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    7.5 Subordinate Legislation

    Subordinate Legislation includes regulations, orders in council of a legislative character and other statutory instruments declared to be Subordinate Legislation by the Statutory Instruments Act 1992 or by another Act.

    Significant Subordinate Legislation must be submitted to Cabinet prior to being forwarded to Executive Council. The type of submission used is an Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation. "Significant Subordinate Legislation" can be defined as:

    • Subordinate legislation for which a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is required under The Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation; or
    • Subordinate Legislation that affects a politically sensitive policy area; or
    • Subordinate Legislation that involves major government expenditure for which Cabinet approval has not previously been sought; or
    • Subordinate Legislation that the OQPC has refused to certify.

    From time to time Ministers and Chief Executive Officers will seek advice on whether particular Subordinate Legislation is "significant" in the first three matters above. Such advice may be obtained from the Policy Division in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Treasury Department and, in relation to whether a RIS is required, the Office of Best Practice Regulation within the Queensland Productivity Commission.

    7.5.1 The Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation

    The Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation applies to all Subordinate Legislation.  Please refer to 7.1.4 and the Guide for further information.

    7.5.2 Explanatory notes

    Under the Legislative Standards Act 1992, explanatory notes must accompany all Subordinate Legislation tabled in the Legislative Assembly. The Legislative Standards Act 1992 sets out the various matters to be addressed in the explanatory notes.

    For significant Subordinate Legislation, the explanatory note should be accompanied by the Decision RIS prepared for the Subordinate Legislation. Information is taken to be included in the explanatory note if it is in the accompanying Decision RIS and is referred to in the explanatory note and, if necessary, supplemented or updated.

    The explanatory note must accompany the Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation submission to Cabinet.

    More detailed information on explanatory notes is available in the Guidelines to the preparation of explanatory notes (PDF, 402 KB), the Handy Hints checklist (PDF, 240 KB), and the Queensland Legislation Handbook. Agencies are required to adopt the templates set out in these guidelines to ensure a consistent approach across government.

    7.5.3 Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel

    The Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel (OQPC) has two roles in the Subordinate Legislation process.

    Firstly, it drafts the Subordinate Legislation. In doing this, it provides advice to Ministers, departments and agencies on alternative ways of achieving policy objectives, the application of fundamental legislative principles, and the Subordinate Legislation process. Early consultation with OQPC is highly recommended, especially for Subordinate Legislation that may require a RIS.

    Secondly, OQPC coordinates processes before and after the making of Subordinate Legislation. OQPC prepares certified copies of Subordinate Legislation drafted by OQPC and provides them to departments for submission to Executive Council.

    Also, if a department must submit to Executive Council a Decision RIS and explanatory note prepared by the department, OQPC electronically formats these documents and provides the department with copies for submission to Executive Council. OQPC also arranges for the notification, printing and tabling of Subordinate Legislation after making and for the printing and tabling of the Explanatory Note and any Decision RIS.

    7.5.4 Compatibility with human rights

    The Human Rights Act 2019 (the Act) requires human rights to be taken into account when developing legislation. After the commencement of the substantive provisions of the Act all subordinate legislation tabled in the Legislative Assembly must be accompanied by a Human Rights Certificate (PDF, 35KB).

    A Human Rights Certificate must set out whether, in the opinion of the Member who has tabled the subordinate legislation, it is compatible or incompatible with the human rights set out in the Act, and set out reasons that explain how the instrument is compatible or otherwise, and the nature and extent of any incompatibility. Further guidance about how to address human rights when developing policy and legislation can be found at the Queensland Government Human Rights Portal.

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    Last updated:
    15 June, 2021
    Last reviewed:
    31 January, 2020