Australian law makers
Who makes the laws in Australia?
The law makers in Australia are the Federal Government, the state and territory governments and the hundreds of councils that collectively form local government.
The federal and state governments were formed at federation—on 1 January 1901. As they became states, the six former British colonies agreed to hand over some of their governing powers to the new federal government. (The territories were declared at separate times, some years after 1901.)
What are the 3 levels of lawmaking in Australia?
Each level of government is responsible for certain areas of lawmaking:
federal government: laws that impact on the nation (e.g. for defence, foreign affairs, trade, taxation, immigration, pensions, employment). Laws in some areas are shared between the levels of governments. These include health (Medicare – federal; hospitals – state) and education (universities – federal; primary and secondary schools – state/territory; kindergartens – local).
state and territory governments: laws that impact on their jurisdictions, such as for tourism, police and state roads
local government: by-laws to do with issues affecting cities, towns and other regional municipalities, including those for sewerage, water supply, public libraries and rubbish collection.
To see more information about the levels of government in Australia, and the areas of law for which each is responsible, visit: