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Final Parliamentary sitting for year

Queensland Parliament sat from 28 November to 30 November 2023.

Bills introduced

The following bills were introduced into the Legislative Assembly:

  • Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Double Jeopardy Exception and Subsequent Appeals) Amendment Bill 2023
  • Forensic Science Queensland Bill 2023
  • Summary Offences (Prevention of Knife Crime) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
  • Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2023
  • Pharmacy Business Ownership Bill 2023
  • Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
  • Emergency Services Reform Amendment Bill 2023
  • Marine Rescue Queensland Bill 2023
  • State Emergency Service Bill 2023

Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Double Jeopardy Exception and Subsequent Appeals) Amendment Bill 2023

On 29 November 2023, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath, introduced the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Double Jeopardy Exception and Subsequent Appeals) Amendment Bill 2023.

The objectives of the Bill are to enhance criminal justice system responses to possible wrongful convictions and unjust acquittals by:

  • establishing a statutory framework to allow a person convicted on indictment or of a summary offence under section 651 of the Criminal Code to make, with the leave of the Court of Appeal, a subsequent appeal against convictions; and
  • expanding the fresh and compelling evidence double jeopardy exception to 10 prescribed offences in addition to murder.

The Bill amends the:

  • Appeal Costs Funding Act 1973
  • Criminal Code Act 1899
  • and the Criminal Code for particular purposes

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 18 December 2023 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 29 January 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Forensic Science Queensland Bill 2023

On 29 November 2023, the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, introduced the Forensic Science Queensland Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to establish a statutory framework for forensic services to support the administration of criminal justice in Queensland. The Bill implements recommendation 121 of the Commission of Inquiry into Forensic DNA Testing in Queensland by establishing:

  • a statutory position of the Director of Forensic Science Queensland (Director);
  • a supporting Office of the Director of Forensic Science Queensland; and
  • the Forensic Science Queensland Advisory Council.

The Bill amends the:

  • Evidence Act 1977
  • Medicines and Poisons Act 2019
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 18 December 2023 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 29 January 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Summary Offences (Prevention of Knife Crime) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 29 November 2023, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, introduced the Summary Offences (Prevention of Knife Crime) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to promote community safety, reduce youth offending and minimise the risks associated with knives and other dangerous items, by:

  • prohibiting the sale of knives and other weapons including machetes, axes (including a tomahawk), sickles or scythes, spear-guns, spears, and replica firearms (known as controlled items) to minors;
  • making it an offence for a person to falsely represent themselves as being over the age of 18 years for the purpose of being sold a controlled item;
  • requiring retailers to display signage advertising the legal prohibition against the sale of controlled items to minors;
  • prohibiting controlled items from being sold or advertised in a way that suggests the item is suitable for combat, intended to be used for violence, or likely to stimulate or encourage violent or criminal behaviour involving the item;
  • imposing obligations upon suppliers of particular controlled items to safely secure the items at retail locations; and
  • making consequential amendments to support these reforms, such as allowing a police officer to request to see proof of age if they see or reasonably suspect a person under the age of 18 has been sold a controlled item and authorising the police officer to seize the item under certain circumstances.

The Bill amends the:

  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Summary Offences Act 2005

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 19 December 2023 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 17 January 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2023

On 30 November 2023, the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, introduced the, introduced the Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2023.

The key objectives of the Bill are to support access to healthcare, promote quality improvement and patient safety in public health facilities and improve the operation of health legislation to support the health of Queenslanders.

