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Encyclopedia > Government of Australia

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federative constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement between six self-governing British colonies, which became the six States. The terms of this agreement are embodied in the Australian Constitution, which was drawn up at a Constitutional Convention and ratified by the people of the colonies at referendums. The structure of the Australian Government may be examined in light of two distinct concepts, namely federalism and the separation of powers into legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government. Separation of powers is implied from the structure of the Constitution which breaks down the branches of government into separate chapters. A map displaying todays federations. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional monarchy or limited monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not... A parliamentary system, or parliamentarism, is distinguished by the executive branch of government being dependent on the direct or indirect support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... In Australian history, the term Constitutional Convention refers to five distinct gatherings. ... Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A referendum (plural referendums or referenda), ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita, originally a decree of the Concilium Plebis) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ... For theological federalism, see Covenant Theology. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Separation of powers is a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu[1][2], is a model for the governance of democratic states. ...

Contents

Federalism

The Australian Constitution creates a federal legislature, the Parliament of the Commonwealth (Section 1). The bicameral parliament consists of the Queen and two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives (Section 1). Section 51 of the Constitution provides for the Commonwealth Government's legislative powers and allocates certain powers and responsibilities (known as "heads of power") to the Commonwealth government. All remaining responsibilities are retained by the six colonies, which under the Constitution became States of the Commonwealth of Australia. Further, each state has its own constitution so that Australia has seven sovereign Parliaments, none of which can encroach on the functions of any other. The High Court of Australia arbitrates on any disputes which arise between the Commonwealth and the States, or among the States, concerning their respective functions. In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... Section 51 of the Australian Constitution grants legislative powers to the Australian (Commonwealth) Parliament. ... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...


The Commonwealth Parliament can propose changes to the Constitution. To become effective, the proposals must be put to a referendum of all Australians of voting age, and must receive a "double majority": Elections Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A referendum (plural referendums or referenda), ballot question, or plebiscite (from Latin plebiscita, originally a decree of the Concilium Plebis) is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. ...

  • a majority of all votes, and
  • a majority of votes in a majority of States.

The Commonwealth Constitution also provides that the States can agree to refer any of their powers to the Commonwealth if they choose. This may be achieved by way of an amendment to the Constitution via referendum (a vote on whether the proposed transfer of power from the States to the Commonwealth, or vice versa, should be implemented). More commonly powers may be transferred by passing other acts of legislation which authorise the transfer and such acts require the legislative agreement of all the state governments involved. This "transfer" legislation may have a "sunset clause", a legislative provision that nullifies the transfer of power after a specified period, at which point the original division of power is restored.


In addition, Australia has several territories, three of which are self-governing: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the Northern Territory (NT) and Norfolk Island. The legislatures of these territories exercise powers delegated to them by the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth Parliament retains the power to override territorial legislation and to transfer powers to or from the territories. While Australian citizens living in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are represented in the Commonwealth Parliament, Norfolk Islanders are not represented federally. Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004...


Australia's other territories that are regularly inhabited (Jervis Bay, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) are not self-governing. Instead, these territories are largely governed by federal law, with Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands also having local governments. The largely uninhabited Coral Sea Islands was established as a Territory of the Commonwealth in 1969 while the uninhabited Ashmore and Cartier Islands has been a territory since 1933 and administered under the laws of the Northern Territory. The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. ...


