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Beneficial legislation

TJ Galluzzo and SJ Galluzzo t/as Riverwood Chemworld Chemist v Dianne Little [2011] NSWSC 1581. Schmidt J.

51 The Act is remedial legislation which must be interpreted liberally, as discussed in Bull v Attorney-General (NSW) (1913) 17 CLR 370 at 384 [per Isaacs J]:

"In the first place, this is a remedial Act, and therefore, if any ambiguity existed, like all such Acts should be construed beneficially: per Lord Loreburn L.C. in Bist v London and South Western Railway Co (1907) AC, 209, at p 211. This means, of course, not that the true signification of the provision should be strained or exceeded, but that it should be construed so as to give the fullest relief which the fair meaning of its language will allow."

Lauda Enterprises Pty Ltd v Akkanen [2010] NSWWCCPD 91. Roche DP. 

37. Workers compensation legislation is beneficial legislation. Entitlements under that legislation should not depend on “distinctions which are too nice”: per Mahony JA in Articulate Restorations & Developments Pty Ltd v Crawford (1994) 10 NSWCCR 751 at 765. At the same time, however, the principle that beneficial legislation should be given a liberal construction does not entitle the Commission to give it a construction that is unreasonable or unnatural (per McColl JA in Amaca Pty Ltd v Cremer & ors [2006] NSWCA 164, citing IW v City of Perth [1997] HCA 30; 191 CLR 1 (at 11–12) per Brennan CJ and McHugh J).

Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church &c v Smith [2009] NSW WCC MA39. Wynyard, Arb. 

in [30]:

"Although not strictly speaking ‘legislation’ it is reasonable to apply the principles applicable to the interpretation of ambiguous provisions in legislation which is beneficial.

"In interpreting beneficial legislation any ambiguity in the provisions should be construed beneficially, and resolve in favour of the intended beneficiary: Bull v AG (NSW) (1913) 17 CLR 370; 14 SR (NSW) 179.

"Bull was cited in Kajic v Hawker De Havilland Aerospace Pty Ltd [2009] NSW WCC PD 136. President Judge Keating was that case considering the WorkCover Guidelines For the Provision of Domestic Assistance made pursuant to s.60AA(3) of the 1987 Act.

At paragraph 34 he said:

“In my view the issue concerning the construction of the statutory provision and the subordinate legislation constituted by the relevant WorkCover Guidelines is both novel and complex, and in the absence of any prior authority on the issue it is appropriate that leave be given to refer the question of law.”

31. At paragraph 66 his Honour said:

“Workers compensation legislation has long been regarded as beneficial in nature. In beneficial legislation where any ambiguity exists it is to be construed beneficially. True significance of the provision should not be strained or exceeded, but it should be construed so as to give the fullest relief which the fair reading of its language will allow.” 

Also, please see Thompson v Armstrong & Royse PL (1950) 81 CLR 585

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