The case study is about the importance & causes of Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 & its improper testing.

Home, - Dealing With a Case of Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel


In this age of globalization with the advancement of technology, the complexities in social activities have also eventually increased. Therefore, the requirement of control initiatives from government has been raised. Office of Queensland parliamentary Counsel is responsible for formulating the legislation of Queensland Government. Therefore to provide this service effectively this counsel also guides to apply the procedures through which any policy objective will be fulfilled. OQPC also provide guidance for effectively applying the principles of fundamental legislation. OQPC had recently passed Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 in 01 July 2017. This memorandum was presented to introduce amendments within the Duties Act 1999, Rates Act 2004 and Land Tax Act 2004. This study will focus on critically analysing a recent statute and case law to understand their impact on statutory interpretations. Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 was selected as legislation for analysis in this study. Project Blue Sky v Australian Broadcasting Authority was the provided case law that will be critically analysed in this study with an objective to understand its statutory impact. 

1. Title of the Act 

The title of the act is ‘Revenue Legislation Amendment Act, 2017’. This legislation covers the gaps prevalent in Duties Act 2001, Land Tax Act 2010 and Taxation Administration Act, 2001. The legislative settings of Revenue Legislation Amendment Act, 2017 can help in reduction of property disputes and percentage share in business. This act states that tax agreement between two parties should consider extra duties imposed by AFAD . This act was assented in the month of June 2017 and cover entire region under the jurisdiction of Queensland Government. 

2. Explanatory Memorandum of the Act 

The explanatory memorandum is considered to be the sum of explanatory notes that helps in introducing the bill to necessary Parliament. 

The  information  signifies conceptualized section that could help in reducing foreign interest over public property and also provide clear instruction on the rules that needs to be followed by principal agent to state the liabilities of transfer duty.  The provided hyperlink lists down the objectives of Revenue Legislation Amendment bill in order to signify the importance of this bill to the necessary minister of Parliament. It also mentions the rules and regulation for leased property so that necessary equality and fair payment methods can be guaranteed. However, the inconsistencies of this act are also being listed down in the provided bill. The explanatory memorandum clarified that this bill does not cover Legislative Standards Act, 1992, section 4(2) (a) and section 4(3) (g), which was formulated to disclose information to commonwealth and undo any action of lesser during recovery of tax . 

Objective of the Act 

The identified section that list down the objectives of Revenue Legislation Amendment Act, 2017 is section 240. It is being notified by section 240 that the company name should be surfaced in the agreement and the agent can only transfer dutiable property when there is agreed contract between the seller and agent . It is also being suggested that suggested bill should include deposit amount before the transfer of any property. The additional duty implied by AFAD on property needs to be characterised before any relevant exchange between the parties. 

Locating a definition section that helps in interpretation of the act

It can be said that section 113A defines the act by stating the necessary information that can be followed by commissioner of tax and also signifies the rules for leased property . This section also characterizes that the conceptualized legislation does not take into consideration of disclosing information or influence lesser regarding the recovery of property tax. This section also highlights that information can only be disclosed to relevant commissioner of tax active in that state. This might help in generalizing the regulations of Revenue Legislation Act and also does not publicize the information. 

Example of a plain English drafting version within the Act 

Cases of land acquisition are very common in Queensland, Australia. However, the seller needs to have clear knowledge about the rate of interest for every type of buyers. The section 242 of Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 can be considered as the best example presented in plain English for this analysis . This example was provided to explain the interest of a foreign acquirer in case of a land acquisition. 

This example specifies that any transaction will be transformed to an acquisition after the duty of landholder gets imposed. Two buyers have been differentiated in the drafting paragraph by assigning them as Person A and Person B. This example had clearly stated the fact that be it a foreign acquirer or a native acquirer, 45% interest will be allocated from a public landholder. Consequently, based on the writing provided, it can be evaluated that Person A will have a 50% share under the transaction. This 50% was calculated based on 45% interest of 90% interest that was acquired from the transaction. From the chosen act, this particular example has been considered since it provides a clear presentation of the fact that foreign acquirer will gain a better interest as their interest will be calculated based on the acquired interest of any transaction. 

