

New South Wales:- twenty-six; Victoria:- twenty-three; Queensland:- nine; South Australia:- seven; Western Australia:- five; Tasmania:- five.

27. Subject to this Constitution, the Parliament may make laws for increasing or diminishing the number of the members of the House of Representatives.

28. Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General.

29. Until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of any State may make laws for determining the divisions in each State for which members of the House of Representatives may be chosen, and the number of members to be chosen for each division. A division shall not be formed out of parts of different States.

In the absence of other provision each State shall be one electorate.

30. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives shall be in each State that which is prescribed by the law of the State as the qualification of electors of the more numerous House of Parliament of the State; but in the choosing of members each elector shall vote only once.

31. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, but subject to this Constitution, the laws in force in each State for the time being relating to elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of the State shall, as nearly as practicable, apply to elections in the State of members of the House of Representatives.

32. The Governor-General in Council may cause writs to be issued for general elections of members of the House of Representatives. After the first general election, the writs shall be issued within ten days from the expiry of a House of Representatives or from the proclamation of a dissolution thereof.

33. Whenever a vacancy happens in the House of Representatives, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of a new member, or if there is no Speaker or if he is absent from the Commonwealth the Governor-General in Council may issue the writ.

34. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:--

(i. ) He must be of the full age of twenty-one years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Commonwealth as existing at the time when he was chosen:

(ii. ) He must be a subject of the Queen, either natural-born or for at least five years naturalised under a law of the United Kingdom, or of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, or of the Commonwealth, or of a State.

35. The House of Representatives shall, before proceeding to the despatch of any other business, choose a member to be the Speaker of the House, and as often as the office of Speaker becomes vacant the House shall again choose a member to be the Speaker. The Speaker shall cease to hold his office if he ceases to be a member. He may be removed from office by a vote of the House, or he may resign his office or his seat by writing addressed to the Governor-General.

36. Before or during any absence of the Speaker, the House of Representatives may choose a member to perform his duties in his absence.

37. A member may by writing addressed to the Speaker, or to the Governor-General if there is no Speaker or if the Speaker is absent from the Commonwealth, resign his place, which thereupon shall become vacant.

38. The place of a member shall become vacant if for two consecutive months of any session of the Parliament he, without the permission of the House, fails to attend the House.

39. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the presence of at least one-third of the whole number of the members of the House of Representatives shall be necessary to constitute a meeting of the House for the exercise of its powers.

40. Questions arising in the House of Representatives shall be determined by a majority of votes other than that of the Speaker. The Speaker shall not vote unless the numbers are equal, and then he shall have a casting vote.

Part IV.--Both Houses of the Parliament.

41. No adult person who has or acquires a right to vote at elections for the more numerous House of the Parliament of a State shall, while the right continues, be prevented by any law of the Commonwealth from voting at elections for either House of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.

42. Every senator and every member of the House of Representatives shall before taking his seat make and subscribe before the Governor-General, or some person authorised by him, an oath or affirmation of allegiance in the form set forth in the schedule to this Constitution.

43. A member of either House of the Parliament shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a member of the other House.

44. Any person who--

(i. ) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or

(ii. ) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or

(iii. ) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or

(iv. ) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or

(v. ) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives. But sub-section iv. does not apply to the office of any of the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen's Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen's navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

45. If a senator or member of the House of Representatives--

(i. ) Becomes subject to any of the disabilities mentioned in the last preceding section: or

(ii. ) Takes the benefit, whether by assignment, composition, or otherwise, of any law relating to bankrupt or insolvent debtors: or

(iii.) Directly or indirectly takes or agrees to take any fee or honorarium for services rendered to the Commonwealth, or for services rendered in the Parliament to any person or State:

his place shall thereupon become vacant.

46. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.

47. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any question respecting the qualification of a senator or of a member of the House or Representatives, or respecting a vacancy in either House of the Parliament, and any question of a disputed election to either House, shall be determined by the House in which the question arises.

48. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, each senator and each member of the House of Representatives shall receive an allowance of four hundred pounds a year, to be reckoned from the day on which he takes his seat.

49. The powers, privileges, and immunities of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, and of the members and the committees of each House, shall be such as are declared by the Parliament, and until declared shall be those of the Commons House of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and of its members and committees, at the establishment of the Commonwealth.

