The purpose of Executive Council meetings
The governance arrangement of the Executive Council has existed in Queensland from the date of separation from New South Wales.
While significant constitutional change has occurred in the intervening years, including Federation and the abolition of the Legislative Council, the Executive Council has endured.
Established by Section 48 of the Queensland Constitution, the purpose of the Executive Council is to advise the Governor on the exercise of the powers of the Governor in Council. In accordance with the Constitution and reflecting established conventions of responsible government, the Governor receives advice from Executive Councillors (i.e. the Premier and Ministers) in weekly meetings of the Governor in Council. Various Acts of Parliament specify that certain administrative actions, such as appointments and making regulations, can only be carried out by the Governor in Council.
The Governor in Council gives formal, legal effect to decisions of Cabinet. Matters considered by the Governor in Council include: the issuing of commissions and administrative arrangements; approving new and amending subordinate legislation; issuing proclamations setting dates for the commencement of legislation; and approving certain appointments, including Judges, Magistrates, Chief Executives, members of some boards and statutory bodies, and Justices of the Peace.
The Governor’s program is arranged around Executive Council meetings, which are held every Thursday, and time is reserved on Wednesday to ensure the Governor is able to read and properly consider all matters which are to be raised.
The Office works closely and cooperatively with the Executive Council Secretariat to ensure the smooth and professional operation of the Governor in Council, including facilitating special meetings from time to time to deal with urgent matters.
Building community understanding of the Governor’s constitutional role has been a key focus of His Excellency’s term in office.
To this end, Executive Council meetings are notified on Twitter, and from time to time the Office will use social media to profile aspects of the role, for example, by Tweeting photographs of writs for elections the Governor signs upon Executive Council advice.
The Government House Volunteer Guides are briefed on the function and purpose of the Governor in Council to ensure that the many school and community groups which visit Government House each year leave with a sound understanding of the role of Executive Council in our system of government.