The Parliament of Victoria is a bicameral legislature (two Houses) with representatives elected to either the Legislative Council (the Upper House) or the Legislative Assembly (the Lower House). The Assembly has 88 Members and the Council has 40 Members. The Governor of Victoria represents the Crown and is the third arm of Parliament.
Following the Westminster tradition, the party having the support of the majority of Members in the Lower House has the right to form Government. The Government is then answerable to Parliament. This is called ‘responsible government’ because the Government is responsible to Parliament and must present its policies for parliamentary scrutiny.
The Parliamentary System
The parliament's role is to make laws & hold the Government to account for it's policies, actions & spending. The functions of the Parliament include:
- forming a Government from among it's members,
- making new laws & updating old laws,
- representing the people &
- examining & approving Government taxes & spending.