What is Cabinet?
Cabinet is the government's central decision-making body. The Premier and ministers are all members of the Cabinet. As the government leader, the Premier is the Cabinet chairperson.
Cabinet's role and functions
Cabinet makes the government's most important decisions and sets priorities for governing Queensland. Some of the topics and issues discussed in Cabinet meetings include:
- significant policy issues
- proposed discussion papers
- proposed major policy reviews
- matters that have significant impact on the public or private sector
- matters that have a significant impact on the budget
- proposals that require new or amended legislation, and
- significant appointments, such as appointing someone to a board or tribunal.
The Queensland Cabinet Handbook has more information about matters considered in Cabinet.
Cabinet has been part of the Queensland Constitution since 2000. Under the Constitution, Cabinet is responsible as a group to Parliament for its decisions. This is called ‘collective responsibility’.
Cabinet usually meets on Mondays in the Executive Building in Brisbane. Cabinet also meets in regional areas when a Community Cabinet meeting is being held. Ministers are expected to attend Cabinet meetings as a priority over other commitments.
Cabinet meeting discussions are confidential and the Premier and ministers openly discuss proposed government policies.
The Cabinet Secretary is a senior public servant who attends Cabinet to record decisions and the documents of the meeting on the Premier's behalf.
Before 1957, Queensland had no permanent non-political Cabinet Secretary to keep formal records of Cabinet proceedings. Ministers simply noted Cabinet decisions on the relevant files.
On 17 October 1957, the Cabinet Secretary position was established. This brought Queensland into line with the Commonwealth Government system.