NSW Commissioner of Police v Cottle  HCA 7
On being compulsorily retired under police laws, Cottle sued for unfair dismissal4. One issue was whether those laws blocked this action. Answer – ‘no’. Overlapping statutes ‘should be construed in a way that best achieves a harmonious result’5, even if sometimes they cannot ‘stand or live together’6.
The first obligation, however, is to seek a coherent operation of both together. The presumption that statutes do not contradict one another will be excluded only where the evidence from all sources shows that harmonious co-operation is not possible. iTip – start with a ‘live and let live’ approach where statutes overlap then assess all the evidence.
This principle is from Episode 83 of interpretation NOW!
4 s 72A Police Act 1990 (NSW), s 84(1) Industrial Relations Act 1996 (NSW).
5 Eaton  HCA 2 at ), Project Blue Sky  HCA 28 (at ).
6 Eaton  HCA 2 at ), Ferdinands  HCA 5 (at ).