Parliament of Tasmania

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Parliament of Tasmania
Coat of arms of Tasmania
Houses House of Assembly
Legislative Council
Founded 2 December 1856
Elizabeth II
Since 6 February 1952
Kate Warner
Since 10 December 2014
Elise Archer, Liberal
Since 31 March 2014
Jim Wilkinson, Independent
Since 21 May 2013
Seats 40
25 MHAs
15 MLCs
Tasmanian Legislative Assembly 2014.svg
House of Assembly political groups
     Liberal (15)
     Labor (7)
     Greens (3)
Tasmanian Legislative Council 2016.svg
Legislative Council political groups
     Liberal (2)
     Labor (2)
     Independent (11)
Instant-runoff voting
Last general election
15 March 2014
Next general election
by 2018
Meeting place
Tasmanian Parliament House
Parliament House,
Hobart, Tasmania,

The Parliament of Tasmania s the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of Tasmania. It follows a Westminster-derived parliamentary system and consists of The Queen, represented by the Governor of Tasmania, the Tasmanian House of Assembly (the lower house), and Tasmanian Legislative Council (the upper house). Since 1841, both Houses have met in Parliament House, Hobart. The Parliament of Tasmania is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, formed in 1856.

The powers of the Parliament are prescribed in the Constitution of Tasmania, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Tasmania has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Tasmania ceded certain legislative and judicial powers to the Commonwealth, but retained complete independence in all other areas. In practice, however, the independence of the Australian states has been greatly eroded by the increasing financial domination of the Commonwealth.[citation needed]

The leader of the party or coalition with the confidence of the House of Assembly is invited by the Governor to form the Government. The head of the Government of Tasmania is the Premier of Tasmania.


The island of Van Diemen's Land (now known as Tasmania) was claimed and subsequently settled by Great Britain in 1803. Initially, it was administered by the Governor of New South Wales, as part of that British Colony of New South Wales. In 1825, Van Diemen's Land became a separate British colony, administered separately from New South Wales, with a Legislative Council of six men appointed to advise the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land who had sole governance of the colony. The Council initially held meetings in a room adjacent to the old Government House that was located near to the present site of Franklin Square, but by 1841 they relocated meetings to the 'Long Room' (now the Members' Lounge) in the Customs House.[1]

In 1850, the British Parliament enacted the Australian Colonies Government Act, which gave Van Diemen's Land the right to elect its first representative government. The size of the Legislative Council was increased from six to 24. Eight members were appointed by the Governor, and 16 were elected by property owners. The new Legislative Council met for the first time in 1852, and by 1854 they had passed the Tasmanian Constitution Act, giving Van Diemen's Land responsible self-government and a new bicameral parliament. Queen Victoria granted Royal assent in 1855 and Van Diemen's Land became a self-governing colony. In the following year, 1856, one of the new parliament's first acts was to change the name of the colony from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania.

Houses of Parliament[edit]

A panoramic view of Parliament House from the front steps.

House of Assembly[edit]

The Tasmanian House of Assembly is the lower house of the Tasmanian Parliament. There are five House of Assembly divisions: Bass, Braddon, Denison, Franklin, and Lyons. These divisions have the same names and boundaries as the five Australian House of Representatives divisions for Tasmania. There are twenty-five members of the House of Assembly, with five members elected for each of the divisions using the Hare-Clark voting system of multi-member proportional representation. Members are elected for a term of up to 4 years. The last election for the House of Assembly took place on 15 March 2014.

Party Seats held Percentage of Assembly Current House of Assembly
Liberal Party of Australia 15 60%                              
Australian Labor Party 7 28%              
Tasmanian Greens 3 12%      

Legislative Council[edit]

The Tasmanian Legislative Council is the upper house of the Tasmanian Parliament. It has 15 members, each elected from 15 single-member electoral divisions.

The boundaries of the divisions are determined from time to time by the Legislative Council Redistribution Tribunal.[2] Elections are conducted on a 6-year periodic cycle. Elections in 3 divisions are held in May one year, and elections in 2 divisions are held in May the following year and so on.

Party Seats held Current Legislative Council[3]
Australian Labor Party 2                          
Liberal Party of Australia 2                          
Independents 11                          

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tasmanian Parliament". Retrieved 2011-07-09. 
  2. ^ "Tasmanian Legislative Council". Tasmanian Electoral Commission. 2006-09-08. 
  3. ^ "Members of the Legislative Council since 1909". Tasmanian Parliamentary Library. Parliament of Tasmania. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°53′07″S 147°19′49″E / 42.88528°S 147.33028°E / -42.88528; 147.33028