As an interpretational baseline, applied by the High Court from the very start8, all words in legislation are to be given meaning and effect whenever possible9. Arguments based on redundancy, however, have a utopian flavour and are rarely decisive in isolation.
In this case, it was argued (at [29-31]) that general provisions be read down to avoid the redundancy of specific ones10. Parker J’s approach seeks to preserve a sensible operation for all provisions in question. In practical terms, the case illustrates a classic Project Blue Sky application to situations where different provisions overlap or they are textually inconsistent in some respect – see Episode 43 under ‘harmony’.
This case is from Episode 55 of interpretation NOW!
10 Dixon J quoted in Teele (1940) 63 CLR 201 (at 207).