Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Queensland Binding referenda Bill 1991

These are excerpts from a Bill calling for binding referenda , which was presented to the Queensland Parliament in 1991 , but not passed.

Other States have had similar Bills . However, it does show the issue is "live" & we should study these Australian campaigns & their weaknesses to build more strength into our New Zealand campaign for BCIR legislation . I think one thing we can learn is the importance of building cross party support before legislation is introduced. 3 years ago , we had received a promise by one party ( NZ First ) to to introduce a Bill , but it never happened . We need a backup & even get different parties competing with each other to introduce a Bill .

An Act to enable the people of Queensland to initiate and vote on legislative proposals
The Parliament of Queensland enacts—
1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Community Consultation Act 2001.
2 Dictionary
The dictionary in schedule 4 defines particular words used in this Act.
3 Function of the commission
The commission has the continuing function of performing the duties
under this Act and of making appropriate administrative arrangements for
this Act.
Division 1—Gaining community support
4 Establishment of sponsoring committee
(1) Twelve electors proposing to present an initiating request may, by
unanimous resolution, agree to form themselves into the
sponsoring committee for the legislative proposal that is to be the
subject of the request.
(2) For this Act, a sponsoring committee comes into existence when
the commission accepts the lodgment, by or on behalf of a group of
electors referred to in subsection (1), of a notice in the approved
form (“establishment notice”) that contains the following—
(a) a statement that the persons named in the notice have
agreed to form themselves into a sponsoring committee for
this Act for the legislative proposal described in the notice;
(b) the names and addresses of the persons;
(c) their signatures;
(d) the name of the contact officer for the committee; and
(e) a description, in no more than 100 words, of the main
objects sought to be achieved by the legislative proposal;
(f) a short title indicative of the objects of the legislative proposal.
(3) Where the commission is satisfied that—
(a) a document submitted for the purposes of subsection (2)
complies with that subsection; and
(b) the objects sought to be achieved by the proposal are
capable of implementation by legislation of the Parliament;
it must accept the lodgment of the establishment notice by
publishing in the Gazette a notice of its acceptance.

13 Preparation of proposed laws
(1) If a notice in relation to a popular request has been published
under subsection 11(1), the sponsoring committee for the
registered legislative proposal may prepare a proposed law that
gives effect to the objects of the proposal.
(2) On written application made by a sponsoring committee through
its contact officer, the Parliamentary Counsel must make available
to the committee the services of a drafting officer to enable the
committee to prepare a proposed law.
(3) The proposed law must be prepared as soon as reasonably
practicable after publication of the notice under subsection 11(1),
and within sufficient time to enable its submission to referendum
on the first community consultation day that next occurs.
(4) A prepared proposed law must include the transitional, machinery
and ancillary provisions appropriate to give effect to its objects.
(5) A proposed law may, on the instructions of the sponsoring
committee through its contact officer, provide for the submission to
referendum of 1 or more provisions of a proposed law, separately
or in the alternative.
(6) The heading and questions to appear on the ballot paper must be
prepared by the drafting officer on the instructions of the
sponsoring committee through its contact officer.
(7) The drafting officer must consult with the parliamentary counsel
about compliance of the proposed law with the requirements of
this Act.
(8) If the sponsoring committee for the proposed law intends that the
proposed law or a provision of a proposed law be entrenched, the
entrenchment provision must be the subject of a separate question
when the proposed law is submitted to referendum.


Dominic Baron said...

It is indeed very useful to try every tack possible to get this issue into the consciousness of the political parties as well as the population at large. But why does this proposed legislation have to be so verbose? It appears designed to appeal only to lawyers because it is so hedged about with constraints and limits.
When we draw up our first constitution let it be clearly drafted in unambiguous and honest language.

Steve Baron said...

Yes, one almost needs a law degree to follow it. However, in saying that, I would like to see more aspects of how Binding Referendums would be run. Simply to make our existing CIR Act binding would not be satisfactory. See the Referendum Obkectives on our website.

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show that politicians can't be trusted. I totally agree with you Steve - it is about time we did find a party or member willing to sponsor such a Bill. My view is that politicians were not born more special than anyone else. Their job is to represent the people with the majority view on certain issues and not to gain more power for themselves.

Steve Baron said...

It was indeed very frustrating that NZ First did not put forward a Private Members Bill for the introduction of Binding Referendums. Even after numerous calls and follow-ups by myself they never got around to it. I think it is about time Better Democracy NZ found a Party or Member of Parliament who is prepared to sponsor such a Bill.