This week in Parliament: 11-13 August 2020

Bills introduced

The following Bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
  • Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
  • Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 2020.

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced by Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations, on 12 August 2020.

The Bill has been referred to the Education, Employment and Small Business Committee. Submissions on this Bill are due 25 September 2020 at 5pm. Information on the committee inquiry is available here.

The Bill seeks to amend the:

  • Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 and
  • Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014.

As outlined in the explanatory notes:

The objectives of the Bill are to:

  • introduce presumptive workers’ compensation laws for first responders diagnosed with PTSD, and
  • provide an alternative claims pathway for first responders who are struggling to cope with PTSD, which presumes they have a work-related injury unless it is proved their injury was not caused by work.

Read the Bill in full here. See the explanatory notes here.

Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

The Criminal Code (Consent and Mistake of Fact) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced by Yvette D’Ath, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, on 13 August 2020.

The Bill has been referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee and seeks to amend the:

  • Criminal Code 1899
  • Legal Profession Act 2007
  • Interactive Gambling (Player Protection) Act 1998
  • Liquor Act 1992
  • Police Power and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Racing Integrity Act 2016 and
  • Wagering Act 1998.

As outlined in the explanatory notes the leading objective of the Bill is to make amendments to the Criminal Code following the Queensland Law Reform Commissions (QLRC) report on the ‘Review of consent laws and the excuse of mistake of fact’. The nature of these amendments is to clarify the Criminal Code to reflect the development of its application found within the relevant proceeding case law.

The Bill also amends the Legal Profession Act 2007 in respect of the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund and makes amendments to the other statutes listed above to give effect to the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Policy.

Read the Bill in full here. See the explanatory notes here. See the QLRC report here.

Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 2020

The Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced by Yvette D’Ath, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, on 13 August 2020. The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. On 14 August 2020, the Attorney-General advised that the Bill was withdrawn (see media statement here).

The Bill sought to amend the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

According to the explanatory notes, the policy objectives of the Bill were to amend the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 to implement the recommendations of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) relating to the publicising of allegations and complaints in the following reports:

  • Publicising allegations of corrupt conduct: Is it in the Public Interest?, December 2016 (CCC’s 2016 report); and
  • An investigation into allegations relating to the appointment of a school principal, July 2020 (CCC’s 2020 report).

Read the Bill in full here. See the explanatory notes here.

Read Proctor Online article, ‘When two rights collide – the failure of the Crime and Corruption Amendment Bill 2020’.

Legislation passed this Parliament

The following legislation was passed by the Legislative Assembly:

  • Biodiscovery and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
  • Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020
  • Forest Wind Farm Development Bill 2020
  • Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
  • Queensland Future Fund Bill 2020
  • Royalty Legislation Amendment Bill 2020.

Biodiscovery and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

The Biodiscovery and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 26 November 2019 by Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts, and was passed without amendment on 11 August 2020. The legislation is yet to be proclaimed.

The Act amends the:

  • Biodiscovery Act 2004, and
  • Right to Information Act 2009.

As outlined in the explanatory notes and the inquiry homepage, the Bill:

  • recognises and protects traditional knowledge used for biodiscovery by providing for consent to be provided, and benefit sharing on mutually agreed terms, to be negotiated with traditional knowledge custodians prior to commencing biodiscovery activities, where traditional knowledge is to be used in the biodiscovery
  • simplifies approvals under the Biodiscovery Act 2004 (the Act) by removing the requirement for a biodiscovery entity to apply for and obtain an approved biodiscovery plan, on the basis that information contained in the biodiscovery plan is provided in the application for a collection authority, or in the negotiation of a benefit sharing agreement with the state, and
  • clarifies the relationship between the Act and relevant international protocols by:

    • recognising that the Nagoya Protocol is the relevant international agreement under the CBD to which the Act gives effect, to the extent it concerns native biological material and traditional knowledge in Queensland, and
    • clarifying that plants listed under Annex 1 and subject to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations International Treaty on Plant and Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the FAO Treaty) are exempt from the Act under certain circumstances.

Read the Bill as introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See the details of Innovation, Tourism Development and Environment Committee inquiry here.

Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

The Environmental Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 18 June 2020 by Leeanne Enoch MP, Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts and was passed with amendment on 11 August 2020. The legislation is yet to be proclaimed.

The Bill amends the:

  • Environmental Protection Act 1994
  • Mineral and Energy Resources (Financial Provisioning) Act 2018
  • Water Act 2000
  • Environmental Protection Regulation 2019, and
  • Environmental Protection (Water and Wetland Biodiversity) Policy 2019.

As outlined in the explanatory notes and the inquiry homepage, the Bill is intended to:

  • provide for the statutory appointment of a Rehabilitation Commissioner with specific functions including providing advice on rehabilitation or best practice management of land, and facilitating better public reporting on rehabilitation, and
  • clarify and enhance the residual risk framework to better manage risks on sites after an environmental authority for a resource activity has been surrendered.

Read the Bill as introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See the QLS submission on the Bill as introduced here. See details on the Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee inquiry here.

