Opinion No. 859
WHETHER PALMERSTON AND PINE CREEK RAILWAY IS UNDER CONTROL OF COMMONWEALTH RAILWAYS COMMISSIONER
NORTHERN TERRITORY ACCEPTANCE ACT 1910. s. 6 (2): Schedule: COMMONWEALTH RAILWAYS ACT 1917, s. 16
11 July 1918
The Secretary, Department of Home and Territories
The conclusions arrived at in the opinion of His Honour the Judge of the Northern Territory are that the Palmerston to Pine Creek Railway does not come under the control of the Commonwealth Railways Commissioner appointed pursuant to the Commonwealth Railways Act 1917, but remains subject to the control of the Administrator of the Northern Territory.(1)
With all respect to the learned Judge, I am unable to agree with his contention. The Commonwealth Railways Act 1917, section 16, vests in the Commonwealth Railways Commissioner 'all railways . . . acquired by or on behalf of the Commonwealth pursuant to any Act . . . authorizing the . . . acquisition of railways . . . '
In my opinion the Palmerston to Pine Creek Railway was acquired by the Commonwealth, within the meaning of this section, by the process of surrender by the State and acceptance by the Commonwealth. The fact that the agreement by which it was so acquired (2) actually gives the Commonwealth power to 'acquire' other railways, does not, in my opinion, operate to exclude the Palmerston to Pine Creek Railway from consideration as a railway acquired by the Commonwealth.
[Vol. 15, p. 442]
(1) Decision presumably not reported.
(2) Set out in the Schedule to the Northern Territory Acceptance Act 1910; in particular see clause