Australian Government



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How Australian Government works.

Australia is governed by three tiers of Government: Federal, State and Territory and Local (local councils).

Australian Federal Government.

Australia’s Commonwealth Parliament consists of two sections, The House of Representatives and The Senate. The Federal Government creates and administers National laws in relation to such things as: Defence, Immigration, Foreign affairs, Social Benefits and Taxation.

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives consists of 150 representatives. The House of Representatives is the house in which government is formed.

These 150 representatives are elected by the Australian people to act as local members for Federal areas in Australia. They are to represent their constituents interests and create Federal laws to that effect.

Local Federal members (House of Representatives) include:
Malcolm Turnbull, Local Member for the Division of Wentworth. (current Prime Minister)
Bill Shorten, Local Member for the Division of Maribyrnong. (current Leader of the Opposition)

Most draft legislation (bills) are introduced into the House of Representatives. A bill must be agreed to in identical form by both the House and the Senate and assented to by the Governor-General before it becomes law.


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The Senate

The Senate consists of 76 senators, twelve from each of the six states (NSW, QLD, SA, Tas, Vic and WA) and two from each of the mainland territories (ACT and NT).
It shares the power to make laws with the House of Representatives.

Brief Guides to Senate Procedure www.aph.gov.au
The Senate can only accept petitions that are addressed to the Senate. The Senate cannot accept petitions addressed, for instance, to the Government or to a particular Minister.

State Governments of Australia.

The six state parliaments are permitted to pass laws related to any matter that is not controlled by the Commonwealth under Section 51 of the Australian Constitution.
If a State law conflicts with a Federal law, the Constitution says that Commonwealth/Federal law is to be followed.

New South Wales:

The South Australian government has a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council
The Legislative Assembly consists of 95 members, representing the 95 electoral districts throughout New South Wales.
The Legislative Council consists of 42 members.

Queensland:

The Legislative Assembly of the Queensland Government consists of 89 members, representing 89 electoral districts, who are elected at least every three years by the people of Queensland www.qld.gov.au
The Queensland Upper House (Legislative Council) was abolished on 23 March 1922.

South Australia

The South Australian government has a House of Assembly and a Legislative Council
The House of Assembly is composed of 47 Members, each representing a separate electorate.
The Legislative Council has 22 members.

Tasmania

The Government of Tasmania has a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council.
The House of Assembly is composed of 25 Members, each representing a separate electorate.
The Legislative Council has 15 members.

Victoria

The Government of Victoria has a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council
The Legislative Assembly is the Lower House of the Parliament of Victoria, and has 88 members, each representing one electoral district.
The Legislative Council is the Upper House of the Victorian Parliament.

Western Australia

The Western Australian government has a Legislative Assembly and a Legislative Council
The Legislative Assembly is the lower House of the Parliament of Western Australia, and comprises 59 members elected from single member electoral districts by a system of preferential voting.
The Legislative Council is Western Australia’s House of Review (Upper House).

Local Governments of Australia.

Local councils collect taxes by way of Council Rates from local property owners and spend this on local expenditure items such as rubbish collection, water and sewerage, local roads etc. They also get grants from both federal and state/territory governments to assist with this.

There are 547 local governing bodies across Australia. http://regional.gov.au/local

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