How often do ministers meet and for how long each session? Why are ministers paid so much more than everyone else?
Thanks for your question, Louise! Cabinet – top-level ministers and the Prime Minister – usually meets weekly and the meetings generally last for a few hours. Cabinet is the main decision-making group within the the Australian Government. Cabinet's role is to direct government policy and make decisions about national issues, including which government bills – proposed laws – should be introduced in Parliament.
Ministers receive a higher salary than other members of parliament because of their additional responsibilities. Ministers are allocated an area of responsibility for how Australia is run. This area of responsibility is known as a portfolio. Some examples of ministerial portfolios include health, environment, education, defence and immigration.
If a minister needs to introduce a new law or change an existing one, they must first get the approval of Cabinet. The minister then works with their government department to prepare the bill before it is considered by Parliament. If the bill is passed, the minster and their department are then responsible for putting this law into action.
The Cabinet in session.
A group of people sit on both sides of a wooden table. The men and women look towards the camera. It looks as if their meeting has been interrupted because there are papers and water glasses on the table.
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