The Australian Constitution And The Use Of Convention Essay

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The Constitution of Australia is a written document, which came into effect when the six colonies federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. It consists of eight chapters and 128 sections and lays down a set of laws or restraints by which the Federal Government must operate. It establishes the composition, procedures, functions, and powers of government, government authorities, such as the Governor General and other essential institutions. The Constitution is the basic framework for a civilised and well-governed Australia. However in the recent past, reason for parliamentary and federal concern has been thrust into the limelight. In addition, there has been a growing need for judicial interpretation and the ever-present…show more content…
Chapter 8, the final chapter, describes the process by which the constitution may be changed. Despite the Constitution’s role as the structure of Australian political procedure and indeed the very fabric of Australian society, in the past there have been reasons for federal and parliamentary concern. The growing number of Federal powers and the diminishing number of states powers, is of immense concern to the state parliaments. A great many Commonwealth powers, under section 51, are concurrent with those of the states, and it is by this that the Commonwealth has been able to extend its control. Section 109 states that if Commonwealth legislation conflicts with state legislation, the Commonwealth immediately takes precedence, thus encroaching on what was once state political territory. In recent years there has also been growing concern over the role and powers of the Senate. Under section 53 the Senate is not able to introduce or amend money or taxation legislation, these powers reside in the H of Reps alone. In all other aspects the Senate is on equal terms with the H of Reps. However the Senate can simply reject, defer or refuse to pass money bills. The implications of this are massive, without the Supply Bills, there is no money for government or the Public Service. The powers of the governor general have also caused some unease. In effect the constitution give the G-G the power to be government. The man/woman has the power to dissolve government, is the
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