Making Australian law
Understand the process of making a law in the Australian Parliament with this interactive poster. Use the teaching notes and activities to support your students' learning.
Teaching notes and activities
Year 6: ACHASSK146
Year 7: ACHCK048
Year 8: ACHCK063
Before you begin
Read the Making a law in the Australian Parliament fact sheet, which explains the law-making process in the Australian Parliament. It also describes where ideas for laws come from and the history of law-making in the Parliament. Then read the Amendments fact sheet, which will help you to answer students’ questions about changes to bills.
These discussion starters are listed from easier to more complex. Choose the ones that work best for your class.
- What is a bill? How does it become a law?
- Most bills are introduced by government ministers but any member of parliament can introduce a bill. If you were a member of parliament, what law would you like to make for Australia?
- Why is it important for bills to be debated?
- Some bills are passed in a matter of hours. Others take months or even a year. Why do some bills take a long time to pass through Parliament but others are agreed to quickly?
- How do you think members of parliament make sure they are making the best law possible?
- Over 200 bills are introduced into Parliament each year. Some of these are new ideas and some are changes to existing laws. Why do we need laws in Australia? Are there too many laws?
News research activity
Use the ABC’s Behind the News, other news websites or printed newspapers to identify some of the issues and challenges facing Australia today. Individually or in small groups encourage students to brainstorm what laws could be created by the Australian Parliament to address these challenges.
Use the Make a law: House of Representatives and/or Make a law: Senate Classroom activities to introduce and debate a bill based on the students' ideas in the Australian Parliament.
After looking at the interactive poster and completing some of the activities, discuss this question with your class:
- Australia’s legal system is based on the rule of law. This is a principle that all people are equal before the law and must obey it; the law should be fair, clearly written and protect people’s rights. Do you think the law treats people equally in Australia?