The Bill achieves the policy objectives by amending the following legislation:

  • the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 to:
    • clarify that, for purposes of nurse-to-patient and midwife-to-patient ratios, a newborn baby should be counted as a patient when they are staying in a room on a maternity ward with their birthing parent;
    • require a Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) to disclose information about a health professional to the chief executive where the QAC reasonably believes the health professional poses a serious risk of harm to a person because of the health professional’s health, conduct or performance;
    • clarify that the chief executive of Queensland Health may, after considering a report from a clinical review or health service investigation conducted in a Hospital and Health Service (HHS), take the action the chief executive considers appropriate in relation to the matters identified in the report;
    • make clear that for root cause analysis reports, permitted disclosures of information contained in the report extend to the disclosure of recommendations that form part of the report;
  • the Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018 and Criminal Code to:
    • allow additional health practitioners to perform an early medical termination of pregnancy through the use of a registered termination drug in response to recent changes in prescribing restrictions made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration;
    • make consequential amendments to the offence provision set out in the Criminal Code to align with the above change;
    • replace references to ‘woman’ with ‘person’ in termination of pregnancy provisions to ensure legal access to termination of pregnancy services for all pregnant Queenslanders;
  • the Public Health Act 2005 to exempt medical practitioners from duplicate reporting of dust lung diseases to the Queensland Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register where there has been notification to the National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry;
  • the Mental Health Act 2016 to clarify how Mental Health Court expert reports and transcripts may be released and used.

The Bill amends the:

  • Criminal Code
  • Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011
  • Mental Health Act 2016
  • Public Health Act 2005
  • Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018
  • and the Acts mentioned in schedule 1 of the Bill

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Committee for inquiry. The committee is finalising arrangements for this inquiry. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Pharmacy Business Ownership Bill 2023

On 30 November 2023, the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women, Shannon Fentiman, introduced the Pharmacy Business Ownership Bill 2023.

The Bill repeals the existing Pharmacy Business Ownership Act 2001 (2001 Act) and replaces it with a modern and effective framework for regulation of the ownership of pharmacy businesses.

The key objectives of the Bill are to:

  • clarify the requirements in the 2001 Act relating to who may own or hold an interest in a pharmacy business, and retain the limits on the number of pharmacy businesses that a person may own or hold an interest in;
  • establish a regulatory council as a statutory body to administer the Act and transfer regulatory functions from Queensland Health to the council;
  • establish a licensing framework for the ownership of and interests in pharmacy businesses;
  • prohibit the council from issuing a licence if the pharmacy business is located in a supermarket;
  • prohibit third parties from exercising inappropriate control over how pharmacy business owners provide pharmacy services related to medicines and provide that clauses in a contract or agreement that allow a third party to exercise inappropriate control are void;
  • require the council to report the results of compliance audits;
  • require the council to maintain a register of pharmacies, to assist the community to locate pharmacies and services provided by pharmacies;
  • modernise existing provisions relating to the functions and powers of inspectors, legal proceedings, delegations and protections from civil liability;
  • restrict disclosure of information obtained in connection with the administration of the legislation to limited circumstances; and
  • confirm that regulations may be made about fees, waiver of fees, record keeping and pharmacy premise standards.

The Bill repeals the:

  • Pharmacy Business Ownership Act 2001

The Bill amends the:

  • Public Sector Act 2022
  • Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Committee for inquiry. The committee is finalising arrangements for this inquiry. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 30 November 2023, the Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, Grace Grace, introduced the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023.

The primary objective of the Bill is to give effect to the Queensland Government’s response to recommendations from the Review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 – Final report 2022. The Bill also implements particular recommendations from the 2018 Review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws (the Boland Review). The Bill proposes further amendments to improve the operation and administration of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, and a consequential amendment to the definition of ‘cooling tower’ in s 61A of the Public Health Act 2005.

The Bill amends the:

  • Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • and the Acts mentioned in schedule 1 of the Bill

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Education, Training and Employment Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 10 January 2024 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 30 January 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Emergency Services Reform Amendment Bill 2023

On 28 November 2023, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, introduced the Emergency Services Reform Amendment Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to support coordination between Marine Rescue Queensland, SES and the QPS, boosting and enhancing the State’s response capability.

