4.4 SEB323 Environment #4 18-Sep-09

4.4 SEB323 Environment #4 18-Sep-09 - To understand how...

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To understand how environmental policy is developed in Australia and the national framework for environmental legislation and regulations we need to look briefly at the system of government in Australia. This also applies to how OHS issues are governed in Australia with the major difference that the Federal Government has a much lesser role and control of OHS issues in Australia. Without an understanding of the systems of parliament, government, and the law in Australia it is difficult to understand how recent and forthcoming major developments in Australia it is difficult to understand how recent and forthcoming major developments in environmental legislation and regulation affects and will affect industry in Australia. Our main focus will be on the federal and state levels of parliament and government 1
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Prior to federation on 1/1/1901, Australia was as collection of colonies within the British Empire. Each colony was self-governing and there was no national parliament, no national government, and no national judiciary (legal system). The federal constitution also came into existence on 1/1/1901 by an act of British parliament. Today Australia is a sovereign nation which is a federation of six states (previously colonies) and two territories plus a federal tier consisting of a federal parliament, federal government and federal judiciary Although Australia became a nation on 1/1/1901 it government, and federal judiciary. Although Australia became a nation on 1/1/1901 it remains under the control of the British monarchy. Officially the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is Australia’s Head of State and as such has constitutional powers that override the state and federal systems of government and the judiciary. By convention the role of the state and federal head of state representatives, the Governor General and the Governors, has been largely ceremonial to attend functions, ceremonies, and to sign acts of parliament into law. However the Head of State has reserve powers under the Australian and State constitutions which can be used to override the under the Australian and State constitutions which can be used to override the parliament, the executive (government), and the judiciary. The most notable example of the use of this reserve power was on 11/11/1975 when the Governor General dismissed the federal executive government, installed a caretaker government, dismissed both houses of parliament, and ordered a federal election within 30 days. In 1999 a national referendum seeking public approval to amend the constitution to 2 remove the British monarch as head of state of Australia and to make Australia a republic failed to gain the necessary majority of votes.
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The key concept about Australia’ s system is the 3-way division of powers between the parliament, the government, and the law courts. The principle involves a seperation of powers so that there is oversight, or governance, of each body by the other two. For example, the executive government is composed of
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2009 for the course SEB 323 - S taught by Professor Professor during the Three '09 term at Deakin.

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4.4 SEB323 Environment #4 18-Sep-09 - To understand how...

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