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Parliamentary update: 16 to 18 November 2021

Queensland Parliament sat from 16 to 18 November 2021.

Bills introduced

The following Bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Food (Labelling of Seafood) Amendment Bill 2021
  • Police Service Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 16 November 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 objectives of the Bill are to:

  • establish a statutory framework that allows protection against the disclosure of the identity of journalists’ confidential informants (known as ‘shield laws’)
  • introduce a legislative framework to support a pilot, enabling video-recorded statements taken by trained police officers to be used as an adult victim’s evidence-in-chief in domestic and family violence-related criminal proceedings
  • provide a specific process for the viewing and examination of the body of a deceased person in a criminal proceeding to implement the Queensland Government’s response to ‘Recommendation 2’ in the findings of the inquest into the disappearance and death of Daniel James Morcombe
  • clarify the operation of computer warrants in relation to bail
  • enable service as a magistrate in Toowoomba to constitute regional experience for the purpose of a transfer decision under the Magistrates Act 1991.

The Bill amends:

  • Bail Act 1980
  • Criminal Code Act 1899
  • Disability Services Act 2006
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • Evidence Act 1977
  • Justices Act 1886
  • Magistrates Act 1991
  • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000
  • Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • Justices Act 1886

The Bill has been referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for inquiry. The report to the Bill is due to be tabled by 11 February 2022. See more information on the committee inquiry.

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Food (Labelling of Seafood) Amendment Bill 2021

The Food (Labelling of Seafood) Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 17 November 2021 by the Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter, as a Private Member’s Bill.

The primary objective of the Bill is to require mandatory ‘country of origin’ labelling of seafood sold in the food service sector across Queensland. The purpose is twofold:

  • To increase consumer awareness around the origins of seafood being purchased and consumed
  • To subsequently support the Australian, and Queensland, seafood industry and the thousands of local jobs it supports.

The Bill amends the Food Act 2006 and is designed to commence no sooner than 1 July 2023.

The Bill was referred to the State Development and Regional Industries Committee for inquiry. See more information on the committee inquiry.

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Police Service Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Police Service Administration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced on 16 November 2021 by Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Mark Ryan.

The main objectives of the Bill are to:

  • modernise the legislative framework underpinning Protective Services
  • increase efficiencies for police officers acting as public officials under the Forestry Act 1959, the Marine Parks Act 2004, the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Recreation Areas Management Act 2006 (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Legislation), and in identity card administration for these Acts.

The Bill aims to achieve these objectives by:

  • repealing the State Buildings Protective Security Act 1983 and associated regulation by relocating relevant provisions to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (PPRA) and Police Service Administration Act 1990 (PSAA)
  • amalgamating protective security officers and senior protective security officers into one group called Protective Services Officers (PSOs)
  • consolidating and rationalising the security powers that may be exercised by police officers and PSOs in state buildings
  • authorising PSOs to seize contraband located in the performance of their duties
  • ensuring that the statutory protections available to police officers who are required to use force in the performance of their duties extend to PSOs
  • introducing a new offence provision prohibiting the impersonation of a PSO
  • clarifying that the offence to assault or resist a PSO includes obstructing a PSO
  • expanding the alcohol and drug testing regime to include PSOs
  • authorising PSOs to use body-worn cameras
  • removing requirements for police officers appointed as public officials under Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Legislation to produce an identity card issued under Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Legislation when exercising a relevant power (which otherwise duplicates existing requirements for the production of police identification issued under the PPRA)
  • streamlining identity card requirements for other State Government employees by allowing a single identity card to list the appointments the person has under legislation administered by the Department of Environment and Science.

