This chapter was contributed by the Politics and Public Administration Section of Library of the Commonwealth Parliament (October 2007).
Australia has a federal system of government within which there are four divisions - Commonwealth, state, territory and local. This chapter outlines the basic features of the Australian system of government.
The 41st Commonwealth Parliament was prorogued on 15 October 2007 for a general election for all members of the House of Representatives, half of the 72 state senators and the four territory senators on 24 November 2007. Results of the 2007 and earlier elections can be found on the website of the Australian Electoral Commission, <http://www.aec.gov.au>.
The chapter concludes with the article Australian federal system, in which the author, Scott Bennett of the Research Branch of the Parliamentary Library, analyses the relationship over the years between the Commonwealth Government and the governments of the states and territories.