State vs Federal

22 June 2012

Professor Anne Twomey says a recent High Court decision on funding of a state program supports the federal concept, where power is not centralised but shared between the state and national levels of government.

The High Court ruled that in the case of the Federal Government's school chaplains program, the Federal Government had exceeded its general power under Section 61 of the Constitution, for "the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth."

"This will come as a bit of a shock to some people in Canberra who think the federal government is the be-all and end-all and the states are a nuisance," Professor Twomey asserts in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

"The federal government has always been pretty gung-ho in the way it does things and asserts its power," and the High Court had long tended in its favour, at the expense of the states, she adds.

"But this is a really interesting case because for the first time in a very long time the High Court is supporting the federal concept."

View the entire article - Fundamental rethink as states' powers affirmed - Sydney Morning Herald

Contact: Greg Sherington

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