The federal nature of the Commonwealth and the structure of the Parliament of Australia were the subject of protracted negotiations among the colonies during the drafting of the Constitution. The House of Representatives is elected on a basis which reflects the differing populations of the States. Thus New South Wales has 50 members of the House while Tasmania has five. But the Australian Senate is elected on a basis of equality among the States: all States elect 12 Senators, regardless of population. This was intended to prevent the Parliament being dominated by the interests of the two most populous States, New South Wales and Victoria, as the Senators of the smaller States could form a majority and amend or even reject bills originating in the House of Representatives. The ACT and the NT also elect two senators each and along with Norfolk Island form the third level of government. Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... NSW redirects here. ... Slogan or Nickname: Island of Inspiration; The Apple Isle; Holiday Isle Motto(s): Ubertas et Fidelitas (Fertility and Faithfulness) Other Australian states and territories Capital Hobart Government Constitutional monarchy Governor William Cox Premier Paul Lennon (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 5  - Senate seats 12 Gross State Product (2004-05)  - Product... Type Upper house President Alan Ferguson, Liberal since 14 August 2007 Members 76 Political groups Coalition (39) ALP (28) Green (4) Democrat (4) FFP (1) Last elections 9 October 2004 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site Senate Entrance to the Senate Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State...


The fourth level of government after the Commonwealth, State and Territory is local government, in the form of shire, town or city councils. These bodies administer the provision of services such as local roads, sanitation, libraries, dog registration etc. Councils are composed of elected representatives, usually serving on a part time basis. The Parliaments of the Australian states and territories are legislative bodies within the federal framework of the Commonwealth of Australia. ... Australia has two tiers of subnational government: state (or territory) government and local government. ...


Separation of power

Government is undertaken by three inter-connected arms of government: The doctrine of separation of powers refers to the separation of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. ...

  • Legislature - The Commonwealth Parliament
  • Executive - The Sovereign, whose executive power is exercisable by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, Ministers and their Departments
  • Judiciary - The High Court of Australia and subsidiary Federal courts.

The Separation of Powers is the principle whereby the three arms of government undertake their activities separate from each other: Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Separation of powers is a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu[1][2], is a model for the governance of democratic states. ...

  • the Legislature proposes laws in the form of Bills, and provides a legislative framework for the operations of the other two arms. The Sovereign is formally a part of the Parliament, but takes no active role in these matters
  • the Executive enacts the laws by Royal Assent, administers the laws and carries out the tasks assigned to it by legislation
  • the Judiciary hears cases arising from the administration of the law, using both statute law and the common law. The Australian courts cannot give advisory opinions on the constitutionality of laws
  • the other arms cannot influence the Judiciary.

Until the passage of the Australia Act 1986, and associated legislation in the parliament of the United Kingdom, some Australian cases could be referred to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for final appeal. With this act, Australian law was made unequivocally sovereign, and the High Court of Australia was confirmed as the highest court of appeal. The theoretical possibility of the British Parliament enacting laws to override the Australian Constitution was also removed.[1] A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... An advisory opinion, in civil procedure, is an opinion issued by a court that does not have the effect of resolving a specific legal case, but merely advises on the constitutionality or interpretation of a law. ... The Australia Act of 1986 (No. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. ... High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ...


Legislature

Parliament House, Canberra: the seat of the Parliament of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra: the seat of the Parliament of Australia

The Legislature makes the laws, and supervises the activities of the other two arms with a view to changing the laws when appropriate. The Australian Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the Queen, a 76-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. Twelve Senators from each state are elected for six-year terms, using proportional representation and the single transferable vote (known in Australia as "preferential voting": see Australian electoral system), with half elected every three years. Photo by User:Adam Carr This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Photo by User:Adam Carr This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... For other uses, see Canberra (disambiguation). ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Representatives Senate Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker, Liberal Party since 16 November 2004 President of the Senate Alan Ferguson, Liberal Party since 14 August 2007 Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators) Political groups Liberal Party ALP National Party Country Liberal Party Greens... Parliament House, Canberra The Parliament of Australia is a bicameral parliament consisting of the Queen of Australia, the House of Representatives (the lower house) and the Senate (the upper house or house of review). Section 1 of the Constitution of Australia provides that: The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... Type Upper house President Alan Ferguson, Liberal since 14 August 2007 Members 76 Political groups Coalition (39) ALP (28) Green (4) Democrat (4) FFP (1) Last elections 9 October 2004 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site Senate Entrance to the Senate Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State... Type Lower house Speaker of the House David Hawker, Liberal since November 16, 2004 Members 150 Political groups ALP (85) Liberal Party (53) National Party (10) Last elections 24 November 2007 Meeting place Parliament House, Canberra, ACT Web site House of Representatives Entrance to the House of Representatives Judicial High... Proportional representation (sometimes referred to as full representation, or PR), is a category of electoral formula aiming at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). ... This STV ballot for the Australian Senate illustrates group voting tickets. ... This article deals with elections to the Australian Parliament. ...


