N.B. The questions in this exam are taken, in part, from the tutorial questions – but expanded. Question One:
The Commonwealth government passes a tax act on coal which is 10% tax on the sale of coal. The act also deals with regulations on the way coal is mined in states. If a coal company heeds all the regulations the government will increase the amount of funding given to the States for all its projects. The tax will increase the price of coal sold interstate as the companies attempt to offset the tax increase. The act also provides provisions for new mining companies that set up in ‘country towns’ will pay only 7% of the tax – this is part of its decentralised sustainable planning policy. To encourage people to go and work in these country towns and to encourage other businesses also the act adjusts the income tax rate for people who work in the mines and live in the country. It also prescribes a reduction in HECS and education costs for miners with children who attend university/school.
•Is there a head of power to support these laws? If yes,
•Is the Act constitutionally valid?
Issues for concern:
•S 51(20) – Corporations power – ‘trading corporation’ –Adamson’s activities test etc.
•S 51(1) – Trade and Commerce.
•S 51(2) – Taxation power.
•S 51(39) – Incidental Power.
•S 51(2) does it discriminate between States? - s51(2) – issue of non-coal mining tax compared to coal mining states – Tasmania v Queensland
•Regulations – cleaner technology – more funding from federal government gives preference to mining States – Tasmania v Queensland - possible breach of s 99?
•The coal tax act must deal exclusively with tax anything else [regulations] shall have no effect: s 55. So notwithstanding s 99 breaches may have no effect through s 55 anyway.
•Section 92 – in effect the laws impact on the ‘absolutely free’ intercourse of trade between...