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Constitution of Queensland 2001 (Qld)

Category: Legislation
Binomial Name: State of Queensland
Date: 6 June 2002
Sub Category:Legislation
State/Country:Queensland , Australia
Summary Information:

The Constitution of Queensland 2001 (Qld) (the Constitution) commenced on 6 June 2002. This legislation consolidated the various Acts and other instruments that had previously comprised Queensland's constitutional law.

The Constitution defines the powers and responsibilities of the Queensland Parliament. Unlike the other Australian States, the Queensland Parliament is 'unicameral', meaning it only has one house: the Legislative Assembly.

In most instances, the Constitution can be changed by the Queensland Parliament passing a bill. However, some 'entrenched sections' of the Constitution require approval by a majority of voters, by way of referendum, for amendment.

Detailed Information:

Recognition of Indigenous Australians 

In February 2010, Queensland became the second Australian State (after Victoria) to recognise Indigenous Australians in its Constitution with the Constitution (Preamble) Amendment Act 2010 (Qld).


The preamble to the Constitution states:

The people of Queensland, free and equal citizens of Australia - 

... (c) honour the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, whose lands, winds and waters we all now share; and pay tribute to their unique values, and their ancient and enduring cultures, which deepen and enrich the life of our community.

Unlike other Constitutions, such as the Victorian Constitution, the recognition statement is not entrenched. It can be amended or repealed by a simple majority vote in Parliament. 

Effect of preamble

The recognition of Indigenous Australians in the preamble is accompanied by a non-effects clause in s 3A, which states:

The Parliament does not in the preamble - (a) create in any person any legal right or give rise to any civil cause of action.

Significant context 

From May 2007, the Hon Mike Reynolds AM MP (Speaker of the House) adopted a practice of commencing each sitting day in the Legislative Assembly by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands of Queensland (Issues Paper 2009, 6).

On 13 February 2008, the Parliament of Australia passed a motion of apology to Australia's Indigenous peoples (the Apology). The Apology received bipartisan support in statements in the Queensland Parliament on that same day.

On 4 December 2008, the Legal, Constitutional and Administrative Review Committee of the Queensland Parliament was asked by the Queensland Parliament to draft a preamble for the Constitution, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Queensland.

The referral required that the draft preamble contain 'a statement of due recognition to Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people' and that '[s]takeholders ... be consulted during the development of the draft preamble, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council' (Issues Paper 2009, 1).

The referral also prescribed that the preamble text must 'not purport to include information to be used as an aid in statutory interpretation' (Issues Paper 2009, 1).

Related Entries

  • Apology to Australia's Indigenous Peoples by the Parliament of Australia
  • Legislation
  • Constitution (Preamble) Amendment Act 2010 (Qld)

  • References

    Legal, Constitutional and Administrative Review Committee (February 2009) Issues Paper: A Preamble for the Queensland Constitution


    Bill (Australia)

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