Sydney Observatory - Wikipedia
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Gina Miller's team are arguing the Ponsonby Rule meaning the Government must put any changes to an international treaty before Parliament 21 days before it is ratified. Mr Chambers QC says this is a valuable and necessary check on the Government's power. He said if Theresa May decides to bypass Parliament it would "rob" the country of due process.
He said Mr Short - who was leader of the House of Commons under Harold Wilson - told MPs the referendum was entirely consistent with parliamentary sovereignty and while government was "bound by its result, Parliament cannot be bound".
This case is breaking new ground in highlighting to the public and then clearly defining the issue of the power of the executive in a way that has arguably never been done before. He raises parliamentary sovereignty and is adamant no individual or collective, other than parliament itself, can overrule an act of parliament. The executive cannot alter domestic law by the use of prerogative without authorisation from parliament.
Lady Hale asked if she had been pronouncing the words 'De Keyser' wrong all her life, in relation to the De Keyser legislation that was used by the Government as evidence of prerogative rights being utilised.
Lord Pannick offered to change his pronunciation, saying: I ask the court to emphasise that legal limits to ministers' powers are to be limited by an act of parliament. Lord Pannick gets a bit hot under the collar. He is becoming increasingly frustrated with the judges asking whether the Referendum Act allows Government to use its prerogative to invoke Article 50 autonimously. It's a constitutional solecism that the court could divine an intention in the act without focusing on the language of it.
He is holding him to task on one of the key issues surrounding this case and, indeed, the point it may hinge on. Was Parliament not handing over its rights to make decisions or influence Government action by holding a referendum? Had they not handed that decision over to the public? A thinly veiled attempt to prove that the law lords really are patriotic after all the vitriol surrounding their alleged links to Europe?
In order for David Davis to invoke Article 50 he must seek Parliamentary approval because he would be simultaneously having a massive impact on British law, argues Lord Pannick. Gina Miller's mouthpiece pointed the judges in the direction of a document submitted by the Government's legal team written by David Davis. He makes the point that the ECA was designed to supersede any legislation that came after it.
This extension, together with the adjacent signal station give the site its present symmetrical perimeter. The Astrographic Catalogue was Russell's greatest commitment and would affect programs at the observatory for 80 years. His interest in the application of photography to astronomy and a visit to Paris in prompted Russell to take part in a "great star catalogue".
The Sydney Zone of the catalogue was a massive logistical enterprise and was not practically completed until Russell died in after taking leave for an extended period of time due to ill health.
His assistant Alfred Lenehan was appointed acting Government Astronomer during this period and later Government Astronomer in However, in a premier's conference resolved that the Commonwealth Government would take over meteorological work, leaving astronomy to the states. Thus, the meteorological section of the Observatory became a Commonwealth agency under the direction of a former officer of the Observatory, Henry Hunt.
Lenehan and Hunt continuously quarrelled and did not develop a good working relationship. At the same time the Commonwealth agency was installed in the Observatory residence. William Edward Raymond, the officer responsible for transit work, became officer in charge for four years, until the appointment of William Ernest Cooke in Cooke was lured to Sydney from Perth Observatory with promises of a new site located in Wahroongah, then free of city lights and traffic, the purchase of modern instruments and a world trip to investigate the latest developments.
None of these eventuated during Cooke's fourteen years at the observatory.
ARTICLE 50 BREXIT JUDGEMENT: Gina Miller's lawyers blast Government in Supreme Court
In the board of visitors to the Observatory was reconstituted. Russell had allowed it to lapse during his term of office and in the residence was again inhabited by the Astronomer. All government astronomers from Scott to Cooke were worried about increasing levels of city light, vibration from traffic and magnetic disturbance which rendered the Flagstaff Hill site increasingly unsuitable.
Recommendations had been made by Smalley in and others in the first quarter of the twentieth century. While Russell had managed to have the astrographic telescope relocated to Pennant Hillsthere was general worry over the reaction to the cost of relocation of the whole observatory. In July Cooke wrote to his minister pointing out the problems at the site and with the equipment.We're the Millers Extended Bloopers & Gag Reel (2013)
The State Cabinet took him at his word and in October decided to close the Observatory rather than face the cost of removal and re-equipment. However, protests from the Board of Visitors, the Royal Society of NSW, the NSW Branch of the British Astronomical Association, the University of Sydney and interested members of the public caused the Government to change its mind and allow the observatory to continue - but with a heavily reduced staff and program.
Most of the staff were transferred to other departments and Cooke was retired the following year. Only the time ball and completion of the astrographic program survived. This experience inhibited later Government Astronomers in their arguments for a new site.
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The deployment of major resources to the astrographic program became something of an incubus as the twentieth century progressed. The Government Astronomers could not suspend or abort the program even if they had thought it desirable. At the same time the fulfilment of international obligations under the program was largely instrumental in the survival of the Observatory.
