In order to maintain the confidentiality of Cabinet deliberations attendance at Cabinet is restricted to ministers and a small number of officials.
Attendance by non-ministers will be considered for non-ministerial items and in other exceptional circumstances, additional attendees must be approved by the Cabinet Secretary in consultation with the Chair.
Cabinet will usually meet even if the Premier is not available. If it is a planned absence, an Acting Premier will be appointed and will chair Cabinet. If the Premier is unexpectedly absent, Cabinet may be chaired by the next most senior minister present, usually the Deputy Premier.
Requests for planned ministerial absence must be made to the Cabinet Secretary in writing using the Request for Ministerial Absence form.
Instructions on using the Request for Ministerial Absence form
Step 1: Complete the form
Open the online form and answer the questions relating to the requested absence.
When all mandatory questions are answered, click ‘Next’. An error message will appear if any of the mandatory fields have not been completed.
Step 2: Preview the form
The confirmation page allows you to review the information entered for accuracy and completeness.
Click ‘Back’ to make any changes and update as required. If no amendments are required, check the acknowledgement box and click ‘Submit’.
Step 3: Submit the form
Once you have clicked ‘submit’ no further action is required. The receipt page allows you to download a copy of your request form. You will be advised by email of the Cabinet Secretary’s response.
Conflict of interest
In the course of considering Cabinet papers, it is the responsibility of all ministers to bring any conflicts of interest to the attention of Cabinet.
When a minister discloses a conflict on interest in relation to a Cabinet paper, they must complete a conflict of interest form and refrain from participating in the ensuing discussion. Best practice is that the minister also leaves the Cabinet room during discussions of matters on which they have declared a conflict.
More information on conflicts of interest can be found in the Ministerial Code of Conduct.
Accessing Cabinet papers
There are a range of conventions regarding access to Cabinet papers. Requests for access to documents of the current government should be referred to the office of the minister who lodges the paper.
Requests for access to documents of previous governments should be directed to Cabinet Office.
Members of the public can apply for access to Cabinet papers over ten years old through Freedom of Information arrangements.
Decisions and outcomes
Cabinet decisions will normally be released to ministers’ offices and authorised agency representatives on Tuesday morning, following Monday’s Cabinet meeting. For the outcome, contact the Cabinet Officer in your minister’s office or your chief executive’s office.
Announcements of Cabinet decisions which need the Governor’s authorisation must wait until after the Executive Council meeting and confirmation of approval by the Governor.