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Courts, Parliaments and Markets: Government & Parliament

Parliament of Australia | White PagesĀ®Source: Parliament of Australia

The Australian Government, also known as the Commonwealth Government, is the national government of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Like other Westminster-style systems of government, the Australian Government is made up of three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Read through the resources below to learn more about government and parliament in Australia.

The Australian system of government (Parliament of Australia, n.d.)

Australia is a federation of six states which, together with two self-governing territories, have their own constitutions, parliaments, governments and laws. This infosheet is about the national or central government, usually called the Federal Government, Commonwealth Government or Australian Government. 

The House, government and opposition (Parliament of Australia, n.d.)

Under Australia’s system of parliamentary government, the Executive Government (the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and other Ministers) is drawn from Members of the parliament. However, although the government and the parliament have overlapping memberships, they are established by the Constitution as separate institutions, referred to respectively as the Executive and the Legislature. Read through this article to learn more.

The roles and responsibilities of the three levels of government (Parliamentary Education Office, n.d.)

This fact sheet introduces the three levels of government in Australia: the federal - Australian - Parliament, state and territory parliaments, and local councils. It includes the roles and responsibilities of each level.

Voting in Australia (Australian Electoral Commission, 2019)

This colourful, 22 page magazine provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian electoral system. It covers the development of our democracy in Australia, and explains how representatives are elected to the Federal Parliament.

National electorate map (Australian Electoral Commission, 2019)

Electoral boundaries map for the House of Representatives as of 2019.

About Parliament (Parliament of Victoria, n.d.)

The Parliament of Victoria is a bicameral legislature (two Houses) with representatives elected to either the Legislative Council (the Upper House) or the Legislative Assembly (the Lower House). The Assembly has 88 Members and the Council has 40 Members. The Governor of Victoria represents the Crown and is the third arm of Parliament. Read through this website to learn more about the function of the Parliament of Victoria.

Understand our Parliament (Parliamentary Education Office, n.d.)

Everything you need to know about the role, function, structure and people of the Australian Parliament. From the Australian Constitution to bills and laws, and how you can get involved, this section will help you understand how our Parliament works, as well as its history.

House of Representatives infosheets (Parliament of Australia, n.d.)

This series of 24 Infosheets contains detailed information about the workings of the House.

Making a law in the Australian Parliament (Parliamentary Education Office, n.d.)

This fact sheet explains the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It also describes where ideas for laws come from and the history of law-making in the Parliament.

Making laws (Parliament of Australia, n.d.)

About half of the total sitting time of the House is spent considering bills, that is, proposed laws. These range from comparatively minor proposals of an administrative nature to comprehensive initiatives of major social, economic or industrial significance. This infosheet describes how government bills, that is those proposed by Ministers, are considered and passed by the House.

The roles and responsibilities of federal, state and local governments (Parliament of New South Wales, n.d.)

This website gives a brief description of the roles of each level of government, with examples of how some fo your day to day activities are shaped by these governments.

Maroondah City Council

Explore the local council website to learn more about how local government operates and what services it is responsible for.

Council responsibilities (Vic Councils, n.d.)

All Victorian councils broadly have similar roles and responsibilities, and derive their power from the same legislation, however not all municipalities are the same. In Victoria, local government is established by an Act of state parliament – the Local Government Act 1989 (PDF - 1.66MB) – which specifies council powers, duties and functions. The legal basis for councils is established under the Constitution Act 1975. Councils have autonomy to provide services that meet the needs of their local community, and will establish a range of discretionary processes, including local laws, to guide certain activities that can occur within their municipality. Read through this website to learn more.


Quizzes (Parliamentary Education Office, n.d.)

Have a go at these quizzes about the Australian Parliament. You might even learn something you didn’t know! Topics include the three levels of government, separation of powers and the Australian Constitution.