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Federalism and the Australian offshore constitutional settlement

Haward, M 1992 , 'Federalism and the Australian offshore constitutional settlement', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The offshore has been the centre of intergovernmental interaction in
Australia for over twenty-five years yet has remained a neglected topic in
studies of Australian federalism. This study examines the development
and implementation of a complex intergovernmental arrangement, the
Offshore Constitutional Settlement (OCS), which returned jurisdiction to
the States from low water mark to three nautical miles offshore following
the High Court's decision in the Seas and Submerged Lands case of
December 1975, which upheld Commonwealth jurisdiction from low water
mark. The OCS was established, after lengthy intergovernmental
interaction, in 1979 with what were termed "agreed arrangements"
implemented between 1983 and 1990.
The most visible element of offshore resource policy in the period
following the Second World War is the the continual expansion of the
Commonwealth's interests. To focus solely on this expansion gives a
limited explanation for the development of intergovernmental agreements
such as the OCS which reflect the complexities of interaction between the
Commonwealth and the States. A central concern of this study is to
examine the factors contributing to the development of the OCS,
particularly the extent to which State governments were dominant actors in
the negotiations and in the implementation of the "agreed arrangements". The study utilises an analytical framework which allows the examination of
institutions and processes by which the States have been able to limit, or
counter, the effective reach of increased Commonwealth constitutional
power and influence and which act as parameters for intergovernmental
interaction in this policy area. In structuring relations between the
Commonwealth and States offshore these parameters not only emphasise
the significance of a States' constitutional and political bases, but- also
identify elements of intergovernmental interaction which counter the
more visible expansion of Commonwealth activity. The OCS is thus an
outcome -of the evolution (or "ebb and flow") of Australian federalism
offshore in which the States remain important actors; an evolution shaped
by the impact of the constitutional division of powers, judicial review of
jurisdictional disputes, and Australia's responsibilities in relation to the
emergent international law of the sea.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Haward, M
Keywords: Federal government, Marine resources, Offshore oil industry, Constitutional law
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1992 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1993. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 332-358)

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