50. Each House of the Parliament may make rules and orders with respect to--

(i. ) The mode in which its powers, privileges, and immunities may be exercised and upheld:

(ii. ) The order and conduct of its business and proceedings either separately or jointly with the other House.

Part V.--Powers of the Parliament.

51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

(i. ) Trade and commerce with other countries, and among the States:

(ii. ) Taxation; but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States:

(iii. ) Bounties on the production or export of goods, but so that such bounties shall be uniform throughout the Commonwealth:

(iv. ) Borrowing money on the public credit of the Commonwealth:

(v. ) Postal, telegraphic, telephonic, and other like services:

(vi. ) The naval and military defence of the Commonwealth and of the several States, and the control of the forces to execute and maintain the laws of the Commonwealth:

(vii. ) Lighthouses, lightships, beacons and buoys:

(viii. ) Astronomical and meteorological observations:

(ix. ) Quarantine:

(x. ) Fisheries in Australian waters beyond territorial limits:

(xi. ) Census and statistics:

(xii. ) Currency, coinage, and legal tender:

(xiii. ) Banking, other than State banking; also State banking extending beyond the limits of the State concerned, the incorporation of banks, and the issue of paper money:

(xiv. ) Insurance, other than State insurance; also State insurance extending beyond the limits of the State concerned:

(xv. ) Weights and measures:

(xvi. ) Bills of exchanging and promissory notes:

(xvii. ) Bankruptcy and insolvency:

(xviii. ) Copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trade marks:

(xix. ) Naturalisation and aliens:

(xx. ) Foreign corporations, and trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of the Commonwealth:

(xxi. ) Marriage:

(xxii. ) Divorce and matrimonial causes; and in relation thereto, parental rights, and the custody and guardianship of infants:

(xxiii. ) Invalid and old-age pensions:

(xxiiiA. ) The provision of maternity allowances, widows' pensions, child endowment, unemployment, pharmaceutical, sickness and hospital benefits, medical and dental services (but not so as to authorise any form of civil conscription), benefits to students and family allowances:

(xxiv. ) The service and execution throughout the Commonwealth of the civil and criminal process and the judgments of the courts of the States:

(xxv. ) The recognition throughout the Commonwealth of the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of the States:

(xxvi. ) The people of any race, for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws:

(xxvii. ) Immigration and emigration:

(xxviii. ) The influx of criminals:

(xxix. ) External Affairs:

(xxx. ) The relations of the Commonwealth with the islands of the Pacific:

(xxxi. ) The acquisition of property on just terms from any State or person for any purpose in respect of which the Parliament has power to make laws:

(xxxii. ) The control of railways with respect to transport for the naval and military purposes of the Commonwealth:

(xxxiii. ) The acquisition, with the consent of a State, of any railways of the State on terms arranged between the Commonwealth and the State:

(xxxiv. ) Railway construction and extension in any State with the consent of that State:

(xxxv. ) Conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State:

(xxxvi. ) Matters in respect of which this Constitution makes provision until the Parliament otherwise provides:

(xxxvii. ) Matters referred to the Parliament of the Commonwealth by the Parliament or Parliaments of any State or States, but so that the law shall extend only to States by whose Parliaments the matter is referred, or which afterwards adopt the law:

(xxxviii. ) The exercise within the Commonwealth, at the request or with the concurrence of the Parliaments of all the States directly concerned, of any power which can at the establishment of this Constitution be exercised only by the Parliament of the United Kingdom or by the Federal Council of Australasia:

(xxxix. ) Matters incidental to the execution of any power vested by this Constitution in the Parliament or in either House thereof, or in the Government of the Commonwealth, or in the Federal Judicature, or in any department or officer of the Commonwealth.

52. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have exclusive power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to--

(i) The seat of the government of the Commonwealth, and all places acquired by the Commonwealth for public purposes:

(ii. ) Matters relating to any department of the public service the control of which is by this Constitution transferred to the Executive Government or the Commonwealth:

(iii. ) Other matters declared by this Constitution to be within the exclusive power of the Parliament.

53. Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people.

The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, requesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

54. The proposed law which appropriates revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government shall deal only with such appropriation.

55. Laws imposing taxation, shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.

56. A vote, resolution, or proposed law for the appropriation of revenue or moneys shall not be passed unless the purpose of the appropriation has in the same session been recommended by message of the Governor-General to the House in which the proposal originated.