In addition to the state Senators, two senators are elected by voters from the Northern Territory (which for this purpose includes the Indian Ocean Territories, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands), while another two senators are elected by the voters of the Australian Capital Territory (which includes hhthe Jervis Bay Territory for this purpose). Senators from the territories are also elected using preferential voting, however, their term of office is not fixed: it starts on the day of a general election for the House of Representatives and ends the day before the next such election day. For similar terms, see Northern Territories (disambiguation) Slogan or Nickname: The Territory, The NT, The Top End Motto(s): none Other Australian states and territories Capital Darwin Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator Ted Egan Chief Minister Clare Martin (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2004... Capital Canberra Government Constitutional monarchy Administrator none Chief Minister Jon Stanhope (ALP) Federal representation  - House seats 2  - Senate seats 2 Gross Territorial Product (2006)  - Product ($m)  $19,167 (6th)  - Product per capita  $57,303/person (1st) Population (End of November 2006)  - Population  333,667 (7th)  - Density  137. ... The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. ...


The members of the House of Representatives are elected by preferential voting from single-member constituencies allocated among the states and territories roughly in proportion to population. In ordinary legislation, the two chambers have coordinate powers, but all proposals for appropriating revenue or imposing taxes must be introduced in the House of Representatives. Under the prevailing Westminster system, the leader of the political party or coalition of parties that wins a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives is named Prime Minister. The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ...


The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible to the Parliament, of which they must be elected members. General elections are held at least once every three years. The Prime Minister has a discretion to advise the Governor-General to call an election for the House of Representatives at any time, but Senate elections can only be held within certain periods prescribed in the Constitution. The most recent general election was on 24 November 2007. The 2007 election for the federal Parliament of Australia, in which 13. ...


The Commonwealth Parliament and all the state and territory legislatures operate within the conventions of the Westminster system, with a recognised Leader of the Opposition, usually the leader of the largest party outside the government, and a Shadow Cabinet of Opposition members who "shadow" each member of the Ministry, asking questions on matters within the Minister's portfolio. Although the government, by virtue of commanding a majority of members in the lower house of the legislature, can usually pass its legislation and control the workings of the house, the Opposition has certain recognised rights, and can considerably delay the passage of legislation and obstruct government business if it chooses. The day-to-day business of the house is usually negotiated between a designated senior Minister, who holds the title Leader of the House, and an Opposition frontbencher known as the Manager of Opposition Business. The current Leader of the Opposition in the federal Parliament is Brendan Nelson. The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... 1 Note that Gough Whitlam refused to use the title Leader of the Opposition between the dismissal of his government in November 1975 and the first meeting of the new parliament in February 1976. ... The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the governments, whose... The office of Leader of the House in the Government of Australia exists in order for the management of government business, involving the order in which Government issues are to be dealt with, which Government members will speak, tactical matters in reaction to impediments to such management; negotiates with the...


Executive

Head of state

The Australian Constitution dates from 1900, when the Dominions of the British Empire were not sovereign states, and does not use the term "head of state". In practice, the role of head of state of Australia is divided between two people, the Queen of Australia and the Governor-General of Australia, who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister of Australia. Though in many respects the Governor-General is the Queen's representative, and exercises various constitutional powers in her name, he is also independently vested with many important constitutional powers by the Constitution. Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... This article is about Dominions of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth of Nations. ... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ... The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ...


