Notes form part of the Act9 and cannot be ignored for interpretational purposes. If there is a conflict between a note and the text, however, the text always prevails10 – no surprise here. In this case, about reinstatement of a company under the Corporations Act, Rees J (at ) relied on a note to confirm his reading of the provision in question11.
This is the most common way notes assist with interpretation – to confirm an answer reached on other grounds. The precise status of statutory notes remains elusive however and, sometimes, they are subject to special rules12. iTip – consult all notes, but don’t overplay their textual importance.
This case is from Episode 44 of interpretationNOW!
9 s 13 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, Episode 5.
10 Pearce (at [3.16]), CFMEU  FCAFC 25 (at ).
11 s 601AH(3) of the Corporations Act.
12 Div 182 of the GST Act, Div 950 of ITAA97, for example.