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Government of Australia

Government of Australia

Australia is always referred to as the Commonwealth of Australia – it is a constitutional monarchy – the head of state is Queen Elizabeth. A democracy, its values reflect religious tolerance, rule of law and freedom of speech. Institutions and practices are a mix of British and North American systems, while being uniquely Australian.

When it was Founded:

The Commonwealth of Australia was founded in 1901 when 6 erstwhile British colonies agreed to be governed as a federation. Quite a few of the principles and practices were adopted by the new government. The Parliament in Australia has different chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Since the Queen is the formal Head of State, a Governor General is appointed as her Representative; he/she usually makes decisions based on the advice of the Cabinet.


Australia has a written Constitution unlike countries like Britain and the United States – the federal government’s responsibilities cover areas like defence, trade, foreign relations, immigration and domestic policy. As far as law and justice are concerned, the High Court is charged with the responsibility of arbitrating disputes between the federal and state governments. Many of its decisions have led to an expansion of powers and also the responsibilities placed on the central government.

Branches of Government:

Under the Constitution, the government is split into 3 branches – the Judiciary, Legislature and the Executive Branch. Members of the Legislature must necessarily be members of the executive branch as well.


It is compulsory for every citizen over the age of 18 to vote in federal and state level government elections.

Political Parties:

Australia has 4 major political parties – the Labor party, Liberal, National and the Greens. Most of the parties have devised ways in which members can play a role in devising issue policies for their parties.

Relations between States and the Federal Government:

Each state has its own parliament – they have to follow state laws and are subject to those of the federal Constitution as well. Both levels of government work together in all areas concerning public good like education, law enforcement, health and transport. All in all, the state and federal government work together to implement policies and reforms to ensure the efficient functioning of the national economy and an integrated national market.

Government Departments

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

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