RAJ REPORT

Is the Federal Funding of TOBRUCK POOL REDEVELOPMENT LEGAL————-The Commonwealth does not have the Constitutional power (the legal authority, if you like) to make payments. State governments can, probably, but the High Court has decided – as it has done so many times in the past, so nothing new or novel in today’s judgment – that the Commonwealth can only do those things our forefathers and the States (then colonies) gave them the power to do. We are a Federation: the states / colonies came first and had the ability (via the British Crown) to do most things.

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The wider implications of the Williams decision are huge,” he said.

“The legislation purports to support over 400 Commonwealth schemes listed by the executive — but the Court has confirmed that each of these must be able to be connected to a source of Commonwealth legislative power. For some that might be easy enough. But for many, like the chaplains program, it is apparent that the Commonwealth has been acting beyond its constitutional capacity.”

School chaplaincy program declared invalid by High Court | The Australian.

 

WilliamJUN 19, 2014

Before commenting people should take time to understand the judgment. It does not say that what the so called Chappies do is is wrong – indeed at para 47 the Justices write of the service “… strengthening values, providing pastoral care and enhancing engagement with the broader community. These are desirable ends. But seeking to achieve them in the course of the school day does not give the payments which are made the quality of being benefits to students”. And that’s the rub.

The Commonwealth does not have the Constitutional power (the legal authority, if you like) to make payments. State governments can, probably, but the High Court has decided – as it has done so many times in the past, so nothing new or novel in today’s judgment – that the Commonwealth can only do those things our forefathers and the States (then colonies) gave them the power to do. We are a Federation: the states / colonies came first and had the ability (via the British Crown) to do most things. The Commonwealth was created only 114 years a go with powers limited to what is in the Constitution. So: the ruling is not a judgment by the High Court on the worth, or otherwise, of the unfortunately named chaplaincy service as such but about the illegality of the Commonwealth’s current way of funding it.

Just as an employee or a union official can only make payments of a type that they have authority to make so can the Commonwealth only make payments where or in the form it holds the power to so do.

 

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