Parliamentary update: 20 to 22 April 2021

Queensland Parliament sat from 20 to 22 April 2021 (inclusive).

Bills introduced

The following Bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Defamation (Model Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Environmental and Other Legislation (Reversal of Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) Amendment Bill 2021
  • Queensland Veterans’ Council Bill 2021

Defamation (Model Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Defamation (Model Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman MP, on 20 April 2021.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Legal Affairs and Safety Committee. See the committee inquiry page for more information.

The Bill seeks to amend the Defamation Act 2005, the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and the Limitation of Actions Act 1974.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to amend the Defamation Act 2005 and the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 to implement the Model Defamation Amendment Provisions 2020. It also proposes to repeal sections 10 and 11 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019 as the issues addressed through these provisions will instead be resolved as part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law Review.

Useful links:

Environmental and Other Legislation (Reversal of Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) Amendment Bill 2021

The Environmental and Other Legislation (Reversal of Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced by Nicholas Dametto MP, Member for Hinchinbrook, on 21 April 2021.

The Bill has been referred to the Health and Environment Committee. See the committee inquiry page for more information.

The Bill seeks to amend the Chemical Usage (Agricultural and Veterinary) Control Act 1988 and the Environmental Protection Act 1994.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objective of the Bill is to repeal a number of amendments made by the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2019. The Bill also seeks to:

  • Establish an independent regulator for the industry to advise the Minister when making a new environmentally relevant activity (ERA) standard and would oversee the administering of offences when a person commits and offence with respect to fertiliser application.
  • Introduce an enforceable undertaking so that there is no financial penalty for a person committing a first offence.
  • Mandate that the Minister publish on the department’s website a copy of each ERA standard made by the Minister and the recommendations by the independent regulator in relation to the ERA standard.

Useful links:

Queensland Veterans’ Council Bill 2021

The Queensland Veterans’ Council Bill 2021 was introduced by the Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, on 22 April 2021.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Community Support and Services Committee. See the committee inquiry page for more information.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objective of the Bill is to establish the Queensland Veterans’ Council (QVC) as a statutory body. The QVC would have three areas of responsibility:

  • Trustee of Anzac Square under the Land Act 1994 and the ongoing management and operation of Anzac Square
  • The functions of the Board of Trustees under the Anzac Day Act 1995, and
  • Providing advice to government on veterans’ matters.

Useful links:

Legislation passed this Parliament

The following were passed by the Legislative Assembly

  • Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 25 February 2021 by the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan MP, and was passed with amendment on 22 April 2021.

The Bill amends the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Police Powers and responsibilities Act 2000 and the Youth Justice Act 1992.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to:

  • Respond to offending behaviours of serious recidivist youth offenders, by targeting in particular:
    • knife-related crime in Safe Night Precincts, and
    • ‘hooning offences’.
  • Strengthen the youth justice bail framework by:
    • introducing a trial of electronic monitoring devices as a condition of bail for some offenders aged 16 and 17 years old
    • permitting the court or a police officer to take into consideration, when determining whether to grant bail, whether a parent, guardian or other person has indicated willingness to support the young person to comply with their bail conditions, advise of any changes in circumstances that may impact the offender’s ability to comply with the bail conditions, or advise of any breaches of bail
    • creating a presumption against bail for certain young offenders
    • clarifying that, although a lack of accommodation and/or family support is a consideration that bail decision-makers can take into account, it cannot be the sole reason for keeping a child in custody.

The Bill was amended during consideration in detail to ensure the electronic monitoring provisions can operate effectively and efficiently. According to the explanatory notes for the amendments, these objectives are achieved by amending the new section 52AA of the Youth Justice Act 1992 (which is inserted by clause 26 of the Bill) to:

  • provide that a court must consider making an order that the child be detained in custody until the monitoring device is fitted to the child
  • provide that the court may impose any other conditions the court considers necessary to facilitate the operation of the monitoring device, and
  • provide that, for the purposes of the new section 52AA, the child may be detained in custody only for the purpose of fitting the monitoring device and for the least time justified in the circumstances.

The amendments also change some terminology in the Bill.

Useful links:

More information on youth justice in Queensland can be found on QLS Proctor.

COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021

The COVID-19 Emergency Response and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 11 March 2021 by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman MP.

The Bill was declared an urgent Bill and referred to the parliamentary Economics and Governance Committee for its consideration and report by 14 April 2021. The Act was passed without amendment on 20 April 2021 and received assent on 23 April 2021.

The Act amends the:

  • Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
  • City of Brisbane Act 2010
  • City of Brisbane Regulation 2012
  • COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020
  • Economic Development (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
  • Environmental Protection Act 1994
  • Gaming Machine Act 1991
  • Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Proceedings and Other Matters) Regulation 2020
  • Local Government Act 2009
  • Local Government Electoral Act 2011
  • Local Government Regulation 2012, and
  • State Penalties Enforcement Regulation 2014.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Act are to:

  • extend the operation of various legislative measures to respond to other impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency (COVID-19 legislation), to apply up to 30 September 2021, or on an earlier date as prescribed
  • allow local governments to decide, by resolution at a meeting other than a budget meeting, what rates and charges are to be levied for the 2021-22 financial year (including providing for decisions to be revisited later during the year)
  • provide for various measures to facilitate the holding of local government by-elections and fresh elections in a way that helps minimise serious risks to the health and safety of persons cause by the COVID-19 public health emergency, including providing for penalty infringement notices to be issued for certain electoral offences, and
  • extend the operation of temporary local government and committee meeting provisions which allow such meetings to be held via audio/audio visual link, allow meetings to be closed to the public for health and safety reasons associated with COVID-19, and require real-time public viewing or listening to meetings where audio visual links are used.

Useful links:

Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland legislation notified in 2021 is available online.

Subordinate legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 27 March 2021 to 23 April 2021.

Queensland Government Gazette

The Queensland Government Gazettes for 2021 are available online.

Parliamentary sitting dates

As indicated on the parliamentary website, the Queensland Parliament is currently scheduled to next sit on 11 to 13 May 2021.

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