Government of Queensland

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Coat of arms of the Queensland Government

The Government of Queensland (usually known as the Queensland Government) is the government of the Australian state of Queensland. It is established by the Constitution of Queensland, and its relationship with the Commonwealth is regulated by the Constitution of Australia.

The Government of Queensland operates under the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. The Governor of Queensland, as the representative of the Monarch, holds nominal power, although in practice only performs ceremonial duties. The Parliament of Queensland holds legislative power, while executive power lies with the Premier and Cabinet, and judicial power is exercised by a system of courts and tribunals.

Legislature[edit]

Parliament House in Brisbane; the meeting place of the Parliament of Queensland

The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature. It consists of the Monarch (represented by the Governor), and a single chamber; the Legislative Assembly. Queensland is the only Australian state with a unicameral parliament after a second chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922.

The Legislative Assembly has 89 members; one representing each electoral district in Queensland. Elections for the Legislative Assembly are held approximately every three years.

Executive[edit]

Cabinet[edit]

The Cabinet of Queensland is the government's chief policy-making organ, and consists of the Premier and all ministers.

Departments[edit]

Following the 2012 Queensland state election which resulted in a change of Government, Premier Campbell Newman announced machinery of government changes. The changes involved reforming the Queensland public service, introducing several new departments and reforming others so that each department was responsible to an individual minister.[1]

Agencies[edit]

Government owned corporations[edit]

The government is responsible for a number of corporations, of which the responsible minister typically holds a 100% ownership stake in. These include:[2]

In 2006, then-Premier Peter Beattie privatised a number of government owned electricity retailers.[3]

On June 2, 2009 the government announced the 'Renewing Queensland Plan' that would sell state-owned railway, port and forestry assets to raise $15 billion, and avoid a further $12 billion required in future capital investment.[4][5] On 18 May 2010, Queensland Forestry Plantations was the first commercial business to be sold.

Judiciary[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law in Brisbane in which the Supreme Court of Queensland and District Court of Queensland sit

The judiciary of Queensland consists of the Magistrates Court, the District Court, and the Supreme Court, as well as a number of smaller courts and tribunals. The Chief Justice of Queensland is the state's most senior judicial officer.

Magistrates Court[edit]

The Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.[6] The court's criminal jurisdiction covers summary offences, and indictable offences which may be heard summarily, but all criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court, even if they are not within this jurisdiction.[7] For charges beyond its jurisdiction, the court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court or dismiss it.[7] The court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000.[7] Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court.[7]

District Court[edit]

The District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.[8] The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court.[8] Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences (such as armed robbery, rape, and dangerous driving).[8] The court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 but less than or equal to $750,000.[8] Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court.[8]

Supreme Court[edit]

The Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland.[9] The court has two divisions; the Trial Division and the Court of Appeal. The Trial Division's jurisdiction covers serious criminal offences (including murder and manslaughter), and civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000. The Court of Appeal's jurisdiction allows it to hear cases on appeal from the Trial Division, the District Court, and a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland.[9] Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Department Listings - QGED Pages". The State of Queensland. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Government owned corporations: Queensland Government". The State of Queensland. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Peter Beattie (2 April 2011). "Bligh, Newman vie for a changed Queensland". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Marissa Calligeros (2 June 2009). "Queensland asset sales to reap $15 billion". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Queensland assets sale". www.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland) (2012). "Magistrates Court". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland) (2010). "Magistrates Court of Queensland". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland) (2010). "The District Court of Queensland". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Department of Justice and Attorney-General (Queensland). "Supreme Court". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 

External links[edit]