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The Parliaments of the States

In construing section 107, it must be remembered that, amongst the powers of a State Parliament, is the power of altering its constitution; and it is within the possibilities of political change, that the Parliaments may establish legislatures of limited powers, and may provide for the enactment of laws with the co-operation of the electors. There is some difference of opinion as to the extent of constitutional change, which may be effected by a colonial Parliament without resort to the Imperial Parliament, but it is safe to conclude, that those powers are neither extended nor restricted by section 107.

The section is an express declaration of the principle underlying the federal system of the Commonwealth—that the residuary power of legislation lies in the States, and that power over any matter is not withdrawn from the State Parliament merely because it is vested in the Commonwealth Parliament. The relation of laws, enacted by both in matters within the power of each, is dealt with by section 109, which has been already considered. What powers are withdrawn from the States, and what exclusively vested in the Commonwealth, have also been considered in reference to the powers of the Commonwealth Government, and to finance and trade. In a few cases, the Constitution itself returns a portion of the power which it has withdrawn. Thus, notwithstanding the provisions of sections 51, 90, and 92, a State may levy on goods passing into and out of the State charges for the execution of its inspection laws (section 112), and, by section 113, intoxicating liquids introduced into any State are, notwithstanding that they are subjects of inter-State commerce, subject to the laws of the States in the same way as liquids produced in the State.note




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