Talk:Government of Australia

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Proposal for reorganisation[edit]

I feel it is nessecary to reorganise certain parts of the Government of Australia portal as to make it more functional. Take a look at the Governments of New Zealand page, it has lists of each government by a collective (ie. Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand). I think this could be applied to past Australian governments, ie. Howard Government or Keating Government. The good thing about the way the New Zealand article is organised is that the policy, issues, major events, electoral success can easily be placed together and centralised making it far easier for the reader to find. Information on the policy and actions of past Australian Governments must be currently found in pages relating to subsequent elections and the articles of the prime ministers themselves (eg. Bob Hawke or John Howard). I feel this is not a very productive organisational system. --Waynekruse (talk) 22:30, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Can the 2nd level header "Federalism" be cut out, or converted into a 3rd level header? And I mean we know its about the "Federal Govt" now why do you have to teach us that its also known as "Federalism"?? Its unnecessarily redundant. -- Tomjenkins52 (talk) 05:34, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Here We Go Again[edit]

I have reverted an edit made by Pwqn (diff) which asserted the same ridiculousness that saw Skyring banned from editing this article. Pwqn has a long edit history so I don't think s/he is a sockpuppet, but the edit is awfully similar.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 9 July 2005 12:50 (UTC)

Pwqn has made this subsequent edit. I don't want to be involved in any controversy, and I will not revert this until others have commented. I am, however, very concerned - I don't want to see a return to the frustrations and viciousness that this issue has caused.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 9 July 2005 13:08 (UTC)

I have reverted. This is clearly the same sort of content change that is discussed through all the archives and determined to be unnacceptable. If Pwqn has any problems, he/she can refer to the archives of this talk. Xtra 9 July 2005 14:22 (UTC)

Can someone ascertain by comparing the ISP numbers, or whatever it is, that Pwqn is not an alias of Skyring's? Adam 9 July 2005 15:17 (UTC)

We could request David Gerard to do so. But I don't know if we need do that yet, particularly given we haven't initiated a direct conversation with him/her. Perhaps all we need do is impress upon Pwqn that his/her contention will not be accepted. Also, I don't think Pwqn is actually a sockpuppet. Pwqn's contributions log shows that s/he began editing three days after Skyring's first edit, and apparently not in the same areas. However, Pwqn might be one of those editor's Skyring said he would find to present the same facts [1], in which case, if they persist, a block may be appropriate.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 9 July 2005 16:14 (UTC)
I have advised Pwqn of the situation on his/her talk-page and requested that he/she comment here. --Cyberjunkie | Talk 9 July 2005 16:26 (UTC)

Head of state section needs a rewrite.[edit]

The section on "head of state" needs a rewrite to make it neutral. Right now, it reads as if Wikipedia is advocating the view that the Queen alone is Australia's head of state, however this is controversial, since many people recognise the Governor-General as a de-facto head of state within the Commonwealth - see [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], etc. This is against the WP:NPOV policy: Wikipedia is not a forum for advocacy of any political view, cause or person. Note that Wikipedia does not say that evolution is a fact, only that 95% of scientists agree with it (and 99.8% of biologists). Pwqn 9 July 2005 17:17 (UTC)

At most, we should note in one sentence that some monarchists claim that the GG is head of state. That's it. Pwqn, please read the extremely volumninous (and occasionally rather heated) talk page discussion on the topic. --Robert Merkel 09:23, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm Australian and I don't care who is head of state (QE2 or GG), but the High Court has not made a determination on the matter and people do hold differnt views, so the article should reflect this. The fact is, given these widey held differing views, no one can say with authority who the "Head of State" of Australia is. That's my oppinion anyway. (I don't have a Wikipedia account. Maybe I should get one :) I should point out that I think QE2 is the head of state, but I can't say with absolute certainty that she is. No one can unless they are a soothsayer. 82.41.215.73 00:45, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

The current situation[edit]

I will assume for the moment that Pwqn is a good-faith editor and not a Skyring clone, but I remain suspicious. For Pwqn's benefit, the situation with this question is this:

