WHA v Outback Ballooning [2019] HCA 2

Did NT work safety laws ‘alter, impair or detract’ from federal provisions?  In this context, Gageler J commented on the nature of legislative intention.  It is what parliament is taken to intend the words to mean after the interpretation process is complete5

The judge referred to ‘emergent scepticism’ about the very existence of legislative intention.  He stressed (at [77]) that legislated text is the ‘product of deliberate choice’ by elected representatives6.  No other judges touched the point, and the comments are confined to inconsistency settings.  They also do not change the stable position that legislative intention is something imputed to parliament7.

This case is from Episode 46 of interpretationNOW!


5 Lacey [2011] HCA 10 (at [43]), Zheng [2009] HCA 52 (at [28]).

6 cf Defence Housing (1997) 190 CLR 410, Singh [2004] HCA 43 (at [19]).

7 Project Blue Sky [1998] HCA 28 (at 78]), Episodes 1, 18, 29, 36 & 43.