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Parliamentary update: 14 March to 16 March 2023

Queensland Parliament sat from 14 March to 16 March 2023.

Bills introduced

The following Bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Bill 2023
  • Queensland Climate Transition Bill 2023

Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Bill 2023

On 14 March 2023, the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Yvette D’Ath, introduced the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to amend the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (the Act) to reduce the smoking rate in Queensland and provide the community with further protections from second-hand smoke and the illicit tobacco trade.

To achieve this objective, the Bill will amend the Act to:

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  • establish a licensing scheme for the wholesale and retail sale of smoking products
  • ensure there are effective deterrents against the unlawful supply of smoking products, including strong penalties
  • empower Queensland Health to monitor compliance with Commonwealth requirements for smoking products and improve intelligence-sharing with other state, territory and Commonwealth law enforcement agencies
  • modernise and clarify the requirements for advertising, display and promotion of smoking products, including their application to online trading
  • expand smoke-free public spaces, including community spaces for children
  • introduce new offences with high penalties to protect children from smoking, and
  • improve protections at liquor licensed premises, including tighter requirements for smoking areas and tobacco product vending machines.

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The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 31 March 2023 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held in Brisbane on 17 April 2023. For more details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee website.

Queensland Climate Transition Bill 2023

On 15 March 2023, the Member for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, introduced the Queensland Climate Transition Bill 2023 (a Private Member’s Bill)

The objectives of the Bill are to:

  • provide for reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel exports for Queensland
  • provide for the development and implementation of the Queensland Climate Transition Strategic Plan and other measures to achieve the reduction targets, and
  • establish the Queensland Climate Transition Authority

Useful resources:

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The Bill was referred to the State Development and Regional Industries Committee for inquiry. The committee is finalising arrangements for this inquiry. For more details on the inquiry process, visit the committee website.

Legislation passed this Parliament

Strengthening Community Safety Bill 2023

On 21 February 2023, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, introduced the Strengthening Community Safety Bill 2023.

The Bill was passed with amendment on 16 March 2023.

Queensland Law Society made a submission in response to the Bill, raising a number of concerns about the approach in the Bill. QLS also appeared before the Economics and Governance Committee at the public hearing on 28 February 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to give effect to legislative reforms announced by the Queensland Government on 29 December 2022 aimed at keeping the community safe, and to strengthen youth justice laws to respond to serious repeat offenders.

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The Bill intends to do so by:

  • increasing the maximum penalty for unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels from seven to 10 years’ imprisonment
  • creating new circumstances of aggravation for the offence of unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft of vessels where:
    • the offender has published material advertising their involvement in or of the offending on social media
    • where the offending occurs at night
    • where the offender uses or threatens violence, is or pretends to be armed, is in company and damages, or threatens to damage, any property
  • providing that it is an offence for children to breach a condition of their bail undertaking
  • extending and expanding the trial of electronic monitoring as a condition of bail for a further two years and to include eligible 15 year olds
  • removing the requirement that police consider alternatives to arrest if they reasonable suspect a child on bail for a prescribed indictable offence, or certain domestic violence offences have contravened, or are contravening, a bail condition
  • providing that a child’s bail history must be taken into account during sentencing
  • creating the ability of a sentencing court to declare that a child offender is a serious repeat offender in certain circumstances, to enable considerations such as community safety to be paramount
  • enabling conditional release orders to operate for a greater period of time
  • ensuring certain child offenders serve their suspended term of detention if they breach their conditional release orders
  • expanding the list of offences included within the definition of ‘prescribed indictable offence’ to facilitate greater operation of provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1992 aimed at serious repeat offenders, including the presumption against bail provision under section 48AF and the new sentencing regime for children declared serious repeat offenders
  • enabling the transfer of persons who have turned 18 on remand and the earlier transfer of persons who have turned 18 serving a sentence, from youth detention centres to adult correctional centres
  • ensuring the continuation of multi-agency collaborative panels which provide intensive case management and holistic support for young persons identified as high risk, or requiring a collaborative response through a multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approach.

Amendments were moved during consideration in detail by:

  • Correcting a reference to an incorrect section number in clause 10 (Insertion of new pt9, ch.107) of the Bill.
  • Amending clause 23 (Amendment of s240 (General options available on breach of order)) and clause 25 (Amendment of s242 (General options available to court before which child found guilty of an indictable offence)) of the Bill to replace a reference to section 246A(2) which appears in clause 23(2) and clause 25(2) of the Bill.
  • Insertinganew clause 25A (Amendment of s243 (Court may resentence child originally sentenced by lower court)) into the Bill to enable a higher court dealing with a conditional release order for a prescribed indictable offence that it did not make to revoke that conditional release order unless there are special circumstances.
  • Amending clause 28 (Insertion of new s246A) of the Bill to establish a right of review, which corrects an inadvertent omission identified by QLS in its submission in response to the Bill.

The Act amends the:

  • Bail Act 1980
  • Queensland Criminal Code
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Youth Justice Act 1992

Useful resources:

Second reading

Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2022

On 16 March 2023, the second reading for the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 was adjourned.

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Queensland Law Society provided a submission on the Bill.

Useful resources:

Working with Children (Indigenous Communities) Amendment Bill 2021

On 14 March 2023, the second reading for the Working with Children (Indigenous Communities) Amendment Bill 2021 (Private Members’ Bill) failed.

Useful resources:

Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland Legislation notified in 2023 is available online.

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Subordinate Legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 3 March 2023 to 17 March 2023.

Queensland Government Gazette

The Queensland Government Gazettes for 2023 are available online.

Parliamentary sitting dates

As indicated on the parliamentary website, the Queensland Parliament is currently scheduled to next sit on 28 to 30 March 2023.

Sonia Smith is a Queensland Law Society Senior Policy Solicitor and Jaime Gunning is a Law Clerk on the QLS policy team.

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