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Parliament of Queensland

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Parliament of Queensland
57th Parliament
HousesLegislative Assembly
SovereignKing (represented by the governor of Queensland)
Founded22 May 1860; 164 years ago (22 May 1860)
Charles III
since 8 September 2022
Jeannette Young
since 1 November 2021
Curtis Pitt, Labor
since 13 February 2018
Steven Miles, Labor
since 15 December 2023
David Crisafulli, Liberal National
since 12 November 2020
Current Structure of the Legislative Assembly
Political groups
Government (51)
  •   Labor (51)

Opposition (35)

Crossbench (7)

Full preferential voting
Last election
31 October 2020
Next election
26 October 2024
Meeting place
Parliament House,
Brisbane, Queensland,
Constitution of Queensland

The Parliament of Queensland is the legislature of Queensland, Australia. As provided under the Constitution of Queensland, the Parliament consists of the King and the Legislative Assembly. It has been the only unicameral state legislature in the country since the upper chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922. The Legislative Assembly sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Brisbane.

The Queensland Parliament retains plenary legislative power over Queensland, however Commonwealth laws apply to the extent of any inconsistency. Some laws passed by the NSW Parliament and the Imperial Parliament also remain in force.[1]

Following the outcome of the 2015 election, four additional seats were added to the Legislative Assembly (to a total of 93), the voting system changed from optional preferential voting to full-preferential voting, and unfixed three-year terms were replaced with fixed four-year terms.[2]


The Parliament was founded 22 May 1860, less than a year after the Colony of Queensland was created in June 1859.[3] It was convened at military and convict barracks converted for the purpose located on Queen Street, Brisbane.[4] Immigration was an important issue for the early Parliament. Population growth was encouraged with new settlers enticed by land ownership.[5]

In 1915, Queensland became the first state to make voting compulsory at state elections.[6]

Since 1 April 2003, live audio broadcasts have streamed through the internet from the Parliament while it is in session.[7] In June 2007, the Parliament started broadcasting video of parliamentary proceedings. Nine in-house television cameras are used to record sessions.[8]

The first female Speaker, Fiona Simpson was elected on 15 May 2012.[9]


The Assembly has 93 Members of Parliament (MPs). These are intended to represent approximately the same population in each electorate. Voting is by the full preferential voting system, with elections held approximately once every three years.

In April 2016, legislation was passed to increase the number of seats in the parliament by four to a total of 93. An amendment was also passed to abolish optional preferential voting. A referendum held the previous month was passed, supporting a bill to establish fixed four-year terms.

Royal assent[edit]

The role of the monarch in Parliament is to give royal assent to legislation. This function is in practice exercised by the governor of Queensland, who conventionally will never refuse assent to a bill that has passed the Legislative Assembly. The party or coalition with the most seats in the house is invited by the governor to form a government.

The leader of that party subsequently becomes the premier of Queensland, leading a Cabinet of ministers. In the Liberal National Party, the premier selects members of their party to act as ministers. In the Labor Party, the ministers are elected by party room ballot, with the leader then assigning ministerial portfolios to each one.


Once all winning candidates have been declared, the governor of Queensland proclaims a date for the start of the new Parliament.[10] It is the role of the Clerk of the Parliament to call members to attendance.

According to the Constitution of Queensland, members of Parliament must swear an oath or affirmation to the king as well as an oath of office before signing a Roll of Members.[10][11] This oath or affirmation must be made to the governor or someone authorised by him or her—typically the clerk of the Parliament.

Queensland's ceremonial mace, 1979

Sworn-in representatives are required to elect a Speaker to preside over the House's business.[10] Before this occurs the Clerk may select and point to the next member who may speak. Once elected the Speaker is dragged to the chair and presented to the Governor at Government House.[10] The symbol of the authority of the Parliament and its Speaker is the ceremonial mace. The sergeant-at-arms carries the mace into the chamber of parliament when the speaker enters at the start of each sitting day and removes it again when the speaker leaves at the end of the sitting day. During the sitting day, the mace rests on two raised brackets on the centre table with the head of the mace lying pointed towards the government's side. The current mace was designed and made in 1978 and is sterling silver with gold plating and is encrusted with 32 Queensland gemstones.[12]

The ceremonial opening of the new Parliament is marked by a speech by the governor. Traditionally the speech is written by the new government and it may outline current activities, budget details, statistics and proposed lists of legislation which are intended to be introduced.[10]

The Speaker's Chair in the Legislative Assembly

A day in Parliament usually begins with housekeeping matters, including prayers, notifications and the tabling of any documents.[10] An opportunity is then given to Ministers to make statements. During a period of no more than an hour, known as question time, any member may pose a question to a Minister.

Regional sittings[edit]

Starting in 2002, the Queensland Parliament has held regional sittings of parliament across the state.[13] Originally being held every three years, the occurrence has become more sporadic, and, in 2023, the regional sitting took place in Cairns. It was the first sitting since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second in twelve years.

No. Location Dates Venue Region
1 Townsville 3–5 September 2002 Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre North Queensland
2 Rockhampton 4–6 October 2005 Pilbeam Theatre Central Queensland
3 Cairns 28–30 October 2008 Cairns Convention Centre Far North Queensland
4 Mackay 24–26 May 2011 Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday
5 Townsville 3–5 September 2019 Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre North Queensland
6 Cairns 9–11 May 2023 Cairns Convention Centre Far North Queensland

Distribution of seats[edit]

As of 17 March 2024, the composition of Parliament is:

Party Seats
Current Assembly (total 93 seats)
Labor 51 51
Liberal National 35 35
Katter's Australian 3 3
Greens 2 2
One Nation 1 1
Independent 1 1
  • 47 votes as a majority are required to pass legislation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The power of the Parliament of Queensland". Legislation Handbook. Department of the Premier and Cabinet. 23 April 2012. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. ^ Green, Antony (21 April 2016). "Electoral Law Ructions in the Queensland Parliament". Archived from the original on 8 December 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Almost 150 years strong" (lift out section). The Courier-Mail. 28 August 2007. pp. 40 to 41.
  4. ^ "About Us". Queensland Parliament. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Creation of a state". Government of Queensland. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 18 November 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  6. ^ Tony Moore (3 January 2013). "Compulsory confusion at the ballot box". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Qld parliament goes live on the internet". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 April 2003. Archived from the original on 28 February 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Parliament accused of censorship over camera ban". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. 30 May 2008. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  9. ^ Daniel Hurst (15 May 2012). "Simpson elected state's first female Speaker as Parliament resumes". Brisbane Times. Fairfax MEdia. Archived from the original on 19 February 2024. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Wanna, John; Tracey Arklay (2010). The Ayes Have It: The History of the Queensland Parliament 1957–1989 (PDF). ANU E Press. pp. 12–15. ISBN 978-1921666315. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  11. ^ Constitution of Queensland 2001 (Qld) s 22
  12. ^ "Information on Parliament". Queensland Parliament. Archived from the original on 13 March 2023. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  13. ^ "Regional Sittings". parliament.qld.gov.au. Parliament of Queensland. Archived from the original on 17 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]