French CJ, Gummow, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ
Constitutional law (Cth) – Inconsistency between Commonwealth instrument and State law - Appellants employed construction workers and were bound by certain federal industrial instruments ("federal instruments") made under Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) ("Commonwealth Act"), which contained provisions regarding long service leave - Construction Industry Long Service Leave Act 1997 (Vic) ("State Act") provided for scheme of portable long service leave benefits for workers in construction industry - Commonwealth Act provided for paramountcy of industrial instruments made under federal legislation over State laws, to extent of any inconsistency - Whether State Act inconsistent with Commonwealth Act as embodied in federal instruments.
Words and phrases – "alter, impair or detract from", "cover the field", "direct inconsistency", "indirect inconsistency".
Constitution – s 109.
Construction Industry Long Service Leave Act 1997 (Vic) – ss 1, 3, 4, 6.
Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) – ss 17(1), 152(1), 170LZ(1).