Queensland Law Society

Parliamentary wrap-up - 21 September

Last week was a big week in Queensland State Parliament, with a number of historic pieces of legislation introduced or passed.

Notably, Queensland Law Society welcomed the introduction of the Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Bill 2016. QLS raised this issue in its 2015 State Election Call to Parties and had been calling for this reform for some time.

Equally notable was the introduction of the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, which was also welcomed by QLS president Bill Potts.

The Government also introduced the:

  • Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
  • Environmental Protection (Underground Water Management) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
  • Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) Bill 2016
  • Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
  • Water (Local Management Arrangements) Amendment Bill 2016
  • Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2016

The Australian Crime Commission (Queensland) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 was the subject of some debate in its passage through the Parliament. The Parliamentary Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee had inquired into the Bill and the Government members made a statement of reservation in the report about a proposed amendment which would allow the admission into criminal proceedings evidence of unrecorded admissions or confessions.

Following the parliamentary committee report, QLS president Bill Potts wrote to the Minister and the Shadow Minister supporting the Government members’ reservation about the proposed amendment. The QLS letter was tabled in the Parliamentary debate on the Bill and the Society was mentioned in the debate many times. Ultimately, the Government opposed the contentious part of its own Bill in the vote.

The Constitution of Queensland and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 was passed in this sitting of Parliament. QLS had made a submission to the Committee of the Legislative Assembly inquiry into the Bill and representatives had appeared at the public hearing.

During the sitting, the private members’ Child Protection (Mandatory Reporting – Mason’s Law) Amendment Bill 2016, introduced by Tracey Davis MP, was passed with amendments and bipartisan support. QLS had made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry on the Bill.

The Health and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 was also passed.

More detailed information on these Bills is available in this weeks’ Legislation Update.