The Commonwealth Parliament is divided into two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Senate Also known as the Upper House of the Commonwealth Parliament 76 Senators- 12 are elected for each of the 6 states, and 2 each for the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. State Senators are elected for 6 year terms, territory Senators for 3 year terms Historically, the Senate has been regarded as a State's House: the States enjoy equal representation in the Senate, regardless of their population
The Work of Senators Much of a Senator's work is focused in the chamber - considering and reviewing bills in detail participating in debate on current issues, committee reports, ministerial statements and papers tabled by ministers Work on parliamentary committees is an important part of a Senator's work. They:- conduct enquires on bills and matters of national importance collect information from experts, interest groups and witnesses write reports Senators travel to meet people in their state and take their views back to Parliament. They meet lobby groups, various community organisations and attend party meetings and many official functions.
House of Representatives 150 members - each representing a separate electoral division. Members are elected for terms of up to 3 years. The Prime Minister sits in the House of Representatives The most distinctive feature of the House is that the party or group with majority support in the House forms the Government. The accountability of the Government is illustrated every sitting day, especially during question time. Members have many other functions. They are involved in law making, committee work and in representing their electors.
The Work of Members Members of the House of Representatives represent the people who live in their electorates. A large proportion of their time is spent on electorate work where they come to know the people, local issues and problems. During sitting weeks a Member's work in the chamber involves speaking in debate on bills, important motions, ministerial statements and committee reports. Members attend community meetings and functions. They meet lobby groups, various community organisations, attend party meetings and many official functions.
The Work of Members Members work on parliamentary committees too. They:- Conduct inquiries on bills and matters of national importance Collect information from experts, interest groups and witnesses Write reports
The Governor-General The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Governor-General performs a large number of functions which are defined by the Constitution, but fall roughly into three categories: constitutional and statutory duties, formal ceremonial duties, and non- ceremonial social duties. On virtually all matters, however, the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Ministry (Government Ministers).