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Parliamentary update: 14 to 16 September 2021

Queensland Parliament sat from 14 to 16 September 2021.

Legislation passed this Parliament

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 25 May 2021 by the Premier and Minister for Trade, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and was passed without amendment on 16 September 2021.

The Act creates access to voluntary assisted dying in Queensland and amends the Coroners Act 2003, the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000, the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and the Powers of Attorney Act 1998.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objective of the Act is to establish a legal framework for voluntary assisted dying in Queensland, allowing eligible people who are suffering and dying to choose the timing and circumstances of their death. The Bill establishes a voluntary assisted dying scheme in Queensland based on the recommendations of the report by the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC), ‘A legal framework for voluntary assisted dying’ (Report No.79) and draft QLRC legislation.

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Bills introduced

The following Bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021
  • Police Legislation (Efficiencies and Effectiveness) Amendment Bill 2021
  • Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Appropriation (Parliament) Bill (No.2) 2021
  • Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2021

Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021

The Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 15 September 2021 by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Legal Affairs and Safety Committee.

The Bill seeks to amend the:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Rules 2014
  • Liquor Act 1992
  • Oaths Act 1867
  • Powers of Attorney Act 1998
  • Property Law Act 1974
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
  • Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020
  • Other legislation as mentioned in schedule 1.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objectives of the Bill are to make permanent particular temporary measures introduced during the COVID-19 emergency, including certain measures in the:

  • Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response – Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2019 (the DO Regulation), and
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (the DFV COVID Regulation).

The Bill also extends the expiry of the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020.

Some of the proposed permanent measures include amending:

  • the Oaths Act 1867 to permanently retain certain modified arrangements for the making of affidavits, statutory declarations and oaths as provided for under the DO Regulation, and extend some of those reforms to affidavits, declarations and oaths made in person to provide equal treatment for paper-based and computer-based documentation for transactional economy and efficiency
  • the Powers of Attorney Act 1998 to permanently retain certain modified arrangements for the making of general powers of attorney for corporations, and extend some of those reforms to general powers of attorney for partnerships and unincorporated associations
  • the Property Law Act 1974 to permanently retain certain modified arrangements for the making of deeds and extend some of those reforms to deeds for partnerships and unincorporated associations
  • the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 and the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Rules 2014 to permanently retain the option to use the alternative arrangements provided under the DFV COVID Regulation in particular circumstances
  • the Liquor Act to permanently retain aspects of the current temporary arrangements under Part 10A by allowing holders of a subsidiary on-premises licence (meals), to which section 67A applies (licensed restaurants), to sell up to 1.5 litres of takeaway wine with a takeaway meal, and
  • the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 to allow a regulation made under section 23 before the COVID-19 expiry day to remain on foot until up to two years after that date.

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Police Legislation (Efficiencies and Effectiveness) Amendment Bill 2021

The Police Legislation (Efficiencies and Effectiveness) Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 16 September 2021 by the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Legal Affairs and Safety Committee.

The Bill seeks to amend the Oaths Act 1867, the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (PPRA), the Police Service Administration Act 1990, the Police Service Administration Regulation 2016 and the Weapons Act 1990.

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

  • improve the delivery of policing services
  • reduce administrative processes
  • streamline police operations
  • increase productivity, and
  • improve the detection, prevention and disruption of crime.

The Bill proposes to authorise senior policy officers to witness specified affidavits made by other police officers in relation to proving the service of documents, certain bail proceedings and certain sworn applications under section 801(4)(a) (Steps after issue of prescribed authority) of the PPRA. The Bill also includes amendments in relation to access orders to be made for a digital device lawfully seized under the PPRA.

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Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 15 September 2021 by the Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Leanne Linard.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Community Support and Services Committee.

The Bill seeks to amend the Adoption Act 2009, the Child Protection Act 1999, the Child Protection Regulation 2011, the Disability Services Act 2006, the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000, and other legislation as listed in schedule 1 of the Bill.

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

  • reinforce children’s rights in the legislative framework
  • strengthen children’s voices in decisions that affect them, and
  • streamline, clarify and improve the regulation of care.

The Bill also:

  • amends the Adoption Act 2009 to resolve technical issues relating to delegations under the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 (Cth), and
  • amends the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening Act) 2000 to provide a legislative basis for the chief executive (working with children) to request domestic violence information from the Queensland Police Commissioner for the purposes of blue card assessments.

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Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021

The Criminal Law (Raising the Age of Responsibility) Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced by Michael Berkman on 15 September 2021 as a private member’s bill.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Community Support and Services Committee.

The Bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code and the Youth Justice Act 1992.

As outlined in the explanatory notes, the objective of the Bill is to ensure children under 14 years of age are not incarcerated or otherwise punished under the criminal legal system, consistent with current medical understanding of child development and contemporary human rights standards.

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Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Police Powers and Responsibilities and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 15 September 2021 by the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Legal Affairs and Safety Committee.

The Bill seeks to amend the:

  • Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004
  • Corrective Services Act 2006
  • Corrective Services and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2020
  • Corrective Services (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Regulation 2012
  • Police Service Administration Act 1990
  • Terrorism (Preventative Detention) Act 2005
  • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.

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

  • reduce knife crime by expanding the police banning notice regime to apply to a person (adult) who unlawfully possesses a knife in a relevant public place
  • limit re-traumatisation of victims’ families and friends by introducing a new framework for parole decisions about a life-sentenced prisoner who has committed multiple murders or who has murdered a child
  • strengthen the ‘no body, no parole’ framework to incentivise earlier prisoner co-operation to locate a homicide victim’s remains
  • provide the Parole Board Queensland with greater flexibility to respond to increased workload and the risks different prisoners pose to community safety
  • create administrative and operational efficiencies for the Queensland Police Service (QPS), enhance intelligence gathering about dangerous drugs and ensure Commonwealth child sexual abuse offences are updated in Queensland legislation, and
  • create indictable offences for wilfully and unlawfully killing or seriously injuring a Queensland Corrective Services dog, or QPS dog or horse, reflecting the seriousness of the offences in line with community expectations.

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Appropriation (Parliament) Bill (No.2) 2021

The Appropriation (Parliament) Bill (No.2) 2021 was introduced on 15 September 2021 by the Treasurer and Minister for Investment, Cameron Dick.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Economics and Governance Committee.

The Bill authorises the Treasurer to pay an amount from the consolidated fund for the Legislative Assembly and parliamentary service for the financial year starting 1 July 2020.

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Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2021

The Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2021 was introduced on 15 September 2021 by the Treasurer and Minister for Investment, Cameron Dick.

The Bill has been referred to the parliamentary Economics and Governance Committee.

The Bill authorises the Treasurer to pay amounts from the consolidated fund for particular departments for the financial year starting 1 July 2020.

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Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland legislation notified in 2021 is available online.

Subordinate legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 4 September 2021 to 17 September 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 12 to 14 October 2021.

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