Australian House of Representatives

Australian House of Representatives
TypeLower house
Speaker of the HouseDavid Hawker, Liberal
since November 16, 2004
Members150
Political groupsLiberal Party (74)
ALP (60)
National Party (12)
Country Liberal Party (1)
Last elections9 October 2004
Meeting placeParliament House, Canberra, ACT
Web siteHouse of Representatives
Enlarge picture
Entrance to the House of Representatives


Australia

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The House of Representatives is one of the two houses (chambers) of the Parliament of Australia. It is the lower house, the other chamber, the Senate being the upper house.

The 150 members of the House are elected from single-member electorates (geographic districts, sometimes known as "seats" but officially known as "Divisions of the Australian House of Representatives"). Each electorate has between 59,000 and 120,000 voters. They are designed to be relatively equal across the state or territory within which the electorate exists. Voting is by the 'preferential system' (usually referred to elsewhere as the instant-runoff voting).

According to the Australian Constitution, the powers of both houses are nearly equal, with the consent of both houses needed to pass legislation. The difference mostly relates to taxation legislation. In practice, by convention, the leader of the party (or coalition of parties) with a majority of members in the lower house is invited by the Governor-General to form the Government. Thus the leader becomes the Prime Minister and some of the other elected members of the Government party in both the House and the Senate become ministers responsible for various portfolios and administer government departments. Bills appropriating money (supply bills) can only be introduced or modified in the lower house and thus only the party with a majority in the lower house can govern. In the current Australian party system, this ensures that virtually all contentious votes are along party lines, and the Government always has a majority in those votes.

The Opposition party's main role in the House is to present arguments against the Government's policies and legislation, and attempt to hold the government accountable as much as possible by asking questions of importance during Question Time and during debates on legislation. In recent times, the Senate, by contrast, has not had a majority from the Government of the day (both Liberal/National Coalition and Labor), so votes in the Senate have become more meaningful. However, the Coalition Government gained a Senate majority from 1 July 2005, following the 2004 election. The House's well-established committee system is not always as prominent as the Senate committee system because of the frequent lack of Senate majority.

In a reflection of the United Kingdom House of Commons, the predominant colour of the furnishings in the House of Representatives is green. However, the colour was tinted slightly to suggest the colour of eucalyptus trees.

Latest result

discussedit
'''Summary of the 9 October 2004 Parliament of Australia Australian federal election, 2004>election results
Parties Primary Votes House % House Seats House
Liberal Party of Australia4,741,45840.574
National Party of Australia690,2755.912
Country Liberal Party-The Territory Party39,8550.31
Australian Labor Party4,409,117 37.660
Australian Greens841,7347.2-
Family First Party235,3152.0-
Australian Democrats144,8321.2-
One Nation Party139,956 1.2-
Christian Democratic Party72,2410.6-
Independents288,2062.43
Total (turnout 90 %)11,715,132 100.0150
Informal votes639,851
Total votes12,354,983
Registered voters13,021,230
Source: Australian Electoral Commission.

Seats won by party at Australian elections, 1946 - 2004

Seats Won
ElectionALPLIBNATOtherTotal
1946431511574
1949475519::121
1951525217::121
1954574717::121
1955475718::122
1958455819::122
1961604517::122
1963505220..122
1966416121124
1969594620125
1972673820..125
1974664021..127
1975366823..127
1977386719..124
1980515420125
1983753317125
1984824521148
1987864319148
19907855141148
19938049162147
19964975195148
19986764161148
20016569133150
20046075123150

Main Committee

A unique development in the Australian House is its Main Committee, designed to be an alternative debating chamber; it is modeled after the Committee of the Whole that exists in several different legislatures, particularly the United States House of Representatives and British House of Commons. Matters considered to be relatively uncontroversial can be referred by the entire House to the Main Committee, where substantive debate can take place. The Main Committee cannot, however, initiate nor make a final decision on any parliamentary business, although it can perform all tasks in between.[1]

The Main Committee was created in 1994, to relieve some of the burden of the entire House: different matters can be processed in the House at large and in the Main Committee. As such, it is designed to be less formal, with a quorum of only three members: the Deputy Speaker of the House, one government member, and one non-government member. Decisions must be unanimous: any divided decision sends the question back to the House at large.

The Main Committee was created through the House's Standing Orders:[2] it is thus a subordinate body of the House, and can only be in session while the House itself is in session. When a division vote in the House occurs, members in the Main Committee must return to the House to vote.

