REFERRED MATTERS WHETHER RESOLUTION OF BOTH HOUSES OF STATE PARLIAMENT SUFFICIENT OR LEGISLATION NECESSARY
CONSTITUTION, s. 51 (xxxvii)
The Prime Minister desires to be informed whether the passing of resolutions by both Houses of the W.A. Legislature is a reference by the 'Parliament' of that State such as is contemplated by Constitution s. 51 (xxxvii) and the opinion of the Attorney-General of 11 April 1906.(1)
Not in my opinion. 'The constituent parts of Parliament are the Queen (now King), the House of Lords and the House of Commons' (Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England, Vol. 9, p. 398). Section 51, sub-section (xxxvii) of the Constitution speaks inter alia of a State Parliament 'adopting' a Commonwealth law. The only way in which the adoption can take place is by legislation, which is by the ordinary passage of an Act. Consequently it requires an Act of Parliament of the State, in my opinion, to refer the matter to the Commonwealth Parliament. 'Parliament' of the Commonwealth means 'Parliament' in the same sense as the 'Parliament' of the State in the sub-section.
Of course two States at least must concur in the reference to have any practical effect, unless it is hoped that the other State will afterwards adopt the law.
[Vol. 5, p. 347]
(1) Opinion No. 241.