Report No. 24, 57th Parliament - Public Health and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Management) Amendment Bill 2022


The committee tabled its Report No. 24, 57th Parliament - Public Health and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Management) Amendment Bill 2022, on 14 October 2022. The Bill was passed on 26 October 2022. 



On 1 September 2022, Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, introduced the Public Health and Other Legislation (COVID-19 Management) Amendment Bill 2022 into the Queensland Parliament.  The Bill was referred to the Health and Environment Committee for detailed consideration. 

View: Introductory speech
View: Bill
View: Explanatory Notes
View: Statement of Compatibility

The temporary emergency framework to manage Queensland's COVID-19 pandemic response expires on 31 October 2022.

Rather than further extend the current ‘declared public health emergency’ for COVID-19, the Bill proposes temporary powers to manage COVID-19 as a notifiable condition under the Public Health Act 2005 (Public Health Act) until 31 October 2023.

The amendments supplement existing powers to manage controlled notifiable conditions with limited powers to make and enforce public health directions. The changes aim to maintain health system capacity and protect vulnerable individuals while COVID-19 continues to circulate in Queensland.

The proposed powers will enable the Chief Health Officer (CHO) to issue public health directions only if satisfied the direction is reasonably necessary to prevent or respond to a serious risk to the public health system or community as a result of COVID-19, or to implement National Cabinet's decisions/agreements and the advice and recommendations of COVID-19 national advisory bodies (eg. the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation).

The measures proposed in the Bill include:

  • restoring the Public Health Act to its pre-pandemic operation
  • removing (repealing) the CHO's power to issue public health directions to:
    • close Queensland's borders to other Australian States and Territories
    • require quarantine for international and domestic arrivals
    • restrict the movement and gathering of people by widespread lockdowns and/or restrictions on particular businesses and individual gatherings
    • require vaccination for the general public (eg. for entering hospitality venues)
    • restrict access to vulnerable facilities (eg. aged care facilities and hospitals) unless needed to support a direction about isolation or quarantine, masks or vaccination
  • authorising the CHO to continue to issue public health directions about the following matters, outside of a declared public health emergency, subject to certain limitations and safeguards (including a new threshold test for when the power may be used) —
    • isolation and quarantine of diagnosed cases and symptomatic close contacts
    • requiring masks to be carried or worn in specified vulnerable and high-risk settings
    • requiring workers in vulnerable and high-risk settings to be vaccinated.

Public health directions will be tabled in parliament with a statement explaining their rationale and compatibility with human rights and then referred for parliamentary committee review. Directions can be disallowed by parliament.

Directions will automatically expire after 90 days and must be revoked sooner if they no longer meet the criteria for being issued.

The Bill includes additional safeguards relating to the enforcement of directions. A person must be given the opportunity to voluntarily comply with a direction before an authorised person can take steps to enforce compliance. A person who fails to comply with a direction does not commit an offence if they have a reasonable excuse.

The Bill also extends temporary COVID-19 measures in prisons for up to 1 year, but does not propose to further extend amendments made to other legislation such as the Disaster Management Act 2003 and the Mental Health Act 2016.


Submissions closed on Friday, 16 September 2022. Submissions accepted by the committee can be viewed under the ‘View Submissions’ tab.


Submissions closed:Friday, 16 September 2022 - 9:00am
Public Briefings:Wednesday, 28 September 2022 - 9:30am and 2:00pm - Program - Broadcast 9:30am - Transcript - Broadcast 2:00pm - Transcript
Public Hearing:Wednesday, 28 September 2022 - 10:20am - Program - Broadcast - Transcript
Report Due Date:Friday, 14 October 2022 - Report



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