57. If the House of representatives passes any proposed law, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the House of Representatives, in the same or the next session, again passes the proposed law with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives simultaneously. But such dissolution shall not take place within six months before the date of the expiry of the House of Representatives by effluxion of time.

If after such dissolution the House of Representatives again passes the proposed law, with or without any amendments which have been made, suggested, or agreed to by the Senate, and the Senate rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with amendments to which the House of Representatives will not agree, the Governor-General may convene a joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives.

The members present at the joint sitting may deliberate and shall vote together upon the proposed law as last proposed by the House of Representatives, and upon amendments, if any, which have been made therein by one House and not agreed to by the other, and any such amendments which are affirmed by an absolute majority of the total number of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be taken to have been carried, and if the proposed law, with the amendments, if any, so carried is affirmed by an absolute majority of the total number of the members of the Senate and House of Representatives, it shall be taken to have been duly passed by both Houses of the Parliament, and shall be presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent.

58. When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen's name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen's pleasure.

The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.

59. The Queen may disallow any law within one year from the Governor-General's assent, and such disallowance on being made known by the Governor-General by speech or message to each of the Houses of the Parliament, or by Proclamation, shall annul the law from the day when the disallowance is so made known.

60. A proposed law reserved for the Queen's pleasure shall not have any force unless and until within two years from the day on which it was presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent the Governor-General makes known, by speech or message to each of the Houses of the Parliament, or by Proclamation, that it has received the Queen's assent. Chapter I. The Parliament.

Chapter II. The Executive Government.

61. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen's representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.

62. There shall be a Federal Executive Council to advise the Governor-General in the government of the Commonwealth, and the members of the Council shall be chosen and summoned by the Governor-General and sworn as Executive Councillors, and shall hold office during his pleasure.

63. The provisions of this Constitution referring to the Governor-General in Council shall be construed as referring to the Governor-General acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council.

64. The Governor-General may appoint officers to administer such departments of State of the Commonwealth as the Governor-General in Council may establish.

Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be members of the Federal Executive Council, and shall be the Queen's Ministers of State for the Commonwealth.

After the first general election no Minister of State shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

65. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the Ministers of State shall not exceed seven in number, and shall hold such offices as the Parliament prescribes, or, in the absence of provision, as the Governor-General directs.

66. There shall be payable to the Queen, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Commonwealth, for the salaries of the Ministers of State, an annual sum which, until the Parliament otherwise provides, shall not exceed twelve thousand pounds a year.

67. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the appointment and removal of all other officers of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall be vested in the Governor-General in Council, unless the appointment is delegated by the Governor-General in Council or by a law of the Commonwealth to some other authority.

68. The command in chief of the naval and military forces of the Commonwealth is vested in the Governor-General as the Queen's representative.

69. On a date or dates to be proclaimed by the Governor-General after the establishment of the Commonwealth the following departments of the public service in each State shall become transferred to the Commonwealth:--

Posts, telegraphs, and telephones:
Naval and military defence:
Lighthouses, lightships, beacons, and buoys:
Quarantine.

But the departments of customs and of excise in each State shall become transferred to the Commonwealth on its establishment.

70. In respect of matters which, under this Constitution, pass to the Executive Government of the Commonwealth, all powers and functions which at the establishment of the Commonwealth are vested in the Governor of a Colony, or in the Governor of a Colony with the advice of his Executive Council, or in any authority of a Colony, shall vest in the Governor-General, or in the Governor-General in Council, or in the authority exercising similar powers under the Commonwealth, as the case requires.

Chapter III. The Judicature.

71. The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Supreme Court, to be called the High Court of Australia, and in such other federal courts as the Parliament creates, and in such other courts as it invests with federal jurisdiction. The High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice, and so many other Justices, not less than two, as the Parliament prescribes.

72. The Justices of the High Court and of the other courts created by the Parliament—

(i.) Shall be appointed by the Governor-General in Council:

(ii.) Shall not be removed except by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the Parliament in the same session, praying for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity:

(iii.) Shall receive such remuneration as the Parliament may fix; but the remuneration shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

The appointment of a Justice of the High Court shall be for a term expiring upon his attaining the age of seventy years, and a person shall not be appointed as a Justice of the High Court if he has attained that age.