  • Matters of fact
  • The Constitution, for historical reasons, does not nominate a head of state - Australia was part of the British Empire in 1901 and shared a common head of state with the rest of the Empire. The Constitution contains numerous references to "the Queen" which in 1901 were obviously references to the Queen of the UK.
  • Since the Statute of Westminster, Australia has been a sovereign state, and must have a head of state. The High Court, the government and all other authorities now hold that the Queen of Australia is Australia's de jure head of state, and the references to the Queen in the Constitution should be read as references to the Queen of Australia, a title which was fornmally accorded to Elizabeth II in 1973.
  • Under the Constitution, the Queen's powers are almost entirely delegated to the Governor-General, and it is not disputed that the Governor-General acts as a de facto head of state.
  • Nevertheless, a de facto head of state is not a de jure head of state. The Governor-General is formally appointed by the Queen and takes an oath of alliegence to the Queen, as do government ministers, judges and other officials. The Governor-General himself has said that the Queen is Australia's head of state.
  • Matters of process
  • This question has been exhaustively argued for many weeks. The view of every editor who has taken part in this debate, except Skyring, is that the Queen is head of state, and that the article should state this as a matter of fact and not just of opinion. It should of course be noted that a small minority of people dissent from this view.
  • Skyring has been banned from editing this article as a result of his persistent refusal to accept the majority view of what this article should say.
  • This question having been exhaustively argued and decided by a near-unanimous opinion of those participating, there is absolutely no way this question can be re-opened and re-debated because a new editor has come along and wants to reopen the whole process. I suggest that Pwqn read the discussion pages if he or she is really interested in this subject. Alernatively, Pwqn should go and find one of the many Australian articles which need work, and do something useful for Wikipedia by editing some of them. In any case, Pwqn should note Skyring's fate. Adam 09:49, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Showcasing Adam Carr's Doublethink[edit]

From Talk:Citizens Electoral Council:

[] In Australia the Queen has no influence whatever, and plays no constitutional or political role whatever. It is true that in theory the Governor-General represents "the Crown" (which is a legal entity separate from the Queen's person), but in practice he is an independent ceremonial head of state. Kerr's dismissal of Whitlam was a drama played out entirely in the context of Australian domestic politics, and the Queen knew nothing about it until after the event. Even if she had, she could and would have done nothing about it. She has no independent power to dismiss the Governor-General or tell him what to do or not do. []

— User:Adam Carr, 13 October 2004 (emphasis added)

The question of what powers the Queen wields, how much influence she has over Australian domestic politics, and whether or not she can dismiss a Prime Minister are *entirely* irrelevant to her position as Australia's official head of state. This remains the case, no matter how many Skyring clones wish to obfusticate this point. (emphasis added). Slac speak up! 22:08, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

You can usually tell Skyring's clones by their ignorance of constitutional law and legal principles, and determination to prove their point by quoting information that at best is irrelevant (as here), or at worst quote information that says the exact opposite of what they think it says . Either someone is breeding them, creating them, or they are him under false names. In any case, as per Wikipedia decision both the clones have been blocked, and all other of his 'personalities' that appear will suffer the same fate. And everytime he creates another, the date of his suspension moves. He really must think we are a shower of fools not to spot his little games. FearÉIREANN40pxFile:Animated-union-jack-01.gif SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF LONDON\(caint) 23:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

It may be worth doing a sockpuppet check on User:Kangaroopedia to check whether Skyring has violated his ban. I still think Pwqn is a bona fide editor, though, perhaps one coerced by Skyring (as he threatened to do). Further to that point, Skyring has made note of the events unfolding here (though, thankfully, he cannot partake).--Cyberjunkie | Talk 11:05, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Does Skyring's ban on editing this article include a ban on participating in its Talk page? Adam 11:25, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
He's banned from editing all pages for 2 months, following that he is banned from editing in this area for a year, I assume that the ruling includes talk pages.--nixie 11:32, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
I would assume so also. It would defy logic if he were permitted to, given the talk-page is where he was most frustrating. --Cyberjunkie | Talk 11:37, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm a little puzzled as to how the above quote from something I wrote last October can be said to show "doublethink." It is completely consistent with what I wrote yesterday. Of course the Governor-General is "in practice an independent ceremonial head of state." As I wrote yesterday, "it is not disputed that the Governor-General acts as a de facto head of state." The article should and does say that. But as I also wrote, the Governor-General is not a de jure head of state, which is what this discussion is about. (SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF LONDON indeed). Adam 00:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

vote[edit]

Reference: Talk:Government_of_Australia/Archive_6#Vote_on_contents_of_Government_of_Australia

