State Parliament consists of the Queen of Australia represented by the Governor. Each State has a Governor appointed by The Queen on the advice of the State Premier.
The Parliaments in all States, except Queensland, consist of two houses – an upper and lower house. This is called a bicameral parliament. Queensland’s parliament is unicameral, i.e. it has only one chamber. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are also unicameral.
Members of Parliament are directly elected by all Australian Citizens over the age of 18 resident in that State.
The major role of the Lower House is to pass or reject laws which are introduced.
The Legislative Council or Upper House is called the House of Review and its main job is to check and review the bills that have been passed by the lower house.
The two most important differences between the Lower House and the Upper Houses
• The government is formed from the party that has the majority in the Legislative Assembly’
• Money bills, to impose taxes or spend public money may only be introduced in the Legislative Assembly.
Responsibilities of State Parliaments include:
• To make laws in the areas of not covered by the Federal government under the Constitution.
• To represent the people of their State
• To approve the provision of money to enable the government to carry out its responsibilities
• To scrutinise the way in which the government and government departments operate and spend government money.
Some areas of responsibility for States
• Emergency Services
• Local Government
• Main Roads
• Public transport
For further information visit the parliaments at:
NEW SOUTH WALES www.parliament.nsw.gov.au
SOUTH AUSTRALIA www.parliament.sa.gov.au
WESTERN AUSTRALIA www.parliament.wa.gov.au
NORTHERN TERRITORY www.nt.gov.au
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY www.legassembly.act.gov.au