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Appendix III

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MODELS FOR CONSOLIDATING THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION

 

Model

Date

Preamble

Structure

Features

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

 

 

 

1991

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.

1992

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.

 

 

1998

There has been no attempt to re-write the preamble

Consists of 61 sections, divided into 8 parts

 

Part I – Preliminary

 

Part II – Parliamentary

 

General

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

 

Schedules

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

1997

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