Opinion Number. 513

Subject

SPECIAL APPROPRIATION WHETHER PROVISION FOR REMUNERATION OF MEMBERS OF INTER-STATE COMMISSION AMOUNTS TO

Key Legislation

CONSTITUTION ss. 48, 103 : INTER-STATE COMMISSION ACT 1912. s. 7

Date
Client
The Secretary to the Treasury

The Secretary to the Treasury asks to be advised in regard to the following memor-andum by the Auditor-General:

Draft Warrant No. 7 enclosed herewith deals with the salaries of the Inter-State Com-missioners under section 7 of the Inter-State Commission Act 1912. The provisions of this section, however, do not contain the usual words referring to the fund from which the payments are to be made.

2.1 shall be glad therefore if the Secretary will favour me with a reference to any legal opinion that may have been issued as to the sufficiency of the provisions of the section for the issue of a Warrant and for the charging of the salaries or travelling expenses men-tioned in the section as against, say, the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Section 103 of the Constitution provides that the members of the Inter-State Commission-

Shall receive such remuneration as the Parliament may fix; but such remuneration shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

By section 7 of the Inter-State Commission Act 1912 the Parliament has fixed the salaries of the members of the Inter-State Commission.

The form of section 103 of the Constitution ('shall receive') is the same as that of section 48 of the Constitution, which, it has been advised, is a special appropriation of the amount of the allowance of a Member of Parliament as provided by the Consti-tution or as altered by Parliament. See opinion of Mr Attorney-General Deakin of 25 February 1902(1), given to the Auditor-General.

In my opinion, section 103 of the Constitution is a special appropriation of the salaries of members of the Inter-State Commission as fixed by Parliament.(2)

[Vol. 11, p. 359]

(1)Opinion No. 48.

(2)This Opinion was published in Commonwealth of Australia,Parl. Papers 1913, Vol. II,p.1172.