The Main Committee is housed in one of the House's committee rooms: the room is customized for this purpose and is laid out to resemble the House chamber.[3]

Due to the unique role of the Main Committee, proposals have been made to rename the body to avoid confusion with other parliamentary committees. Proposals include "Second Chamber"[4] and "Federation Chamber".[5] The concept of a parallel body to expedite Parliamentary business, based on the Australian Main Committee, was mentioned in a 1998 British House of Commons report.[6]

See also

References

External links

lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.

Despite its theoretical position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power.
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Australia

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Australia


Federal Government
Executive
  • Queen (Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Governor-General (Michael Jeffery)
  • Prime Minister (John Howard)
  • Cabinet

..... Click the link for more information.
The Honourable David Peter Maxwell Hawker (born 1 May 1949), Australian politician, has been a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives since May 1983, representing the Division of Wannon, Victoria, previously represented by Malcolm Fraser.
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Liberal Party of Australia

Leader John Howard

Founded 1944

Preceded by United Australia Party

Office Cnr Blackall & Macquarie St
Barton ACT 2600

Political Ideology Conservative liberalism,
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November 16 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 534 - A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published.

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Liberal Party of Australia

Leader John Howard

Founded 1944

Preceded by United Australia Party

Office Cnr Blackall & Macquarie St
Barton ACT 2600

Political Ideology Conservative liberalism,
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National Party of Australia

Leader Mark Vaile

Party President John Tanner

Founded 1920 (as The Country Party)

Office John McEwen House
7 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600

Political Ideology
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Country Liberal Party

Leader Jodeen Carney

Founded 1974

Office 107 Woods Street
Darwin NT 0800

Political Ideology Liberal conservatism

Website Country Liberal Party

In Australian politics, the
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October 9 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 768 - Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned Kings of France.

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20th century - 21st century - 22nd century
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Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. It is located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was opened on 9 May 1988 by the Queen of Australia. [1] Its construction cost was over $1.1 billion.
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Canberra
Australian Capital Territory

Location of Canberra within Australia

Population:
• Density: 323,056 (2006 Census) (8th)
137.
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Australian Capital Territory

Flag
Slogan or Nickname: none
Motto(s): For the Queen, the Law and the People

Other Australian states and territories
Capital Canberra
Government Constitutional monarchy
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Anthem
Advance Australia Fair [1]


Capital Canberra

Largest city Sydney
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Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy, a federation, and a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement between six self-governing British colonies, which became the six States.
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In political science and constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government responsible for the day-to-day management of the state. In many countries, it is referred to simply as the government, but this usage can be confusing in an international context.
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Australia

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Australia


Federal Government
Executive
  • Queen (Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Governor-General (Michael Jeffery)
  • Prime Minister (John Howard)
  • Cabinet

..... Click the link for more information.
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary;<ref name="sur" /> born 21 April 1926) is the Queen regnant of sixteen independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies.
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Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. He or she exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth.
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Philip Michael Jeffery AC, CVO, MC (born 12 December 1937) is the 24th Governor-General of Australia. General Jeffery was born in Wiluna, Western Australia and was educated at Kent Street Senior High School.
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Australia

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Australia


Federal Government
Executive
  • Queen (Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Governor-General (Michael Jeffery)
  • Prime Minister (John Howard)
  • Cabinet

..... Click the link for more information.
John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian politician and the 25th Prime Minister of Australia. He is the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister after Sir Robert Menzies, and is the leader of the Liberal Party of Australia.
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Cabinet of Australia is the council of senior ministers, responsible to parliament. The Cabinet is appointed by the Prime Minister and serve at his pleasure, although officially the Governor General controls their appointments. The Cabinet meets once a week to discuss vital issues.
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The Federal Executive Council is the formal body holding executive authority under the Australian Constitution. It is equivalent to the other Executive Councils in other Commonwealth Realms such as the Executive Council of New Zealand and is equivalent to the Privy Councils in
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A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws.

Legislatures are known by many names, the most common being parliament and congress, although these terms also have more specific meanings.
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Parliament of Australia

Type Bicameral
Houses House of Representatives
Senate
Speaker of the House of Representatives David Hawker
President of the Senate Alan Ferguson

Members 226 (150 Representatives, 76 Senators)
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Australian Senate

Type Upper house

President Alan Ferguson, Liberal
since 14 August, 2007

Members 76
Political groups Coalition (39)
ALP (28)
Green (4)
Democratic (4)
FFP (1)
Last elections 9 October 2004
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Australia

This article is part of the series:
Politics of Australia


Federal Government
Executive
  • Queen (Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Governor-General (Michael Jeffery)
  • Prime Minister (John Howard)
  • Cabinet

..... Click the link for more information.


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