Australian Government

By Rebecca

FEDERATION

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THREE LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT

State

The decision-making body of state government is the state parliament which meets in the Parliament House of the particular state. Each state parliament, except for the Queensland Parliament, is made up of two houses.

Representatives elected to state parliaments are generally known as the 'Members' – Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Members of the House of Assembly (MHA) or Members of the Legislative Council (MLC).

The leader of a state government is called the Premier.

The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have a different arrangement. Each territory parliament has one house called the Legislative Assembly.

The leader of each territory government is called the Chief Minister.

State and territory government responsibilities include: justice, consumer affairs, health, education, forestry, public transport, main roads.

Federal

The decision making body of the federal government if federal parliament which consists of the houses - the senate and house of representatives. The leader of the federal government is called the prime minister. A federal election must be held every three years because Australia's constitution limits the terms of the members of the house of representatives.

Representatives elected to the House of Representatives are called Members of the House of Representatives. There are 150 members and each member represents a separate division or electorate in Australia. (To find out which electorate you live in, go to 'Find my Electorate' and type in the suburb or postcode where you live.)

Federal government responsibilities include: foreign affairs, social security, industrial relations, trade, immigration, currency, defence.

Local

The decision- making body of local government is usually called the city council or the shire council. Councils are established by state governments to look after particular needs of a city or local community. The peoples representatives who form the council are called the aldermen or councillors. The head of the council is the mayor or the shire president. Local government responsibilities include: local road maintenance, garbage collection, building regulations and land subdivisions, public health and recreation facilities such as swimming pools.

The Senate

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The other house parliament is called the senate. People from the state, the northern territory and the Australian capital territory vote 12 people to be their senators. It does not matter how big or small the state or territory they have the same number or senators. The chamber of the Parliament House is where the senates meets the decorated room of red. like the other chamber the members of the government sit in the seats to the left of the picture and the opposition sit opposite to them.


The House Of Representatives

Australia is divided up into areas called electorates. Each electorates is one seat in the house of representatives. Each electorates has the same number of people living in it . At an electorate the people who live in each electorate vote for a person to go to the parliament to speak for them. The person who gets elected becomes the member for the house of representatives for that seat. Most people who stand for a election are members of different groups or parties. The party that has the most members elected to the house of representatives becomes the government and its the leader then becomes the prime mister of Australia. The party that wins the next highest number of seats in the house of representatives is called the opposition and then it is the leader called the leader of the opposition. there is a large room called the chamber in the parliament house where the house of representatives meets. The colour of the room is green. The government members sit on the lift of the picture and the opposition faces them. In the curved part the members of the small parties sit as well as the members who don’t belong to a party. They are called independents . In the seats up high is called the gallery people from the public can sit to watch the parliament but they may not speak. Some of the people in the gallery are reporters for the newspaper radio or television. In the big wooden chair in the middle the speaker sits. The speaker is in charge of the meeting and makes sure people get a turn to speak.

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Making A Law

Main business of parliament is to make laws. When the law is first suggested its called a bill. bills gets suggested in the house of representatives. In first the has to be explained the all members discuss the bill. Changes may be made. Then the members vote against or for the bill. If it gets passes the vote it goes to the other house of parliament and the same things happens. Sometimes a bill is sent back to be changed some more and sometimes it pass another vote. Then the bill is called and Act of parliament. The governor-general signs it and it becomes a law that Australians obey.

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