The High Court of Australiathe nation's highest court Section 1 of the Australian Constitution creates a democratic legislature, the bicameral Parliament of Australia which consists of the Queen of Australiaand two houses of parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
This Infosheet is about the national or central government, usually called the Federal Government or the Commonwealth Government. However, State and Territory governments are also based on the same principle of parliamentary government. Readers of this Infosheet are also recommended to read Infosheets No.
Parliamentary government means that the Executive Government comes from within the Parliament; responsible government means that the Executive Government is responsible to the Parliament. This is the central feature of a Westminster-style government following the United Kingdom model—in contrast to other systems of government where the Executive is quite separate and not directly answerable to the Legislature—for example, in the United States of America.
The separation of powers Political theory recognises three powers of government—the legislative power to make laws; the executive power to carry out and enforce the laws; and the judicial power to interpret laws and to judge whether they apply in individual cases. The principle of the separation of powers is that, in order to prevent oppressive government, the three powers of government should be held by separate bodies—the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary—which can act as checks and balances on each other.
With parliamentary government the legislative and executive functions overlap, as the members of the Executive Government—the Ministers—are drawn from the Parliament. However, in the Australian system there are still checks and balances between the Executive and Legislature—Ministers are subject to the scrutiny of other Members of the Parliament led by an officially recognised opposition.
In addition, the Executive does not necessarily control both Houses of the Parliament see below. The Parliament The Constitution gives the legislative power of the Commonwealth—the power to make laws—to the Parliament.
The Parliament passes legislation. Proposed laws have to be agreed to by both Houses of Parliament to become law. The two Houses have equal powers, except that there are restrictions on the power of the Senate to introduce or directly amend some kinds of financial legislation.
The Governor-General has a role in the legislative process by assenting to Acts. See later in this Infosheet for more information about the role of the Governor-General. The Parliament also authorises the Executive Government often simply called the government or the Executive to spend public money by agreeing to government proposals for expenditure and taxation, scrutinises the administrative actions of the government and serves as a forum for the debate of public policy.
Another function of the Parliament under our system is to provide from its membership the members of the Executive Government.
After a general election the political party or coalition of parties with the support of a majority of members in the House of Representatives becomes the governing party and its leader becomes the Prime Minister. The composition of the House also determines who will form the official opposition.
The party or coalition of parties which has the most non-government Members in the House of Representatives becomes the opposition party and its leader becomes the Leader of the Opposition.
The opposition has the officially recognised function, established by convention, of opposing the government. This subject is discussed in more detail in Infosheet No.
While the government has, by definition, the support of a majority of Members in the House of Representatives, the system of voting used for Senate elections gives greater opportunity to minority parties and independents, and the government often does not have majority support in the Senate.
Neither the Prime Minister nor the Cabinet are mentioned in the Constitution—the framers of the Constitution took their existence for granted, as they did the various conventions of the Westminster system of government inherited from the United Kingdom.
Table 1 below gives a comparison of the constitutional provisions and the actual practice according to the conventions which have operated in Australia.
He or she achieves this position by being the elected leader of the party in government in the case of a coalition government, the major party. Major policy and legislative proposals are decided by the Cabinet. The Prime Minister selects Ministers for Cabinet positions.Australia Canada China Denmark England France Germany The draft National Health Policy prepared in proposes that health be made a fundamental right and views government’s role as critical.
If accepted, it would clarify, strengthen, and prioritize the role of government in shaping the health system. The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia is a federal democratic administrative authority of Australia.
Australia’s system of government reflects both British and North American influences. Australia is governed by both the federal government and the state and territory governments. A blending of the role of government and the civil sector risks the domination of the government sphere over all others.
“Do not forgot that every State power tends to look upon all liberty with a suspicious eye,” warned the Dutch statesman, Abraham Kuyper. Local government in Australia is the third tier of government in Australia administered by the states and territories, However, the roles of local government areas in Australia have recently expanded as higher levels of government have devolved activities to the third tier.
The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning (DSDIP) is a strong central agency growing the Queensland economy and championing the interests of business and industry. The role of government The Australian mining industry is increasingly active overseas — more than Australian mining companies currently operate in African countries alone.
The Australian government is a strong supporter of our mining industry’s overseas activities, providing export finance, marketing and diplomatic support.