Logo of the Victorian Government and its agencies
Coat of arms of the State of Victoria, used for formal and ceremonial purposes.
|Legislature||Parliament of Victoria;|
|Meeting place||Parliament House|
|Main organ||Victorian Ministry|
|Meeting place||Parliament House|
Functioning within the scope of Victoria's status as a sub-national parliamentary constitutional monarchy, the Government was first formed in 1851, when Victoria first gained the right to responsible government. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Victoria has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Victoria ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.
The Victorian Government enforces Acts passed by the state Parliament through its vast array of government departments, statutory authorities and other related agencies. The Government is formally presided by the Governor of Victoria, who exercises their executive authority granted by the Constitution through the Executive Council, a body consisting of senior cabinet ministers. In reality, both the Governor and the Council are mostly ceremonial, with the Premier and their ministers having the real power over policy decisions, appointments and other executive orders made by the Governor-in-Council.
The Government of Victoria operates under the principles of the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom.
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 of Victoria, who is appointed by the Governor and who hold office by virtue of his or her ability to command the support of a majority of members of the Legislative Assembly, and the Cabinet designated by the Premier to the Governor. The Cabinet is the government's chief policy-making organ, and consists of the Premier and all ministers.
Legislative power rests with the Parliament of Victoria, which consists of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, 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 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
In November 2019, the First People's Assembly was elected, consisting of 21 members representing Aboriginal Victorians, elected from five different regions in the state, and 10 members to represent each of the state's formally recognised traditional owner corporations, excluding the Yorta Yorta Nations Aboriginal Corporation, who declined to participate in the election process.
The main aim of the Assembly is to work out the rules by which individual treaties will be negotiated between the Victorian Government and individual Aboriginal peoples. It will also establish an independent "umpire", the Treaty Authority, to oversee the negotiations between the Aboriginal groups and the Victorian 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.
The Assembly meets Upper House, seat of the Legislative Assembly. It met for the first time on 10 December 2019, 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.
- Victorian Ministry
- List of Victorian government agencies
- Local government areas of Victoria
- Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities (2006)
- "Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act". Act of 1900.
- "Constitution Act". Act of 1975 (PDF).
- "Fact Sheet: Victoria's Parliamentary History". Parliament of Victoria. Parliament of Victoria. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- Dunstan, Joseph (5 November 2019). "Victorian Aboriginal voters have elected a treaty assembly. So what's next?". ABC News. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
- 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.
- 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.
- Government of Victoria website
- Tourism Victoria