High Court of Australia

Durham Holdings Pty Ltd v The State of New South Wales [2001] HCA 7

205 CLR 399; 75 ALJR 501; 177 ALR 436

15 Feb 2001

Case Number: S155/1999


Gaudron, McHugh, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Callinan JJ


Constitutional law (NSW) – Property - Acquisition by State - State acquired coal and paid compensation to owner - Amount of compensation "capped" below true value of coal by instruments made pursuant to Coal Acquisition (Amendment) Act 1990 (NSW) - Whether instruments ultra vires because Act must be read with a presumption that a State does not intend to acquire property without adequate compensation - Whether State is required to acquire property on just terms - Whether Act in the nature of a Bill of Pains and Penalties.

Mines and minerals – Coal - Acquisition by State - Compensation to owner pursuant to Coal Acquisition (Amendment) Act 1990 (NSW) - Whether instrument ultra vires the Act.

Statutes – Interpretation - Acquisition of property - Presumption that not intended to acquire without adequate compensation - Whether presumption rebutted.

Words and phrases – "acquisition of property" - "just terms".

Constitution – s 106.

Australia Act 1986 (Cth) – s 2(2).

Constitution Act 1902 (NSW) – s 5.

Coal Acquisition (Amendment) Act 1990 (NSW).


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