g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Home Improvement
Women's Fashion
Small Office/Home Office
Holiday/Seasonal Cooking
Crafts for Kids

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Australia Site

BellaOnline's Australia Editor


Government in Australia

Australia’s system of government is tri-fold. Australia has a (i) Constitutional Monarchy; a (ii) Parliamentary Democracy and is a (iii) Federation of States and Territories.

This model of government is often described as the Westminster System because it originated from the United Kingdom parliament at Westminster. It is important to note here that the Australian system is not an identical copy of the United Kingdom system – important and unique differences exist.

Constitutional Monarchy
Australia was claimed by United Kingdom in 1770 and as such is an independent nation, similar to Canada and New Zealand. It shares a monarchy (The Queen of United Kingdom) and the Queen is the head of the Commonwealth of Australia.

As the Queen lives on the other side of the world, the representative of the Queen, called the Governor-General is appointed by the Queen at the counsel of the Australian Government of the day, who is acting on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of the day.

The current status as a Constitutional Monarchy for Australia is presently quite controversial as a ground swell of Republicanism across the nation is gaining a voice. In 1999 a national referendum was held to decide if Australia was to become a Republic, and it was soundly beaten by the pro Monarchy movement. This vote has in no way quieted the constant conversation within the general public and community voices on both sides of the Republican debate.

Parliamentary Democracy
Australia, unlike the United Kingdom has a Constitution. The Parliament of Australia is described in the Constitution as the Queen, The Senate and the House of Representatives. Responsible government is the keystone to Australia’s parliamentary institution.

The Parliament, members and government are bound by the constitution to legislate, and are accountable to the people who they represent for its actions.

The Senate

The Senate is often called the upper house and represents the six states and two territories of the commonwealth of Australia. The Senate operates hand in hand with the House of Representatives in forming legislation, but importantly acts as a check on the government of the day.

The Senate performs most of the work through a committee structure, with representatives of all parties standing on committees.

The House of Representatives
The House of representatives is often referred to as the “People’s House. The political party that holds a majority of seats in the House of Representatives forms a government.

The Australian Parliament currently consists of 150 members who each represent an electorate.

Federation of States & Territories

The Federation of Australia consists of six States and two Territories. Each state has an appointed Governor (the Queen’s representative). The political party that has a majority in the State parliament is in government and is headed by a Premier.

The Territories do not have a Queen’s Representative, and their head of the parliament is called the Chief Minister.

Add Government+in+Australia to Twitter Add Government+in+Australia to Facebook Add Government+in+Australia to MySpace Add Government+in+Australia to Del.icio.us Digg Government+in+Australia Add Government+in+Australia to Yahoo My Web Add Government+in+Australia to Google Bookmarks Add Government+in+Australia to Stumbleupon Add Government+in+Australia to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Australia Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Judie Bellingham. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Judie Bellingham. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Judie Bellingham for details.


g features
Uluru - Raining on the Rock

The Legacy of ANZAC

The Dingo Fence

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor