Report No. 14, 57th Parliament - Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response—Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021

About the bill

On 15 September 2021 the Hon Shannon Fentiman MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence introduced the Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response - Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021 into the Queensland Parliament. On 16 September 2021 the Committee of the Legislative Assembly referred the Bill to the State Development and Regional Industries Committee for detailed consideration. The committee tabled its report on 1 November 2021. The Bill was passed with amendments by the Queensland Parliament on 18 November 2021.

View: Report
View: Government response
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Debate of the Bill in Parliament

The debate can be viewed by clicking on the movie icon within the transcripts.

View: Justice Legislation (COVID-19 Emergency Response — Permanency) Amendment Bill 2021
View: Explanatory Notes 
View: Explanatory Speech
View: Statement of compatibility with human rights

Objectives of the Bill

The objectives of the Bill are to make permanent, certain temporary measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes:

Documents reforms

The Bill proposes changes to the making, signing and witnessing of certain documents by allowing for electronic signing and witnessing via video link for documents such as affidavits, statutory declarations, general powers of attorney for businesses, deeds and particular mortgages. 

The Bill also allows nurse practitioners, in addition to doctors, to sign a certificate which forms part of an advance health directive stating that the person making the document appears to have capacity to make the document.

Domestic and family violence reforms

The Bill proposes to streamline domestic and family violence proceedings by permanently retaining measures adopted under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 which allow for domestic and family violence matters to be heard via video or audio link, the operation of alternative verification processes for temporary protection orders and electronic filing, where approved by the principal registrar.

Liquor reforms

The Bill amends the Liquor Act 1992 to permanently retain aspects of the temporary COVID-19 takeaway liquor authorities for licenced restaurants. The Bill provides that licensed restaurants will be able to apply for a permanent condition of the licence authorising the sale of a maximum of 1.5 litres of wine with a takeaway meal up to 10:00pm. The Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming will be issuing guidelines around the service of liquor with meals to provide clarity for the industry around these requirements. 

Amendments further provide that licensees will need to establish adequate systems and procedures for the responsible service of takeaway alcohol to be granted approval. 

Other

The bill will also amend the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 to provide that a regulation made under section 23 of that act must be made before the COVID-19 legislation expiry day, and expires two years after that date, unless it is repealed sooner. This will extend the operation of the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 to allow the Queensland Small Business Commissioner to continue to provide crucial mediation services in commercial leasing disputes.

TIMELINE

Submissions closed:

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Public briefing:

Monday 11 October 2021 - program - broadcast - transcript

Public hearing:

Friday 15 October 2021 - program - broadcast part 1 - broadcast part 2 - transcript

Report due date:

Monday 1 November 2021 - report

COMMITTEE’S REPORT

The committee is required to report to Parliament on the Bill by 1 November 2021. The report can be accessed here

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