The Bill was subject to amendment during consideration in detail. The amendments were to ensure that the policy objectives of the legislation were achieved by clarifying the intent of provisions relating to noting the existence of residual risks on land title and the intent for provision for land to be taken for koala conservation in the regional landscape and rural production area as intended.

Read the amendments to the Bill here. See the explanatory notes to the amendments here.

Forest Wind Farm Development Bill 2020

The Forest Wind Farm Development Bill 2020 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 20 May 2020 by Kate Jones MP, Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation, and was passed with amendment on 12 August 2020. The legislation is yet to be proclaimed.

The Bill  amends the:

  • Forestry Act 1959
  • Land Act 1994, and
  • Planning Act 2016.

As outlined in the explanatory notes and the inquiry homepage, the Bill intends to achieve its policy objectives by:

  • exempting the development from, or modifying the application of, certain sections of the Forestry Act and Land Act
  • limiting the development to the project area within the Toolara, Tuan and Neerdie state forests
  • providing a pathway for the proponent of a development agreement to obtain tenure to access, occupy, develop and manage the land for the purpose of developing and operating the project, including conditions precedent to tenure
  • providing that compensation is not otherwise payable by or on behalf of the State in relation to the enactment or operation of the proposed Bill, and
  • requiring the plantation licensee’s compliance with its remediation responsibilities in the project area, as a condition of its tenure.

Read the Bill  as introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See details of the State Development, Tourism, Innovation and Manufacturing Committee inquiry here.

The Bill was subject to amendment during consideration in detail. The amendments were to address recommendations made by the committee pertaining to the Springfield Structural Plan. Further amendments were made based on these three matters raised in submissions to the committee:

  • clarify and limit the scope of proposed section 275W(1) of the Planning Act 2016 (clause 75 of the Bill), setting out infrastructure-related assessment criteria for the local government, to more closely reflect the scope of assessment under the current SSP
  • provide for the following three minor exceptions under proposed section 275ZB of the Planning Act 2016 (clause 75 of the Bill), which prevents development starting until all required plans are in effect. The exceptions are all currently provided for under the SSP:

    • approval of an area development plan endorsed ‘For Reconfiguration Purposes Only’ to facilitate creation of ‘superlots’ which may be on-sold for development, subject to the requirement that a further area development plan must be approved before development other than the reconfiguration may occur
    • approval of ‘interim uses’ specified under the SSP, section 2.6, and
    • approval of particular operational work in accordance with engineering drawings, provided for under the SSP, section 10.2.1.
  • provide additional transitional arrangements in relation to an area development plan application made under the SSP but not decided before 20 May 2020 (introduction of the Bill) to exclude any approval of the area development plan from the effect of proposed section 275ZB of the Planning Act 2016 (clause 75 of the Bill) which prevents development starting until all required plans under the SSP are in effect.

Read the amendments to the Bill here. See the explanatory notes to the amendments here.

Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

The Health Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on 28 November 2019 by Dr Steven Miles, Deputy Premier, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services and was passed with amendment on 13 August 2020.

The Bill amends the Ambulance Service Act 1991, Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011, Queensland Mental Health Commission Act 2013, Private Health Facilities Act 1999, Public Health Act 2005, Private Health Facilities Regulation 2016 and Public Health Regulation 2018

According to the explanatory notes and inquiry homepage, these amendments are to implement policy initiatives and improve the effective operation of the legislation as follows:

  • the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 to:
    • strengthen networked governance in Queensland’s public health system by requiring hospital and health services and hospital and health boards to have regard to the effective and efficient use of resources for the public sector health system as a whole, and the best interests of patients and other users of health services throughout Queensland, and
    • strengthen the commitment to health equity for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people and strengthen the capability and effectiveness of Hospital and Health Boards by:
      • including as a guiding principle a commitment to achieving health equity and delivery of responsive, capable and culturally competent health care to Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people
      • requiring each hospital and health service to have a strategy for achieving health equity for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people, and
      • requiring each hospital and health board to have one or more Aboriginal persons and/or Torres Strait Islander persons as members
    • allow the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service within Queensland Health to disclose root cause analysis reports about reportable events to quality assurance committees, and
    • make minor technical amendments
  • the Ambulance Service Act 1991, to complement the amendment to the Hospital and Health Boards Act, to recognise the Queensland Ambulance Service and Hospital and Health Services have mutual obligations to collaborate
  • the Public Health Act 2005 to:
    • prohibit the practice of conversion therapy by health service providers in Queensland
    • repeal redundant provisions for the Queensland Pap Smear Register, which has been replaced by the National Cancer Screening Register, and
    • correct a minor drafting error in the legislative requirements for Water Risk Management Plans
  • the Public Health Regulation 2018, to repeal redundant provisions for the Queensland Pap Smear Register
  • the Private Health Facilities Act 1999, to align the conditions of licence for private health facilities in Queensland with requirements under the nationally adopted Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation Scheme
  • the Private Health Facilities Regulation 2016, to support amendments to the Private Health Facilities Act to align conditions of licence for private health facilities in Queensland, and
  • the Queensland Mental Health Commission Act 2013, to clarify the Mental Health Commission’s powers to employ staff and to allow the commissioner to be appointed for a term of up to five years.