The Bill amends the:

  • Disaster Management Act 2003
  • Disaster Management Regulation 2014
  • Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990
  • Police Service Administration Act 1990
  • Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003
  • Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2001
  • and the Acts mentioned in schedule 1 of the Bill

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Community Support and Services Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 31 January 2024 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 4 March 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Marine Rescue Queensland Bill 2023

On 28 November 2023, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, introduced the Marine Rescue Queensland Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to establish Marine Rescue Queensland, an entity aimed to strengthen the coordination of volunteers contributing to marine rescue services.

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Community Support and Service Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 31 January 2024 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 4 March 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

State Emergency Service Bill 2023

On 28 November 2023, the Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Mark Ryan, introduced the State Emergency Service Bill 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to establish the State Emergency Service (SES) through the new State Emergency Service Act 2023 by relocating and expanding upon a number of provisions currently outlined in the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 (FES Act)

Useful resources:

The Bill was referred to the Community and Support Services Committee for inquiry. Submissions to the inquiry will close on 31 January 2024 and a public hearing is scheduled to be held on 4 March 2024. For further details regarding the inquiry process, visit the committee’s website here.

Legislation passed this Parliament

The following legislation was passed by the Legislative Assembly:

  • Emblems of Queensland and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
  • Information Privacy and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023
  • Public Records Bill 2023
  • Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

Emblems of Queensland and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 14 September 2023, Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement, Stirling Hinchliffe, introduced the Emblems of Queensland and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023.

The Bill was referred to the Economics and Governance Committee for inquiry.

The Bill was passed without amendment on 28 November 2023.

The objective of the Bill is to officially recognise the Muttaburrasaurus langdoni (the Muttaburrasaurus dinosaur) as Queensland’s fossil emblem by amending the Emblems of Queensland Act 2005 (Emblems Act).

The Bill also includes certain amendments to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, Parliamentary Service Act 1998 and Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 to address a number of minor and technical issues to improve and clarify parliamentary processes and procedures. These include:

  • Amendments to the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 and Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 to retrospectively clarify that since 23 April 1998, members of parliamentary committees, including the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee and its predecessor committees, have been able to participate in committee meetings in person or by telephone, video or other electronic means
  • Amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act 1988 to:
    • clarify that the parliamentary precinct includes the Legislative Assembly chamber and its galleries when the Legislative Assembly is sitting
    • provide that the Speaker is to prepare the human rights certificate and explanatory notes for by-laws and rules made by the Speaker under the Parliamentary Service Act
    • provide that in a proceeding for an offence related to a person’s behaviour on the parliamentary precinct, despite section 8 of the Parliament of Queensland Act (which provides that the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in the Assembly cannot be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of the Assembly), evidence may be given in a court or other place out of the Legislative Assembly of a direction made or purportedly made by the Speaker or a person authorised to make such directions during proceedings in the Legislative Assembly
  • Amendments to the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 to refine the process by which a member of the Legislative Assembly in a state of ill health has their request for a proxy vote notified to the Assembly
  • Amendments to the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 to update a number of cross references in the Act to definitions that are explained and provided for in the Electoral Act 1992.

The Bill amends the:

  • Crime and Corruption Act 2001
  • Emblems of Queensland Act 2005
  • Parliamentary Service Act 1988
  • Parliament of Queensland Act 2001

Useful resources:

Information Privacy and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 12 October 2023, Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts, Leanne Enoch, introduced the Information Privacy and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 into Queensland Parliament.

The Bill was referred to the Education, Training and Employment Committee for detailed consideration. On 24 November, 2023, the Education, Employment and Training Committee tabled its report, ‘Inquiry into the Information Privacy and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023’ (No. 40, 57th Parliament).

The Bill was passed with amendment on 29 November 2023.

The policy objectives of the Bill are to:

  • make key changes to Queensland’s information privacy framework to better protect personal information and provide appropriate responses and remedies for data breaches and misuse of personal information by agencies; and
  • make changes to Queensland’s information privacy and right to information frameworks to clarify and improve their operation; and
  • make legislative amendments to support the operation of the administrative scheme which will provide for the proactive release of Cabinet documents (the proactive release scheme).

