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The Parliaments of the Australian states and territories are legislative bodies within the federal framework of the Commonwealth of Australia.
All the parliaments are based on the Westminster system, and each is regulated by its own constitution. Queensland and the two territories have unicameral parliaments, with the single house being called Legislative Assembly. The other states have a bicameral parliament, with a lower house called the Legislative Assembly (New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia) or House of Assembly (South Australia and Tasmania), and an upper house called the Legislative Council.
The Westminster system is a parliamentary system of government developed in England, now a constituent country within the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British Parliament. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national and subnational legislatures of most former British Empire colonies upon gaining responsible government, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848 and the six Australian colonies between 1855 and 1890. However, some former colonies have since adopted either the presidential system or a hybrid system as their form of government.
Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.
Before the formation of the Commonwealth in 1901, the six Australian colonies were self-governing colonies, with parliaments which had come into existence at various times between 1825, when the New South Wales Legislative Council was created, to 1891, when Western Australia became the last of the colonies to gain full self-government.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.
The colonies ratified the Constitution of Australia, becoming States of the Commonwealth in the new federation, and ceding certain of their legislative powers to the Commonwealth Parliament, but otherwise retaining their self-governing status with their own constitutions and parliaments. The state parliaments were all created by legislation of the British Imperial Parliament, and their original constitutions were contained in Acts of that Parliament; however now the power to amend state constitutions resides with the respective state parliaments, in accordance with its constitution. The Commonwealth Parliament cannot amend a state's constitution.
The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the government of the Commonwealth of Australia operates, including its relationship to the States of Australia. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, which is referred to as the "Constitution" in the remainder of this article. The Constitution was approved in a series of referendums held over 1898–1900 by the people of the Australian colonies, and the approved draft was enacted as a section of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Imp), an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Crown, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, and domestically simply as Parliament or Westminster, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London.
The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, by contrast, are territories of the Commonwealth, and their parliaments were created by way of legislation of the Commonwealth Parliament. Although the Commonwealth treats the territories as though they were states for many purposes, they are not states, and the legislative powers of their parliaments can be altered or even abolished by the Commonwealth Parliament. The Commonwealth can also overturn legislation passed by the territory parliaments.
The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.
The Northern Territory is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south, and Queensland to the east. To the north, the territory looks out to the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, including Western New Guinea and other Indonesian islands. The NT covers 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi), making it the third-largest Australian federal division, and the 11th-largest country subdivision in the world. It is sparsely populated, with a population of only 245,800, fewer than half as many people as Tasmania.
The Parliament of New South Wales is a bicameral legislature comprising the New South Wales Legislative Council, the Legislative Assembly and the Queen, represented by the Governor of New South Wales. The Legislative Council has 42 members elected for eight-year terms with half the members facing re-election every four years. They are elected by proportional voting with the whole state being one electorate. The Legislative Assembly has 93 members elected for four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using optional preferential voting.
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.
The New South Wales Legislative Council, often referred to as the upper house, is one of the two chambers of the parliament of the Australian state of New South Wales. The other is the Legislative Assembly. Both sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. It is normal for legislation to be first deliberated on and passed by the Legislative Assembly before being considered by the Legislative Council, which acts in the main as a house of review.
The New South Wales Legislative Assembly is the lower of the two houses of the Parliament of New South Wales, an Australian state. The upper house is the New South Wales Legislative Council. Both the Assembly and Council sit at Parliament House in the state capital, Sydney. The Assembly is presided over by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
The Parliament of Victoria is a bicameral legislature comprising the Victorian Legislative Council, the Legislative Assembly and the Queen, represented by the Governor of Victoria. The Legislative Council has 40 members, elected for four-year terms, elected from eight multi-member constituencies, each with five members, using proportional voting. The Legislative Assembly has 88 members elected for fixed four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using preferential voting. Voting is compulsory, and elections take place on the third Saturday of November every four years.
Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea, to the east, and South Australia to the west.