The Sovereign of Australia, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is also the Sovereign of fifteen other Commonwealth Realms including the United Kingdom. Like the other Dominions, Australia gained legislative independence from the Parliament of the United Kingdom by virtue of the Statute of Westminster 1931, which was adopted in Australia in 1942 with retrospective effect from 3 September 1939. By the Royal Style and Titles Act 1953, the Australian Parliament gave the Queen the title Queen of Australia, and in 1973 removed from the Queen's Australian style and titles any reference to her status as Queen of the United Kingdom and Defender of the Faith. Look up sovereign in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... The Commonwealth Realms, shown in pink A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the sixteen sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that recognise Elizabeth II as their respective monarch. ... This article is about Dominions of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth of Nations. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin MP Speaker of the House of Lords Hélène Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist... This article is about the Statute of Westminster relating to the British Empire and its dominions. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... In Commonwealth Realms, Royal Style and Titles Acts are passed in order to declare the Sovereigns formal title. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Defenders of the Faith. ...


Section 61 of the Constitution provides that 'The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor‑General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth'. Section 2 of the Australian Constitution provides that a Governor-General shall represent the Queen in Australia. In practice, the Governor-General carries out all the functions usually performed by a head of state, without reference to the Queen. Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ...


The question of whether the Queen is Australia's head of state became a political one during the 1999 Australian republic referendum, when opponents of the move to make Australia a republic claimed that Australia already had an Australian as head of state in the person of the Governor-General, who since 1965 has invariably been an Australian citizen. The current Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, said in 2004: "Her Majesty is Australia's head of state but I am her representative and to all intents and purposes I carry out the full role." However, in 2005, he declined to name the Queen as head of state, instead saying in response to a direct question, "The Queen is the Monarch and I represent her, and I carry out all the functions of head of state."[2] The Governor-General represents Australia internationally, making and receiving State visits.[3][4] The 1999 Australian republic referendum was a two question referendum held on 6 November 1999. ... This article is about the Governor-General of Australia. ...

Further information: De facto head of state

Under the conventions of the Westminster system the Governor-General's powers are almost always exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister or other ministers. The Governor-General retains reserve powers similar to those possessed by the Queen in the United Kingdom. These are rarely exercised, but during the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975 Governor-General Sir John Kerr used them independently of the Queen and the Prime Minister. A de facto head of state is an office-holder who fulfils some, many or all of the functions of a head of state. ... The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, in London. ... A reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state of a country in certain exceptional circumstances. ... The secretary of the Governor-General, David Smith, announcing the dissolution of Parliament on November 11th, 1975. ... Sir John Kerr Alternative meanings: John Kerr (disambiguation). ...


Australia has periodically experienced movements seeking to end the monarchy. In a 1999 referendum, the Australian people voted on a proposal to change the Constitution. The proposal would have removed references to the Queen from the Constitution and replaced the Governor-General with a President nominated by the Prime Minister, but subject to the approval of a two-thirds majority of both Houses of the Parliament. The proposal was defeated. The Australian Republican Movement continues to campaign for an end to the monarchy in Australia, opposed by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. The 1999 Australian republic referendum was a two question referendum held on 6 November 1999. ... Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1952 and 2002 The title Queen of Australia has existed since 1973, when the Parliament of Australia passed the Royal Style and Titles Act (1973). ... The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. ... President is a title held by many leaders of organizations, companies, trade unions, universities, and countries. ... The Australian Republican Movement was founded in July 1991. ... Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) is a group that aims to preserve Australias current constitutional system, with Britains Queen Elizabeth 2 as head of state. ...

Further information: Constitutional history of Australia and Australian republicanism

// Main article: Australian federation After European settlement in 1788, Australia was politically organized as a number of separate British colonies, eventually six in all. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...

Executive Council

The Federal Executive Council consists of the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and Ministers. It is a formal body which exists to give legal effect to decisions made by the Cabinet, and to carry out various other functions. Members of the Executive Council are entitled to be styled "The Honourable", a title which they retain for life. The Governor-General usually presides at Council meetings, but a Minister with the title Vice-President of the Executive Council serves as the link between the government and the Council. The Federal Executive Council is the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian Constitution. ... The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable ( or formerly The Honble) is a title of quality attached to the names of certain classes of persons. ... A President of the Executive Council is the presiding officer of an Executive Council, in Commonwealth constitutional practice. ... The Vice-President of the Executive Council is a Commonwealth position, whose holder acts as presiding officer of the Executive Council in the absence of the President of the Executive Council. ...


Cabinet

Main article: Cabinet of Australia

The Constitution of Australia does not recognise the Cabinet, and its decisions have no legal force. All members of the ministry must be sworn as members of the Executive Council, a body which is chaired by the Governor-General and which meets solely to endorse and give legal force to decisions already made by the Cabinet. That is why there is always a member of the ministry holding the title Vice-President of the Executive Council. Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard with his Cabinet in 1999 The Cabinet of Australia is the council of senior ministers, responsible to parliament. ... Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... This article is about the governmental body. ... The Federal Executive Council is the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian Constitution. ... The Vice-President of the Executive Council is a Commonwealth position, whose holder acts as presiding officer of the Executive Council in the absence of the President of the Executive Council. ...


Until 1956 all members of the ministry were members of the Cabinet. The growth of the ministry in the 1940s and 1950s made this increasingly impractical, and in 1956 Robert Menzies created a two-tier ministry, with only senior ministers holding Cabinet rank, also known within parliament as the front bench. This practice has been continued by all governments except the Whitlam Government. Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, KT, AK, CH, FRS, QC (20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978), Australian politician, was the twelfth and longest-serving Prime Minister of Australia, serving eighteen and a half years. ... In many parliaments and other similar assemblies, seating is typically arranged in banks or rows, with each political party or caucus grouped together. ... Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC (born 11 July 1916), known as Gough Whitlam (, pronounced Goff), is an Australian former politician and 21st Prime Minister of Australia. ...


When the non-Labor parties have been in power, the Prime Minister has made all Cabinet and ministerial appointments at his own discretion, although in practice he consults with senior colleagues in making appointments. When the Liberal Party and its predecessors (the Nationalist Party and the United Australia Party) have been in coalition with the National Party or its predecessor the Country Party, the leader of the junior Coalition party has had the right to nominate his party's members of the Coalition ministry, and to be consulted by the Prime Minister on the allocation of their portfolios. This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The Nationalist Party of Australia was an Australian political party formed in 1917 from a merger of pro-conscription members of the Labor Party (who had been operating under the banner National Labor after their earlier split with the Labor party) with the Commonwealth Liberal Party. ... The United Australia Party or UAP was an Australian political party that was the political successor to the Nationalist Party of Australia. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ...


When the Labor first held office under Chris Watson, Watson assumed the right to choose members of his Cabinet. In 1907, however, the party decided that future Labor Cabinets would be elected by the members of the Parliamentary Labor Party, the Caucus, and the Prime Minister would retain the right to allocate portfolios. This practice was followed until 2007. Between 1907 and 2007, Labor Prime Ministers exercised a predominant influence over who was elected to Labor ministries, although the leaders of the party factions also exercised considerable influence. Both prior to and following the 2007 general election, the then Leader of the Opposition (and now Prime Minister), Kevin Rudd, said that he and he alone will choose the ministry.[5] For other uses, see Chris Watson (musician). ... A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ... The 2007 general election for the Parliament of Australia is expected to take place in November or early December, with 33 to 68 days notice. ... Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ...