The Bill implements or responds to recommendations for legislative change to Queensland’s information privacy and right to information frameworks from several reports including:

  • the report on the Review of the Right to Information Act 2009 and Information Privacy Act 2009
  • the Crime and Corruption Commission’s (CCC) report, Operation Impala, A report on misuse of confidential information in the Queensland public sector
  • the CCC’s report, Culture and Corruption Risks in Local Government: Lessons from an investigation into Ipswich City Council
  • the Strategic Review of the Office of the Information Commissioner
  • Let the sunshine in: Review of culture and accountability in the Queensland public sector

Amendments were moved during consideration in detail to:

  • ensure that extension by an agency to conduct an assessment of a data breach under the mandatory data breach notification (MDBN) scheme may only be for a period of time reasonably required for the assessment to be conducted – to implement recommendation 2 of the Education, Employment and Training Committee’s Report No. 40, 57th Parliament – Information Privacy and Other Legislation Bill 2023, tabled on 24 November 2024 (the Committee’s Report);
  • more comprehensively exclude an APP entity that is subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Commonwealth Privacy Act) from being an agency that is subject to the IP Act, rather than excluding APP entities from the QPPs and the MDBN scheme;
  • clarify that before an authorised officer exercises powers under Chapter 3A, part 5 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (IP Act), they must first give a notice of entry and seek consent, before entering an agency’s place of business without consent;
  • allow an authorised officer exercising powers under Chapter 3A, part 5 of the IP Act to observe, via audio visual link, a demonstration of the data handling systems and practices of the agency that relate to the mandatory data breach notification scheme;
  • clarify that the functions of the Information Commissioner under the IP Act include reviews in relation to the mandatory data breach notification scheme and promoting understanding of and compliance with the IP Act generally;
  • remove the exclusion in the Bill of entities established by letters patent from the definition of ‘public authority’ in both the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) and the IP Act, to retain the status quo – in response to the concerns raised in the Committee’s Report. While it is still considered that the majority of the entities established by letters patent, including those established under the Religious, Educational and Charitable Institutions Act 1861, should not be subject to the RTI Act or the IP Act, the omission of the exclusion will allow further consideration to be given to the issues raised and ensure that that there are no unintended consequences as a result of the exclusion. It will also remove any limitation on human rights as a result of the omission of the exclusion;
  • expand the situations when the Information Commissioner can require searches to be conducted in relation to any external review process relating to access decisions under the RTI Act;
  • provide that the Information Commissioner may direct agencies and Ministers to make a decision on an application for amendment of personal information in certain circumstances;
  • provide that before the Information Commissioner directs an agency or Minister to make a decision on an application for access or amendment of personal information, the Information Commissioner must be satisfied it is reasonably likely that the agency or Minister would be able to make a decision which is consistent with the primary object of the Act;
  • provide that if the Information Commissioner becomes aware of new documents during an external review, then before the Information Commissioner refers the documents to an agency or Minister for decision about access to the documents, the Information Commissioner must be satisfied it is reasonably likely that the agency or Minister would be able to make a decision which is consistent with the primary object of the Act;
  • ensure that whenever an agency or Minister makes a decision about whether access is to be given to documents, the applicant can review whether the agency or Minister has taken reasonable steps to identify and locate documents the applicant has applied for;
  • address other minor technical issues in the Bill, including ensuring internal consistency in terminology; and
  • update the definition of ‘union’ in the dictionary of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999.

The Bill amends the:

  • Auditor-General Act 2009
  • Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games Arrangements Act 2021
  • City of Brisbane Act 2010
  • Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999
  • Corrective Services Act 2006
  • Criminal Code
  • Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012
  • Energy and Water Ombudsman Act 2006
  • Explosives Act 1999
  • Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011
  • Information Privacy Act 2009
  • Information Privacy Regulation 2009
  • Introduction Agents Act 2001
  • Legal Profession Act 2007           
  • Local Government Act 2009
  • Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999
  • Ombudsman Act 2001
  • Partnership Act 1891
  • Path to Treaty Act 2023
  • Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000
  • Public Guardian Act 2014
  • Public Health Act 2005
  • Public Sector Act 2022
  • Queensland Future Fund (Titles Registry) Act 2021
  • Right to Information Act 2009
  • Right to Information Regulation 2009
  • Tourism Services Act 2003.