The appointment of a Justice of a court created by the Parliament shall be for a term expiring upon his attaining the age that is, at the time of his appointment, the maximum age for Justices of that court and a person shall not be appointed as a Justice of such a court if he has attained the age that is for the time being the maximum age for Justices of that court.

Subject to this section, the maximum age for Justices of any court created by the Parliament is seventy years.

The Parliament may make a law fixing an age that is less than seventy years as the maximum age for Justices of a court created by the Parliament and may at any time repeal or amend such a law, but any such repeal or amendment does not affect the term of office of a Justice under an appointment made before the repeal or amendment.

A Justice of the High Court or of a court created by the Parliament may resign his office by writing under his hand delivered to the Governor-General.

Nothing in the provisions added to this section by the Constitution Alteration (Retirement of Judges) 1977 affects the continuance of a person in office as a Justice of a court under an appointment made before the commencement of those provisions.

A reference in this section to the appointment of a Justice of the High Court or of a court created by the Parliament shall be read as including a reference to the appointment of a person who holds office as a Justice of the High Court or of a court created by the Parliament to another office of Justice of the same court having a different status or designation.

73. The High Court shall have jurisdiction, with such exceptions and subject to such regulations as the Parliament prescribes, to hear and determine appeals from all judgments, decrees, orders, and sentences—

(i.) Of any Justice or Justices exercising the original jurisdiction of the High Court:

(ii.) Of any other federal court, or court exercising federal jurisdiction; or of the Supreme Court of any State, or of any other court of any State from which at the establishment of the Commonwealth an appeal lies to the Queen in Council:

(iii.) Of the Inter-State Commission, but as to questions of law only:

and the judgment of the High Court in all such cases shall be final and conclusive.

But no exception or regulation prescribed by the Parliament shall prevent the High Court from hearing and determining any appeal from the Supreme Court of a State in any matter in which at the establishment of the Commonwealth an appeal lies from such Supreme Court to the Queen in Council.

Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the conditions of and restrictions on appeals to the Queen in Council from the Supreme Courts of the several States shall be applicable to appeals from them to the High Court.

74. No appeal shall be permitted to the Queen in Council from a decision of the High Court upon any question, howsoever arising, as to the limits inter se of the Constitutional powers of the Commonwealth and those of any State or States, or as to the limits inter se of the Constitutional powers of any two or more States, unless the High Court shall certify that the Question is one which ought to be determined by Her Majesty in Council.

The High Court may so certify if satisfied that for any special reason the certificate should be granted, and thereupon an appeal shall lie to Her Majesty in Council on the question without further leave.

Except as provided in this section, this Constitution shall not impair any right which the Queen may be pleased to exercise by virtue of Her Royal prerogative to grant special leave of appeal from the High Court to Her Majesty in Council. The Parliament may make laws limiting the matters in which such leave may be asked, but proposed laws containing any such limitation shall be reserved by the Governor-General for Her Majesty's pleasure.

75. In all matters—

(i.) Arising under any treaty:

(ii.) Affecting consuls or other representatives of other countries:

(iii.) In which the Commonwealth, or a person suing or being sued on behalf of the Commonwealth, is a party:

(iv.) Between States, or between residents of different States, or between a State and a resident of another State:

(v.) In which a writ of Mandamus or prohibition or an injunction is sought against an officer of the Commonwealth:

the High Court shall have original jurisdiction.

76. The Parliament may make laws conferring original jurisdiction on the High Court in any matter—

(i.) Arising under this Constitution, or involving its interpretation:

(ii.) Arising under any laws made by the Parliament:

(iii.) Of Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction:

(iv.) Relating to the same subject-matter claimed under the laws of different States.

77. With respect to any of the matters mentioned in the last two sections the Parliament may make laws—

(i.) Defining the jurisdiction of any federal court other than the High Court:

(ii.) Defining the extent to which the jurisdiction of any federal court shall be exclusive of that which belongs to or is invested in the courts of the States:

(iii.) Investing any court of a State with federal jurisdiction.

78. The Parliament may make laws conferring rights to proceed against the Commonwealth or a State in respect of matters within the limits of the judicial power.

