Australian Citizenship Test Course

Training course for the Australian Citizenship Test
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  • Lectures 34
  • Contents Video: 33 mins
    Other: 4 mins
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

The Australian citizenship test of the Australian government (launched on October 19, 2009), is based on the book "Australian citizenship: A Common Bond". The book contains two sections and three chapters.

The first section is about Australia and its people; Australia's democratic beliefs, rights & liberties; and Government & the law in Australia. Your knowledge about these topics will be tested and you are allowed to have only 4 mistakes out of 20 random questions to pass the test.

The second, non-testable section, is about Australian history, culture, sport, economy, and more. This section of the book is for your general knowledge and is not covered on this course.

This Course will prepare you to pass the Australian Citizenship Test on your first attempt, guaranteed. This test is designed to assess whether you have an adequate knowledge of Australia and the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

Section 1: AUSTRALIA AND ITS PEOPLE

This sections will give you a clear, quick and easy to understand approach to Australia's society, heritage, geography and traditions. It includes a short quiz at the end of the section. This lesson includes the following lessons:

  • Australian First inhabitants
  • Australian Heritage
  • Geography
  • States and Territories
  • Traditions
  • National Flags
  • Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  • Australian Icons
  • Australia's National Anthem
  • Short Quiz

Section 2: AUSTRALIA'S DEMOCRATIC BELIEFS, RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

A brief and clear explanation of Australia's lifestyle, liberties and beliefs. It includes a short quiz at the end of the section. This section includes the following lessons:

  • Australia system of government
  • Freedom and Mate-ship
  • Australia's religion, equality values and Fair-go
  • Australian Citizens privileges and responsibilities
  • Community & Taxes
  • Short Quiz

Section 3: GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW IN AUSTRALIA

A comprehensive but functional approach to the system of government, institutions and powers in Australia. It includes a short quiz at the end of the section. This section includes the following lessons:

  • Government and the law in Australia
  • How did you have your say
  • How did Australia establish its system of government
  • How is the power of government controlled
  • Australia's Head of State
  • Constitutional Monarchy
  • Australia's leaders
  • House of Representatives and Senate
  • States and Territories Government
  • Australian Government responsibilities
  • Local Governments & the ACT Government
  • Political Parties
  • How are laws made
  • Courts in Australia
  • Short Quiz

Section 4: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: OVER 400 TEST QUESTIONS

  • All Questions Quiz

What are the requirements?

  • Internet browser, speakers

What am I going to get from this course?

  • You will be able to pass your Australian citizenship test easily in your first attempt
  • By the end of the course you will learn how Australian heritage, geography and traditions make this isolated land one of the best countries to live in
  • You will be able to identify and apply in your life principles such as Mate-ship an Fair-go
  • You will understand political concepts, hierarchies and principles that apply to most democracies
  • You will have a visual idea of cultural traditions, icons and territories in the one of the most isolated regions in the world

What is the target audience?

  • Candidates to Australian citizenship
  • Geography, history and political teachers
  • English students
  • Potential migrants to Australia
  • Travellers
  • High School and University Students
  • General knowledge and culture activists
  • Migration Agents and Education Agents
  • Tertiary institutions in Australia and overseas
  • Governments and Non-government organisations
  • Entrepreneurs, companies and business visionaries
  • History, cultural and social enthusiasts

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Australia and its people
00:31

AUSTRALIA AND ITS PEOPLE

  • Australian First inhabitants
  • Australian Heritage
  • Geography
  • States and Territories
  • Traditions
  • National Flags
  • Commonwealth Coat of Arms
  • Australian Icons
  • Australia's National Anthem
  • Quiz

AUSTRALIA'S DEMOCRATIC BELIEFS, RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

  • Australia system of government
  • Freedom and Mate-ship
  • Australia's religion, equality values and Fair-go
  • Australian Citizens privileges and responsibilities
  • Community & Taxes
  • Quiz

GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW IN AUSTRALIA

  • Government and the law in Australia
  • How did you have your say
  • How did Australia establish its system of government
  • How is the power of government controlled
  • Australia's Head of State
  • Constitutional Monarchy
  • Australia's leaders
  • House of Representatives and Senate
  • States and Territories Government
  • Australian Government responsibilities
  • Local Governments & the ACT Government
  • Political Parties
  • How are laws made
  • Courts in Australia
  • Quiz
01:24

Did you know that Australia’s first inhabitants were the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

They are what we call the Indigenous people of Australia and have a unique connection and understanding of this great land. It is said that they have lived on the Australian continent for between forty and sixty thousand years. That’s a long time in anyone’s language.