  • Agree with 1, 2 and 3. And also with a), b) and c) but I think that it would be alright to state that is an incorrect view that the Governor General is the head of state in the article. this is not saying that the GG is head of state, it is saying that sometimes the GG is incorrectly attributed as being the head of state. The first google result I found when typing "Australian Head of state" was this page [17] "Who is Australia's head of state".Astrokey44 07:15, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
I though this was going to be resolved by arbitration rather than popular vote. I think I have lost track of the results of arbitration since it was tied up with banning user Skyring as well.--AYArktos 09:37, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
It has been resolved. This issue is outdated, although Astrokey is welcome to express his opinion. --Cyberjunkie | Talk 12:00, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
I think it's just been opened up again. I quote from Jimbo Wales on WP:NPOV
  • If a viewpoint is in the majority, then it should be easy to substantiate it with reference to commonly accepted reference texts;
  • If a viewpoint is held by a significant minority, then it should be easy to name prominent adherents;
  • If a viewpoint is held by an extremely small (or vastly limited) minority, it doesn't belong in Wikipedia (except perhaps in some ancillary article) regardless of whether it's true or not; and regardless of whether you can prove it or not (see Wikipedia:Flat earth problem).
The Prime Minister, senior ministers, Simon Crean as Opposition Leader, major daily newspapers, a whole bunch of other folk have all made public statements saying that the Governor-General is the head of state. That's a fact, easily demonstrated. This view deserves inclusion and it is stupid to vote on it here; no amount of discussion or voting on this page can possibly alter the views already expressed by prominent adherents. In Jimbo's own words, it is "a viewpoint held by a significant minority".
I think it's quite clear:
  • Majority opinion = Queen is head of state
  • Minority opinion = Governor-General is head of state
The preceding unsigned comment was added by 143.238.244.56 (talk • contribs) 18:24, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

As a matter of law, the Queen is Head of State and the Governor General is merely her representative. Just because someone doesn't agree with a legal definition (if they indeed do not) does not make their opinion worth mentioning here. The Governor General is at most a de facto Head of State, but that itself would be a bit of a stretch. Xtra 23:24, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

That's your opinion. The Prime Minister has a different one. Clearly there is a diversity of opinion, and "prominent adherents" (as Jimbo puts it) are easily found to support views opposed to your own. If you don't want the article to reflect NPOV principles, may I ask why?The preceding unsigned comment was added by 144.131.118.235 (talk • contribs) 11:24, 20 September 2005.

I will simply reitterate that as a matter of law the Queen is Australia's Head of State. Xtra 02:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Let me put this simpy: The Governor General's position is legally equivalent to an organisation's Vice-President becoming "Acting President" when the President is out of jurisdiction. The President is still the head of the company, but the Vice-President is acting on his or her behalf. Xtra 03:05, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

You're entitled to your opinion. It's just that the Prime Minister has a different one, and if we are trying to stick to Wikipedia's core principles, one of which is NPOV, then we should mention his views. After all, he's the head of government, a position of some importance in the nation.

Xtra, there's no need to bother, it's just Skyring looking for a meal. Of course, if Astrokey has any questions, I'm sure we'd be happy to answer them.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 04:08, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Is this anon Skyring? If so he is just restarting the clock on his ban, which is all to the good. Adam 07:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Head of State (again)[edit]

I am definitely in the camp that considers the Queen to be the HOS. But the fact that there is an interminable debate about this subject means that there is not general agreement about it. Even the Queen's and the G-G's pronouncements (saying that the Queen is the HOS) have not satisfied those who believe the G-G is the HOS. Whether anybody likes it or not, it is still obviously a matter of opinion. The fact that the Constitution is silent means there is no official and final arbiter. The current text says:

  • While the Queen is Australia's head of state, a sometimes held but completely incorrect view in the community is that the Governor General is the Australian Head of State, and the view of who is the head of state has been debated regardless of the fact that the head of state is clearly the Queen.

Regardless of anyone's personal views on the issue, I don't think this paragraph is at all balanced. It does us all a disservice because it breaks our own NPOV principle. This is saying the Queen is the HOS, and anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong. It favours one side of the argument, and damns anybody who dares to have a different view. Merely making reference to the existence of a debate is not good enough. It ignores the obvious question: if the answer is so clear, why is there a debate about it? Merely asserting that a particular point of view is the correct one does not resolve the debate - it perpetuates it. While the debate remains unresolved, I rather think the paragraph is very POV. If we want to remain NPOV, wouldn't it be better to present both sides of the argument, and not be judgmental and arrogant about the outcome? We should provide references from official sources and from prominent advocates on both sides, then leave it to readers to form their own conclusions. JackofOz 06:28, 10 November 2005 (UTC)


what would you say about a paragraph like this:

  • While Bill Gate is Microsoft's Chairman, a sometimes held but completely incorrect view in the community is that Steve Ballmer is the Chairman, and the view of who is the Chairman has been debated regardless of the fact that the Chairman is clearly Bill Gates.

