Home / Discover / Government

Australian Government

The Australian Government, sometimes referred to as the Commonwealth Government or the Federal Government, was established by the Australian Constitution. It is divided into three arms of government:

The Legislative Power, also known simply as parliament, is made up of democratically-elected representatives from around Australia. The Parliament of Australia comprises two separate chambers, the House of Representatives (or 'the lower house') and the Senate (or 'the upper house').

The Executive Power is the administrative arm of government, and is made up of government employees (the public service) working in a number of departments and agencies. The executive is empowered by the laws of Australia to put those laws into operation and uphold those laws once they have begun to operate.

The Judiciary Power is the legal arm of the government.

The Commonwealth Government makes laws affecting the whole of Australia for example taxation, quarantine, defence and immigration.

The Northern Territory Government

The parliament of the Northern Territory is the Legislative Assembly with 25 members and a ministerial cabinet lead by a Chief Minister. The Northern Territory has a Westminster style of government with no upper house. The head of state is the Administrator, rather than the Governor as in other Australian jurisdictions.

Local government is the second level of government, with city councils and shire councils administering by-laws and spending on services and infrastructure related to specific cities, towns or council regions within the state.