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What is a federation?

A federation is a system of government with two levels that share governing responsibility between a single national authority and several state (or regional) authorities. The national level of governance looks after national concerns such as currency, defence and taxation while the state level looks after state concerns such as the provision of health, road and education services.

Although Australia is one nation it has nine parliaments including the federal Parliament in Canberra and one in each of the six states and the two mainland territories. This is because Australia is a federation. It also means that there are nine executive governments operating from within those parliaments.

Other federations include Germany, Canada and the United States of America.

What are the main features of the Australian federal system?

Three Levels of Government



Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.