How do they decide the 3 levels of government?

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Before Federation, the 6 states—Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia—were British colonies. Each had been given the power to make laws for that colony by the British Parliament. Federation marked Australia becoming a nation on 1 January 1901, where these former colonies—now states—transferred some of their law-making powers to the new Australian Parliament.

Section 51 of the Australian Constitution lists the areas in which the Australian Parliament can make laws. These national issues include foreign affairs, defence and Medicare.

Areas not listed in Section 51 are the responsibility of state governments. These state area include hospitals, police and roads. Local councils are not mentioned in the Constitution, although each state has a local government law that provides the rules for the creation and operation of councils. Sometimes the Austtralian Parliament and the state parliaments may make laws about the same thing, for example, roads and health. However, section 109 of the Australian Constitution states that if the federal Parliament and a state parliament pass conflicting laws on the same subject, then the federal law overrides the state law. Section 122 of the Constitution also allows the Parliament to override a territory law at any time.

This diagram illustrates the three levels of government and the law-making bodies located around Australia.

Three levels of government in Australia.

Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)

Three levels of government in Australia.

This diagram illustrates the three levels of government and the law-making bodies located around Australia.

Parliamentary Education Office (peo.gov.au)

Description

This diagram illustrates the three levels of government—the law-making bodies in Australia with three maps of Australia: Local councils (located around Australia in each local council division); State/territory parliaments (located in the capital cities of each of the 6 states and 2 territories); and federal Parliament (located in Canberra, the nation's capital).