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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3915


Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 10/10/1975

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3915

Jj, USTRALr. -6
PIRI ME MWISTEER Press Statement No. 571
October 1975
This morning the High Court delivered judgements
on a Queensland Act of Parliament and three Australian Acts
of Parliament. It declared that the Act of the Queensland
Parliament was not valid and the Acts of the Australian
Parliament were valid.
The significance of the judgement on the first of
the Australian Acts of Parliament is that it confirms that the
people of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital
Territory can elect two Senators to represent them and vote
for them. Those Senators will be elected on the first occasion
that there is a general election for the Federal Parliament,
whether it is an election for half the Senate or whether it is
an eleb& tilohn"' fo r the'-Iiouse -of.. R6presentat~ ives. fitis an
e -, for~ lhlf ~ t~ Snt~ hyiiak of., ice , f roin the
day that the poll is declared. And, incidentially, the
successors to Senator Bunton and Senator Field would take
office, not from the 1st of July next from but the day the
poll was declared. T'he sianificance of the judgement on the other federal
Acts, concerns the principle of one vote, one value. Therehave
been suggestions that the Australian Government should not
have sought to distribute the States on this basis of one vote,
one value, because these Acts were under challenge in the
High Court. The High Court has now said that these Acts were
valid. Accordingly the distribution of the States on the
principle of one vote, one value, should go ahead.
There have been some ironies in the question of
representation of the Territories in the Senate, in that when
these Bills were first debated two and a half years ago, the
Liberals opposed them but the Country Party in the House of
Representatives supported them. In the Senate the Liberal Senators
and the Country Party Senators all opposed them. On the two
subsequent occasions when the Bill for Territory Representation
in the Senate was passed by the House of Representatives the
Opposition didn't record votes against -it, but in the Senate on
those two further occasions every Liberal and Country Party
Senator opposed the Bill. At the joint sitting the Liberal and
Country Parties opposed the Bill. There is obviously a
difference of opinion in * the Country Party on this question.
The Bill was challenged by the Queensland Premier, a member of
the Country Party, in the High Court although supported by
members of the Country Party in the Hour, of Representatives

on the only occasion when a vote was taken in the House of
Representatives. The Country Party Premier of Queensland
sought to denyr the right of the Country Party to have a vote
for the Country Party MHember for the House of Representatives
for the N-, orthern Territory or to have a senator for the Northern
Territory at all.
The Liberal governments of New South Wales and Victoria
supported the Queensland government in its challenges to the
one vote, one value bills which were first introduced in
March 1973.
CANBERRA. A. C. T. > A jI 1

Transcript 3915