Extrinsic materials

Harvey v Minister [2024] HCA 1

As the first case decided by the High Court this year, Harvey v Minister for Primary Industry & Resources makes important points about extrinsic materials and our ‘modern approach’ more generally.

The issue was whether a mineral lease involved a right to mine for the sole purpose of constructing an ‘infrastructure facility … associated with mining’11.  The crux point was whether ‘infrastructure facility’ as defined in the statute also took its ordinary meaning, as the EM suggested.  All judges held that it did12, but it is Edelman J who seeks to explain the contextual importance of extrinsic materials in our system13.  This will be the focus of Episode 106 next month14.

This principle is from Episode 105 of interpretation NOW!


11 s 24MD(6B) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

12 Gageler CJ, Gordon, Steward & Gleeson JJ [76-77].

13 [103-116] The role of extrinsic materials in statutory interpretation.

14 iTip – how exmats may impact meaning is fundamental to interpretation.