Xtra 07:12, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

That is just an illustration. But, the debate is not unresolved. Anyone who knows anything about constitutional law would be able to see that the Queen is Head of State and the Governor General is her representative, but not Head of State in his own right. Xtra 07:15, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, Xtra. You've just perfectly illustrated my point. You're right, and everybody who disagrees with you is wrong. Is that how it goes? My post did not seek in any way to discuss the merits of either side of the argument. I stated my personal opinion up front, but that was all. You and I even seem to share that opinion, but that's not relevant to what I'm talking about. It was all about acknowledging there is an inherently unresolvable debate about this subject, and that is what should be the basis for our article. It can only ever be resolved finally by the Constitution being amended, or possibly an Act of Parliament putting the matter beyond question.
But wait, there's more. Now, you're even denying that there even is a debate. The fact that there is a debate is clearly spelled out in the article, so if there's no debate, the article is inaccurate and misleading. You can't have it both ways. There is a debate, and a very heated and long-running one. Ipso facto, to present only one side is unbalanced and POV. That's what POV means.
The Bill Gates example does not work for me. Nobody I've ever heard of disputes the fact that Gates is the Chairman of Microsoft. There is no debate about Gates' position. JackofOz 07:51, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

My point is you cannot dispute a fact. Xtra 07:59, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

My point is: not everybody agrees that it is a fact. Something doesn't become a fact just because you say it is. Some very learned people have disputed that the Queen is the Head of State, and will continue to do so. Eg. Sir David Smith, Official Secretary to about 7 Governors-General, will probably go to his grave insisting that the G-G and not the Queen is the HOS. While I happen to disagree with him, his views surely carry a certain amount of weight and require some respect. The only issue I have raised is the existence of this disputation with a view to achieving a balanced and neutral (remember what NPOV stands for?) reporting of it. But you insist on focussing on a different issue. You might wish to meditate upon the futility of denial. I think the next phase is anger. I might beat you to it, though. JackofOz 11:13, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Say the earth is flat all you like, that does not make it true. Until the Australian Constitution is amended, the Queen is the Head of State. Xtra 11:31, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Does the expression "broken record" mean anything to you? You are obdurately refusing to respond in a useful manner. If it were as simple as being stated in the constitution, there would be no debate. But the words "head of state" do not appear in the constitution, as I'm sure you know very well. Therefore, who is the head of state is open to interpretation. Some say it's the Queen, some say it's the G-G. The article now makes clear that there is a difference of opinion, and doesn't condemn one side of the argument in a high-handed fashion as it did before. Good night. JackofOz 12:12, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

You've got a point. I think I was the one who wrote that sentence, but before that it didnt even include the view at all that the GG was head of state, and I was trying to keep it in line with the voting on Archive 6 which had said that "That any edit which states that ...(b) the Governor-General is Australia's head of state... will be reverted, and that such reversions should not be subject to the three-reversions rule." So to try and include the view that he is the head of state, when I cant say that he is the head of state, is quite difficult. Astrokey44 08:27, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the wording quoted by Jack (which I don't recall seeing before and wasn't there the last time I visited this article) is crude and undiplomatic. I have deleted it "with a view to substituting other words" (as they say in Parliament). Adam 08:32, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Adam. This version is far, far better than what was there before. JackofOz 11:13, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Section order[edit]

I'd like to move "Opposition" below "Executive". Any objections? It seems quite odd to skim down the page and find photos in the order 1) Queen, 2) Governor-general 3) Parliament house 4) Leader of the Opposition 5) Prime Minister. --Scott Davis Talk 09:54, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Done. --Scott Davis Talk 11:49, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Picture of the Queen[edit]

Do we have an official Australian picture of the Queen, the one we have is the official Canadian one and has her with the Canadian insignia as Soverign of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit, its not a biggie but something we might want to fix -- Tawker 23:59, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

