FAQ - Petitions

Can a principal petitioner sign their own petition?

Yes, a principal petitioner can sign their petition. Being principal petitioner does not mean you have signed/joined your petition, a principal petitioner should ensure they also sign their petition.

Can there be more than one principal petitioner

No. There can be only one principal petitioner.

Can two members jointly sponsor a petition?

No. A petition can be sponsored by a member or by the Clerk.

Can the closing date of an e-petition be extended?

No. However, there is no restriction on successive petitions on the same issue.

Can two e-petitions of the same wording be active simultaneously

No. Only one e-petition dealing with substantially the same grievance and requesting substantially the same action by the House can be posted to the Parliament's website. A paper and an e-petition, however, on the same topic can run concurrently.

What is the difference between a 'resident of Queensland' and a 'citizen of Queensland'?

A Queensland resident is anyone currently living in Queensland, a Queensland citizen must be an Australian citizen living in Queensland (a citizen would be eligible to vote/serve for jury duty etc).

Can people under 18 years of age sign a petition?

Yes, if the petition is from residents of Queensland, and the person signing the petition is a resident of Queensland and they are old enough to understand what they are signing.

Can the tabling of a petition be delayed?

Yes. The sponsoring member or a principal petitioner can request the Clerk to hold any petitions lodged or sponsored for presentation on a particular day.

If I sign a petition, are my details publicly available?

Contact details of petitioners are not published on the website, apart from the principal petitioner. Once the petition has been tabled in Parliament, the petition forms part of the tabled papers of the current Parliament. All tabled papers are on the public record and as such a person may request a hard copy (not electronic) of a tabled petition. It is, therefore, possible that signatories can be identified from a copy of a tabled paper or e-petition.

How long can an e-petition run?

The posting period for an e-petition is a minimum of one week and a maximum of six months from the date of publication on the Parliament's website.

Can an e-petition commence if Parliament is dissolved?

No. If an e-petition is received during the dissolution of the Parliament it will be held until the commencement of the subsequent Parliament then posted to the website. Any e-petitions which close during a dissolution will be presented to the subsequent Parliament.

Can the signatures from a series of different petitions, where each petition is worded exactly the same but tabled at different times, be added together when referring to the number of signatures tabled on that matter?

In a procedural sense, no. Each petition, whilst they may be substantially the same or even identical in terms of their grievance/action etc, is still a separate petition. Whether they are 'colloquially' referred to as one petition is another matter, but technically/procedurally they are separate.

Can a company name be used as the principal petitioners name?

Only if the company provides their Australian Company Number (ACN) or seal.

How do members check the validity of petitions

Generally, a member is 'responsible' in a wide sense for petitions they present; but it would be impossible and unreasonable to expect members or anyone to verify names. In any event, simply because one person gives a presumably false name, that should not affect those who have genuinely signed in good faith. However, any fraud on a petition (eg. false name) is a serious contempt of Parliament.

Can a petition be tabled if it has no signatures

No. There must be a minimum of one signature.

If a paper petition does not conform with the Standing Orders, how can it be tabled?

A paper petition not in the correct form is referred to as a non-conforming petition. A member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly can table a non-conforming paper petition during the adjournment debate or during Private Members’ Statements, or anytime they are on their feet other than when they are asking a Question. Non-conforming petitions are not treated as petitions requiring a ministerial response. They merely become a tabled paper of the Parliament.