The cabinet not only meets in Canberra but also various other Australian state capitals, most frequently Sydney and Melbourne. Kevin Rudd has said that he is in favour of the Cabinet meeting in other places, such as major regional cities.[6] The Commonwealth Parliament Offices in Sydney are located in Phillip Street. The Commonwealth Parliament Offices, Sydney, Australia are used as a base in Sydney for members of the Australian Cabinet. ... Sydney Law School The Supreme Court Building Ben Chifley statue in Chifley Place Phillip Street is a street in the central business district of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. ...

Portfolio Minister Term
Kevin Rudd 2007-
  • Deputy Prime Minister
  • Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Minister for Education
  • Minister for Social Inclusion
Julia Gillard 2007-
Wayne Swan 2007-
  • Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Lindsay Tanner 2007-
Robert McClelland 2007-
Joel Fitzgibbon 2007-
  • Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts
Peter Garrett 2007-
  • Minister for Climate Change and Water
Penny Wong 2007-
Chris Evans 2007-
Stephen Smith 2007-
  • Special Minister of State
  • Vice-President of the Executive Council
  • Cabinet Secretary
John Faulkner 2007-
Nicola Roxon 2007-
  • Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Jenny Macklin 2007-
  • Minister for Trade
Simon Crean 2007-
  • Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Stephen Conroy 2007-
  • Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Anthony Albanese 2007-
  • Minister for Resources and Energy
  • Minister for Tourism
Martin Ferguson 2007-
Tony Burke 2007-
  • Minister for Human Services
Joe Ludwig 2007-
  • Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
Kim Carr 2007-
See also: Australian Commonwealth ministries 1901-2004

Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ... The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of the Commonwealth of Australia, holding office on commission from the Governor-General. ... Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September 1957), is the leader of the federal Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament. ... Australias second-highest ranked political post is the position of Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. ... The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations is Julia Gillard. ... The current Minister for Education, Science and Training is out-going Julie Bishop. ... The Australian Minister for Social Inclusion is Julia Gillard, the first minister with this title, appointed on 3 December 2007. ... Julia Eileen Gillard (born 29 September 1961) is the Australian Deputy Prime Minister and deputy leader of the federal Australian Labor Party (ALP). ... The Department of the Treasury, Canberra The Australian Treasurer is the minister responsible for government expenditure and revenue raising. ... Wayne Maxwell Swan (born 30 June 1954), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives from March 1993 to March 1996 and again since October 1998, representing the Division of Lilley, Queensland. ... Lindsay James Tanner (born 24 April 1956), Australian politician, has been a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Melbourne, Victoria. ... The Attorney-General of Australia is the chief law officer of the Crown and a member of the Federal Cabinet. ... Robert Bruce McClelland (born 26 January 1958), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Barton, New South Wales. ... List of Australian Ministers for Defence (see Australian Defence Force, Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian Air Force. ... Joel Andrew Fitzgibbon (born 16 January 1962), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Hunter, New South Wales. ... Peter Robert Garrett AM MP, BA (ANU) LLB (UNSW), (born 16 April 1953), is an Australian musician and politician. ... Penny Wong Penelope Ying-yen Penny Wong (born November 5, 1968), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since 2002, representing South Australia. ... In the Government of Australia, the Minister for Immigration is responsible for overseeing the Department of Immigration. ... Christopher Vaughan Evans (born 14 May 1958), Australian politician, is a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Western Australia, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... R. G. Casey House, the headquarters of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade This is a list of Australian Foreign Ministers: Note: Prior to 1970, the office was known as the Minister for External Affairs. ... Stephen Francis Smith (born 12 December 1955), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia. ... The Vice-President of the Executive Council is a Commonwealth position, whose holder acts as presiding officer of the Executive Council in the absence of the President of the Executive Council. ... 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Anthony Albanese Anthony Norman Albanese (born 2 March 1963), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Grayndler, New South Wales. ... Martin Ferguson Martin John Ferguson, AM (born 12 December 1953), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1996, representing the Division of Batman, Victoria. ... The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry within Australian politics is currently held by The Hon Peter McGauran. ... Tony Burke Anthony Stephen Tony Burke (4 November 1969-), Australian politician, was elected to the House of Representatives as member for the seat of Watson, New South Wales for the Australian Labor Party at the 2004 federal election. ... The position of Minister for Human Services within Australian politics is currently held by Senator Chris Ellison. ... Joseph William Ludwig (born 21 July 1959), Australian politician, has been a member of the Australian Senate for the state of Queensland since July 1999, representing the Australian Labor Party. ... Kim John Carr (born 2 July 1955) has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate since April 1993, representing the state of Victoria. ... The Commonwealth of Australia came into existence on 1 January 1901, and the first Commonwealth Ministry took office on that date. ...

