The High Court of Australia has held by majority that section 7(1) of the Zero and Low Emission Vehicle Distance-based Charge Act 2021 (Vic) (“the ZLEV Charge Act”) is invalid on the basis that it imposes a duty of excise within the meaning of section 90 of the Constitution.

Section 90 provides that the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to impose duties of customs and of excise is exclusive of the powers of the States and self-governing Territories.

Section 7(1) of the ZLEV Charge Act requires the registered operator of a zero or low emissions vehicle to pay a charge for use of the zero or low emissions vehicle on specified roads (“the ZLEV charge”).

The judgement is available here, summary here.

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