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Appendix III

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The Webb Model


Notes:  A copy of this model can be found in O’Brien & Webb (1991) (eds) The Executive State: WA Inc and the Constitution, Constitutional Press





A new preamble which recognizes the ‘the people of Western Australia as the ‘stewards of our lands’

Model is organized according to 11 articles consisting of 101 individual sections


Article I - Declaration of Rights


Article II – Voting, Initiative and Referendum and Recall


Article III – The State of Western Australia


Article IV – The Legislature


Article V – The Executive


Article VI – Judicial


Article VII – Legal


Article VIII – Local Government


Article IX – Natural Resources and Public Lands


Article X – Amending the Constitution


Article XI – Miscellaneous

A radical reformulation of the constitution in terms of structure, language and content. It is modeled on the State Constitutions of California, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Alaska and Hawaii.


  • Guarantees extensive political and civil rights
  • Primary elections and non-partisan local government elections.
  • Specifies a separation of power and establishes the sovereignty of the State in the federal system.
  • Three year fixed terms, crime to bribe a member of Parliament, the right of Parliament to expel a Member, all elective members and appointed officers subject to impeachment
  • Limits on the number of departments, popularly elected Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, constitutional recognition to an independent and professional public service
  • Judicial power to be appointed in the Supreme Court
  • Establishes a law review commission to review statutes
  • Constitutional recognition of local government
  • Parliament to conserve and develop natural resources for the people
  • People to have the power to amend the constitution

Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council on the Constitution


Notes: A copy of this document can be obtained at the State Library of Western Australia.


New preamble which recognises the state’s first inhabitants, its former status as a British Colony and its present status as a State of the Commonwealth of Australia

50 sections consisting of 4 parts, which are further divided into separate divisions


Part 1 – Preliminary


Part II – The Parliament


Division 1 – Constitution and Powers

Division II – Legislative Council

Division III – Legislative Assembly

Division IV – Both Houses of Parliament

Division V – Membership of Council and Assembly

Division VI – Electoral


Part III – The Executive Government


Division I – The Governor

Division II – The Executive

Division III – Public Offices


Part IV – Judiciary


Part V – Local Government


Schedule A

The intent of the present constitution remains largely unchanged.  The substantive changes include the following:


  • Significant redrafting of sections to remove ambiguity
  • 14 spent provisions repealed
  • 10 sections transferred to the Electoral Act.  
  • Specifies and entrenches those sections of the constitution that require the concurrence of an absolute majority in order to amend
  • Broadens the list of persons able to perform the duties of the Speaker and the President in their absence
  • ‘Minister of the State’ substituted for the phrase ‘the offices liable to be vacated on political grounds’
  • Enshrines the Supreme Court

The Martin Model


Notes: A copy of this document can be found in The Western Australian Constitutional Forum and People’s Convention published by the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia.




There has been no attempt to re-write the preamble

Consists of 61 sections, divided into 8 parts


Part I – Preliminary


Part II – Parliamentary



Legislative Council

Legislative Assembly

Both Houses of Parliament

Disqualification of Members

 Part III – Executive


Part IV – The Governor


Part V – Local Government


Part VI – Judicial


Part VII – Legal


Part VIII – Financial



A strict consolidation of the Constitution Acts.  The nature and the intent of the original statutes are unchanged. 


  • Restructuring and reordering of sections has occurred only
  • Spent provisions have been omitted and included in an appendix


  • No alteration to the language or wording of the original sections



Constitution of Western Australia Bill


Notes: This Bill was withdrawn owing to technical problems


Preamble is unchanged

Structure is identical to the model proffered by the Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council

Modeled closely on the Joint Select Committee of the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council on the Constitution. 


Identical to the Committee’s model in all respects except:


  • No preamble is included
  • Limits the provisions requiring an absolute majority to only 2 sections as compared to 13 in the Committee’s model
  • Removes one the provisions which subject to referendum
  • Savings provisions drafted


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.