Ancillary power allows, among other things, the Commonwealth to pass legislation in favour of executive power in Section 61. The joint decision stated, with the agreement of Mason J in R/Duncan (30), that the executive branch includes, in Section 61, “the adoption of governmental agreements between the Commonwealth and the state on matters of common interest, including issues necessary for the implementation of common legislation.” The Court stated (without ruling) that the ancillary power could facilitate the implementation of the Alice Springs Agreement, that the Commonwealth should be responsible for enforcing the Corporations Act. The amendment procedure is subject to the agreement of the Corporations. The terms of this agreement are not yet available. Paragraph 4 of Subsection 4 specifies that the Commonwealth may amend corporate legislation on the basis of its other powers in accordance with the Constitution. However, the explanatory statement of the Referral Act indicates that this issue can be addressed in the Corporations Agreement. On December 21, 2000, the Commonwealth, NSW and Victoria reached an agreement to resolve the Law Corporation impasse. (63) The clause was maintained by delegates of the Constitutional Convention of the late 1890s as a mechanism for the flexibilization of the Constitution. (51) This paragraph provides that state parliaments may refer matters to the Commonwealth Parliament and gives the Commonwealth the power to pass laws on them. In theory at least, it makes the distribution of powers between the Commonwealth and the states quite flexible, allowing them to amend them by mutual agreement. It is not necessary for all states to refer a matter to the Commonwealth.
If only a few states refer, Commonwealth law can only apply in those states. Once passed, the law can be “passed” by the parliaments of other states and therefore enter into force. (52) Subsequently, two major obstacles prevent the implementation of the agreement, namely the fear of States that the removal will increase the Commonwealth`s ability to reorganise its labour relations legislation on the basis of corporate power; and the state`s objections to the proposed amendments. The 1997 Corporations Agreement provides that the Commonwealth cannot introduce legislation repealing or changing a national systemic law or pass regulations without consulting the Council of Corporations Ministers. However, the agreement also lists a number of issues on which the Commonwealth can legislate without the agreement of the Council of Ministers. These themes include provisions relating to national markets (acquisitions, securities, fundraising and futures). With regard to unspecified issues, the approval of the Council of Ministers is required for the amendments. If the Council of Ministers votes on such provisions, the Commonwealth has 4 votes and each state has one vote, as does the Northern Territory. Thus, the Commonwealth can amend the law with the support of only two other jurisdictions. In addition, the agreement provides that if legislation amending the Corporations Act itself is amended in the Commonwealth Parliament, the Commonwealth must do its best to consult with the Council of Ministers, but Council approval is not required, regardless of the purpose of the amendment. However, she was unable to say how or when the agreements were reached when asked on Thursday.
The Northern Territory`s Minister of Health has acknowledged that she does not know the “exact details” of the hotel quarantine agreements, which she is partly responsible for in a public health saga that took place in Alice Springs earlier this week. In 1989, the Commonwealth passed legislation establishing a national corporate and securities regulatory system based on corporate power.