D&D Traffic Management v AWU  FCAFC 113
This case (at [47-48]) summarises principles for interpreting industrial awards. Similar to statutes, the starting point is the natural and ordinary meaning of the award’s words, ‘read as a whole and in context’, with regard to history and subject matter.
Importantly, awards are designed for specific industries, so cannot be read ‘in a vacuum divorced from industry realities’ such as working conditions, customs and practices14. Moreover, as awards can result from agreements between parties that are drafted less precisely than Acts, they may generally be construed generously to give effect to purpose if there are drafting infelicities15. iTip – context is key.
This principle is from Episode 88 of interpretation NOW!
14 Wanneroo  FCA 813 (at ), Episode 30.
15 Amcor  HCA 10 (at [96, 145-146]), King  FCAFC 123 (at ).