Beneficial legislation

Kingdom Towers v Liverpool [2021] NSWLEC 1074

The impact of provisions being ‘beneficial’ can be less than straightforward3.  It was argued in this case that dispensing with height restrictions under an environmental plan4 was ‘beneficial and facultative’, meaning the clause in question should have the ‘widest interpretation that its language will give’5.

The court found some beneficial intention, but the selectiveness of the clause told against any ‘widest interpretation’.  A recent AAT case says that, just because provisions are beneficial does not mean the ‘most expansive view of them must be taken’6. iTip – the degree of liberality in interpreting beneficial provisions depends on context and purpose.

This principle is from Episode 71 of interpretation NOW!


3 Pearce 9th ed (at [9.2-9.6]), cf Episodes 11, 39 & 67.

4 clause 7.5A(2) of the Liverpool Local Environmental Plan 2008.

5 Christodoulou [2017] NSWLEC 1554 (at [21]), Radray [2006] NSWLEC 155.

6 Slatter [2021] AATA 456 (at [44]), citing NSWALC [2016] HCA 50 (at [94]).