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A FEDERAL NATION- AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION. Federation )Occurred on Jan 1. 1901 )Created a new nation and new level of government - Commonwealth of Australia.

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Presentation on theme: "A FEDERAL NATION- AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION. Federation )Occurred on Jan 1. 1901 )Created a new nation and new level of government - Commonwealth of Australia."— Presentation transcript:


2 Federation )Occurred on Jan 1. 1901 )Created a new nation and new level of government - Commonwealth of Australia )Federations divide power between a central government and two or more regional powers (ie WA govt). )Each level has different powers. )Disputes between the two levels of government are decided by independent authority- Constitutional Court or High Court.

3 Federation )Constitution was set out to limit commonwealth powers by defining what their jurisdiction was and what was not mentioned was left to the states. )Main focus of document was on the creation of the federal structure of government. )Each branch of government was outlined as well as other issues. Ie/ constitutional change )Many aspects were not included. Ie/ PM, this was left to convention.

4 Chapter 1 )Largest chapter in the constitution, containing 5 parts. )It was also the most important chapter as it created the FEDERAL PARLIAMENT.

5 Chapter 1 - Part 1 )Creates the Bi-cameral parliament, House of Representatives and the Senate. (Section1) )The Queen’s authority, as Australia’s constitutional Head of State, is to be exercised by the Governor-General. (S2)

6 Chapter 1 - Part 2 (Senate) )Creates the upper house-Senate )Composition- equal number from each state. This reassured the smaller colonies. )Roles: )House of Review )State’s house (not to be dominated by P. Parties)

7 Senate )6 senators from each state, now 12 and the territories have 2. )6 year terms )Senator elections done on rotation. I.e./ half every 3 years. )Casual Vacancy- filled by member from same party. )Senate presided over by a President.

8 Chapter 1- Part 3(HOR) )Creates the House of Representatives. )Modelled on UK House of Commons. )“Peoples House” )Political party with the majority forms government. (i.e./executive headed by PM)

9 HOR )Nexus clause ensures HOR is to be twice the size of the Senate. I.e./ 150:76 )Composition is based on population. )Re-elections every 3 years. )Vacancy is filled by a by-election. )Presided over by a Speaker.

10 Chapter1- Part 5 )Division of legislative powers. )Federal powers were listed. )Concurrent powers were also listed. )However, state powers were left out.

11 Part 5- Exclusive powers(S52) )These are powers exclusively given to the Commonwealth government. )Very few in total )Examples: Excise tax, Federal public service acquisition of land for capital.

12 Concurrent Powers (51) )Both states and federal can make laws on these. )Often confused for exclusive as states have rarely exercised their powers. ) What are some of these powers? )Section 109- also states that if Federal and state laws conflict the commonwealths override them.

13 Residual powers )Section 106, 107, 108 Maintain state constitutions, parliaments and laws. )ALL other legislative jurisdiction is left to the states. Examples? )If there is conflict S 109 gives commonwealth overriding powers.

14 Law making power of the Two Houses )Section 53- Powers are the same except for one area. )The Senate cannot introduce, nor amend appropriation bills. (Can recommend changes). )What are appropriation bills? )Most bills originate from the HOR.

15 Conflict between the houses? )The government does not always control both houses. I.e./ Between 1981 and 2005 )If the Senate refuse to pass legislation twice, a DOUBlE DISSOLUTION results. )General election is held for ALL members. )Nexus clause.

16 Royal assent )Section 58- Royal assent must be given as the last stage for bills to become law by the G-G.

17 Chapter 2- Executive )Comprise monarch, PM, Ministers and Public service. )Executive Roles: )Select and introduce legislation )Administer government policy and departments. )Accept responsibility for the outcomes of policies.

18 Executive )All members are from parliament. )Political party with majority forms executive. )Most ministers are from HOR although they can come from Senate too. )PM must be from HOR.

19 Executive )Constitutionally- Federal Executive Council is executive. )Who is given the power? )Why is this in practice not the case?

20 Executive )Chapter 2 is highly criticized because it does not : )Outline the office of PM )Outline the existence of the Cabinet )Explain limits on G-G’s powers.

21 Chapter 3- The Federal Judicature )Creates High Court and other Federal courts. )High Courts’ Roles: )Highest court of Appeal for states )Highest court of Appeal for federal )Court for disputes over legislative powers of State and commonwealth. )Interpreter of the constitution. )Look at hierarchy pg 84

22 Chapter 4-Finance and Trade )Free trade between states )Commonwealth to collect excise tax(tariffs) )Financial assistance to states

23 Chapter 5- The States )Constitutions, parliaments and laws maintained. )Section 109- inconsistency over laws.

24 Chapter 6 )New states can be created if needed. )Never happened.

25 Chapter 7 )Miscellaneous )Establishment of Capital (Canberra). )G-G as Queens’ Representative )Section 127 removed from constitution? )Why? Not removed until 1962.

26 Chapter 8 )Altering the Constitution )Referendums- Only way of changing the constitution. )Proposal passed by both houses (or 1 house twice), then put to the people where it must receive a double majority(people and states) then it goes to the G-G. )Very rare to pass- only 8 out of 44.

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