The Government of Queensland , also referred to as the Queensland Government , is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, [2] as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth. Key state government offices are located at 1 William Street in the Brisbane central business district.

Executive and judicial powers

Executive Building in George Street, 2015

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 Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, 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.

The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature. It consists of Her Majesty The Queen (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.

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

Current Ministry

Minister Office Portrait
Annastacia Palaszczuk
Jackie Trad
  • Deputy Premier
  • Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
  • Minister for Trade and Investment
1 William Street was completed in 2016
Curtis Pitt
  • Treasurer
  • Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
  • Minister for Sport
Cameron Dick
  • Minister for Health
  • Minister for Ambulance Services
Kate Jones
  • Minister for Education
  • Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Yvette D'Ath Mark Ryan
  • Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services
  • Minister for Corrective Services
Anthony Lynham
  • Minister for State Development
  • Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
Stirling Hinchliffe Mark Bailey
  • Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports
  • Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply
Steven Miles
  • Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
  • Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
Grace Grace
  • Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations
  • Minister for Multicultural Affairs
  • Minister for Racing
Coralee O'Rourke
  • Minister for Disability Services
  • Minister for Seniors
  • Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
Leeanne Enoch
  • Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy
  • Minister for Small Business
Shannon Fentiman
  • Minister for Communities, Women and Youth
  • Minister for Child Safety
  • Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
Leanne Donaldson
  • Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries
Mick de Brenni
  • Minister for Housing and Public Works
Assistant Ministers Mark Ryan
  • Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier
Jennifer Howard
  • Assistant Minister for Local Government

Queensland government agencies

The Queensland Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility. Each portfolio is led by a government minister who is a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were nineteen lead agencies, called government departments, that consist of: [3]

A range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.


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

The Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. [4] 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. [5] 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. [5] The court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000. [5] Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court. [5]

District Court

The District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. [6] The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court. [6] Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences (such as armed robbery, rape, and dangerous driving). [6] 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. [6] Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court. [6]

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland. [7] 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. [7] Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia.


There are several factors that differentiate Queensland's government from other Australian states. The legislature has no upper house. For a large portion of its history, the state was under a gerrymander that heavily favoured rural electorates. This, combined with the already decentralised nature of Queensland, meant that politics has been dominated by regional interests. Queensland, along with New South Wales, formerly operated a balloting system known as Optional Preferential Voting for state elections. This is different from the predominant Australian electoral system, the instant-runoff voting system, and in practice is closer to a first past the post ballot (similar to the ballot used in the UK), which some say is to the detriment of minor parties. The next Queensland election will use instant-runoff voting.

These conditions have had notable practical ramifications for politics in Queensland. The lack of an upper house for substantial legislative review has meant that Queensland has had a tradition of domination by strong-willed, populist premiers, often with arguably authoritarian tendencies, holding office for long periods.

While most Australian states have their populations heavily concentrated in the capital cities, Brisbane accounts for only about 45 percent of Queensland's population. The strong decentralisation of the population made the state a stronghold for the National Party. Before the merger of the Queensland branches of the Liberals and Nationals as the Liberal National Party, the National Party had been the senior partner in the non- Labor Coalition since 1924. In other states and federally, the long-standing coalition between the Nationals and Liberals typically has the National Party as the junior partner.

See also