Torres Strait Islanders have also been here for a long time, They come from the islands to the north of Queensland and have a rich and distinct cultural identity and background.

European settlement of Australia commenced when the first 11 convict ships, which was known as the ‘First Fleet’, arrived from Great Britain on the 26th of January 1788.

In the 18th century, with growing crime and a harsh penal system, the British government realized that their jails could no longer hold the large number of people imprisoned for their crimes. To manage this problem, the British Government decided to transport these convicts to the Colonies – on other side of the world; one of these colonies was that of New South Wales. The first governor of New South Wales being the respected Captain Arthur Phillip.

01:16

Australians have always believed in doing things “their own way” – but British and Irish heritage has always played a major part in Australia’s history, traditions, culture and political institutions.

It wasn’t until 1851 that Australia’s rich metal deposits were discovered – with gold being found in the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria. Suddenly the “Gold Rush” was on and people from all over the world arrived in the colonies to try their luck at making a fortune from the ground.

Then in 1901, the colonies were united into a federation of states called the Commonwealth of Australia. At that time, Australia’s population was counted at around four million people. Australia’s national language is English.

However, In Australia’s multi-culturally diverse society, over 200 languages are spoken.

02:19

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federation of states and territories. There are six states and two mainland territories.

Let’s have a look at the capitals and main characteristics of each of these states:

  • As you probably already know, Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales and is the nation’s largest city. It has become a national centre for innovation and business. Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Opera House are national icons
  • Victoria is the smallest of the mainland states and her capital city is Melbourne. Victoria has become a centre for the arts and culture.
  • Queensland is the second largest state – with the world famous Great Barrier Reef spectacularly stretched along its eastern coast. Queensland’s capital city is Brisbane and is a favourite holiday destination for tourists worldwide.
  • Western Australia is the largest state and is home to many large mining projects. Western Australia’s capital city is Perth and with the mining boom has become a thriving metropolis.
  • Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and has many examples of fine colonial architecture. It has been called the City of Churches.
  • Tasmania is the smallest state, separated from the mainland by Bass Strait. Tasmania’s capital city is Hobart and offers amazing forest landscapes and bushwalks.

Australia has two territories:

  • The Australian Capital Territory or ACT, is situated between Sydney and Melbourne. It is the site of the nation’s capital city, Canberra and is the seat of the nation’s government within Parliament House. It is also home to important national museums, institutions and the High Court of Australia.
  • The Northern Territory has the tropics in the north and red desert soil in the south. Most of its small population live in the capital city, Darwin, and along the main highway between Darwin and Alice Springs. The Northern Territory is home to Uluru or Ayers Rock and what we call the “Red Centre”
01:14

On the 26th of January every year, we all get together and celebrate Australia Day. It’s the day that we honour our history and all the people who have made this nation great – both old and new. Australia Day is a much-loved public holiday and the biggest annual public event in this country.

If you’re wondering why we celebrate on January 26th, this date is the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet from Great Britain in 1788 – Where the British set up the first convict settlement, bringing technology and the industrial revolution to Australia’s shores – and putting Australia on the map.

Anzac Day is another key date – and is observed on the 25th of April each year. Anzac Day is named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, our troops which landed at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I on 25 April 1915.

Australia has three official flags you’ll need to be able to recognize - the Australian National Flag, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag.

00:40

Each state and territory also has its own flag.

Let’s take a look at the Australian National Flag. As you can see, it’s blue, white and red. But the key to it is in the three distinct and important parts:

  • The flag of Great Britain, known as the Union Jack, is in the top left corner. The flag represents our history of British settlement.
  • The big Commonwealth Star is under the Union Jack. This star has seven points, one point for each of the six states and one for the territories.
  • The Southern Cross, on the right, is a group of stars we see in the southern sky and represents our link to the land.
00:06

The Australian Aboriginal Flag is black, red and yellow. It also has three important parts.

Black: The top half is black and represents the Aboriginal people of Australia

Red: The bottom half is red and represents the earth and a spiritual relation to the land

Yellow: The yellow circle represent the sun

00:03

The Torres Strait Islander Flag is green, blue, black and white

Green: The green stripes represent the land

Dancer's headdress: The white dancer's headdress in the centre is a symbol for all Torres Strait Islanders

White Star: The points of the white star represent the island groups in Torres Strait

White: The color white is a symbol of peace

Blue: The blue planel in the centre represents the sea

Black: The black lines represent the Torres Strait Islander people

00:12

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms is the official symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia. It represents our national unity and identifies the authority and property of the Commonwealth of Australia. Point your mouse to learn more about our Coat of Arms.

