Victorian Legislative Council
Leader of the Government
Leader of the Opposition
Legislative Council political groups
|Legislative Council committees||Standing Committees
* Economy and Infrastructure
* Environment and Planning
* Legal and Social Issues
* Standing Orders
Last general election
|27 November 2010|
Next general election
|29 November 2014|
|Legislative Council Chamber,
Parliament House, Melbourne,
|Vic Legislative Council|
The Victorian Legislative Council (VLC), is the upper of the two houses of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia; the lower house being the Legislative Assembly. Both houses sit in Parliament House in Spring Street, Melbourne. The Legislative Council serves as a house of review, in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, the Australian Senate. Although it is possible for legislation to be first introduced in the Council, most bills receive their first hearing in the Legislative Assembly. The Council is presided over by the President of the Legislative Council.
The Legislative Council was created in 1851 (as a single or unicameral house) upon the separation of the colony of Victoria from the colony of New South Wales. The Council initially consisted of ten nominated members and twenty elected members from sixteen electorates. The Legislative Council was expanded in 1853 to 18 nominees and 36 electives. A further expansion of the Council occurred in 1855, when eight new members were elected from five new electorates, with one new nominee. 
The Legislative Council was established five years before the Legislative Assembly (lower house) was created in 1856; from that year the Council formed the upper house of the Parliament of Victoria and initially consisted of six provinces electing five members each.
The Legislative Council was later elected from a varying number of provinces. In 1882 several new Provinces were created with Central and Eastern being abolished. In 1904 more Provinces were created and members of the council sat for two assembly terms so two members (MLCs) represented each province, elected in rotation one at a time by majority-preferential (AV) vote.
Today the Council has 40 members serving four-year terms. They represent eight electoral regions, with five members representing each region.
The system changed for the 2006 Victorian election, as a result of major reforms passed by the Labor government, led by Steve Bracks, in 2003. Under the new system members serve fixed four-year terms unless the Assembly is dissolved sooner. Each region consists of 11 contiguous Legislative Assembly districts with about 420,000 electors who elect five members of the Legislative Council by the single transferable vote. There are now 40 members of the Legislative Council, four fewer than before. The changes have introduced proportional representation. The opportunity was also taken to remove the Council's ability to block supply. The reforms have made it easier for minor parties to gain election to the chamber and possibly gain the balance of power, as opposed to majority control by a single major party.
The old system tended to favour the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia (often in coalition) over the Australian Labor Party and other parties. This caused many instances where a Labor-controlled Assembly faced an opposition-controlled Council — a rare occurrence elsewhere in Australia.
Current distribution of seats
|Party||Seats held||Percentage of Council|
|Australian Labor Party||
- President of the Victorian Legislative Council — contains a list of all past Presidents.
- Parliaments of the Australian states and territories
- List of members of the Victorian Legislative Council
- "Victorian Electoral Act". New South Wales Government. 1851. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Sweetman, p.108
- Sweetman, p.110
- "An Act to further alter "The Victoria Electoral Act of 1851" and to increase the Number of Members of the Legislative Council of Victoria". 1855. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851-6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p. 183. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
- Victoria Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Session 1882 41. Melb.: John Ferres. 1883. p. 2670.
- Victoria Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Session 1904 107. Melb.: R. S. Brain. 1905.
- Presidents of the Legislative Council at the Victorian Parliament website