79. The federal jurisdiction of any court may be exercised by such number of judges as the Parliament prescribes.

80. The trial on indictment of any offence against any law of the Commonwealth shall be by jury, and every such trial shall be held in the State where the offence was committed, and if the offence was not committed within any State the trial shall be held at such place or places as the Parliament prescribes.

Chapter IV. Finance and Trade.

81. All revenues or moneys raised or received by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall form one Consolidated Revenue Fund, to be appropriated for the purposes of the Commonwealth in the manner and subject to the charges and liabilities imposed by this Constitution.

82. The costs, charges, and expenses incident to the collection, management, and receipt of the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall form the first charge thereon; and the revenue of the Commonwealth shall in the first instance be applied to the payment of the expenditure of the Commonwealth.

83. No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law.

But until the expiration of one month after the first meeting of the Parliament the Governor-General in Council may draw from the Treasury and expend such moneys as may be necessary for the maintenance of any department transferred to the Commonwealth and for the holding of the first elections for the Parliament.

84. When any department of the public service of a State becomes transferred to the Commonwealth, all officers of the department shall become subject to the control of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth.

Any such officer who is not retained in the service of the Commonwealth shall, unless he is appointed to some other office of equal emolument in the public service of the State, be entitled to receive from the State any pension, gratuity, or other compensation, payable under the law of the State on the abolition of his office.

Any such officer who is retained in the service of the Commonwealth shall preserve all his existing and accruing rights, and shall be entitled to retire from office at the time, and on the pension or retiring allowance, which would be permitted by the law of the State if his service with the Commonwealth were a continuation of his service with the State. Such pension or retiring allowance shall be paid to him by the Commonwealth; but the State shall pay to the Commonwealth a part thereof, to be calculated on the proportion which his term of service with the State bears to his whole term of service, and for the purpose of the calculation his salary shall be taken to be that paid to him by the State at the time of the transfer.

Any officer who is, at the establishment of the Commonwealth, in the public service of a State, and who is, by consent of the Governor of the State with the advice of the Executive Council thereof, transferred to the public service of the Commonwealth, shall have the same rights as if he had been an officer of a department transferred to the Commonwealth and were retained in the service of the Commonwealth.

85. When any departments of the public service of a State is transferred to the Commonwealth—

(i.) All property of the State of any kind, used exclusively in connexion with the department, shall become vested in the Commonwealth; but, in the case of the departments controlling customs and excise and bounties, for such time only as the Governor-General in Council may declare to be necessary:

(ii.) The Commonwealth may acquire any property of the State, of any kind used, but not exclusively used in connection with the department; the value thereof shall, if no agreement can be made, be ascertained in, as nearly as may be, the manner in which the value of land, or of an interest in land, taken by the State for public purposes is ascertained under the law of the State in force at the establishment of the Commonwealth:

(iii.) The Commonwealth shall compensate the State for the value of any property passing to the Commonwealth under this section; if no agreement can be made as to the mode of compensation, it shall be determined under laws to be made by the Parliament:

(iv.) The Commonwealth shall, at the date of the transfer, assume the current obligations of the State in respect of the department transferred.

86. On the establishment of the Commonwealth, the collection and control of duties of customs and of excise, and the control of the payment of bounties, shall pass to the Executive Government of the Commonwealth.

87. During a period of ten years after the establishment of the Commonwealth and thereafter until the Parliament otherwise provides, of the net revenue of the Commonwealth from duties of customs and of excise not more than one-fourth shall be applied annually by the Commonwealth towards its expenditure.

The balance shall, in accordance with this Constitution, be paid to the several States, or applied towards the payment of interest on debts of the several States taken over by the Commonwealth.

88. Uniform duties of customs shall be imposed within two years after the establishment of the Commonwealth.

89. Until the imposition of uniform duties of custom—

(i.) The Commonwealth shall credit to each State the revenues collected therein by the Commonwealth.

(ii.) The Commonwealth shall debit to each State—

(a) The expenditure therein of the Commonwealth incurred solely for the maintenance or continuance, as at the time of transfer, of any department transferred from the State to the Commonwealth;
(b) The proportion of the State, according to the number of its people, in the other expenditure of the Commonwealth.

(iii.) The Commonwealth shall pay to each State month by month the balance (if any) in favour of the State.

90. On the imposition of uniform duties of customs the power of the Parliament to impose duties of customs and of excise, and to grant bounties on the production or export of goods, shall become exclusive.

