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History of legislative drafting and publishing in Queensland

The current Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel (OQPC) was established as a statutory office on 1 June 1992 with the commencement of the Legislative Standards Act 1992.

The office, and the Legislative Standards Act 1992, have their origins in the Fitzgerald inquiry (the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct), which recommended that "the present role and functions of the Parliamentary Counsel should be reviewed ... to ensure its independence."

However, the history of legislative drafting in Queensland can be traced back to 1860. The first Parliamentary Draftsman for Queensland was appointed on 13 September 1860; only a few months after the opening of the first Parliament of Queensland on 22 May 1860.

In 1957, Queensland's legislative drafting office employed 3 staff. Today, OQPC has a staff of 53, made up of legislative drafters, editing and publishing staff, and information technology and corporate support officers.

Over the years, the office and its staff have undertaken a number of initiatives to make Queensland's laws more accessible to the public. Notably—

  • the first consolidation of Queensland's laws was published in 1899
  • plain English drafting was formally adopted in 1991 as part of a process of modernising Queensland's statute book
  • electronic publication of legislation was introduced in 1998 with the launch of the Queensland legislation website (

Read about key events in the history of OQPC and legislative drafting and publishing in Queensland.

OQPC was established as an independent statutory body following a recommendation in the 1989 report of the Fitzgerald inquiry.

Read about the people who have held office as the Parliamentary Counsel for Queensland, from the appointment of Sir John Bramston (pictured) in 1860.