Reach of Interpretation Act

Granville Hotel v ILGA [2023] NSWCA 248

Granville’s application to operate pokies late at night was rejected on the basis there were insufficient gaming ‘venues’ proximate to the hotel.  The dispute turned solely on whether ‘venues’ in a guideline8 included the singular9.  Granville argued it should.

Kirk JA (at [32]) accepted that the Interpretation Act applied to the guideline, subject to contrary intent.  As it was not drafted by parliamentary counsel, however, no assumptions could be made about intent10.  The issue therefore was to be resolved on a text-context-purpose basis.  This confirmed that the plural ‘venues’ did not include the singular.  The appeal by Granville was accordingly dismissed.

This principle is from Episode 102 of interpretation NOW!


8 clause 1.2 in a guideline under the Gaming Machines Act 2001 (NSW).

9 s 8(c) of the Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW).

10 Blue Metal (1969) 117 CLR 651 (656), Pfeiffer [2001] HCA 71 [56-58].