The Commonwealth Parliament and Western Australia parliament passed respective legislation, which are contradictory in terms of the trade relations with Chinese and USA companies. Subsequently, the United States of American Company of Shipping (USACS) and Chinese shipping operators suffered from this conflict. Precisely, the Western Australia parliament enacted the Port State Agreement Act 2017. The legislation is intended to limit its trade ties with China since many Western Australian were concerned about China’s influence.
Moreover, the law intended to eliminate Western Australia’s trade dependence on China. More importantly, the statute tends to create favourable trade environment for USACS ships as opposed to China. On the contrary, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Lighthouse Radio Replacement Trial Act 2017, which aims at promoting trade between the country and China by hindering trade deals with the USACS. Similarly, the Act neutralizes the effects of laws passed by the Western Australia parliament. The Commonwealth legislation will strongly support Chinese operators and substantially impede the business operations of USACS with a possibility of being quite disastrous to USACS.
A conflict emerged between the Western Australian government and the Commonwealth authority after the enactment of legislation by the federal and territorial national assemblies. Precisely, the legislations passed by the respective parliaments support divergent trade interests in respect to USA Company of shipping or Chinese operators. The disagreement arises because the Commonwealth government planned to facilitate the trade between Australia and China while on the other hand, Western Australia aimed to create new business ties with the USACS. The territorial government was reacting to public misinformation campaign launched by the Islamic Republic Inducing State (IRIS), which is a splinter group of Islamic State (ISIS). Therefore, the IRIS formulated policies and strategies to undermine their enemies. Therefore, they desired to weaken Australia by interfering with its affairs with China. The IRIS used different TV commercials to introduce public propaganda that greatly inspired concerns among many Western Australia about the influence of China. Consequently, by 2014, the majority of the population had deep-rooted distrust towards the Chinese. As a result, the Western Australian authorities started to destroy the business ties with China. In this regard, the Port State Agreement Act 2017(PSAGA) was passed under the new administration, which tried to reduce the state’s ties with China. The statute attempted to strengthen a State agreement that gives precedence in port access to ships servicing the USA.
Section 8 of PSAGA Schedule 1 legislation describes that the State Agreement is between the State Executive and a large shipping company, the USA Company of shipping (USACS). Therefore, the trade Agreement is referred to as the USACS Agreement under Schedule 1, which gives trading precedence to USACS. Therefore, the American Corporation enjoys 50 per cent reduced port fees while Chinese ship servicing fees are raised by 100 per cent.
On the other hand, the Commonwealth Parliament enacts the Lighthouse Radio Replacement Trial Act 2017, which encourages installation of the Radio Vlight’s system. The new system generates two serious problems. Initially, it depends on all ships in the area having functional radio equipment. However, USACS lacks dependable radio because it is one of the mechanisms they reduce the cost of operation. Secondly, the new system assumes the ships’ navigators or captains have an effective understanding of coordinate, and have practical numeracy skills. Subsequently, all these conditions are regarded as safe for Chinese vessels although they are insecure for USACS.
The Australian Constitution provides various provisions, which defines the powers of both the Commonwealth Parliament and state’s Legislative assemblies in the country (Keyzer, 2013). The constitution creates a parliamentary system in the country and delivers process to guarantee that the legislature does not pass statutes beyond its authority. Section 51 of Australian Constitution awards Australian Parliament its legislative powers (Saunders & Stone, (Eds.) 2018). There are various subsections each defining a ‘head of power’ that endow the Commonwealth Parliament to create legislation. The Commonwealth legislative authority is restricted under the constitution. In this regard, the powers not stipulated in section 51 are regarded as ‘residual powers’ (Aroney, Gerangelos, Murray & Stellios, 2015). States such as Western Australia use the residual powers. Furthermore, the Western Australian Parliament can legislate on the issues covered in Section 51 but the statute could be rendered ineffective should it be incoherent with or in an area constituted by Commonwealth legislation (Ratnapala & Crowe, 2012).
More importantly, Section 51 (vii) gives the Commonwealth Parliament supremacies to legislate on buoys, beacons, lightships and lighthouses (Rasnic, 2016). Precisely, pursuant to law, a lighthouse is a building, tower, or any structure developed to produce light from a structure of lenses and lamps and can be used to assist maritime pilots to navigate on inland waterways or o