Commonwealth Star: A gold Commonwealth Star stis above the shield

Shield: The shield in the centre represents the six states and federation

Kangaroo: A kangaroo supports the shield on one side. Kangaroos are native Australian animals

Emu: An emu supports the shield on on side. Emus are native Australian birds

Golden Wattle: The background is the golden wattle, Australia's national flower

00:39

Australia’s national flower is the golden wattle. Each of the states and territories of Australia also has its own floral emblem.

Australia’s national colours are green and gold. For this reason, the uniforms of our national sports teams at the Olympics or Commonwealth Games are usually green and gold.

And if you thought there couldn’t be, yet another Australian icon, the opal is Australia’s national gemstone.

02:39

‘Advance Australia Fair’ is Australia’s national anthem. It unites the nation and is a public expression of the joy and pride in being Australian.

Australians all let us rejoice,

For we are young and free;

We've golden soil and wealth for toil,

Our home is girt by sea;

Our land abounds in Nature's gifts

Of beauty rich and rare;

In history's page, let every stage

Advance Australia fair!

In joyful strains then let us sing,

"Advance Australia fair!"

Beneath our radiant southern Cross,

We'll toil with hearts and hands;

To make this Commonwealth of ours

Renowned of all the lands;

For those who've come across the seas

We've boundless plains to share;

With courage let us all combine

To advance Australia fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing

"Advance Australia fair!"

4 questions

Take as many questions as you want.

Download* the interactive quiz following this link bit.ly/1tv1EIX

*Udemy doesn’t allow to upload .zip files to the course. So please follow the link to download the quiz to your computer. Flash player is required.

Section 2: Austalia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties
02:46

As I’m sure you’ve already heard, Australia is a democracy. A democratic country means that it operates under a form of government where its’ citizens can freely choose representatives to manage and grow the country. The government makes laws on their behalf that are hopefully in the best interests of the community as a whole.

As Australians, we take price in our belief in peace, respect, freedom and equality – and in the often-very-unique principles of a “having a fair go” and “mateship”.

Australian’s respect each other’s rights to be different, to think differently and we respect each other’s differences and choices, even if we sometimes don't agree with those choices.

Australia's system of Government is a parliamentary democracy. This means that all citizens are involved in how the country is governed through elected parliamentary officials which meet regularly in Canberra. Australians are obliged to vote for people to represent them in parliament and compulsory voting goes a long way to ensure the safety and security of the voting process.

Australians work with and lobby parliament to have their concerns raised with their elected officials – These politicians have the power to make and change the laws through acts of parliament.

Around here, we have the "rule of law" which means that everyone in Australia must obey the law. Yes! that's right. All Australians are considered equal under the law and no person or group is above the law – Which is a good thing because we also believe that everyone should be given a fair go under the law – but we all understand that the penalties for breaking it are harsh.

Australians have migrated to the “lucky country” from every continent on the globe – every possible creed, culture, religious group and background is represented here. In our democratic society, we are all free to follow and share our beliefs and traditions as long as those beliefs or intentions do not break Australian law. All Australians are expected to be honest, hard working, diligent and helpful – because these are core values of our society.

Did you know that Australia is one of the easiest-going cultures on earth? We even address our friends, neighbours and colleagues as “Mate” to demonstrate that we’re keen to share our friendship or “mate-ship” by working together.

Australians are also some of the most helpful and generous people around – This unique spirit of mateship, that’s at the heart of every true Australian, means that we go to great lengths to help others around us in times of need or crisis. A mate is often a friend, but can also be a total stranger.

01:17

In Australia we are proud to be free! And that certainly doesn’t mean that we think this country’s freedom came cheaply! In fact, take a look at Australia’s great military history - Defending our country and supporting our allies - and you’ll glimpse the great cost this country has paid for that freedom we all enjoy. But our many freedoms means that we’re free to express our opinions, vote for our leaders and discuss our values with others.

Freedom of speech” is a privilege that allows Australians to speak and write without fear of oppression from the government.

Freedom of expression” allows people to express these views through art, film, music and literature.

While we are free to be ourselves, the law ensures that there are penalties for making false allegations, encouraging others to break the law or for causing damage to another person's reputation. So there’s a sensible balance that aims to keep peace and order.

