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§ 449. “Powers of Alteration and of Repeal.”

In matters within the power of the Federal Parliament concurrently with the State Parliaments, the laws in force in a State continue until inconsistent provision is made in that behalf by the Federal Parliament; then they cease to have force to the extent of their inconsistency. Subject to that contingency, the Parliament of a State may alter or repeal laws bearing on concurrent matters, in the same way as it could before the colony became a State. The words quoted must refer to concurrent powers. It would be illogical to contend that they refer to powers which have become exclusively vested in the Federal Parliament. The ability to alter or repeal must be based on concurrent power.

Inconsistency of laws.

109. When a law of a State is inconsistent450 with a law of the Commonwealth, the latter shall prevail, and the former shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be invalid.

HISTORICAL NOTE.—Clause 3, Chap. V. of the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 was in the same words, and was adopted verbatim at the Adelaide session in 1897. At the Melbourne session, Mr. Reid suggested the insertion, after “law of the Commonwealth,” of the words “upon a subject within the legislative powers of the Commonwealth.”


  ― 939 ―
Mr. Symon and Mr. Isaacs explained that this was unnecessary, as a law of the Federal Parliament outside the legislative powers of the Commonwealth would be no law. (Conv. Deb., Melb., pp. 643–4.) After the first report, Mr. Barton, at Mr. Reid's suggestion, moved the same amendment, to remove doubts. On Mr. Reid's request for a postponement, the amendment was withdrawn. (Id. pp. 1911–3.)

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