High Court of Australia

Queanbeyan City Council v ACTEW Corporation Ltd [2011] HCA 40

244 CLR 530

5 Oct 2011

Case Number: C2/2011 C3/2011

Before

French CJ, Gummow, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan, Kiefel, Bell JJ

Catchwords

Constitutional law (Cth) – Duties of excise - Water Resources Act 1998 (ACT) and Water Resources Act 2007 (ACT) imposed licence fees upon first respondent for extracting water from Australian Capital Territory water catchments, and Utilities (Network Facilities Tax) Act 2006 (ACT) imposed charge upon first respondent calculated by reference to route length of its water infrastructure network - First respondent passed on cost of imposts to appellant - Territory- owned Corporations Act 1990 (ACT) provided that first respondent was a "territory-owned corporation" and regulated share ownership, corporate decision- making and corporate borrowing of first respondent - Section 8(1) also provided that first respondent is not "the Territory" only because of its status as a "territory-owned corporation" - Whether first respondent identified with government of Australian Capital Territory - Whether imposts are duties of excise - Whether imposts are financial arrangements internal to government of Australian Capital Territory.

Words and phrases – "compulsory exaction", "duties of excise", "extensive control", "identified with the Territory", "tax".

Constitution – ss 90, 122.

Australian Capital Territory (Self –Government) Act 1988 (Cth), Pts III, IV, VII.

Territory –owned Corporations Act 1990 (ACT), Pts 2, 3, 4, ss 6-8, Sched 4.

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