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Development of Political Institutions The transfer of more authority from Britain to the colonies was helped by Britain's adoption of free trade in the late 1840s. Free trade, which meant that Britain would buy from the lowest-price supplier and sell in the most profitable market, eliminated—at least in principle—the need for colonies. Thus, in 1850, without having to unite into a common front, the eastern colonies received new constitutions. Victoria, South Australia, and Van Diemen's Land (which changed its name to Tasmania in 1854) were given legislative councils, with two-thirds of the membership to be elected. New South Wales had been granted the same provision in 1842.By the mid-1850s each of the four eastern colonies refashioned its governmental system and gained control over its land policy. The new systems vested power in a cabinet or council of ministers responsible to the legislature and provided a popularly elected assembly as a part of that legislature. Voting by ballot (instead of by the raising of hands) and other innovations made the new governments quite democratic. The new constitutions reflected the interests of the urban populations, who wanted to reduce the political power of the graziers, but the graziers still managed, during the 1850s and 1860s, to gain more security in their landholdings.
Find these interesting facts and more on the Queensland State Government at:
Qld Case Law
Supreme Court of Queensland - Court of Appeal Decisions 1998-
Queensland Planning and Environment Court Decisions 1999-
Anti-Discrimination Tribunal Queensland 1998-
Queensland Building Tribunal 1996-
Queensland Industrial Relations Commission Decisions 1999-
Find these and more interesting facts on Western Australian State Government at:
WA Case Law
Supreme Court of Western Australia Decisions 1999-
Western Australian Information Commissioner Decisions 1994-
Western Australian Consolidated Acts
Western Australian Consolidated Regulations
Australia, a federal parliamentary democracy, is an independent self-governing state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The constitution of Australia, which became effective in 1901, is based on British parliamentary traditions, and includes elements of the United States system. The head of state is the British sovereign, and the head of government is the Australian prime minister, who is responsible to the Australian Parliament. All powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Australia is a founding member of the United Nations (UN).
New South Wales
Find these and a lot more State Government facts at:
NSW Case Law
Supreme Court of New South Wales - Court of Criminal Appeal Decisions 1999-
Compensation Court of New South Wales Decisions 1985-
Drug Court of New South Wales Decisions 1999-
Land and Environment Court of New South Wales Decisions 1988-
Find these interesting facts and more on the South Australian State Government at:
SA Case Law
Supreme Court of South Australia Decisions 1989-
South Australian Residential Tenancies Tribunal Decisions 1997-
South Australian Consolidated Acts
South Australian Consolidated Regulations
The executive power of the commonwealth is vested in a governor-general (representing the British sovereign) and a cabinet, presided over by the prime minister, which represents the party or coalition holding a majority in the lower house of parliament. The parliament consists of two houses. The distribution of federal and state powers is roughly like that in the United States. British intervention in Australian affairs was formally abolished in 1986. From its early years the federal government has been noted for its liberal legislation, such as woman suffrage (1902), old-age pensions (1909), and maternity allowances (1912). There are four main political parties: Liberal, Labor, National, and Democratic
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Formally, executive authority in Australia is vested in the governor-general, who is appointed by the British monarch in consultation with the Australian prime minister. The British monarch is also the royal head of Australia, but has no real power in the government and serves as a symbolic head of state. The governor-general acts only on the advice of the Executive Council, or cabinet, comprising all ministers of state. Federal policy in practice is determined by the cabinet, which is chaired by the prime minister, who is the head of the majority party in parliament. The ministers are responsible for the individual departments of the federal government, and these departments are administered by permanent civil servants.
Central to the history of Australia in the 20th century was the development of both a national government and a national culture. Commonwealth governments, led by architects of federation such as Alfred Deakin, quickly established a protective tariff to foster internal development, designed procedures for setting minimum wages in industry, and preserved the white immigration policy. Nevertheless, Australians tended to retain their old colonial identities, and the political parties at the national level tended to be loosely defined.
Time of Uncertainties
From 1966 to 1972, the Liberal Party, with the assistance of the Country Party, provided several prime ministers who sought to extend the Menzies era, but in 1972, uniting after years of internal disputes, the Labor Party under Gough Whitlam again came to power. Whitlam's plans for increased social services, however, were in conflict with both the traditional rights of the states and declining economic prosperity; the Liberal-Country coalition was returned to power under Malcolm Fraser in 1975. He reinstated the domestic and foreign policies followed by the earlier Liberal Party governments and laid a foundation for Aboriginal land claims.
Find these interesting facts and more on the Victorian State Government at:
Vic Case Law
Supreme Court of Victoria - Court of Appeal Decisions 1997-1998
Supreme Court of Victoria - Court of Appeal Decisions 1998-
Supreme Court of Victoria Decisions 1998-
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Decisions 1998-
National legislative power in Australia is vested in a bicameral parliament, made up of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate consists of 76 members (12 from each state and 2 from each territory). Senators from states are popularly elected to six-year terms under a form of proportional representation; senators from territories are elected to three-year terms. According to the Australian constitution, the House should have about twice as many members as the Senate. The number of members from each state is proportional to its population, but must be at least five. In the mid-1990s the House had 148 members, popularly elected to a term of up to three years. The prime minister can ask the governor-general to dissolve the House and call new elections at any time. Australia has universal and compulsory suffrage for all citizens over the age of 18.
Time of Uncertainties
From 1966 to 1972, the Liberal Party, with the assistance of the Country Party, provided several prime ministers who sought to extend the Menzies era, but in 1972, uniting after years of internal disputes, the Labor Party under Gough Whitlam again came to power.....
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Government From 1966 to 1972
Time of Uncertainties
Fraser's coalition survived the 1980 election with a much reduced majority. Further shaken by defections from Liberal Party ranks and by foreign trade scandals, Fraser suffered a sharp defeat in the elections of March 1983. His Labor successor, Bob Hawke, sought to promote labor-management cooperation and stimulate the economy; his foreign policy was staunchly pro-American. Labor retained its majorities in the elections of December 1984, July 1987, and March 1990. In December 1991, with Australia mired in recession and Hawke's popularity waning, Labor chose Hawke's former treasury minister, Paul Keating, as party leader and prime minister. Pledging to change Australia to a federal republic and underlining the need for a reorientation toward Asia, Keating led Labor to victory in the March 1993 election
Australian State and Territory Governments
Australia has six self-governing states and two mainland territories. It also administers a number of island territories (Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Norfolk Island) as well as the Australian Antarctic Territory and the subantarctic Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Island.
Find these and other interesting facts on Northern Territory State Govt. at:
NT Case Law
Supreme Court of the Northern Territory - Court of Criminal Appeal Decisions 2000-
Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission Decisions 1995-
A bicameral system of government exists in each state except Queensland, which has only one house. The British sovereign is represented in each state by a governor. Governmental affairs are handled by a cabinet, the head of which is known as the premier. Within each Australian state, hundreds of local government authorities are responsible for traffic and building regulation; maintenance of streets, bridges, local roads, water and sewerage, parks, libraries, and hospitals; and similar functions. Among these authorities are shire councils, borough councils, and town and city councils. Legislation granting power to local authorities exists in each state
|Sheri Ann Richerson|