The High Court position is that legislative intention is an output of the interpretative process – that is, what parliament is objectively taken to have intended by the words used13. 2 judges in this case now add their names to others who doubt this14.
Johnson J said that to reduce intention to a label for the outcome of constructional choice is to miss the point15. This continues a mood against exclusion of ‘intention’ as a meaningful input into the process of interpretation. 3 things can be noted – (1) a purpose analysis would produce the same result, (2) the wider debate is largely of semantic interest, and (3) the comment by Johnson J does not change the law.
This principle is from Episode 61 of interpretation NOW!
13 Lacey  HCA 10 (at ), Episodes 1, 29, 36 & 43.
14 Ekins & Goldsworthy (2014) 36 Sydney Law Review 39, for example.
15 Outback  HCA 2 (at ), cf Pearce 9th ed (at [2.4]), Episode 46.