NAVIGATION AND SHIPPING ENGAGEMENT IN COASTING TRADE: PASSENGERS ON THROUGH TICKET TO OR FROM PORT BEYOND AUSTRALIA NOT INCLUDED: POSITION WHERE TICKET TO PORT IN AUSTRALIA IS SUBSEQUENTLY EXTENDED TO ANOTHER PORT
NAVIGATION ACT 1912, s. 7
I am in receipt of your memorandum (undated) relative to the question of engagement in the coasting trade.
The necessity for the revision of the circular has arisen in connection with the interpretation of the words 'through tickets' as used in section 7 of the Navigation Act 1912-1920.
Some misconception appears to have arisen in connection with the question of what is and what is not engagement in the coasting trade.
Section 7 of the Act provides that:
A ship shall be deemed to be engaged in the coasting trade, within the meaning of this Act, if she takes on board passengers or cargo at any port in a State, or a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, to be carried to, and landed or delivered at, any other port in the same State or Territory or in any other State or other such Territory.
Then there are several provisos of which the first only is material to the present question. It is as follows:
Provided that a ship shall not be deemed to be engaged in the coasting trade by reason of the fact that she carries-
(a) passengers who hold through tickets to or from a port beyond Australia and the Territories under the authority of the Commonwealth. Section 7 defines the coasting trade. It is not necessarily an exhaustive definition of that trade, and it does not appear necessary at the present juncture to attempt an exhaustive definition of that trade.
The purpose of a proviso is to take out of the purview of an enactment something that would otherwise be within its purview. A proviso may, however, throw light on the meaning of an otherwise doubtful enactment to which it is appended.
Thus the meaning of the coasting trade should be ascertained from a consideration of section 7, and the test, so far as passengers are concerned, is:
Has the particular vessel taken on board passengers at any port in a State or Territory, to be landed at another port in the same State or Territory or in another State or Territory? If the vessel has done so, the question then arises whether the person who has been taken on board is the holder of a through ticket from or to a port beyond the Commonwealth. It is only at this stage that the question whether the person is or is not the holder of a through ticket becomes of consequence.
In my opinion a through ticket would include a ticket issued from a port outside Australia to a port within Australia, and extended from that port to another port, whether on the payment of an additional fare or not, if the person had not finally left the ship at the port to which the ticket was originally issued.
I suggest that the instructions be redrawn in accordance with this advising.
[Vol. 17, p. 463]