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§ 400. “Notwithstanding Anything in this Constitution.”

This section is an exception to sections 90 and 92, which provide that the Federal Parliament shall have exclusive power to impose customs duties, and that trade, commerce and intercourse among the States shall be absolutely free.

For an account of the reasons which led the Convention to make this exception in favour of Western Australia see Historical Note. The concession was the more easily agreed to because the isolation of the settled districts of Western Australia, the comparatively small population of the colony, and the absence of land communication with the rest of Australia, combined to make it a matter of minor importance to the Commonwealth that that colony should be temporarily exempt from the provision for inter-state freetrade.

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