Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
19th July 2008 about | WA Tourist Info | copyright | contact us | privacy policy | terms | sitemap |
Migration Institute of Australia Member
Registration Number 1971 and 2748
Registered to Provide Migration Advice
MARN numbers:
0208366, 0426675, 0641256, 0742456 and 0640237
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia
Need more information, advice or assistance?

Get near instant results in your own personalised clients area. Your own dedicated migration consultant will be online to guide, assist and respond to all your questions

1. Register Online
2. Activate your account
3. Submit your information for a FREE visa appraisal or 4. Submit your data for a detailed Migration Assessment or 5. Use eConsult for fast, detailed replies to all your questions.

Government

Australian Government

Government
Australia
, a federal parliamentary democracy, is an independent self-governing state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The constitution of Australia, which became effective in 1901, is based on British parliamentary traditions, and includes elements of the United States system. The head of state is the British sovereign, represented by a governor-general; there is growing pressure within Australia for the country to become a republic within the Commonwealth. The head of government is the Australian prime minister, who is responsible to the Australian Parliament. All powers not delegated to the f

National legislative power in Australia is vested in a bicameral parliament, made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate consists of 76 members (12 from each state and, since 1974 2 from each territory), popularly elected to 6-year terms under the single transferable vote form of proportional representation. According to the Australian constitution, the House of Representatives should have about twice as many members as the Senate. The number of members from a state is proportional to its population, but must be at least five for any original state. The Northern Territory is represented by one member and the Australian Capital Territory by two. In the early 1990s the House had 148 members, popularly elected on the alternative vote system to a term of up to three years. The prime minister can ask the governor-general to dissolve the House and call new elections at any time. Australia has universal suffrage for all citizens over the age of 18. 

Political Parties

There are four major political parties in Australia. The Australian Labor Party has been the dominant party for much of the period since the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia. The others are the National Party of Australia, the Liberal Party of Australia, and the Australian Democratic Party. All are moderate social-democratic parties, with the National Party being the most conservative and the Labor Party the least so, and the other two fluctuating in the centre ground. The Labor Party’s strength has been the support of the trade union movement. The aims of the Liberal and National parties have had much in common, and the two parties have traditionally worked in coalition. For practical purposes, Australian politics operates on a two-party system, which results in relative stability of government.

Local Government

A bicameral system of government exists in each state except Queensland, the Northern Territory, 
and the Australian Capital Territory, which have only one house. The British sovereign is represented in each state by a governor. Governmental affairs are handled by a cabinet, the head of which is known as the premier. In each Australian state, hundreds of local government authorities are responsible for traffic and building regulation; the maintenance of streets, bridges, local roads, water and sewerage, parks, libraries, and hospitals; and similar functions. Among these authorities are shire councils, borough councils, and town and city councils. Legislation granting power to local authorities exists in each state. 

Executive

Formally, executive authority in Australia is vested in the governor-general, who is appointed by the British monarch in consultation with the Australian prime minister. The British monarch, through the governor-general, has no real power in the government and generally serves as a symbolic head of state. The governor-general acts only on the advice of the Executive Council, or cabinet, comprising all ministers of state. Federal policy in practice is determined by the cabinet, which is chaired by the prime minister, who is the head of the majority party in parliament. The ministers are responsible for the individual departments of the federal government, and these departments are administered by permanent civil servants. 

Legislature

A bicameral system of government exists in each state except Queensland, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory, which have only one house. The British sovereign is represented in each state by a governor. Governmental affairs are handled by a cabinet, the head of which is known as the premier. In each Australian state, hundreds of local government authorities are responsible for traffic and building regulation; the maintenance of streets, bridges, local roads, water and sewerage, parks, libraries, and hospitals; and similar functions. Among these authorities are shire councils, borough councils, and town and city councils. Legislation granting power to local authorities exists in each state. 

Judiciary

At the head of the judicial system of the Commonwealth of Australia is the High Court of Australia, consisting of a Chief Justice and six other members appointed by the governor-general in council. All remaining rights of appeal from the Australian courts to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Great Britain were abolished in March 1986. There are two other federal courts—the Federal Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia—as well as state courts, headed by state supreme courts.

Username:

Password:



Forgotten Password