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Government
of Australia

 In 1901, Australia became a Federation. This resulted in the end of British dependency and the start of its own laws and autonomy. It was not a sudden independence, but a gradual process of leaving old English customs and authority behind and becoming a new and independent country with its own culture. The friendship and devotion from Australia towards the monarchy and our ‘mother country’ has continued over the years and even today a great level of respect is devoted towards Britain and the Queen. Despite no longer having any power or control over the Australian government, a General Governor is appointed by the Queen, (this still takes place even to this day) representing Britain in Australia, but under the orders of the Australian ministry. The Australian Federacy is composed by 6 States: Tasmania, West Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and 3 territories: Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island.

There are also small islands, such as Coco Island, but they are considered only possessions, with a nominated government to manage them. The Constitution (1901) requested that all these States, Territories and Possessions are managed by a Central and National government, called the Commonwealth. The Constitution also defines what the central government and each state government legislates. Each state has its own laws, and is different from the other states. Example: In New South Wales, you need to buy a license to fish, but in Queensland this is not required. The different state laws always create a lot of confusion, mainly for tourists and students. The laws voted in parliament are called the Bill.

The Government System in Australia is Parliamentary, where the political parties choose a representative in the general elections, and they elect the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can be changed, if the party is not successful in their government program, or if he loose the majority of chairs in parliament. It could also change if  he does not get through coalitions with other parties to get the majority. In Parliament there are 72 senators elected, with 12 elected for each one of the 6 states, and 2 for each territory. State Senators have a mandated period of 6 years, while territories only require 3 years. In order for a Bill to be effective, it needs to be approved by the Senate. The Congress is called The House of Representatives, and consists of 150 members belonging to the registered parties. The party with the biggest amount of elected members, forms the government and indicates which prime minister is in power. The parliament has to sustain the majority of members, otherwise it loses power and is replaced by another party who has gained the majority. The members of the House of Representatives are elected for a period of 3 years. Members of the Senate as well as members of the House of Representatives compose the Ministry. In time, voting has become mandatory in Australia, and anyone over legal voting age who does not vote is issued a fine unless there is a plausible justification.

The Judiciary system does not depend on the ministry, in other words, the government is obedient to the legislation and executive, while the Judiciary system only deals with legal subjects, obeying blindly the constitution.

Canberra is the Australian Capital and the headquarters of the Australian Parliament. The city has been builded specially for this purpose in ACT , Australian Capital Territory.

The Prime Minister of Australia is called Julia Gillard after Kevin Rudd from the Labor Party, elected in November of 2007, after 12 years with the conservative John Howard.

Political Parties in Australia:

Australian Democrats (AD)
Australia First Party
Australian Greens
Australian Reform Party (ARP)
Australian Women's Party (AWP)
Communist Party of Australia (CPA)
Democratic Socialist Party (DSP)
Labor Party (ALP)
Liberal Party of Australia (LP)
National Party of Australia (NP)
NT Country Liberal Party (CLP)
Photo: Electors surprised when Julia Gillard took Kevin Rud out of the power.
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