Government in Australia

Key points

  • The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901.
  • Australia's government is a constitutional monarchy.
  • The Australian Constitution sets out how the country should be governed, including the separation of powers between different levels of government.
  • The Governor-General is the Queen's representative in Australia.
  • Edmund Barton was Australia's first Prime Minister.

Parliament house

All about Australia's government
 

The form of government in Australia is called a constitutional monarchy. The Australian Constitution set out the rules of how the power to govern should be shared (called the separation of powers) and how the country should be governed including the responsibilities of each level of government - federal, state and local.

The Federal Parliament consists of the Governor-General, representing the Queen, the House of Representatives and the Senate,and has a range of functions. The NSW parliament consists of the Governor of NSW, representing the Queen, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly (each 'house' has its own functions). Each state is divided into local government areas (or municipalities) which are governed by councils or shires made up of a few suburbs, a town or a rural area.

One of the main functions of both federal and state parliaments is making laws. A proposed law is called a bill which may become a law after being considered and agreed to by parliament. Councils have the power to make regulations or ordinances called by-laws.


History


In 1889 Henry Parkes called on the Australian colonies to 'unite and create a great national government for all Australia'. For giving this impetus towards federation, he is often referred to as the Father of Federation.

Sir Henry Parkes


On 1 January 1901, in Centennial Park in Sydney, Australia's six colonies were joined together to form the Commonwealth of Australia. This Federation was the result of years of discussion, hard work and determination.

Edmund Barton was Australia's first Prime Minister.


Quick links



More information


Translate

This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.

Doing it by the book

As a parent it's only natural to want to help your child, but when it comes to homework and study, the completed work should be theirs.

Here are some important points to remember to ensure your child is following good practice for a lifetime of learning.