Opinion Number. 1062

Subject

NAVIGATION AND SHIPPING DETERMINING LIMITS OF PORTS FOR PURPOSE OF DEFINITION OF LIMITED COAST-TRADE SHIP: WHETHER GOVERNOR-GENERAL CAN CANCEL DETERMINATION AND ISSUE FRESH ONE DETERMINING OTHER LIMITS

Key Legislation

ACTS INTERPRETATION ACT 1901. s. 33 (1): NAVIGATION ACT 1912. s. 6

Date
Client
The Comptroller-General of Customs

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs has requested advice as to whether when once the Governor-General has determined the limits of a port, for the purposes of the definition of 'Limited coast-trade ship' in section 6 of the Navigation Act 1912-1920, it is competent for him to cancel that determination and issue a fresh one determining other limits for the same port, but not exceeding the limits for home-trade or coast-trade ships, as the case may be, fixed for the port, at the commencement of section 6, by any State law.

The definition of 'Limited coast-trade ship' appearing in section 6 of the Navigation Act is as follows:

'Limited coast-trade ship' means a sea-going ship exclusively engaged in making short voyages from and to any port in Australia within limits (not exceeding the limits for home-trade or coast-trade ships, as the case may be, fixed for the port, at the commencement of this section, by any State law) determined for the port by the Governor-General.

Sub-section (1) of section 33 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901-1918 provides that where an Act confers power or imposes a duty, then, unless the contrary intention appears, the power may be exercised and the duty shall be performed from time to time as occasion requires.

The contrary intention does not, I think, appear as regards the power to determine the limits of ports for the purposes of the definition of 'Limited coast-trade ship', and I am, therefore, of opinion that the question asked by the Acting Comptroller-General should be answered in the affirmative.

[Vol. 17, p. 294]