Other fundamental reasons also contributed to the notion that the Observatory was no longer a viable proposition. The transfer of meteorology to the Commonwealth in removed the Observatory's most high profile public service, electric telegraphy and radio had reduced and in time eliminated the need for local navigational and time services.
Ambient city light was starting to restrict astronomical observation though the place was still suitable for the time consuming analysis of the observations and other astronomical work together with functions such as a public observatory and a centre for public and media enquiries.
Without major capital funds to develop its own specialisations in the west, Sydney remained tied to its traditional role. Despite this there was some positive activity at the Observatory. During the s and s under Wood, the Observatory enjoyed a modest renaissance. Staff numbers were built up and new equipment acquired. Both the Sydney and Melbourne sections of the Astrographic catalogue were completed and published.
A new domed building was constructed in the south east corner of the Observatory to house the Melbourne star camera that replaced the original Sydney one. A new survey of the southern sky was commenced and by Wood's successor William Robertson had completed the photography and measurement was underway. Education was another aspect of the observatory's work that Wood developed.
Always one of its aims, increasing numbers of visitors, including teaching students, attended the Observatory. Wood's annual reports failed to help this. They did not communicate any sense of excitement and worth in the Observatory. The Chairman of the Board of Visitors wrote a letter to the Premier in urging the establishment of a remote observing site for the Observatory and stressing the difficulty of the conditions at the existing site. This co-incided with a nation-wide review of astronomy facilities commissioned by the ASA and led by Monash University Professor of Astronomy Kevin Westfold This concluded that astronomy was a federal responsibility and that resources should be allocated to research operations, highlighting radio astronomy.
It should also be noted that the State of NSW was in financial difficulties. This, and likely other pressures, resulted in a letter from the Premier in June announcing his decision to transfer the Observatory to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and discontinue scientific work.
Despite letters from international astronomers, and a concerted offort from now-retired Harley Wood, the Government did not rescind its decision. While the importance of the exterior was recognised, the interior was less fortunate. Work inside the building in the creation of the museum involved the staged removal of almost all instruments, equipment, and furniture and furnishings to the Museum's store. In a major stonemasonry repair project on the observatory building commenced.
This continued through to In the conservation plan was updated by Kerr, this time complimentary on the relocation and interpretation of the instruments. Thousands of people came to the Observatory to view these through telescopes and to see relevant exhibitions. Further the Observatory provided information about these events to many more people either directly or through the media.
Original fort footings were uncovered and the base of a room which was once a bombproof inside the fort wall foundations. Furthermore the Astrographic dome and instruments have been returned by Macquarie University to the Museum store where they are awaiting conservation and a Heritage NSW approved structure on the Observatory site. There are two telescope domes on octagonal bases and a four-storey tower for the time-ball.
The building designed by the Colonial Architect, Alexander Dawsoncomprised a dome to house the equatorial telescopea room with long, narrow windows for the transit telescopean office for calculations, and a residence for the astronomer. A western wing was added in with office and library space and a second dome for another telescope. Some of the first astronomical photographs of the southern sky were taken at the observatory, under the direction of Henry Chamberlain Russell.
The observatory also took part in the compilation of the first atlas of the whole sky, The astrographic catalogue. The part completed at Sydney took over 70 years, from toand filled 53 volumes. The observatory once contained offices, instruments, a library and an astronomer's residence. It is now a public observatory and a museum of astronomy and meteorology.
A single storey wing to the north has had a timber balcony verandah with a stone balustrade built above. Windows are of twelve pane type and the doors are six panels. Site known as Citadel Hill. Building work continued untilthen abandoned, with the fort unfinished. Other alterations to residence in All walls were plastered but have been progressively repaired and replaced over the years.
Its dominant location beside and above the port town and, later, City of Sydney made it the site for a range of changing uses, all of which were important to, and reflected, stages in the development of the colony. The surviving structures, both above and below ground, are themselves physical documentary evidence of years changes of use, technical development and ways of living.
As such they are a continuing resource for investigation and public interpretation. Greenway also a convictLewis, Blacket, Weaver, Dawson and Barnet; signallers and telegraphists such as Jones and the family Moffitt; astronomers: Site of the first intercolonial conference on meterology and astronomy.
The structure makes an imposing composition atop the historic hill originally known as Flagstaff Hill and occupies the historic Fort Phillip site Designed by the colonial architect Alexander Dawson and built in The Observatory's dominant location beside and above the port town, and later, city of Sydney, made it the site for a range of changing uses.
All of these were important to, and reflected changes in the development of the colony. The elevation of the site with its harbour and city views and vistas framed by the mature fig trees of the surrounding park, make it one of the most pleasant and spectacular locations.