Read the Bill as introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See details of the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee inquiry here.

QLS made a submission to this inquiry focusing on the amendments to the Public Health Act 2005 in respect of the prohibiting conversion therapy. The QLS submission is available here and transcript of our public hearing appearance is available here.

The Bill was subject to amendments during consideration in detail. The committee recommended that the Bill be amended to provide additional clarity about the definition of conversion therapy and remove any potential doubt about the scope of practices prohibited by the legislation. This was one of the concerns raised by QLS. Amendments to new section 213F of the Public Health Act 2005 now provide examples of prohibited conversion therapy practices and also describes a number of practices that are not conversion therapy. Further, an exception of reasonable professional judgment has been inserted.

Read the full list of amendments to the Act here. See the explanatory notes to the amendments here.

Queensland Future Fund Bill 2020

The Queensland Future Fund Bill 2020 was introduced on 14 July 2020 by Cameron Dick MP, Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and was passed without amendment on 13 August 2020. The legislation is yet to be proclaimed.

In accordance with Standing Order 137, the Bill was declared urgent and referred to the Economics and Governance Committee for consideration and report.

The Bill amends the:

  • Financial Accountability Act 2009, and
  • Superannuation (State Public Sector) Act 1990

The objectives of the Bill, as outlined in the explanatory notes and inquiry homepage, are to:

  • establish a Queensland Future Fund under an Act of Parliament, replicating, as far as possible, the legislative model set up by the NSW Generations Funds Act 2018
  • establish the first Queensland Future Fund, the ‘Queensland Future (Debt Retirement) Fund’ (Debt Retirement Fund), to quarantine funding to reduce the debt of the state
  • enable the establishment of other Queensland Future Funds and provide for the ongoing administration of Queensland Future Funds, and
  • provide an additional guarantee of the state’s defined benefit liabilities.

Read the Bill as introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See details of the Economics and Governance Committee inquiry here.

Royalty Legislation Amendment Bill 2020

The Royalty Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced on 16 July 2020 by Cameron Dick, Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, and was passed with amendment on 13 August 2020. The legislation is yet to be proclaimed.

In accordance with Standing Order 137, the Bill was declared urgent and referred to the Economics and Governance Committee for consideration and report.

The Act amends the:

  • Betting Tax Act 2018
  • Judicial Review Act 1991
  • Mineral Resources Act 1989
  • Mineral Resources Regulation 2013
  • Payroll Tax Act 1971
  • Petroleum Act 1923
  • Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004
  • Petroleum and Gas (Royalty) Regulation 2004
  • Taxation Administration Act 2001, and
  • Taxation Administration Regulation 2012.

The explanatory notes and inquiry homepage advise that the policy objectives of the Bill are to:

  • amend the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Petroleum and Gas Act) and the Petroleum and Gas (Royalty) Regulation 2004 (Petroleum and Gas Regulation) to implement a new basis for imposing petroleum royalties, and make consequential changes to the Mineral Resources Regulation 2013 (Mineral Resources Regulation), and
  • amend the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Mineral Resources Act), Mineral Resources Regulation, Petroleum and Gas Act, Petroleum and Gas Regulation, Taxation Administration Act 2001 (Taxation Administration Act) and Taxation Administration Regulation 2012, to implement the Royalty Administration Modernisation (RAM) program.

The aim of the RAM program is to apply the Taxation Administration Act revenue framework to the administration of mineral and petroleum royalties, thereby aligning the administration of these royalty regimes with that of other state revenue laws.

To support the adoption of the Taxation Administration Act for royalties, the Bill also:

  • makes consequential amendments to the Judicial Review Act 1991 to extend exemptions from the requirement to provide a statement of reasons for certain royalty decisions, and to the Petroleum Act 1923, and
  • amends the Betting Tax Act 2018 and Payroll Tax Act 1971 to make beneficial changes to their refund provisions, consistent with amendments being made for royalty administration.

Read the Bill has introduced here. See the explanatory notes here. See details of the Economics and Governance Committee inquiry here.

The Bill was subject to amendments during consideration in detail. Amendments were made to implement the petroleum royalty volume model, and also amend the Duties Act 2001 andthe First Home Owner Grant Act 2000.

Read the full list of amendments here. See the explanatory notes to the amendments here.

Anti-Discrimination (Right to use Gender-Specific Language) Amendment Bill 2018

The Anti-Discrimination (Right to use Gender-Specific Language) Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced on 19 September 2018 by Robert Katter MP, Member for Traeger. The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee for inquiry. The Bill failed at 2nd reading on 11 August 2020.

Read the Bill here. See the explanatory notes here.

Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland Legislation notified in 2020 is available online here.

Subordinate Legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 24 July 2020 to 17 August 2020:

Queensland Government Gazette

Issues of the Queensland Government Gazette for 2020 are available online here.

Parliamentary sitting dates

As indicated on the parliamentary website (linked here), the Queensland Parliament is currently scheduled to sit on the following dates for the remainder of 2020:

8 to 10 September
6 October (Dissolution of Parliament)
1 to 3 December
8 to 10 December (tentative).

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