1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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This chapter was contributed by the Politics and Public Administration Section of the Library of the Commonwealth Parliament (March 2012).

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 42nd Commonwealth Parliament was prorogued on 19 July 2010 for a general election for all members of the House of Representatives, half of the 72 state senators and the four territory senators on 21 August 2010. Results of the 2010 and earlier elections can be found on the website of the Australian Electoral Commission.

Information on government finance can be found in chapter 28 GOVERNMENT FINANCE, while information on the Australian Government’s international engagement is in chapter 5 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.


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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.