There was one floating around somewhere, but it was pretty old. She still had brown hair. Xtra 00:06, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
Hmm, I found this which I think is the one you're talking about. There is this which is used on a banknote and this on the Royal Family Website but I can't find an picture other than the Canadian one. If anyone has one, please, let me know, it is nagging at me! -- Tawker 08:09, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
The only official portrait of the Queen of Australia that I'm aware of is one painted by William Dargie in 1954 that was commonly called the 'Wattle Painting' because its spledid use of the Golden Wattle. A quick web search brings up this decent web page showing and explaining the portrait. As Dargie died in 2003, I don't think the work is in the public domain. However, if the Commonwealth owned the copyright, then we could use it under provision E of {{PD-Australia}}.--cj | talk 16:38, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Opposition leader picture[edit]

Why was there a picture of the Leader of the Opposition in the article, and why there?

  • The leader of the opposition is not part of the Government of Australia, so belongs in an article on parliament, not government.
  • It was absurd to have a picture of the leader of the opposition before that of the head of state, the governor-general and the prime minister? That is visual POV-pushing. I've removed the picture. FearÉIREANNIreland-Capitals.PNG\(caint) 21:23, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

"virtually all"[edit]

Seeing as how the Governor-General has been receiving diplomatic credentials in his own right (rather than on behalf of, or with permission of the Queen) for several months, there remain no "head of state" functions that he does not carry out in his own right. If anyone can find one to justify replacing that "virtually" tag, then please discuss it here first. --Pete 02:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Please don't start this again. You lost this months ago and no-one other than you wants to re-open this. Xtra 02:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

The situation changed in January and the article needs to reflect the reality. See the role of a head of state and see if you can identify any functions that the the Governor-General does not carry out. As I noted below, we are talking about the functions of the Governor-General, not who is head of state. --Pete

Can you document this assertion? In any case, he does not appoint himself, so that function is still reserved to the head of state (acting on the advice of the PM). Adam 02:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

It would be difficult to find a head of state who isn't appointed by someone else, but in any case, self-appointment isn't a head of state function, though of course I would find any argument to the contrary interesting, particularly if you can find a reliable source. I quote from The Canberra Times 20 September 2006, p5, "Since January, new ambassadors to Australia have presented their credentials to the Governor-General of the Commonwealth, not to the 'Queen of Australia'". Again, if you have any sourced information as to a head of state function that the Governor-General does not perform, then please present it here, rather than engaging in an edit war. --Pete 03:37, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I am not engaging in an edit war, I asked you to provide a source for your assertion. You have done so, for which I thank you.
  • No head of state is appointed by anyone else. The head of state is the fount of sovereignty in an independent state, so it would impossible for a head of state to be appointed by anyone inside or outside that state. Non-hereditary heads of state are elected, either by the people (directly as in France or indirectly as in the US), or by a legislature (as in South Africa). The fact that the Governor-General is appointed by the Queen is prima facie evidence that he is not a head of state.
  • I remind you that this matter was debated at great length during your last sojourn at Wikipedia, which ended with you being banned for persistent trolling on this page. I suggest in the friendliest possible way that you leave this subject alone and apply your erudition to some other topic. Adam 04:15, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm correcting the statement about the functions of the Governor-General, Adam. The article was incorrect in that it reflected the situation prior to January. The Governor-Genereal now performs all the functions of a head of state. You seem to be arguing to something else other than functions, and I would appreciate it if we could keep to the point. --Pete

No he doesn't. One of the functions of Australia's head of state is appointing the Governor-General and the state Governors. That function is performed by the Queen. Anyway, I don't propose to be drawn back into this argument. The question of who Australia's head of state is was resolved to everyone's satisfaction but yours many months ago, and if you attempt to re-open it you will just get banned again. I will have no further comment on this, and I will revert any edit which disturbs the consensus currently expressed by the article. Adam 08:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you are reading far more into my edit than was ever put into it! The article stated:

  • the Governor-General carries out virtually all the functions of a head of state

