Skip links and keyboard navigation

    8.2 Legislation program

    A program of legislative proposals provides the necessary mechanism to facilitate:

    • prompt and efficient preparation of government Bills
    • appropriate allowance for drafting time, taking account of the nature and complexity of each Bill
    • prioritisation of drafting resources
    • orderly consideration of Bills by Cabinet, Backbench Committee and Caucus, having regard to policy priorities, administrative urgency, public commitment and other policy considerations
    • planned introduction of Bills into Parliament with maximum opportunity for informed debate in the Parliament
    • an even flow of legislation throughout Parliamentary sittings
    • coordination of principal and Subordinate Legislation so that policy objectives of the government are comprehensively and effectively addressed.

    These objectives are best met if legislative proposals are planned as far ahead as possible and the timing of Cabinet consideration and the drafting of Bills is planned to make maximum use of Parliamentary recesses and sittings.

    8.2.1 Formulation of a program

    The Leader of the House formulates a forward legislation program each year based on proposals from Ministers. Prior to the commencement of each sitting year, Ministers will be requested to provide proposals for legislation to be introduced in that sitting year. The Cabinet Secretary makes a legislative proposal template available. The template includes provision for expected dates for ATP, ATI, introduction, debate and passage. Departments must consult with OQPC to ensure sufficient drafting time is provided between ATP and ATI.

    Ministerial legislative proposals are classified Cabinet-in-Confidence and are subject to the rules applying to the secure handling of Cabinet documents.

    A bill’s status on the legislative program depends on the submission being received by the relevant deadlines. Ministers and departments must ensure that legislative proposals and ATP and ATI submissions are lodged in a timely manner.

    A decision by the Leader of the House or by Cabinet on a Bill’s priority is not approval for the relevant policy. Policy approval is a separate matter controlled collectively by Cabinet.

    8.2.2 Controlling the volume and quality of legislation

    Legislation is introduced only for those matters that are essential to the government's objectives and which cannot be achieved in other ways, bearing in mind legal requirements and Parliamentary obligations and conventions. The need for legislation must be reviewed carefully when a proposal is first formulated and the Authority to Prepare a Bill submission must include justification for legislation as the most appropriate means of proceeding.

    In general, legislation should only be recommended:

    • to redefine or extend existing rights or obligations
    • to circumscribe or extend powers
    • if there is a constitutional requirement
    • to raise revenue
    • if it is justified for important policy reasons.

    To ensure the efficiency of new and amended regulation and avoid unnecessary compliance costs on business, community and government, and restrictions on competition, all Policy, Authority to Prepare, Authority to Introduce and Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation submissions should demonstrate consideration of regulatory best practice principles.

    Consideration of regulatory impacts is outlined in greater detail in The Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy (see 8.2.3 The Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy). The consideration of regulatory impacts throughout the regulatory development process will assist in ensuring that the final regulatory proposal reflects regulatory best practice.

    8.2.3 The Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy

    All departments, agencies and statutory bodies should consider the application of The Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy when developing policy that may potentially lead to a regulatory response. The Policy outlines a sequence of policy development actions used to assess the need for, and impacts of, proposed regulation including Primary and Subordinate Legislation, and some quasi-regulation. The Policy aims to support Cabinet decision making by helping departments demonstrate proposed regulation is necessary, efficient and effective, and minimises regulatory burden on business, community and government. Departments are strongly encouraged to consider the application of the Policy early when developing policy and to have early and ongoing engagement with Treasury Department, including its Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) and DPC to help ensure the best policy outcome.

    In departments’ application of the Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy, certain documentation may be produced in the development of a regulatory proposal, specifically, an Impact Analysis Statement (IAS). The IAS, approved and signed by the Minister and Director-General of the relevant portfolio agency, must be attached to the relevant Cabinet submission (e.g. Policy, Authority to Prepare, Authority to Introduce, Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation).

    Departments should be aware that, if required, a Consultation IAS has a minimum public consultation period of 28 days, and should factor this into the policy development, approval and drafting timeframes.

    Wherever possible, departments should quantify the compliance cost impacts of a regulatory proposal on business, the community or government. The OBPR can provide departments advice on calculating compliance costs.

    Departments should also be aware that all IASs must be published on the departmental website, and a copy provided to the OBPR, following final approval of the regulatory proposal by the relevant decision-making body (such as Cabinet or Governor-in-Council).

    For further details, please refer to The Queensland Government Better Regulation Policy available on the OBRP website.

    8.2.4 Monitoring the legislative program

    The Leader of the House will review the progress of the legislative program as a whole and of Bills included for each sitting.

    Scheduling of the introduction, debate and passage of the Bill will depend on a variety of factors including its urgency, status of other Bills listed for debate, and the volume of legislation required for passage.

    No public announcement about proposed passage and commencement dates for legislation should be made without the Premier's prior written approval.

    The Parliamentary Liaison Officer prepares and maintains a report on the Legislation Program for presentation to the Leader of the House showing the stage reached in the development of each legislative proposal. These reports may provide information on:

    • Bills which have received Authority to Prepare a Bill approval from Cabinet but have not yet been approved as Authority to Introduce a Bill
    • the critical dates which should apply to elements of the legislative program
    • the drafting status of each Bill and whether further instructions are required
    • Bills which have received Authority to Introduce a Bill approval but have not yet been introduced.

    Following Ministerial approval, CLLOs are responsible for providing the Parliamentary Liaison Officer with updated information on the status of every Bill under their Minister's control.

    ^ to top

    Last updated:
    22 March, 2024
    Last reviewed:
    22 March, 2024