Skip links and keyboard navigation

    2.2 Is a new law needed

    Policy may be implemented in many ways that may or may not require legislation. For example, it may be preferable to make agreements or industry codes of practice to implement a policy. There must be significant reasons before choosing to implement a policy through an Act of Parliament. These reasons may include:

    • existing rights and obligations must be modified and this may only be done effectively by intervention of the Parliament
    • permanency is necessary for the policy being implemented and this may only be achieved by an Act of Parliament
    • the high level of importance given to the policy by the government means that an Act of Parliament is the appropriate way to present the policy to the community.

    The following matters usually suggest that an Act should not be used to implement policy:

    • the policy does not modify existing rights and obligations
    • the policy is purely administrative in character
    • the policy is not of sufficient significance to justify it being given permanency in an Act of Parliament.

    The Queensland Cabinet Handbook requires that an Authority to Prepare a Bill submission needs to include justification about why legislation is required. Ensuring legislation is appropriately justified and proportionate to the desired policy outcome is particularly important in the context of the Government’s target of reducing the regulatory burden on businesses and the community by 20 percent overall by 2018. More information on this target and the initiatives the Government is implementing to meet it may be found on the Office of Best Practice Regulation’s website at www.qca.org.au/OBPR.   

    It is advisable to consult with OQPC before Authority to Prepare approval is sought to ensure possible alternatives to legislation are identified and, if legislation is necessary, to ensure the regulatory burden is minimised, having regard to the required policy outcomes and the principles of good legislation. 

    2.2.1 Regulatory best practice principles

    In developing a regulatory proposal, agencies must consider the Council of Australian Governments’ Principles of Best Practice Regulation.

    These regulatory best practice principles are embedded in the government’s regulatory impact statement (RIS) system established by guidelines approved by the Treasurer. The RIS system applies to the development of primary and subordinate legislation and quasi-regulation.

    The Office of Best Practice Regulation in the Queensland Competition Authority has a focus on regulatory activities generally and, in particular, provides advice, assistance and training on the RIS process, including advice as to whether a RIS is required in a particular case. For more information, see www.qca.org.au/OBPR.

    The Queensland Cabinet Handbook contains further information about the regulatory best practice principles, and requires that a submission proposing a regulatory option demonstrate consideration of the principles.

    ^ to top

    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    13 November, 2013