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The Australian Constitution

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Sara Toman

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of The Australian Constitution

Australia's Constitution Prior to 1901, Australia did not exist as a nation.
It was a collection of six British colonies which were partly self-governing,
but under the law-making power of the British Parliament. On 1 January 1901, the Australian Constitution came into effect. How was it passed? The constitution was approved by the people of NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA and TAS. Australian representatives then travelled to the British Parliament in London with a bill enabling Australia to become its own nation! 128 The Australian Constitution is divided into 8 chapters, containing 128 sections. Let's have a quick look at the chapters... 1: The Parliament - Describes how Parliament is made and the power of the Federal Parliament 2: The Executive Government - Describes the power of the Queen, Governor-General and the Federal Executive Concil. 3: The Judicature - Describes the power of the High Court, Federal Court and state courts. 4: Finance and Trade - Rules for money, property and interstate trade. 5: The States - The rights and powers of the states. 6: New States - Deals with issues regarding states and territories. 7: Miscellaneous - How to establish a seat of government and the Queen's power to authorise the Governor General to appoint deputies. 8: A basic procedure for altering the Australian constitution. Did you know? That there are two houses
of Parliament...
Yes! Two. There is the House of Representatives
and the Senate. The Senate
The upper house of the Australian Parliament. The States are represented equally in the Senate, with 12 senators each. The Territories each have two, bringing the total to 76. The Senate has identical lawmaking powers as the House of Representatives, except in the initiation of Money Bills. The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the Australian Parliament. Its members represent electorates in every State and Territory, and are chosen directly by the people in elections. The number of members for each State and Territory is proportionate to their population. The party that commands the majority of seats in the House of Representatives forms the government. Who am I? I am Quentin Bryce,the current Governor - General
of Australia. It is my role to act on
behalf of the Queen. I sign all bills passed
by government before they can become
My other responsibilities include:
- Opening each new Parliament
- Approve the appointment of senior
I am also Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The High Court of Australia Is made up of seven judges.
Has the overriding authority to interpret the
Constitution and resolve problems arising
from the division of responsibilites between
State and Federal Parliaments. Can we change the constitution? Yes, but only be referendum,
according to section 128 of the
A referendum is a national ballot on a question
to change part of the Australian constitution.
Australians aged 18 and over are eligable to vote.
Since 1906 when the first referendum
was held, Australia has had 19 referendums
in which 44 separate questions to change the Constitution
have been put to the people.
In total, only 8 have been agreed to.
Full transcript