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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Parliament passes laws to lift magistrate retirement age

    Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    Parliament passes laws to lift magistrate retirement age

    Queensland magistrates can now serve on the bench for an extra five years under laws passed by State Parliament today.

    Attorney-General Cameron Dick said the legislative reforms raised the compulsory retirement age for Queensland magistrates from 65 to 70.

    “Raising the retirement age for magistrates brings them into line with the retirement age for Supreme and District Court judges, providing consistency across the judiciary,” Mr Dick said.

    “It also more closely aligns Queensland magistrates with those in other states such as Victoria, where the retirement age is 70 years, and New South Wales and Tasmania, where retirement is compulsory at 72.

    “Queensland magistrates dealt with more than 260,000 matters in 2009-10 and lifting the retirement age is a mark of confidence in the professionalism and capacity of the modern magistracy.”

    Mr Dick said passage of the Justice and Other Legislation Bill 2010 also enshrines the role of judicial registrars in Queensland’s courts, as well as fine-tuning more than 30 existing statutes.

    The legislative reforms also give workers who enter into legal surrogacy arrangements, and who are covered by the state’s industrial relations laws, access to parental leave.

    Mr Dick said the new provisions were based on the existing entitlements for an employee whose spouse gave birth, with paid parental leave of up to one week and further unpaid parental leave of up to 51 weeks.

    Previously there was no provision for workers to be able to apply for parental leave when they took over responsibility for the child from the birth mother.

    Mr Dick said the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) now had greater powers to target chronic fine dodgers.

    “SPER can now register an interest in a debtor’s motor vehicle where they owed $500 in fines, half the previous $1000 minimum,” he said.

    “SPER’s increased capacity to use the register as a compliance tool will encourage more fine dodgers to pay their debts and reduce the need for tougher measures.”

    Media contact: Office of the Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister 3239 3487