Our system of government is derived from the Westminster system.

It’s built on 2 key concepts:

  • the separation of powers
  • responsible government.

The Australian Constitution defines the relationship between the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.

In Victoria, the Constitution Act 1975 defines the powers of:

  • the Governor, who represents the Crown (the Queen)
  • the Parliament of Victoria
  • the executive
  • the judiciary.

Read more about Australia’s system of government.

Separation of power

Governing power is divided between 3 branches of government.

The 3 branches are the:

  • Legislature (parliament) – the power to make and change the law
  • Executive – the power to put the law into action
  • Judiciary – the power to make judgments on the law.

The Premier and ministers are part of the legislature and executive branches but perform different roles. This means no single branch has complete authority.

Responsible government

The government is accountable to the people of Victoria.

Responsible government means:

  • ministers are responsible for their portfolios
  • ministers are accountable to parliament for managing their portfolios and exercising their authority
  • Members of Parliament (including ministers) are accountable to the people of Victoria through the process of parliamentary elections.

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