As a democracy, Australians can legally level criticism at the government, peacefully protest, rally or lobby the government over decisions - and campaign to change laws.

As part of our “Freedom of Association”, we are also free to associate in political, cultural, or religious groups as we desire - or with any type of organization that doesn’t seek to break the law.

02:38

Australia’s core beliefs and basis of law were brought out from Great Britain with the First Fleet in 1788 and consequently have a Judeo-Christian heritage. This proud heritage can lay claim to the friendly “treat others as you’d like to be treated” identity which takes pride of place in the hearts of many of our finest citizens – from famous inventors, saints through to well known philanthropists. As a result, many Australians will happily describe themselves as Christians. However, as church and state have always been separate in this country, the government remains secular - which means that there is no prescribed national religion.

People in Australia are free to follow any religion they choose, as long as its practice does not break Australian laws. Australians are also free to not follow any particular religion. We’re pretty easy going…

Most religious have rules or doctrine, but these are not law in Australia. Some religious or cultural practices, such as being married to more than one person at the same

time, otherwise known as polygamy, are against Australian law. You should carefully consider your obligations as an Australian citizen before committing to your oath as a new Australian.

Men and women have equality of rights in Australia and it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of their gender.

Similarly, both men and women have equal access to education and employment. Both can vote and stand for parliament – and both can join the Australian Defence Forces and police.

Australian anglo-saxon culture started out from humble beginnings after the First Fleet. Many of our first settlers weren’t exactly kings of industry and culture! So many Australians take delight in our disrespect for class pretense and societal boundaries.

Australians believe that the lowliest person still deserves a “fair go” and should be given an opportunity to succeed – Regardless of their class or status. As a culture, we’ve fought for a fair society, where everyone gets a chance to rise above their station in life.

We keep talking about getting a "fair go" – So what’s it all about? It means that what someone achieves in life should be a result of their honest hard work and talents, rather than simply as a result of their wealth, status, connections, history or background.

01:06

As Australians are always careful to point out… Fundamentally, all citizens are required to obey the law – and this means the state, federal and local laws – These laws are made by the Australian Parliament, state, territory and local governments.

Australians are required to vote in federal and state elections and in referendums when the government calls one. To ensure that everyone is represented, voting is compulsory for Australian citizens aged 18 years or over.

Australian citizens should be prepared to defend our country should the need arise.

While service in the Australian Defence Forces is voluntary, should the need arise, it is vital that all citizens be committed to supporting or joining our defence forces to defend the nation and its way of life.

Australian citizens may be required to serve on a jury if called to do so. A jury is a group of citizens who listen to the evidence in a court case and decide if a person is innocent or guilty.

00:41

As an Australian citizen you will have the right to Vote in federal and state or territory elections and referendums, to shape this great country and assist in creating the law.

You can apply for work in the Australian Public Services or in the Australian Defence Forces (including the Army, Navy and Air Force).

You can seek election to parliament, apply for an Australian passport and travel through Australia’s borders freely.

You will also be eligible to receive help from Australian consular offices while overseas and register children born overseas as Australian citizens by descent

01:39

Participate! Australians have a proud tradition of participating - We encourage all citizens – new and old - to participate in society. Citizens who participate in society contribute to Australia in many ways by enriching their community and local groups with their culture and varied heritage.

Why not join your local neighbourhood and community groups? You can even volunteer to do social and community work or join an arts or cultural organisation. If you feel passionate about the way Australia is being run, why not become a politician and actively participate in political life?

While never a favourite topic, many of the public services, amenities and infrastructure benefits that Australians take for granted are made possible through taxes. Australians pay a percentage of their income to be spent on services which include health, education, defence, roads, railways, and social security.

By working and paying your fair share of taxes, you will be supporting the country in providing these important services to the Australian community – through government projects. These core services help make Australia the rich, peaceful and prosperous country it is today.

Paying the prescribed rate tax is required by law and is a necessary part of supporting your country. Taxation revenue is collected by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) from both businesses and individuals.

5 questions

Take as many questions as you want.

Download* the interactive quiz following this link bit.ly/1ru96pl

*Udemy doesn’t allow to upload .zip files to the course. So please follow the link to download the quiz to your computer. Flash player is required.

Closure section 2
00:21
Section 3: Government and the law in Australia
Intro Section 3
00:13
01:01

It's important for you to understand Australia's system of government, how the laws are made in our parliamentary democracy and how these laws are administered.

