Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Committees’ activity update - October 2016

Queensland’s parliamentary committees have the important responsibility of examining bills (proposed new laws) that have been introduced into the Parliament, scrutinising public accounts and public works for their areas of responsibility, and investigating and reporting on other issues of importance to the Queensland community. The Parliament has seven portfolio committees that undertake these activities year-round. These committees rely on the input of stakeholders, community groups and members of the public in order to conduct their inquiries. For example, committees call for public submissions and generally hold public hearings to better learn about the issues they are investigating. Queenslanders are encouraged to keep informed of current committee inquiries and then have their say on any issue that is of interest to them.

Some recent notable committee inquiry activities are:

Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis select committee

The Parliament established the Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP) select committee on 15 September 2016 to conduct an inquiry and report on the re-emergence of CWP, which is also known as ‘black lung disease’, amongst coal mine workers in Queensland.

This select committee and its associated inquiry are quite different to a Bill or typical policy inquiry as it aims to investigate a series of events and make findings and recommendations for the future, rather than to explore a policy issue. The terms of reference require the committee to consider the study into CWP undertaken by Monash University and the findings of the Senate Select Committee on Health (Fifth Interim Report). 

Public hearings into CWP are scheduled for Brisbane, Ipswich and Central Queensland during November with further hearings throughout regional Queensland planned for December. Full details about the CWP select committee are available online here-

http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/CWPSC/inquiries/current-inquiries/CWPSC

 

The committee is to report to the Legislative Assembly by 12 April 2017.

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Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

The Parliament’s Transportation and Utilities Committee has been inquiring into the Heavy Vehicle National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 since September, with a series of hearings held across Queensland during October.  

The Bill proposes amendments to two Acts:

 

  • the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 (HVNL Act) and Schedule – Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to implement reforms for the national heavy vehicle industry to better align the obligations of chain of responsibility parties and executive officers with national safety laws, improve compliance and simplify enforcements as well as making a number of minor amendments to improve administration of the law

  • the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994 to allow a regulation to be made providing for a scheme for the payment of financial assistance to the taxi and limousine industry in order to implement the main elements of the $100 million Industry Adjustment Assistance Package
 The Transportation and Utilities Committee is due to report to the House by 1 November 2016. 

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Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill

The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee is inquiring into the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Bill. The objectives of this Bill, as set out in the explanatory notes, are to:

 

  • implement a new Organised Crime Regime to tackle serious and organised crime in all its forms, drawing on the recommendations of the Queensland Organised Crime Commission of Inquiry, Taskforce on Organised Crime Legislation and statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009
 
  • improve the clarity, administration and operation of particular occupational and industry licensing Acts.

The committee is required to report by Tuesday, 1 November 2016.

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Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016

 

A topical issue over recent years has been the use of medicinal cannabis and in October 2016, the Queensland Parliament passed the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 in response to this. The objective of this Bill was to create a new regulatory framework under which medicinal cannabis products may be prescribed and dispensed to patients in Queensland while also preventing their unauthorised use.

 

The Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee inquired into this Bill from May to September this year and their report recommended that the Bill be passed.

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Current inquiries being conducted by the Parliament’s seven portfolio committees are listed below:


Agriculture and Environment Committee

 

* Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production (Fair Milk Price Logos) Bill 2016

Education, Tourism, Innovation and Small Business Committee 

* Youth Justice and Other Legislation (Inclusion of 17-year-old Persons) Amendment Bill 2016

Finance and Administration Committee 

 

* Farm Business Debt Mediation Bill 2016 and Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance)  Amendment Bill 2016

* Industrial Relations Bill 2016

* Inquiry into how to improve health and safety outcomes for combat sports contestants in high risk professional and amateur contests in Queensland


Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee  

* Health (Abortion Law Reform) Amendment Bill 2016

 * Adoption and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 

* Inquiry into the performance of the Queensland Health Ombudsman’s functions pursuant to section 179 of the Health Ombudsman Act 2013

* Oversight of the Health Ombudsman and the health service complaints management system

 

Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee

* Water (Local Management Arrangements) Amendment Bill 2016

* Cross River Rail Delivery Authority Bill 2016

 
 

Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee

* Limitation of Actions (Institutional Child Sexual Abuse) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 and the Limitation of Actions and Other Legislation (Child Abuse Civil Proceedings) Amendment Bill 2016

 

Transportation and Utilities Committee

*Rail Safety National Law (Queensland) Bill

Persons or groups with an interest in any of these bills or issues can follow the progress of the respective committee inquiries and get involved. Please check the Parliament’s website to see the status of each inquiry, including dates for public submissions to be received and upcoming hearing and reporting details. Individuals, groups and organisations are encouraged to make submissions and have their opinions heard. The Parliament’s website address is www.parliament.qld.gov.au

See the ‘Committee Inquiries - Have Your Say’ section on the front page to find all information relevant to committees and their current and past inquiries.