On the imposition of uniform duties of customs all laws of the several States imposing duties of customs or of excise, or offering bounties on the production or export of goods, shall cease to have effect, but any grant of or agreement for any such bounty lawfully made by or under the authority of the Government of any State shall be taken to be good if made before the thirtieth day of June, One thousand eight hundred and ninety eight, and not otherwise.

91. Nothing in this Constitution prohibits a State from granting any aid to or bounty on mining for gold, silver, or other metals, nor from granting, with the consent of both Houses of the Parliament of the Commonwealth expressed by resolution, any aid to or bounty on the production or export of goods.

92. On the imposition of uniform duties of customs, trade, commerce, and intercourse among the States, whether by means of internal carriage or ocean navigation, shall be absolutely free.

But notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, goods imported before the imposition of uniform duties of customs into any State, or into any Colony which, whilst the goods remain therein, becomes a State, shall, on thence passing into another State within two years after the imposition of such duties, be liable to any duty chargeable on the importation of such goods into the Commonwealth, less any duty paid in respect of the goods on their importation.

93. During the first five years after the imposition of uniform duties of customs, and thereafter until the Parliament otherwise provides--

(i.) The duties of customs chargeable on goods imported into a State and afterwards passing into another State for consumption, and the duties of excise paid on goods produced or manufactured in a State and afterwards passing into another State for consumption, shall be taken to have been collected not in the former but in the latter State:

(ii.) Subject to the last subsection, the Commonwealth shall credit revenue, debit expenditure, and pay balances to the several States as prescribed for the period preceding the imposition of uniform duties of customs.

94. After five years from the imposition of uniform duties of customs, the Parliament may provide, on such basis as it deems fair, for the monthly payment to the several States of all surplus revenue of the Commonwealth.

95. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, the Parliament of the State of Western Australia, if that State be an Original State, may, during the first five years after the imposition of uniform duties of customs, impose duties of customs on goods passing into that State and not originally imported from beyond the limits of the Commonwealth; and such duties shall be collected by the Commonwealth.

But any duty so imposed on any goods shall not exceed during the first of such years the duty chargeable on the goods under the law of Western Australia in force at the imposition of uniform duties, and shall not exceed during the second, third, fourth, and fifth of such years respectively, four-fifths, three-fifths, two-fifths, and one-fifth of such latter duty, and all duties imposed under this section shall cease at the expiration of the fifth year after the imposition of uniform duties.

If at any time during the five years the duty on any goods under this section is higher than the duty imposed by the Commonwealth on the importation of the like goods, then such higher duty shall be collected on the goods when imported into Western Australia from beyond the limits of the Commonwealth.

96. During a period of ten years after the establishment of the Commonwealth and thereafter until the Parliament otherwise provides, the Parliament may grant financial assistance to any State on such terms and conditions as the Parliament thinks fit.

97. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the laws in force in any Colony which has become or becomes a State with respect to the receipt of revenue and the expenditure of money on account of the Government of the Colony, and the review and audit of such receipt and expenditure, shall apply to the receipt of revenue and the expenditure of money on account of the Commonwealth in the State in the same manner as if the Commonwealth, or the Government or an officer of the Commonwealth were mentioned whenever the Colony, or the Government or an officer of the Colony, is mentioned.

98. The power of the Parliament to make laws with respect to trade and commerce extends to navigation and shipping, and to railways the property of any State.

99. The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade, commerce, or revenue, give preference to one State or any part thereof over another State or any part thereof.

100. The Commonwealth shall not, by any law or regulation of trade or commerce, abridge the right of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.

101. There shall be an Inter-State Commission, with such powers of adjudication and administration as the Parliament deems necessary for the execution and maintenance, within the Commonwealth, of the provisions of this Constitution relating to trade and commerce, and of all laws made thereunder.

102. The Parliament may by any law with respect to trade or commerce forbid, as to railways, any preference or discrimination by any State, or by any authority constituted under a State, if such preference or discrimination is undue and unreasonable, or unjust to any State; due regard being had to the financial responsibilities incurred by any State in connection with the construction and maintenance of its railways. But no preference or discrimination shall, within the meaning of this section, be taken to be undue and unreasonable, or unjust to any State, unless so adjudged by the Inter-State Commission.