Project Blue Sky v Australian Broadcasting Authority [1998] HCA 28 

The Appellant had presented their claim in Federal court. As per article 4 of Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement both the member states are required to grant an equal favor for the person or services belongs to the other member state as for its own person or services . Therefore, Blue Sky being a New Zealand broadcasting agency should also be granted with the same level of favor as for any Australian broadcasting agency. The appellant had claimed that Australian Broadcasting Agency was unable to oblige its duties based on the required standards. Moreover as per the article 5(1) of  New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement both the member state needs to provide same treatment for the person and service provided by other member countries . Therefore based on both of these articles Australia is not authorized to develop or induce any legislation that holds the potential to negatively impact the profitability of New Zealand television and Film industry . However, as per the claimant appeal Australian Broadcasting Agency had applied legal implications due to which New Zealand Television and Film industry was struggling to conduct a fair competition with Australian Broadcasting Agency. 

Material Facts

Australian Broadcasting Agency had targeted to keep 50% of all the programming broadcast between 06:00 am to midnight without any financial assistance from Australian television industry. Therefore, this was adversely impacting the profitability of the New Zealand Film and television industry. Blue Sky that is a broadcasting agency of New Zealand had appealed to the federal court of justice for this partiality of American Broadcasting Agency. However, based on the New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement it was reported that ABA had breached the agreements of article 4 and 5(1) unlawfully . It was also claimed that due to this practice of ABA New Zealand was struggling to meet their profitability targets. The claimant had also appealed that this sort of discrimination cannot be accepted while New Zealand had already signed an agreement with the Australian Government. Blue Sky had also referred to section 160 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 that requires ABA to select their contents based on listed matters . Australian international obligation was also a part of that list. 

ABA had presented their case in federal court that they are following the required principal of legislation designed by Australian Government. As per the sub clause 3 of section 122.1.a of Broadcasting Services Act 1992 it can be stated that the rate of Australian program broadcast must be 50% of any other program broadcast between 06:00 am and midnight during the year till the end of 1997 . It was also mentioned in the sub clause that after 1998 the rate of Australian Programming Broadcast must get increased to 55%. Moreover, the sub clause 9 had also selected the periods where Australian programming broadcast needs to be displayed. As a result, New Zealand programs were left to compete with all other programs for enhancing their television rating points.  ABA had also taken references from section 124ZAC of Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 which was used for selecting and verifying a program as an Australian broadcast . Therefore it can be stated that ABA is correctly following the standards of Australian Contents that was being broadcasted. 

Question of law 

The question of law for this case can be considered as the confusion faced by the four judges of federal court that whether following the clause of a legislation needs to be considered as an act of crime or expecting the terms of signed agreement would be maintained is a crime. The provided scenario had lead to a situation where the judges felt that both the parties are correct as in their situation. Blue Sky had expected that ABA will follow the articles of New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement . However, ABA had expected that following the sub clauses of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 is more essential. 

Principal of law 

The principal of law for this case can be considered as the use of term of “must” within a statutory requirement cannot be considered as conclusive by the judges. As a result the judges also presented that section 160 from the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 cannot be considered as a rule-like-quality . Therefore, it does not hold any potential for invalidating a decision. 

Case outcome 

It was clearly stated by the judges of federal court that based on the inappropriate nature of section 160 from Broadcasting Services Act 1992 ABA cannot be considered as the party with the fault. Therefore, the court states that the clause 9 of Australian Content Standard presented by the appellant cannot be considered as a correctly formulated . 

Significance of this case to statutory interpretation 

It can be observed that the statutory requirement presented by the Australian Broadcasting services cannot be considered as an essential requirement. Based on the sub clauses of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 it can be stated that ABS must broadcast 55% American program within 06:00 am till midnight. It can be observed that the judges were not considering this “must” as a statutory requirement for this case law . 


It can be analysed from the aforementioned discussion that formulating and accepting a bill to transform it as legislation without proper testing can lead to several implications and complexities. The requirement of Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 will not arise if Duties Act 1999, Rates Act 2004 and Land Tax Act 2004 were formulated after proper testing. However, the provided case also suggests amending the Broadcasting services Act 1992. Therefore, it can be stated that it is essential for Australian Government to consider all the requirements before formulating any legislation. The study had first determined Revenue Legislation Amendment Act 2017 as the act to be analysed. It can be observed that after analysing this act its major objective can be considered as introducing reformation of Duties Act 1999, Rates Act 2004 and Land Tax Act 2004. Therefore the provided case law stated that Blue sky had faced a profitability issue due to partiality act of Australian Broadcasting Agency. Australian Broadcasting Agency was following the required Australian content standard presented by Broadcasting Services Act 1992. The major conflict had arose from the fact that judges were required to select whether following the clause of a legislation is valid or following the articles of an agreement is of major importance. 

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