My point is that the Governor-General now carries out all the functions of a head of state, and keeping the word "virtually" in the article incorrectly implies that there is some function that he does not perform. This is not saying that he is a head of state, as you seem to be arguing. In a similar manner, if you look at s3 of the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you will find that in certain circumstances, the Vice President carries out all the functions of the President, but this explicitly does not make him the President. --Pete 16:43, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I think you've overlooked the point being raised by Adam; that is, that the Governor-General does not in fact carry out all the functions of the head of state, if he does not function to appoint himself or the state governors.--cj | talk 17:28, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
No, I addressed this point at the beginning. Self-appointment is not a function of a head of state. Nor do heads of federal states usually appoint State or province governors - the U.S. State Governors are not appointed by the U.S. President, for example. If we follow Adam's supposed chain of logic through, then we could say that G W Bush does not carry out all the functions of a head of state, which is clearly nonsensical.
Appointment of a head of state is a somewhat nebulous concept in any case. Who appoints a monarch? In some cases, such as Malaysia, a monarch is elected or selected by a council. In other nations the head of state may be formally selected by an electoral college, sworn in by a senior judge or religious figure, or named by a constitutional court. Perhaps it is only in dictatorships such as Nazi Germany or North Korea that a head of state appoints (or at least nominates) his successor.
I think we should be guided by the list of roles and functions found in the Head of State article. Adam's point, such as it is, seems to miss the mark, and I wish that he would take a little more thought in his responses. It is not my intention to goad him into poor behaviour, but rather to consider updating and correcting the article in a measured fashion. We are all experienced Wikipedia editors, and I hope that none of us wants to waste time bickering over trivia. --Pete 22:56, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Confusing paragraph[edit]

What does this paragraph mean?

"The Commonwealth Constitution also provides that the States can agree to refer any of their powers to the Commonwealth if they choose. This may be achieved by way of an amendment to the Constitution via referendum (a vote on whether the proposed transfer of power from the States to the Commonwealth, or vice versa, should be implemented). More commonly powers may be transferred by passing other acts of legislation which authorise the transfer and such acts require the legislative agreement of all the state governments involved." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 190.30.60.14 (talk) 20:16, 21 December 2006 (UTC).

Australia is a federation. The six colonies became States, but kept their powers (such as police, education and so on) save for those specifically given to the new federal government, such as defence, posts, etc., mostly listed in s51. So if the Commonwealth is to gain total control over (say) education, it can only do so if the States give it the power. If you have an alternate wording in mind to make this clearer, then we can kick it around a bit. --Pete 03:43, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Adding references[edit]

I have included a "References" section to accommodate cites, sourcing material from the Governor-General's website to correct and update some unsourced statements. I would appreciate it if other editors took the time to familiarise themselves with the material. I have used the "press release" template, but welcome any comments on style. --Pete 22:53, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Shire[edit]

Hi what's a shire in an Australian context? We don't have them in South Australia. Is it like a district council? Ozdaren 12:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

As it suggests in the "Federalism" sectin of the article, "shire" is one of the names that a local government area might have. The article doesn't mention some of names used in South Australia or recently in many places. In NSW at least, shires have typically been more rural than municipalities or cities, but now the distinction is in name only. JPD (talk) 13:47, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Separation of Powers[edit]

This might be a question for another place, but here goes. Is there any conflict of interests in the Queen being both a part of the Legislature and a part of the Executive? She is definitely an element of the Parliament (The Queen, the Senate and the House of Reps), but she also seems to be the top dog (? corgi) in the Executive, yet they're supposed to be entirely separate. I know that she acts only on the advice of the PM, but even so, this seems to be a symbolic conflict. JackofOz 03:58, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