The Bill amends:

  • Forestry Act 1959
  • Marine Parks Act 2004
  • Nature Conservation Act 1992
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Regulation 2012
  • Police Service Administration Act 1990
  • Police Service Administration Regulation 2016
  • Recreation Areas Management Act 2006
  • Corrective Services Act 2006
  • Criminal Code Act 1899
  • Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986
  • Major Events Act 2014
  • Youth Justice Act 1992
  •  Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation 2020
  • Nature Conservation (Plants) Regulation 2020
  • Nature Conservation (Protected Areas Management) Regulation 2017

The Bill repeals:

  • State Buildings Protective Security Act 1983
  • State Buildings Protective Security Regulation 2003 

The Bill was referred to the Economics and Governance Committee. The committee is due to table its report by 11 February 2022. 

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Legislation passed this Parliament

The following legislation was passed by the Legislative Assembly:

  • Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021
  • Queensland University of Technology Amendment Bill 2021  

Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021, originally 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 amends 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
  • Children’s Court Rules 2016
  • Forestry Act 1959
  • Guardianship and Administration Act 2000
  • Land Act 1994
  • Land Title Act 1994
  • Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 1999
  • Governors (Salary and Pensions) Act 2003
  • Queensland Building and Construction Commissioner Act 1991

The Bill repeals the:

  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020
  • Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Documents and Oaths) Regulation 2020

The Bill makes permanent many of the legislative reforms implemented last year to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bill makes amendments to a number of pieces of legislation to:

  • Modernise the way certain documents are able to be created. Documents such as affidavits, statutory declarations, general powers of attorney for businesses, deeds and particular mortgages can now be signed electronically and, if there is a requirement for a witness, this can be done via audio visual link. 
  • Allow nurse practitioners, in addition to doctors, to sign a certificate which forms part of an advance health directive stating that the person making the AHD appears to have capacity.
  • Streamline domestic and family violence proceedings by permanently retaining measures adopted under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 which allow for domestic and family violence matters to be heard via video or audio link, the operation of alternative verification processes for temporary protection orders and electronic filing, where approved by the principal registrar.

During amendments in committee, changes were made to the Bill as introduced to respond to submissions received during the parliamentary committee process, including comments from QLS. These amendments include:

  • clarifying the procedural and document retention requirements that apply to the witnessing of affidavits and statutory declarations in person and over audio visual link
  • adding a note to the Powers of Attorney Act to cross-refer to the Property Law Act in relation to powers of attorney given under a deed
  • clarifying that the State and corporations sole can also sign deeds electronically using the modernised framework
  • clarifying that a document containing a power of attorney given by an individual under a deed may be characterised as part of a commercial or arms-length transaction even if the document is executed at a different time, and is separate to, other documents that form part of the transaction. This supports the exception introduced in the Bill to enable a power of attorney given by an individual under a deed to be an electronically created and signed document in limited circumstances. 

Queensland Law Society strongly supported these reforms in a number of submissions to Government and Parliament over the past 18 months and appeared at the public hearing for the Bill before the State Development and Regional Industries Committee. QLS commends the Queensland Government and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General for the steps taken to make these permanent changes.

More information involving the operation of the amendments can be found on QLS Proctor.

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Queensland University of Technology Amendment Bill 2021 

The Queensland University of Technology Amendment Bill 2021 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 1 September 2021 by the Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, Grace Grace. The Bill was passed with amendment on 16 November 2021.

The Bill amends the Queensland University of Technology Act 1998 to reduce the size of the QUT Council from 22 to 15 members, with the following changes to its composition: 

  • three members appointed by the Governor in Council (reduced from eight)
  • five elected members (reduced from nine) – comprised of two members of the academic staff, one member of the professional staff, one undergraduate student and one postgraduate student
  • four additional members (increased from two) – at least two of whom must be alumni of QUT.

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Adjournments

The second reading of the Police Legislation (Efficiencies and Effectiveness) Amendment Bill 2021 was adjourned on 18 November 2021.

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Discharges

The Big Bank Levy (COVID-19 Health Response) Bill 2021 was discharged on the 17 November 2021.

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Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland legislation notified in 2021 is available online.

Subordinate legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 10 November 2021 to 19 November 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 30 November to 2 December 2021.

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