Volunteers and public servants will be allowed to search people at major events under proposed laws in Queensland.

Queensland’s premier is “nonplussed” about proposed state laws giving volunteers at major events the power to search people and ask them to remove items of clothing.

The Major Events Bill 2014, which was tabled in state parliament on Wednesday, will allow “authorised persons” to search people.

This includes people who work or volunteer for a major events organiser and public servants.

The searchers will be able to use metal detectors and ask people to remove their coats, shoes and hats.

Critics say the law will potentially allow people who haven’t undergone police grade psychological testing to have police search powers, but Premier Campbell Newman says such searches are already permitted under various existing laws.

The new legislation will simply bring them together under a single law, he says.

“I’m a bit nonplussed because there’s nothing new here,” he told reporters.

“What’s happened is there’s various existing pieces of legislation and regulations being brought together under one piece of comprehensive legislation.

“These things are already there.”