The constitution says she's a part of Parliament, but this is notional. Her only parliamentary role is to sign the very occasional piece of legislation "reserved for the Queen's pleasure", and she does this under advice. Likewise her appointment (and theoretical removal) of the Governor-General. She has no independent power, no reserve powers. --Pete 05:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. She's also only a notional part of the Executive. She plays no personal role in Cabinet decisions, or the administration of government programs. Notionally, she is a part of 2 different powers. Why is this not at least a theoretical conflict? JackofOz 05:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Pete's reply doesn't say anything about Jack's question, as it could equally apply to the Governor-General as the Queen's representative. It also applies to the ministers, which brings up the point that the Australian system does not allow for strict separation of powers between the legislature and executive anyway. The idea that such a "conflict" is a problem is American/French. JPD (talk) 10:00, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I guess what you're getting at is that Ministers are required under the Constitution to be members of the parliament, so a Minister is simultaneously a part of the Legislature and a part of the Executive. The Parliament, or at least the House of Reps, is effectively under the control of the government, a body comprising members of both houses. I understand that. The only part of the system that is truly separate from the others is the Judiciary, but even there, judges are appointed by governments, and if a court interprets a law in a way that the government doesn't like, it can quickly change the law. So, why do we pretend that we have a separation of powers regime in Australia? JackofOz 10:09, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the legislature changing the law is relevant to separation of powers - that is just the separate powers interacting with each other. How people are appointed to any branch is more interesting - in fact, as separation of powers says, absolute separation is not possible. I guess the reason the term is used in Australia is because the constitution is set out to imply separation, even if the separation is not as strict as some other systems. JPD (talk) 10:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The Governor-General's role as the Queen's representative is pretty minimal nowadays. His role as Governor-General is far more important - most of his powers are given to him in his own right, for example the power to appoint or remove ministers, which is something the Queen cannot do. --Pete 18:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The point I was making was that the role the constitution ascribes to the Queen as part of the Legislature and the Executive is actually played by the Governor-General in both cases, so the question of separation of powers is not answered by saying the Queen is only notionally involved. The argument that the GG is only "notionally" the Queen's representative because the Queen could not do these things herself is interesting, but completely irrelevent to the question, so there is no point in bringing it up. JPD (talk) 09:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
To return to Pete's post, what would happen if the Queen were visiting Australia and an issue arose whereby the PM had no choice but to sack a Minister immediately. When the Queen is here, the G-G takes a back seat and usually is not present at all when the Queen makes a public appearance. Would the PM advise the G-G to sign the order terminating the Minister's commission, ask the Queen to do it, or just have to wait till she left and then ask the G-G? -- JackofOz 05:32, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Australian External Territories[edit]

"Australia's other territories that are regularly inhabited (Jervis Bay, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands) are not self-governing. Instead, these territories are largely governed by federal law, with Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands also having local governments."

What about Australian Antarctic Territory (it is almost as big as mainland Australia)? Should this link to Australian territories?

--RobBrisbane 23:27, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

The Australian Antarctic Territory is an internationally disputed claim. If this territory is to be added, then I think we probably have to qualify it somehow in order to comply with the NPOV policy.--pyl (talk) 05:13, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Important notice[edit]

The government section of the "Outline of Australia" needs to be checked, corrected, and completed -- especially the subsections for the government branches.

When the country outlines were created, temporary data (that matched most of the countries but not all) was used to speed up the process. Those countries for which the temporary data does not match must be replaced with the correct information.

Please check that this country's outline is not in error.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact The Transhumanist .

Thank you.

Act of British Parliament?[edit]

The opening paragraph says Australia was created through a series of referenda. Was there not also an Act of British Parliament involved? Has this been omitted for a reason (or am I just completely wrong to begin with...) Manning (talk) 00:31, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

The Constitution, which we think of as an entity in its own right (and it now is), was technically created as a schedule to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, an act of the UK Parliament. The Constitution is mentioned in the next sentence. -- JackofOz (talk) 01:40, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
The Constitution was based on the terms drawn up in a constitutional convention and it was ratified by the people in all Australia colonies. We mention these to show that this constitution was not forced upon the people. The British Parliament simply passed the Constitution to make it an Act of Parliament so it would have a proper legal status. It is a technical aspect of law making, and I don't think it is worth mentioning for the purpose of Wikipedia readers in this context. The Constitution of Australia article does mention that it is an Act of British Parliament.--pyl (talk) 06:26, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

The term Commonwealth Government is not defined in the Federal Government section[edit]

I came to this entry (simply as a user) to try to clarify whether "Australian Government" and "Commonwealth Government" are synonymous in a report that I'm editing. I find that the words are confused in this Wikipedia entry as well.

The introduction section is very clear: "The Government of Australia, also known as the Australian Government, is the administrative authority of Australia."

But in the Federal Government section, the proper noun "Commonwealth Government" is used without definition or declaration.

Obviously, I am no expert on Australia and its system of government. But a suggestion for improvement would be in that introductory sentence. It could be altered to: "The Government of Australia, also known as the Australian Government, is the administrative authority of the commonwealth of Australia."

Then the term "Commonwealth Government" can simply be replaced by the term "Australian Government".

Tabua-scass (talk) 13:08, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Move > Australian Government[edit]

This article ought to be moved to 'Australian Government', as that is how the institution is most commonly refers to itself and is referred to by others. 60.242.48.18 (talk) 08:00, 8 September 2013 (UTC)