Meaning of ‘includes’

Gamble v Kingborough Council [2020] TASFC 7

A coffee cart parked at a motel needed a permit if it involved a ‘use’ in relation to land.  Here ‘use … includes the manner of utilising land’, with ‘land’ defined to include buildings, structures and ‘any estate, interest, easement, servitude, privilege or right in or over land’5.  On being charged and fined, both the coffee guy and the motelier appealed. 

It was accepted that ‘includes’ may be read in an exhaustive way, but this is rare6.  Even if the cart was not a building, fixture or development, the court held (at [28]) that this use of land was regulated.  It was clear that, by operating the cart, the motel land was being utilised for a purpose and a permit was needed.

This principle is from Episode 69 of interpretation NOW!


5 s 51 Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (TAS) read with definitions.

6 Pearce 9th ed (at [6.5-6.9]), Blacktown [2011] NSWCA 265 (at [20]).