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By Gerard Carney

This booklet outlines the constitutional structures of the six Australian states and ten Commonwealth territories. It starts off with their historical past, uncomplicated beneficial properties, position and destiny in the Australian federation. Its basic concentration is at the binding constitutional regulations which impression on their parliaments and governments. those matters also are handled on the subject of the 3 self-governing territories of the ACT, the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. it's the merely Australian felony reference paintings of its variety which bargains in particular with the constitutional structures of the states and territories. This publication is for all legislations scholars and constitutional legislation academics in addition to criminal advisors to commonwealth, nation and territory governments and parliaments. it's going to even be of curiosity to ideal, Federal, and excessive courtroom judges, political scientists operating within the region of federalism and an individual with an curiosity in constitutional affairs.

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31 (1997) 189 CLR 465. 32 These fees accounted for 16% of the New South Wales State revenue: Martin Painter, Collaborative Federalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998) 58. ’ 34 For example, 33% of Commonwealth revenue was paid to the States and territories in 1983–84, compared with 21% in 1999–2000: see Northern Territory Budget Report, Chapter 7, ‘Reform of Intergovernmental Financial Relations’, fig. pdf> (accessed 25 August 2005). For other undesirable consequences, see Cheryl Saunders, ‘Federal Fiscal Reform and the GST’ (2000) 11 Public Law Review 99, 100–101.

There is a real need to restore such a forum today. Unfortunately, the republic debate preoccupied the celebrations of the centenary of federation at the expense of reconsidering a more fundamental issue – why have a federation at all? It should be acknowledged that the States do not have an undisputed right of continued existence. Mere sentimental State loyalty alone cannot justify their continued existence. Instead there needs to be a careful assessment of the competing political, economic, social and constitutional advantages of a federal system over that of a unitary system.

2 See North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service Inc v Bradley (2004) 218 CLR 146. 3 James Madison referred to these restrictions as ‘parchment barriers’ in The Federalist No 48, A. Hamilton, J. Madison and J. Hay, The Federalist (Everyman’s Library, J. M. Dent and Sons, 1971 reprint) 251, 252. ’ Official Record of the Debates of the Australasian Federal Convention Vol I, Sydney 1891, 31; cf the views of Alfred Deakin, Official Record of the Debates of the Australasian Federal Convention Vol III, Adelaide, 1897, 297–8.

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