To start with, have you ever wonder how you have your say on how the country is run?

In Australia, citizens aged 18 years and over must enroll to vote at federal elections. By voting, you will get to have your say in who represents you in parliament. Voting is compulsory in Australian federal and state elections.

It’s pretty hard to forget to vote with all the fanfare around the events – but choosing not to vote in an election without a good reason will result in a fine. So it will be a date for your diary!

The Australian Electoral Commission, or AEC, is a Commonwealth agency. It conducts federal elections and referendums and maintains the Commonwealth electoral roll.

Votes are by secret ballot, so you are free and safe to vote for any candidate without fear or bias. No one else sees who you vote for.

01:36

Before 1901, Australia was made up of six separate, self-governing British colonies.

Within its borders, each colony had its own constitution and its own laws relating to defence, immigration, postage, trade and transport. People wanted to unite the colonies to form a single Australian nation for a number of good reasons. Enforcing the law across borders was difficult. The separate colonies also had weak systems of defence. More importantly, Australia had outgrown its humble beginnings and a sense of patriotism and national identity was rapidly taking shape.

On January the First, 1901, when the Constitution took effect, the Australian colonies became one independent nation, known as the Commonwealth of Australia. The Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 is the legal document that sets out the basic rules binding the government of Australia.

The Australian Constitution established the form of the Parliament, created with a House of Representatives and a Senate. It also established the High Court of Australia, which has the ultimate power to apply and interpret the laws of Australia. The Australian Constitution can only be changed through a special vote called a referendum.

In a referendum, there needs to be a “double majority” for the Australian Constitution to be changed. This means that the majority of voters in a majority of states across the nation must vote for the change expressed in the question asked at the referendum.

00:57

The Australian Constitution carefully divides power between three key arms of government. This is to stop any one person or group of people taking over all the power to govern Australia. These arms are Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

Legislative power is seated in the Parliament - Which has the power to make and change the laws. Parliament is made up of representatives who are elected by the people of Australia.

Executive power is seated with the Australian Government ministers and the Governor-General. Executive power is the power to put the laws into practice.

Judicial power is carried by the Judges. Courts and judges are independent of the parliament and government - and have the power to interpret and apply the law.

00:46

By now you are probably wondering who is Australia's Head of State?

Given our historical roots, Australia is a proud monarchy and therefore our Head of State is the Queen - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

As you might expect, in Australia, the Queen does not play a day-to-day role in government. The Queen appoints the Governor-General as her representative in Australia, on advice from the Australian Prime Minister. The Governor-General acts independently of all political parties.

Remember not to confuse the Governor-General with the Prime Minister.

The Governor-General is the representative of the Queen – and is considered above ‘party politics’. The Prime Minister is the leader of the Australian Government and the representative of the Australian people.

01:11

As you’ll remember from part two, we mentioned that Australia is run as a constitutional monarchy.

A constitutional monarchy is a country in which a king or queen is the head of state but acts in accordance with the country’s own constitution. While this ensures that Australia makes her own laws and governance, it still retains the historical ties and traditions that give this country an historical reference point.

In each of the states there is a Governor who represents the Queen in a role that is similar to the Governor-General. Let's take a look at their roles in more detail.

The Governor –General signs all of the Bills passed by the Australian Parliament into law - this is called Royal Assent. They sign regulations and perform ceremonial duties. And they approve the appointment of the Australian Government and its ministers, federal judges and other officials.

The Governor-General also has special powers known as ‘reserve powers’ that can only be used in specific circumstances. These are a safe-guard to assist in the smooth running of the country when the arms of government falter.

00:53

Australia's Leaders consist of:

  • The Queen of Australia - known as the Head of State
  • The Governor-General who is the representative of the Head of State based in Australia
  • Governors who represent the Queen in each Australian state
  • The Australian Prime Minister who is the leader of the Government
  • Premiers – the leaders of the state governments
  • Chief Ministers -who are responsible for leading an area of government
  • Members of Parliament - who are all elected representatives of the Australian people in the Parliament
  • Senators – who are elected representatives of a state or territory in the parliament
  • Mayors or Shire Presidents – who are the leaders of local council areas
  • And finally, Councilors – who are the elected members of each local council
01:38

As we mentioned previously, the Australian Parliament was created with a House of Representatives and a Senate. Let's have a look to their main characteristics:

The ‘House of Representatives’ is sometimes called the Lower House or the People’s House.

Australia is divided into federal electorates. Australians in each electorate vote for one person to represent them in the House of Representatives. This representative is called a Member of Parliament, or MP for short.