Queensland Law Society provided a submission on the Bill, which can be found here.

Useful resources:

Public Records Bill 2023

On 12 October 2023, the Honourable Leanne Enoch MP, Minister for Treaty, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Minister for Communities and Minister for the Arts introduced the Public Records Bill 2023 into Queensland Parliament.

The Bill was referred to the Community Support and Services Committee (CSSC) for detailed consideration. On 24 November 2023, the CSSC tabled its report, ‘Public Records Bill 2023’ (No. 38, 57th Parliament).

The Bill was passed with amendment on 29 November 2023.

In May 2022, the Queensland Government announced an independent review of the Public Records Act 2002. On 31 August 2022, Justice Byrne AO RFD provided the Report of review of the Public Records Act 2002 to the Queensland Government.

In alignment with the recommendations of the report, the policy objectives of the proposed reforms are to:

  • provide a framework for making, managing and allowing access to public records in a way that benefits present and future generations;
  • minimise public authorities’ ambiguity regarding the meaning of a public record under the Public Records Act 2002 (the Act);
  • minimise the chance for relevant public records to be inappropriately managed;
  • recognise the importance of public records for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • ensure mechanisms are in place that promote continued and efficient involvement and consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • reduce the risk of permanent loss of public records;
  • ensure the risks of unlawful disposal, alteration and deletion of public records are balanced with costs in managing such risks;
  • reduce confusion with regards to terminology, application, and best practices under the Act;
  • enable efficient monitoring of public authority records management performance; and
  • provide a mechanism for increased access to public records.

The Bill also makes additional changes to the Act including:

  • enabling the State Archivist to temporarily suspend disposal authorisations for public records in an efficient manner;
  • protecting public records that are required to be kept permanently and protecting records over 25 years old; and
  • including or excluding an entity from being a public authority using a regulation expanding the circumstances in which a regulation may prescribe when the State Archivist can refuse access to public records in the custody of the archives (e.g., when it is not in the public interest or when access would inappropriately reveal culturally sensitive information or personal information).

The Bill repeals the:

  • Public Records Act 2002
  • Rather than amending the Act, a new Bill has been developed to provide greater flexibility for drafting the changes, and improving the overall outcomes for modernisation, clarity and consistency.

Useful resources:

Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023

On 10 October 2023, the Honourable Mark Ryan MP, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, introduced the Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 into the Queensland Parliament.

The Bill was referred to the Community Support and Services Committee for inquiry. On 24 November 2023, the Community Support and Services Committee tabled its report, ‘Victims of Crime Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2023’ (No. 37, 57th Parliament).

The Bill was passed with amendment on 30 November 2023.

According to the explanatory notes, the policy objectives of the Bill are to:

  • Increase the maximum amounts of financial assistance payable to victims of acts of violence under the Victims of Crimes Assistance Act 2009; and
  • Make changes to the composition of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s membership to increase representation of victims of crime by increasing the membership to no more than 14 members and enable the appointment of a person with lived experience as a victim of crime and an additional further member.

Amendments were moved during consideration in detail amending the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 to ensure sufficient processing time for current DNA samples and to support implementation of the recommendations from the Commissions of Inquiry in relation to historical case review.

The Bill amends the:

  • Penalties and Sentences Act 1992
  • Victims of Crime Assistance Act 2009

Useful resources:

Subordinate legislation

Subordinate Queensland Legislation notified in 2023 is available online.

Subordinate Legislation notified on the Queensland Legislation website from 24 November to 1 December 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 13 February to 15 February 2024.

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