The Victorian Legislative Council (VLC) is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria, Australia; the lower house being the Legislative Assembly. Both houses sit at Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne. The Legislative Council serves as a house of review, in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, the Australian Senate. Although it is possible for legislation to be first introduced in the Council, most bills receive their first hearing in the Legislative Assembly.
The Victorian Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Victoria in Australia; the upper house being the Victorian Legislative Council. Both houses sit at Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne.
The Parliament of Queensland is a unicameral legislature comprising the Legislative Assembly and the Queen, represented by the Governor of Queensland. The Legislative Assembly has 93 members elected for fixed four-year terms in single-member constituencies using preferential voting.Voting is compulsory.
The Parliament of South Australia is a bicameral legislature comprising the South Australian Legislative Council and the House of Assembly. According to the South Australian Constitution, unlike the Federal Parliament, and the parliaments of the other states and territories of Australia, neither the Sovereign nor the Governor is considered to be a part of the South Australian Parliament.The Legislative Council has 22 members, elected for eight-year terms by proportional voting with half the members facing re-election every four years, and the House of Assembly which has 47 members, elected for four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using preferential voting. Voting is compulsory.
The Parliament of Western Australia is a bicameral legislature comprising the Western Australian Legislative Council, the Legislative Assembly and the Queen, represented by the Governor of Western Australia. The Legislative Council has 36 members, elected for fixed four-year terms from six multi-member electoral regions by "community of interest" —3 metropolitan and 3 rural—each electing 6 members by proportional voting.There is a significant malapportionment in the Legislative Council in favour of rural regions. The Legislative Assembly has 59 members, elected for fixed four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using preferential voting. Voting is compulsory, with elections being held every four years on the second Saturday in March, though the term of the Legislative Council does not expire until May after the election.
The Parliament of Tasmania is a bicameral legislature comprising the Tasmanian Legislative Council, the House of Assembly and the Governor of Tasmania.The Legislative Council has 15 members, elected for six-year terms, elected from single-member constituencies on a rotational basis with either two or three being elected each year, using full preferential voting. The House of Assembly has 25 members elected for four-year terms from multi-member constituencies, using the Hare-Clark system of proportional representation. Voting is compulsory.
The Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly has 25 members, elected for four-year terms from multi-member constituencies, using the Hare-Clark system of proportional voting.
The Parliament of the Northern Territory is a unicameral legislature comprising the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly and the Administrator. The Legislative Assembly has 25 members, elected for four-year terms from single-member constituencies, using preferential voting. The head of government is called the Chief Minister.
In the external territory of Norfolk Island located in the South Pacific Ocean, the local legislative body is the Norfolk Island Regional Council, established in 2016. The island was previously governed by a Norfolk Legislative Assembly. Formed after the Norfolk Island Act 1979 was passed in the Australian parliament, its first members were elected on the tenth of August 1979.The assembly consisted of 9 members elected every three years by popular vote. It was abolished in June 2015 as part of a reorganisation of the territory's government by the Parliament of Australia.
In the external territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, the Shire Council provides local governance. The nine-member Shire Council was established in 1993. Councilors serve four-year terms, with four or five being chosen every second year.
In the external territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean, the Shire of Cocos is the local legislative body. Established in 1993, the Shire Council consists of 7 members serving terms of four years. Elections for half the seats are held every two years.
|Lower House||Upper House||Total|
|Electoral System||Established||Name||No. of|
|States||NSW||1856||Legislative Assembly||93||Single Member IR||1825||Legislative Council||42||STV at-large||Yes||135|
|QLD||1859||Legislative Assembly||93||Single Member IR||Unicameral (Legislative Council existed 1860–1922)||93|
|SA||1857||House of Assembly||47||Single Member IR||1840||Legislative Council||22||STV at-large||Yes||69|
|TAS||1856||House of Assembly||25||STV in five constituencies||1825||Legislative Council||15||Single Member IR||Yes||40|
|VIC||1855||Legislative Assembly||88||Single Member IR||1851||Legislative Council||40||STV in eight constituencies||No||128|
|WA||1890||Legislative Assembly||59||Single Member IR||1832||Legislative Council||36||STV in six constituencies||No||95|
|ACT||1989||Legislative Assembly||25||STV in five constituencies||Unicameral||25|
|NT||1974||Legislative Assembly||25||Single member IR||25|
|CX||1993||Shire Council||9||STV at-large||9|
|CC||1993||Shire Council||7||STV at-large||7|
|NI||2016||Regional Council||5||STV at-large||5|
|Nation||Aus||1901||House of Representatives||151||Single Member IR||1901||Senate||76||STV in six states and two territories||Yes||227|
A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.