103. The members of the Inter-State Commission—

(i.) Shall be appointed by the Governor-General in Council:

(ii.) Shall hold office for seven years, but may be removed within that time by the Governor-General in Council, on an address from both Houses of the Parliament in the same session praying for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity:

(iii.) Shall receive such remuneration as the Parliament may fix; but such remuneration shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

104. Nothing in this Constitution shall render unlawful any rate for the carriage of goods upon a railway, the property of a State, if the rate is deemed by the Inter-State Commission to be necessary for the development of the territory of the State, and if the rate applies equally to goods within the State and to goods passing into the State from other States.

105. The Parliament may take over from the States their public debts, or a proportion thereof according to the respective numbers of their people as shown by the latest statistics of the Commonwealth, and may convert, renew, or consolidate such debts, or any part thereof; and the States shall indemnify the Commonwealth in respect of the debts taken over, and thereafter the interest payable in respect of the debts shall be deducted and retained from the portions of the surplus revenue of the Commonwealth payable to the several States, or if such surplus is insufficient, or if there is no surplus, then the deficiency or the whole amount shall be paid by the several States.

105A. (1.) The Commonwealth may make agreements with the States with respect to the public debts of the States, including--

(a) the taking over of such debts by the Commonwealth;

(b) the management of such debts;

(c) the payment of interest and the provision and management of sinking funds in respect of such debts;

(d) the consolidation, renewal, conversion, and redemption of such debts;

(e) the indemnification of the Commonwealth by the States in respect of debts taken over by the Commonwealth; and

(f) the borrowing of money by the States or by the Commonwealth, or by the Commonwealth for the States.

(2.) The Parliament may make laws for validating any such agreement made before the commencement of this section.

(3.) The Parliament may make laws for the carrying out by the parties of any such agreement.

(4.) Any such agreement may be varied or rescinded by the parties thereto.

(5.) Every such agreement and any such variation thereof shall be binding upon the Commonwealth and the States parties thereto notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution or the Constitution of the several States or in any law of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or of any State.

(6.) The powers conferred by this section shall not be construed as being limited in any way by the provision of section one hundred and five of this Constitution.

Chapter V. The States.

106. The Constitution of each State of the Commonwealth shall, subject to this Constitution, continue as at the establishment of the Commonwealth, or as at the admission or establishment of the State, as the case may be, until altered in accordance with the Constitution of the State.

107. Every power of the Parliament of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, shall, unless it is by this Constitution exclusively vested in the Parliament of the Commonwealth or withdrawn from the Parliament of the State, continue as at the establishment of the Commonwealth, or as at the admission or establishment of the State, as the case may be.

108. Every law in force in a Colony which has become or becomes a State, and relating to any matter within the powers of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, shall, subject to this Constitution, continue in force in the State; and, until provision is made in that behalf by the Parliament of the Commonwealth, the Parliament of the State shall have such powers of alteration and of repeal in respect of any such law as the Parliament of the Colony had until the Colony became a State.

109. When a law of a State is inconsistent with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

110. The provisions of this Constitution relating to the Governor of a State extend and apply to the Governor for the time being of the State, or other chief executive officer or administrator of the government of the State.

111. The Parliament of a State may surrender any part of the State to the Commonwealth; and upon such surrender, and the acceptance thereof by the Commonwealth, such part of the State shall become subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commonwealth.

112. After uniform duties of customs have been imposed, a State may levy on imports or exports, or on goods passing into or out of the State such charges as may be necessary for executing the inspection laws of the State; but the net produce of all charges so levied shall be for the use of the Commonwealth; and any such inspection laws may be annulled by the Parliament of the Commonwealth.

113. All fermented, distilled, or other intoxicating liquids passing into any State or remaining therein for use, consumption, sale, or storage, shall be subject to the laws of the State as if such liquids had been produced in the State.

114. A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.

115. A State shall not coin money, nor make anything but gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debts.

116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

117. A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State.

118. Full faith and credit shall be given, throughout the Commonwealth to the laws, the public Acts and records, and the judicial proceedings of every State.

119. The Commonwealth shall protect every State against invasion and, on the application of the Executive Government of the State, against domestic violence.

120. Every State shall make provisions for the detention in its prisons of persons accused or convicted of offences against the laws of the Commonwealth, and for the punishment of persons convicted of such offences, and the Parliament of the Commonwealth may make laws to give effects to this provision.