Departments

Judicial High Court Lower Courts Constitution State and territory governments Executive Governors and Administrators Premiers and Chief Ministers Legislative Parliaments and Assemblies State electoral systems ACT - NSW - NT - Qld. ...

Caretaker governments

Main article: Caretaker government of Australia

There are times when the government acts in a "caretaker" capacity, principally in the period prior to and immediately following a general election. In Australia the term caretaker government is used to describe the government during a period that starts when the Parliament is dissolved prior to holding a general election, and continues for a short period after the election until a new government is sworn in or it clear that the government...


Judiciary

The Judiciary interprets the laws, using as a basis the laws as enacted and explanatory statements made in the Legislature during the enactment. Courtroom 1 in the High Court in Canberra. ...

High Court entrance The High Court of Australia is the final court of appeal in Australia, the highest court in the Australian court hierarchy. ... In Melbourne, the Federal Court is housed with other federal courts such as the High Court and the Federal Magistrates Court in the Federal Court Building on the corner of La Trobe Street and William Street The Federal Court of Australia is the Australian court in which most civil disputes... It has been suggested that Australian family law be merged into this article or section. ... The Federal Magistrates Court of Australia was established by the Federal Magistrates Act 1999 (Cth), although its first officers were not appointed until 2000. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Footnote

^  Prior to 1931, the junior status of dominions was shown in the fact that it was British ministers who advised the King, with dominion ministers, if they met the King at all, escorted by the constitutionally superior British minister. After 1931 all dominion ministers met the King as His ministers as of right, equal in Commonwealth status to Britain's ministers, meaning that there was no longer either a requirement for, or an acceptance of, the presence of British ministers. The first state to exercise this both symbolic and real independence was the Irish Free State. Australia and other dominions soon followed. This article is about the prior state. ...


References

  1. ^ Australia Act 1986 (pdf). Office of Legislative Drafting, Attorney-General’s Department. Commonwealth of Australia.
  2. ^ Office of the Governor-General (2005-05-29). "The Governor-General is Interviewed by Greg Turnbull on the Ten Network's Meet The Press". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  3. ^ Office of the Governor-General (2006-06-16). "Media Release by the Prime Minister - Major General Jeffery as Australia's 24th Governor-General". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  4. ^ Office of the Governor-General (2005-10-07). "Statement by the Governor-General - State Visit to China". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-01-18.
  5. ^ Worsley, Ben. "Rudd seizes power from factions", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2007-09-11. 
  6. ^ "Cutting bureaucracy won't hurt services: Rudd", News Online, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2007-11-21. 

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External links

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Political parties in Australia lists political parties in Australia. ... The Australian Democrats is an Australian political party which was formed in 1977 through a merger of the Australia Party and the Liberal Movement after principals of those minor parties secured the commitment of former Liberal minister Don Chipp as a high-profile leader[1]. The new party was based... The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, is a Green Australian political party. ... ALP redirects here. ... The Family First Party is a political party in Australia. ... This article is about the modern Australian political party. ... The National Party of Australia is an Australian political party. ... Political parties in Australia lists political parties in Australia. ...

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