A bicameral legislature has legislators in two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, and from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. As of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures are bicameral.
Politics of the Australian state of Victoria takes place in the context of a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliamentary system, and like other Australian states, Victoria is part of the federation known as the Commonwealth of Australia.
Electoral systems for the legislatures of the individual Australian states and territories are broadly similar to the electoral system used in federal elections in Australia.
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the House of Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Adelaide.
The Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory is the unicameral legislature of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). It sits in the Legislative Assembly Building on Civic Square, close to the centre of the city of Canberra.
The Parliament of Tasmania is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Tasmania. It follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system and consists of the Governor of Tasmania, the Tasmanian House of Assembly, and Tasmanian Legislative Council. Since 1841, both Houses have met in Parliament House, Hobart. The Parliament of Tasmania first met in 1856.
The Parliament of Victoria is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Victoria that follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system. It consists of the Queen, represented by the Governor of Victoria, the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. It has a fused executive drawn from members of both chambers. The Parliament meets at Parliament House in the state capital Melbourne. The current Parliament was elected on 24 November 2018, sworn in on 19 December 2018 and is the 59th parliament in Victoria.
The Parliament of New South Wales is a bicameral legislature in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), consisting of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, and the New South Wales Legislative Council. Each house is directly elected by the people of New South Wales at elections held approximately every four years. The Parliament derives its authority from the Queen of Australia, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor of New South Wales, who chairs the Executive Council of New South Wales. The parliament shares law making powers with the Australian Federal Parliament. The New South Wales Parliament follows the Westminster parliamentary traditions of dress, Green–Red chamber colours and protocol.
The Parliament of Queensland is the legislature of Queensland, Australia. According to the state's constitution, the Parliament consists of the Queen and the Legislative Assembly. It is the only unicameral state parliament in the country. The upper chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922. The Legislative Assembly sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Brisbane.
The Parliament of Western Australia is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Western Australia, forming the legislative branch of the Government of Western Australia. The parliament consists of a lower house, the Legislative Assembly, an upper house, the Legislative Council and the Queen, represented by the Governor of Western Australia. The two Houses of Parliament sit in Parliament House in the state capital, Perth.
The Parliament of South Australia at Parliament House, Adelaide is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of South Australia. It consists of the 47-seat House of Assembly and the 22-seat Legislative Council. All of the lower house and half of the upper house is filled at each election. It follows a Westminster system of parliamentary government.
The Legislative Assembly is a legislative body in the States and Union Territories of India. In the 22 states and 3 union territories with a unicameral state legislature it is the sole legislative body and in 6 states it is the lower house of their bicameral state legislatures with the upper house being Legislative Council. 6 Union Territories are governed directly by the Union Government of India and have no legislative body.
The Western Australian Legislative Council is the upper house of the Parliament of Western Australia, a state of Australia. It is regarded as a house of review for legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly, the lower house. The two Houses of Parliament sit in Parliament House in the state capital, Perth.
The Legislative Assembly of Queensland is the sole chamber of the unicameral Parliament of Queensland. Elections are held every four years. Voting is by the full-preferential voting form of the alternative vote system. The Assembly has 93 members, who have used the letters MP after their names since 2000.
A Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), or a Member of the Legislature (ML), is a representative elected by the voters of a constituency to the legislature or legislative assembly of a sub-national jurisdiction.
Government in the Commonwealth of Australia is exercised on three levels: federal, states and territories, and local government.
Western Australia politics takes place in context of a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliamentary system, and like other Australian states, Western Australia is part of the federation known as the Commonwealth of Australia.