Commonwealth Parliament

January 18, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Government
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House of Representatives  Senate  Legislative Assembly  Legislative Council 

Commonwealth Parliament is a BICAMERAL parliament. It consists of the Senate (upper house) and the House of Representatives (lower house) and the Crown. GOVERNORGENERAL Represents the Crown

SENATE- 76 members


Red is the ‘upper’ traffic light and the ‘upper’ house is red!!  Red stands for STOP starting with ‘S’ and the upper house is the Senate also starting with ‘S’ 

Green is the ‘lower’ traffic light and the ‘lower’ house is green!  The Lower House is the House of Representatives 

The lower house of the Commonwealth Parliament is known as the House of Representatives.

150 members.

Members of the House of Representatives are elected to represent areas called electorates- They are elected every 3 years.

The House of Representatives is designed to represent the interests of the majority of people in Australia. This is why it is referred to as the ‘people’s house’.

The political party that wins a majority of seats in the House of Representatives forms government. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the ‘house of government’.

 1)

The House of Representatives is seen as having six key roles. Making laws - The main function of the House of Representatives is to make laws- To become a law, the proposal must receive the approval of both houses of parliament.


Determining government- The party, with a majority in the lower house forms government.


Providing for representative government- The electoral system ensures that the House of Representatives represents the interests of the majority of voters.


Providing for responsible government- Individual members of the House of Representatives have the opportunity to present their views, by presenting petitions or raising issues with ministers during question time.


Scrutinising government- The House of Representatives provides for responsible government. In the House of Representatives, legislation is debated, matters of public importance are discussed, and ministers are questioned during question time.


Controlling government spending The government can only collect taxes or allocate the spending of public money if a law is passed by parliament.

Consists of 76 members. Each state elects 12 representatives and each territory elects two.

Senators are elected for a term of six years.

Half the Senate retires every three years.

Whenever possible, these elections are held at the same time as the election for the House of Representatives.

The Senate provides stability.

 1)

The key functions of the Senate include the following. Making laws - A Bill (proposed law) must be passed by houses before it can become a law.


Reviewing laws- The Senate provides for the review and check all legislation passed by the House of Representatives., the Senate can originate, amend or reject any proposed law.


Providing for representative government- A function of the Senate is to safeguard the interests of the states. Through an equal number of senators, from the states. For this reason the Senate is sometimes called the ‘states’ house’


Providing for responsible government- The government is account able for its actions. individual senators have the opportunity to raise issues during question time.


Scrutinising government Like the House of Representatives. The Senate has the responsibility for protecting the rights of the citizen and presenting conflicting views in open debate.

Read the article ‘Do we really need a Senate?’ and answer the following questions. 1) Outline the differences between the role of the House of Representatives and the role of the Senate. 2) What do you consider to be the two most important strengths of the Senate and House of Representatives? Justify your view. 3) What do you consider to be the two most significant weaknesses of the Senate and the House of Representatives? Explain. 4) How do you think the bicameral structure of parliament provides for effective law-making? 5) State three facts about the House of Reps and three facts about the Senate.

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The governor-general represents the Crown. The Queen, appoints the governor-general. The Crown acts on the advice of the ministers of state, who are members of parliament.

1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

6) 7) 8) 9)


Appointed by the Queen on the advice of the PM Calls Elections Establishing departments of government and appoints ministers Appoints parliamentary Sessions Expecting to Step in if the Government has been voted out Brings a session of parliament to an end Dissolving the House of Reps to bring about an election. Giving Royal Assent Withholding Royal Assent Delegating Legislation as part of the Executive CouncilDelegated Legislation is the rules and regulations made by government bodies such as VicRoads.

WHAT IS A MINISTER? A minister is responsible and answerable to parliament for the actions of a government department/area (For example, the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Minister of Education, Minister of Transport). Each minister has a portfolio. A portfolio is a special area of responsibility. 

What is the Cabinet? Cabinet is a meeting of ministers. Members of Cabinet form the Executive Council. Most members of Cabinet are ministers ‘with portfolio’. This means that they are in charge of important government departments. 

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State the four roles that you think are most significant of the Crown.

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