Health chief’s powers set to be extended


A new COVID-19 Bill that extends the existing powers of Queensland's chief health officer will be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

The Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced yesterday to ensure any sunset clauses or expiry provisions on various amendments did not come into effect until September 30 next year.

The Bill, which allows the government's health response to continue for another six months, is not considered urgent like other COVID-19 measures, allowing it to go before a parliamentary committee.

It came after the Greens on Wednesday attempted to establish a new committee to scrutinise COVID-19 decisions made under emergency legislation.

Member for Maiwar Michael Berkman wanted the committee to be chaired by either a crossbencher or opposition MP.

However the House voted against the proposal on Wednesday night.

As part of the extended amendments, which were originally introduced in March, the chief health officer was granted powers to regulate the community's behaviour in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19.



Originally published as Health chief's powers set to be extended