Cabinet approval must be sought for the following legislative items:
- drafting legislation
- introducing legislation into Parliament
- making regulations
- issuing proclamations.
The South Australian Legislation website provides access to and information about South Australian legislation.
Cabinet approval must be sought to prepare new or amended legislation and to introduce the legislation to Parliament.
For straight forward and non-contentious items, approval to draft and introduce can be sought in the same Cabinet submission. More complex or contentious items may require Cabinet’s approval at both the drafting and introduction stages.
Cabinet submissions seeking approval to draft new or amended legislation must include drafting instructions to Parliamentary Counsel as a separate attachment. The drafting instructions help set the boundaries of the drafting process. There is not a set template for drafting instructions but they must be clearly labelled as instructions and outline the detail to be drafted. The drafting is then undertaken by Parliamentary Counsel in accordance with Cabinet’s approval.
If approval to introduce is sought in a second submission, the drafting instructions should be referenced and the submission should highlight any material departures from the approved instructions.
See the Checklist- Cabinet Submission Attachments for guidance on the required attachments for Cabinet submissions at the drafting and introduction stages.
Once the Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, it must be assented to by the Governor in Executive Council. This does not require Cabinet approval, however Cabinet approval to commence and commit the Act may be required.
Commencement and Committal
In most cases, to bring an Act into operation (known as commencement), Cabinet need to recommend that the Governor in Executive Council issue a proclamation that sets a specific date. A Cabinet submission is needed for this. However, in some cases legislation will commence automatically.
If the Act is new, rather than an amendment to an existing Act, a Cabinet submission is also required to commit the Act to a minister.
The commencement and committal of an Act can be contained in one submission. Specific wording is required for submissions dealing with commencement or committal. Use the Checklist – Proclamations – Committal and Commencement.
Use the Checklist - Cabinet Submissions Attachment for guidance on what to attach to Cabinet submissions at various stages of the legislative process.
Regulations are made by the Governor in Executive Council and require Cabinet’s approval. This can be done using a one-step or two-step process.
Most matters can follow the one-step process (that is, a single Cabinet approval), but those which are contentious, represent a change in government policy, or will have a significant impact on a number of different portfolios, require the two-step process (consideration by Cabinet at two points).
The appropriate process can be determined through consultation with Parliamentary Counsel and Cabinet Office.
The minister asks Parliamentary Counsel to prepare draft regulations using the instructions for the drafting of regulations form.
Once the regulations are drafted and settled by Parliamentary Counsel, the minister seeks Cabinet approval of the draft regulations and recommends that the Governor make them in Executive Council. The drafting instructions do not need to be attached.
Use the Checklist - Regulations - One-step process to guide your submission and the required attachments.
A Cabinet submission is prepared seeking Cabinet's approval to draft the regulations, accompanied by drafting instructions as an attachment.
Following Cabinet approval, Parliamentary Counsel drafts the regulations.
Cabinet approval is then sought to recommend that the Governor make the regulations in Executive Council.
Use the Checklist - Regulations – Two-step process to guide your submission and the required attachments.
Executive Council documentation for legislative items
In addition to lodging the Cabinet submission and all required attachments electronically, the following documents must be submitted in hard copy to Cabinet Office for the Executive Council process:
- two sets of each regulation
- Certificate of Validity for each set of regulations
- Certificate of Early Commencement for each set of regulations (if applicable)
- 14 copies of the Legislative Review Committee report (see below).
All regulations are published in the Government Gazette on the same day as they are made by the Governor in Executive Council.
Once made, they are laid before both Houses of Parliament within six sitting days and are considered by the Legislative Review Committee.
Commencement of regulations
If regulations do not specify a commencement date, they will come into operation four months after the day they are made.
If the regulations need to come into operation early, they can specify a commencement date. In this instance, a Certificate of Early Commencement, prepared by Parliamentary Counsel, is required and must be attached to the submission and provided in hard copy to Cabinet Office.
Report to the Legislative Review Committee
The report to the Legislative Review Committee should contain enough information for the committee to consider the regulations, including:
- policy considerations which resulted in the development of the regulatory or deregulatory proposal
- a summary of any administrative, legal or other arrangements established under the proposed regulations
- appropriate information on the financial impact of the proposal (if available)
- an outline of the consultation, including who was consulted, when they were consulted, and their views
- the reasons for issue of a Certificate of Early Commencement (if applicable).
Where regulations will vary a government fee or charge, the basis of the variation should be stated in the report. Contact details of an agency officer should also be included.
If a report does not comply with the requirements set out above, the Legislative Review Committee may recommend disallowance of the relevant regulations.
Proclamations are issued by the Governor in Executive Council and must therefore be approved by Cabinet. Proclamations are used for a variety of matters, including:
- commencement of Acts
- committal of Acts to ministers
- alteration of council or park boundaries
- varying controls on the use of land.
Where a proclamation is required, Cabinet Office provides the submission to Parliamentary Counsel for drafting once it has been approved. Proclamations are usually finalised in the same week; however, proclamations dealing with more complex matters may take longer to complete.
The majority of proclamations take effect on the day on which they are made. A retrospective date can only be chosen if expressly contemplated by the enabling Act. A future date is also chosen from time to time, especially with commencement proclamations.
All proclamations are published in the Government Gazette on the day on which they are issued by the Governor in Executive Council.