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The general process for the development and approval of bills

Issue date: 
Friday, 13 November 2020
Issue status: 
Published by: 
Version note: 

This publication is part of the CabGuide.

The development of legislation is a complex and time-consuming process requiring careful planning and co-ordination.

The basic process for developing government legislation, contained in paragraph 7.22 of the Cabinet Manual, is as follows:

  • decision to pursue a policy proposal requiring legislation
  • policy development, including regulatory impact analysis
  • consultation
  • allocation of legislative priority (through the Legislation Programme)
  • approval of policy proposals by Cabinet
  • preparing drafting instructions and further consultation
  • drafting legislation
  • preparing the departmental disclosure statement
  • the Cabinet Legislation Committee and Cabinet approval of the draft bill for introduction
  • reference to the government caucus and non-government parliamentary parties, as appropriate
  • introduction, first reading, and referral to a select committee
  • consideration and report by a select committee
  • remaining parliamentary stages.

Ministerial consultation on legislation

At all points during the development and passage of a bill, Ministers should consider the need to confirm support for the bill from parties representing a majority in the House of Representatives (the House).

This process may cover the substance of the bill and the proposed process for parliamentary consideration. Follow this link for more information on Ministerial consultation.

Refer to the following pages for more information

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 12 April 2016

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