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    9.6 Other Ministers’ Meetings and Engagement

    Other Ministers’ Meetings, outside the National Cabinet and NFRC structures, are established to provide a forum for portfolio Ministers from the Federal and all states and territories to meet and decide matters of common interest and/or requiring a national approach, undertake national regulatory responsibilities established under national or state/territory legislation and to pursue a future focused approach to public policy.

    Outside of the National Cabinet and NFRC structures, Ministers are encouraged to continue to collaborate informally on national policy priorities to ensure the best interests of Queensland are pursued. In these instances, the protocols outlined in this section continue to apply.

    Ministers should not establish any interjurisdictional ministerial forums without the written support of the Premier.

    9.6.1 Proactive engagement

    Ministers’ Meetings are a key opportunity for promoting Queensland policy positions, supporting cross-jurisdictional information sharing and building relationships to support Queensland’s strategic agenda. Ministers should adopt a proactive position to advance Queensland’s strategic policy objectives with the Federal Government and other states and territories. This includes:

    • strengthening Queensland’s position by proactively shaping terms of reference, annual work plans and agendas to ensure Queensland’s priorities are pursued
    • working with jurisdictions to find common ground in agenda items that deliver a net benefit to Queenslanders, and
    • early engagement with other Queensland Ministers to ensure consistency in messaging.

    Ministers’ Meetings are established by National Cabinet but do not report to National Cabinet unless specially requested to by National Cabinet.

    Ministers’ Meetings fall into two categories: Ongoing; and time-limited/meet as needed.

    9.6.2 Ongoing Ministers’ Meetings

    Ongoing Ministers’ Meetings oversee national policy implementation in areas of key service delivery, advise the Council on Federal Financial Relations on policy matters relevant to national funding agreements, and oversee national regulatory arrangements. Ongoing Ministers’ Meetings are subject to review every two years by First Secretaries Group, which will make recommendations to National Cabinet.

    9.6.3 Time-limited/meet as needed Ministers’ Meetings

    Time-limited and meet as needed Ministers’ Meetings oversee reform implementation, implement national regulatory functions, and meet specific tasks set by National Cabinet. Time-limited and meet as needed Ministers’ Meetings are reviewed nationally every 12 months.

    9.6.4 Queensland’s membership

    The Premier will nominate a lead Minister to represent Queensland for each Ministers’ Meeting.

    Where the Ministers’ Meeting will consider issues that impact on another portfolio, the lead Minister will be responsible for ensuring effected Ministers are appropriately consulted.

    9.6.5 Decision-making authority

    It is the responsibility of Ministers and their agencies to ensure they are prepared to represent the Queensland Government at Ministers’ Meetings.

    Queensland’s Cabinet authorisation should be sought for any decisions that would have a significant fiscal or regulatory impact on the state, may constrain the government’s ability to develop or amend policy, or would have a considerable impact on relations with Commonwealth, local and other state and territory governments.

    Where it is not possible to seek Cabinet approval, the relevant Minister should seek approval from the Premier (preferably in writing) for the proposed position to be taken. The Intergovernmental Relations team, Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC), can provide advice to agencies on matters where it is unclear if Cabinet or Premier approval is required.

    Where new issues or alternate proposals arise at meetings which the Minister believes require further Cabinet or CBRC consideration or consultation with the Premier is required, it is the responsibility of that Minister to make this position clear to the Ministers’ Meeting.

    Where out-of-session voting is sought as part of the operation of a Ministers’ Meeting, the Minister should ensure the Premier is kept regularly updated in writing of any position that is not consistent with existing Queensland policy positions or would have a fiscal or regulatory impact on the state.

    The Minister should ensure the Premier is kept regularly updated in writing on the progress of the Ministers’ Meeting’s work including any decisions made by this body. The Premier will advise if an update needs to be provided to Cabinet.

    9.6.6 Information security

    It is the responsibility of Ministers and agencies to maintain confidentiality of Minister’s Meetings information. Information should be circulated strictly on a need-to-know basis.

    9.6.7 Decisions and implementation

    The lead Minister is responsible for implementation and tracking of any Ministers’ Meeting decisions.

    The lead Minister may delegate, in writing, the implementation of a decision to another Minister where appropriate, with a copy to the Premier.

    9.6.8 Ministers’ Meetings sub-committees and officials working groups

    Ministers’ Meetings are encouraged to establish a streamlined and agile supporting architecture including sub-committees and senior officials working groups. Where appropriate, the principles outlined in this section continue to apply for Queensland participation on sub-committees and working groups.

    9.6.9 Other ministerial intergovernmental engagement

    Outside the formal Ministers’ Meetings structure, Ministers may continue to collaborate to exercise regulatory powers or negotiate complementary legislation.

    Ministers are also encouraged to continue to work proactively and cooperatively with their interjurisdictional colleagues to pursue policy outcomes for Queensland. When undertaking these activities, the measures outlined at the introduction to this chapter should be considered.

    9.6.10 Establishing new interjurisdictional ministerial forums

    Given National Cabinet’s shared objective to reduce the number of Ministers’ Meetings, and to limit the remaining Ministers’ Meetings to decision making on key priorities, Ministers should not establish any interjurisdictional ministerial forums without first receiving written support from the Premier. 

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    Last updated:
    25 May, 2021
    Last reviewed:
    25 May, 2021