Purpose and objects

Cappello v RMS[2019] NSWSC 439

RMS could ‘acquire land for any of the purposes of this Act’.  Affected owners resisted acquisition because the ‘objects’ clause in the Act did not extend to acquiring land for road tunnelling work.  Campbell J (at [40-46]) rejected the argument on the basis that the ‘purposes of this Act’ are to be found in ‘all the provisions of the statute’16

Although the word ‘purposes’ is a synonym of ‘objects’, the latter was ‘pitched at a high level of abstraction’.  The objects clause did not control operative provisions, and it was necessary to see how parliament had ‘implemented those objects’17.  The Act as a whole confirmed the power to acquire.

This case is from Episode 48 of interpretationNOW!


16 James (1930) 43 CLR 386 (at 410-411), Wilkinson (1882) 20 Ch D 323 (at 335).

17 Lancaster (1981) 54 FLR 129 (at 152) quoted.