Opinion No. 1387
POWER TO PROVIDE LEVY ON STOCK IN STATES WHICH HAVE NOT PASSED MEAT ENCOURAGEMENT ACTS: whether discrimination between states
Constitution s 51(ii)
30 April 1926
The Secretary, Department of Markets and Migration
The Secretary to the Department of Markets and Migration has forwarded for advice the following memorandum:
With reference to my memorandum of 6th April, 1926, asking for advice on a certain question raised by the Australian Meat Council in regard to the above mentioned Bill, I have now to inform you that the Chairman of that Council now desires information as to whether, in the case of the States which have not passed Meat Industry Encouragement Acts (Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia) provision can be made in the proposed Meat Export Control Bill to confer power either on the Commonwealth Government, or the proposed Meat Export Control Board, to levy on stock in those States.
I shall be glad if you will be so good as to advise upon this question.
A law providing for a levy on stock would, in my opinion, be a law with respect
Placitum (ii) of section 51 of the Constitution provides that the Parliament shall, subject to the Constitution, have power to make the laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to taxation, but so as not to discriminate between States or parts of States.
A law providing that a levy should be made on stock in States which had not passed certain legislation, but not on stock in those which had passed such legislation, would, in my opinion, constitute a discrimination between States and be invalid.
I am therefore of opinion that the question asked by the Secretary should be answered in the negative.
[Vol. 22, p. 556]