The Australian Government

The Australian Government is also known as the Commonwealth Government or the Federal Government. It was established under the Australian Constitution.

The Australian Government has three branches with different powers. There are:

  • legislative powers
  • executive power
  • judiciary powers.

Parliament holds legislative powers. Democratically elected representatives make up parliament. Parliament makes the laws.

Australia’s parliament has two chambers:

  • the House of Representatives
  • the Senate.

The administrative arm of government holds executive powers. The administrative arm puts the laws into operation. Government employees make up this arm.

Australia’s courts hold judicial powers. The courts interpret the laws.

The Australian Government makes laws affecting the whole of Australia. Examples include taxation, quarantine, defence and immigration laws.  For more information go to the Australian Government website

State and territory governments influence migration policy. There are also state-specific and regional migration programs.

View of Parliament House

The Northern Territory Government

The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly is the parliament of Australia's Northern Territory (NT).

It has 25 elected members and a ministerial cabinet led by the Chief Minister.

The NT’s Head of State is the Administrator, whose duties are mainly ceremonial.

Read more about the NT Government on the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory website

Local government is the second level of government. Local government has different responsibilities to those of the NT Government.

NT laws are similar to those in other parts of Australia. There are some exceptions due to different circumstances in the NT.

Voting is compulsory for all Australian citizens aged over 18. For more information on enrolling to vote, go to the Australian Electoral Commission website