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What is Parliament

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The word Parliament comes from Latin parliamentum and French parler (to speak), and it is descriptive of the method by which members reach decisions in our Houses of Parliament - by talking to each other.

The Parliaments of Australia and Western Australia:

The Parliaments of Australia and Western Australia operate under a two-house or bi-cameral system with the House of Representatives [federal] and Legislative Assembly or Lower House [WA] and the Senate [federal] and Legislative Council or Upper House [WA].

Our system of government in Australia and Western Australia is known as parliamentary government.  Modelled on the British parliamentary system, it is sometimes called the ‘Westminster model’.

Role of the parliaments:

The parliaments of Australia and Western Australia make laws – or statutes - to regulate the activities of the nation and the State of Western Australia.

In Western Australia, it is charged with making laws for the peace, order and good government of the State as set out in the State’s Constitution. It does this by passing legislation that is contained in “Bills”, as does the national parliament to govern the nation. The system of government in WA is that of a parliamentary democracy based on the rule of law.

The State Government is responsible for matters that typically affect the lives of all West Australians including: schools, hospitals, roads, railways, electricity, gas and water supply, as well as the maintenance of law and order.