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The Australian Parliamentary System- Part One- Commonwealth December 7 th 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "The Australian Parliamentary System- Part One- Commonwealth December 7 th 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Australian Parliamentary System- Part One- Commonwealth December 7 th 2012

2 Introduction Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a federation of states and representatives. Divided into states and territories, with each state having their own parliament –The Commonwealth Parliament –Six State Parliaments –Two territory parliaments

3 Westminster System Bicameral – two houses – Upper and Lower Head of Parliament is the Sovereign/Crown/Monarch (the QUEEN) Parliament is supreme

4 THE BICAMERAL SYSTEM Two Houses (an upper and lower house). Commonwealth- The House of Representatives (lower) and the Senate (upper) Victoria- The Legislative Assembly (lower) and the Legislative Council (upper) Queensland and the territories however, only have one house


6 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Sometimes called the ‘peoples house’, or the ‘House of Government’ Reflects the current opinions of the people at an election, because it determines which party of coalition of parties should form government. The political party (or coalition of parties) that achieves the highest number of elected members becomes the government. The leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister. The part with the next highest number of elected representatives, becomes the opposition Currently the Labour party is the government and the Liberal Party is the opposition.

7 ‘The Peoples House’

8 Members of the lower house 150 Members- each representing an electoral division. Our elected representative is Sophie Mirabella.

9 Electoral Divisions New South Wales48 Victoria37 Queensland30 Western Australia15 South Australia11 Tasmania5 Australian Capital Territory2 Northern Territory2

10 The Role of the lower house Initiate and make laws- the main function. New laws are normally introduced to the House by the government, although any member may introduce a proposed law (Known as a Bill). Bills must be passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate for laws to be made. Determine the government- the party with the most elected representatives. Provide responsible government- ministers are responsible to parliament and therefore to the people. They may present petitions from citizens and raise citizens concerns. If the government loses the support of the lower house, it must resign.

11 The Role of the lower house Represent the people- the House of Representatives plays a role in forming a representative government. Members are elected to represent the people and are given authority to action behalf of the people. Publicise and scrutinise government administration- it is the role of the House of Representatives to publicise the polices of government, so that citizens can present their views on proposed legislation. Control government expenditure- a bill must be passed through both houses of parliament before a government is able to collect taxes or spend money.

12 The SENATE- The Upper House The Senate consists of 76 Senators. Each state represents 12 representatives, regardless of the population. There are two elected per territory.

13 The Role of the Senate The senates main role is to make laws. Its law-making powers are seen to be equal to those of the house of representatives in that it can initiate bills, although money bills cannot be initiated in the upper house. Money Bills impose taxes and collect revenue. They must be introduced in the lower house (federal and state). Initiate and make laws Act as the states house Act as the house of review- review the bills (majority) that are introduced to the house of representatives. The senate therefore scrutinises the house of representatives in the law-making process and makes sure the government is accountable for its actions (Responsible government).

14 Representative Government Central to our system of government- democracy Represents the views of the majority of voters Government formed by party with majority of seats in the lower house Lower house represents the will of the majority Upper house represents the interests of each state/region

15 Responsible Government Government is answerable to parliament Parliament can establish committees to investigate government actions Parliamentary debate and Hansard provide for public scrutiny

16 Separation of Powers The legal system has 3 main functions: legislative (makes the laws); executive (administers the law); and judicial (interprets/applies the law)- known as the separation of powers These 3 functions are given to different bodies to perform Provides a system of checks and balances so that no single body holds absolute authority (and therefore prevents abuse of power). Ensures there is no monopoly of the market

17 Composition of the electorates in State and Commonwealth Parliaments

18 Questions 1.What does the term ‘bicameral system’ refer to? 2.Which is the house of government? Explain. 3.Explain three roles of the House of Representatives and three roles of the Senate. 4.What type of bills cannot be introduced into the Senate? 5.Describe the principle of and reasons for the separation of powers. (6 Marks) 6.What is meant be the term ‘responsible government’ ? 7.Complete a summary of notes of Chapter One!!

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