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Victoria State Government

Victoria State Government
Government of the State of Victoria
The logo that identifies the executive government. The coat of arms of Victoria represents the state as a whole
Overview
Established
State Victoria
Country Australia
LeaderPremier of Victoria (Jacinta Allan)
Appointed byGovernor of Victoria (Margaret Gardner)[1]
Main organ
Ministries10 government departments
Responsible toParliament of Victoria
Annual budget$111.7 billion (2023-2024)[2]
Headquarters1 Treasury Place
Websitevic.gov.au

The Government of Victoria, also referred to as the Victorian Government, is the executive branch of the Australian state of Victoria. The executive is one of three independent branches, alongside the judicial, and the legislative.

As a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, the State Government was first formed in 1851 when Victoria first gained the right to responsible government. The Constitution of Australia regulates the relationship between the Victorian Government and the Australian Government, and cedes legislative and judicial supremacy to the federal government on conflicting matters.[3][4]

The Victoria State Government enforces acts passed by the parliament through government departments, statutory authorities, and other public agencies. The Government is formally presided over by the Governor, who exercises executive authority granted by the state's constitution through the Executive Council, a body consisting of senior cabinet ministers. In reality, both the governor and the Executive Council are largely ceremonial, with the premier and ministers having control over policy, appointments, and other executive orders made by the Governor.[5]

Executive branch

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The Government of Victoria operates under the principles of the Westminster system as adapted in the Australian Constitution and of responsible government. Both systems and principles of governance have developed out of the United Kingdom, to which Victoria was previously a colony.

Executive power rests formally with the Executive Council, which consists of the governor and senior ministers. In practice, executive power is exercised by the premier, appointed by the governor, provided they can command the support of a majority of members of the Legislative Assembly. The Cabinet is the de facto chief policy making organ and consists of the premier and all ministers.

Legislative branch

Legislative power rests with the Parliament of Victoria, which consists of King Charles III, represented by the Governor of Victoria, and the two Houses, the Victorian Legislative Council (the upper house) and the Victorian Legislative Assembly (the lower house).

Judicial power

Judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court of Victoria and a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.

First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria

The First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria is a body of 31 elected and appointed members representing Aboriginal Victorians. 22 "General Members" are elected via optional preferential voting in 5 multi-member electorates (known as "Regions"). General Members receiving a sufficient quota in each Region are elected, with the lowest ranking male candidates excluded until at least 40% of the members elected to a region are non-male.[6] 10 "Reserved Members" are appointed, with a member selected by each of the government recognised traditional owner groups.[7] Additional Reserved Member seats may be granted by the assembly on application by an Aboriginal group.[7]

The main task of the Assembly is to work out the rules by which individual treaties will be negotiated between the Victoria Government and the various Aboriginal Peoples. It will also establish an independent umpire, the Treaty Authority, to oversee negotiations between Aboriginal groups and the Victoria Government and ensure fairness. It will also establish a fund to help negotiations are take place on an even financial footing among the various groups, and debate and decide which ideas, laws, policies and rights will be the subject of treaty negotiations.[8]

The assembly meets in the chamber of the upper house of the Victorian Parliament, the Victorian Legislative Council.[8] It met for the first time on 10 December 2019,[9] and again met over two days in February 2020. The assembly hopes to agree upon a framework, umpire and process before November 2022, the date of the next state election. The current Labor government under Daniel Andrews is supportive, but the Coalition had not made a clear commitment to supporting the treaty process.[10]

On 11 July 2020, the Victoria Government announced that it would establish a truth and reconciliation commission for Aboriginal Australians in Victoria, the first ever in Australia, with the terms of reference to be worked out collaboratively. The 21 elected members of the assembly would consult with their communities and work with the Victoria Government to design the process. The announcement was welcomed by the community. The 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart called for a similar commission to be established at a national level.[11]

The assembly's first election was in November 2019, however the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, declined to participate in the election process.[8] On 3 August 2020, the assembly held its first official negotiation meeting with Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams.[12] The assembly held its second election in 2023, and new co-chairs were elected.

See also

References

  1. ^ Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) s 50
  2. ^ Victorian Government (June 2023). "Victorian Budget 2023/24: Budget Strategy and Outlook - Budget Paper no. 2" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act". Act of 1900.
  4. ^ "Fact Sheet: Victoria's Parliamentary History". Parliament of Victoria. Parliament of Victoria. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Constitution Act". Act of 1975 (PDF).
  6. ^ First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria; Treaty for Victoria. "Assembly Elections: Election Rules (Version 4.0)" (PDF). www.firstpeoplesvic.org. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Additional Pathways to Recognition". www.firstpeoplesvic.org. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Dunstan, Joseph (5 November 2019). "Victorian Aboriginal voters have elected a treaty assembly. So what's next?". ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  9. ^ Costa, Jedda; Dunstan, Joseph (11 December 2019). "'We are taking this place back': Treaty assembly sits in Victoria's Upper House". ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ Dunstan, Joseph (29 February 2020). "'We've got a lot of eyes watching us': The weight of expectation on Victoria's treaty process". ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  11. ^ Thorne, Leonie (11 July 2020). "Victoria to establish truth and justice process as part of Aboriginal treaty process". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  12. ^ Dunstan, Joseph (4 August 2020). "Victoria's First Peoples' Assembly holds first formal Aboriginal treaty talks with Government". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
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Victoria State Government
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