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Appendix II

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TIMELINE OF OFFICIAL INTEREST IN CONSTITUTIONAL CONSOLIDATION   

1890

The Constitution Act1889 is enacted.

1893

Sections from the Constitution Act 1889 are repealed and subsequently re-enactment in the Constitution Act Amendment Act 1893 with amendments.  

1899

The Forrest Government amends and consolidates various alterations made to the Constitution Act 1889 in each of 1893, 1894 and 1896 into a new statute intituled the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899.  

1963

The Brand Liberal Government initiates a consolidation of each of the Constitution Act 1889 and the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899.  The Attorney General, in presenting the Bills to Parliament, raises the issue of amalgamating the Acts but concludes that it is more expedient at the present time to proceed with a strict consolidation of each of the statutes.  

1964

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 is approved. 

1967

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 approved. 

1971

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 approved.

1980

The Australian Labor Party Opposition, in a question without notice, queries the Attorney General of the Sir Charles Court Coalition Government whether there are plans to consolidate the constitutional statutes in the foreseeable future.  The Attorney General responds that the matter is of ‘current consideration’. 

1981

The Australian Labor Party Opposition seeks leave to move for an adjournment of the Legislative Council for the purposes of discussing the need to consolidate the Western Australian Constitution Acts. After a brief exchange with the Government, the Australian Labor Party’s spokesperson withdraws the motion.

1982

The High Court confirms that the Constitution Act 1889 and the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 are completely separate statutes (see: The State of Western Australia v Wilsmore (1982) 149 CLR 79).  This position is later confirmed by the Supreme Court in the matter of Attorney General for Western Australia (Ex rel Burke) v State of Western Australia (1982) WAR 241. 

1984

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 is approved.

1989

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 is approved. 

1992

The Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council develops a draft consolidation document and recommends that this form the basis of a Bill to be presented to Parliament for its consideration. 

1993

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 is approved.

1995

Recommendation 36 of the Report of the Western Australian Constitutional Committee states that the ‘State Constitution Acts be consolidated into a single Act in a manner that facilitates teaching about its key features’.  Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 is approved. 

1996

Report Number 5 of the Commission on Government recommends that the two constitutional statutes be consolidated (5.1.5, 2).The Court Coalition Government promises Western Australians a consolidated constitution for Christmas. 

1997

The Hon. John Cowdell MLC introduces the Constitution of Western Australia Bill 1997 to Parliament.  This Bill is later withdrawn owing to technical problems in its construction. 

In response to the Commission on Government Final Report, the Court Coalition Government announces plans to convene a ‘People’s Convention’ to be held in 1998. 

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 undertaken. 

1999

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 undertaken. 

The Court Coalition Government announces that plans to hold a people’s convention on the State Constitution will be postponed until after the Republic referendum.   

2000

Reprint of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 undertaken. 

2001

February:  The election platform of the newly elected Gallop Labor Government contains a commitment to a ‘People’s Convention’ to facilitate constitutional reform, including a pledge to consolidate the State’s Constitution.

 October:  The Gallop Labor Government announces that plans to hold a ‘Peoples Convention’ to re-write the State’s Constitution will be postponed in the foreseeable future. 

2003

The Attorney General, the Hon. Jim McGinty, indicates his support for consolidating the State Constitution.