Australia has three levels of Government – Federal, State and Local.  It operates under a democratic system of government. 

These different levels of government are an outcome of Federation in 1901 and the Australian Constitution, which sets out the legal framework by which Australia is governed. 

Each level of government has its own responsibilities, although in some cases these responsibilities are shared:

  • Federal – makes laws for the whole of Australia
  • Six states (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania) and two territories (Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory)- make laws for their state or territory
  • More than 500 local councils that make local laws (by-laws) for their region or district.

For more information about government and parliaments in Australia, please visit the Parliamentary Education Office website.