Chapter VI. New States.

121. The Parliament may admit to the Commonwealth or establish new States, and may upon such admission or establishment make or impose such terms and conditions, including the extent of representation in either House of the Parliament, as it thinks fit.

122. The Parliament may make laws for the government of any territory surrendered by any State to and accepted by the Commonwealth, or of any territory placed by the Queen under the authority of and accepted by the Commonwealth, or otherwise acquired by the Commonwealth, and may allow the representation of such territory in either House of the Parliament to the extent and on the terms which it thinks fit.

123. The Parliament of the Commonwealth may, with the consent of the Parliament of a State, and the approval of the majority of the electors of the State voting upon the question, increase, diminish, or otherwise alter the limits of the State, upon such terms and conditions as may be agreed on, and may, with the like consent, make provision respecting the effect and operation of any increase or diminution or alteration of territory in relation to any State affected.

124. A new State may be formed by separation of territory from a State, but only with the consent of the Parliament thereof, and a new State may be formed by the union of two or more States or parts of States, but only with the consent of the Parliaments of the States affected.

Chapter VII. Miscellaneous.

125. The seat of Government of the Commonwealth shall be determined by the Parliament, and shall be within territory which shall have been granted to or acquired by the Commonwealth, and shall be vested in and belong to the Commonwealth, and shall be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney.

Such territory shall contain an area of not less than one hundred square miles, and such portion thereof as shall consist of Crown lands shall be granted to the Commonwealth without any payment therefor. The Parliament shall sit at Melbourne until it meet at the seat of Government.

126. The Queen may authorise the Governor-General to appoint any person, or any persons jointly or severally, to be his deputy or deputies within any part of the Commonwealth, and in that capacity to exercise during the pleasure of the Governor-General such powers and functions of the Governor-General as he thinks fit to assign to such deputy or deputies, subject to any limitations expressed or directions given by the Queen; but the appointment of such deputy or deputies shall not affect the exercise by the Governor-General himself of any power or function.

Chapter VIII. Alteration of the Constitution.

128. This Constitution shall not be altered except in the following manner:--

The proposed law for the alteration thereof must be passed by an absolute majority of each House of the Parliament, and not less than two nor more than six months after its passage through both Houses the proposed law shall be submitted in each State and Territory to the electors qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.

But if either House passes any such proposed law by an absolute majority, and the other House rejects or fails to pass it, or passes it with any amendment to which the first-mentioned House will not agree, and if after an interval of three months the first-mentioned House in the same or the next session again passes the proposed law by an absolute majority with or without any amendment which has been made or agreed to by the other House, and such other House rejects or fails to pass it or passes it with any amendment to which the first-mentioned House will not agree, the Governor-General may submit the proposed law as last proposed by the first-mentioned House, and either with or without any amendments subsequently agreed to by both Houses, to the electors in each State and Territory qualified to vote for the election of the House of Representatives.

When a proposed law is submitted to the electors the vote shall be taken in such manner as the Parliament prescribes. But until the qualification of electors of members of the House of Representatives becomes uniform throughout the Commonwealth, only one-half the electors voting for and against the proposed law shall be counted in any State in which adult suffrage prevails.

And if in a majority of the States a majority of the electors voting approve the proposed law, and if a majority of all the electors voting also approve the proposed law, it shall be presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent.

No alteration diminishing the proportionate representation of any State in either House of the Parliament, or the minimum number of representatives of a State in the House of Representative, or increasing, diminishing, or otherwise altering the limits of the State, or in any manner affecting the provisions of the Constitution in relation thereto, shall become law unless the majority of the electors voting in that State approve the proposed law.

In this section, "Territory" means any territory referred to in section one hundred and twenty-two of this Constitution in respect of which there is in force a law allowing its representation in the House of Representatives.

Schedule.

OATH

I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!

AFFIRMATION

I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law.

(NOTE—The name of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the time being is to be substituted from time to time.)

Her Majesty's Government Coat of Arms.svg This work is in the public domain worldwide because the work was created by a public body of the United Kingdom with Crown Status and commercially published prior to 1960.

See Crown copyright artistic works, Crown copyright non-artistic works and List of Public Bodies with Crown Status.


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