The number of MPs for each state and territory is based on the size of its population. The people of Australia elect a total of 150 members to the House of Representatives to consider, debate and vote on proposals for new laws to exact changes to existing laws.

The Senate is sometimes called the Upper House, the House of Review or the States’ House. The states are equally represented in the Senate, regardless of their population size.

There are 12 representatives elected from each state. Both mainland territories elect two representatives each.

There are 76 representatives elected in total and they are called Senators. Senators also consider, debate and vote on new laws or changes to the laws.

There are two important things to remember here.

The House of Representative has 150 members.

The Senate has 76 representatives, 12 from each state and 4 from the territories.

01:09

As you now know there are six states and two mainland territories in Australia. What you probably don't know yet is that each state also has its own constitution and its own parliament.

The leader at the state government level is called the Premier and the leader within a territory is called the Chief Minister.

State governments operate in a similar way to the Australian Government but are focused on the management of the particular state region they represent. In each state, a Governor represents the Queen of Australia. However, in the Northern Territory, an Administrator is appointed by the Governor-General. The role and responsibilities of the Administrator are similar to those of a state Governor.

The states and the Northern Territory are divided into further smaller groups called local government areas. These may be called cities, shires, towns or municipalities. Each area has its own local council which are answerable directly to relatively small area. Councils are responsible for planning and delivering services to their local community.

00:24

The Australian Government is responsible for:

  1. taxation
  2. national economic management
  3. immigration and citizenship
  4. employment
  5. postal services and the communications network
  6. social security, pensions and family support
  7. defence
  8. trade
  9. airports and air safety
  10. and foreign affairs, including trade agreements with other countries.
00:12

State and territory governments are responsible for:

  1. hospitals and health services
  2. schools
  3. railways
  4. roads and traffic control
  5. forestry
  6. police
  7. and public transport.
00:39

Local governments, and the Australian Capital Territory Government, are responsible for:

  1. street signs, traffic controls
  2. local roads, footpaths, bridges
  3. drains
  4. parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, sports grounds
  5. camping grounds and caravan parks
  6. food and meat inspection
  7. noise and animal control
  8. rubbish collection
  9. local libraries, halls and community centres
  10. certain child-care and aged-care issues
  11. building permits
  12. social planning
  13. and local environmental issues.

The Council of Australian Government, or COAG, has been set up to encourage cooperation between all levels of government.

01:29

A political party is a group of people who share similar ideas about how the country should be governed. The main political parties in Australia are the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the Nationals and the Australian Greens. There are many other minor parties that share particular ideals and agendas – and these minor parties will often partner with the major ones to have their ideas heard on the main stage. In Australia, you are free to join or vote for any political party you choose.

How is the Australian Government formed?

After an election, the political party or coalition of parties with the majority of members in the House of Representatives forms the Australian Government. The leader of this party becomes the leader of the Australian Government, the incoming Prime Minister.

The party or coalition of parties with the second largest number of members in the House of Representatives is known as the Opposition. Its leader is called the Leader of the Opposition.

The Prime Minister chooses MPs or Senators to become his or her ministers. These ministers are responsible for important areas of government, split into key areas of responsibility, called portfolios, such as health, defence, employment, Indigenous affairs or the Treasury.

Ministers with the most senior portfolios make up the Cabinet, which is the key decision making body of the Australian Government.

00:41

In simple terms, the Australian Parliament makes and changes laws to benefit the nation.

In practice, a member of the Australian Parliament proposes a new law or an amendment. This proposal is called a Bill.

The House of Representatives and the Senate consider, debate and vote on whether they agree with the Bill.

If the majority of members in each House of Parliament agree to the Bill, it goes to the

Governor-General.

When the Governor-General signs the Bill, it becomes a law. This is called Royal Assent.

State and territory parliaments make their own laws in a very similar way.

01:34

The courts in Australia are responsible for interpreting and applying the law. They are independent of the government. The courts decide if a person has broken the law or not and decide the penalty.

The judge or magistrate is the highest authority in the court. Judges and magistrates are independent and no one can tell them what to decide. They are appointed by the government, but the government cannot take their jobs away if it disagrees with their decisions.

A court will use a jury, as required, to decide if a person has broken the law. A jury is a group of ordinary people randomly chosen from the general population. Under the law, people in Australia are considered innocent until they are found guilty by a court.

The police maintain peace and order in the community. It is their job to protect life and property. They are independent of the government. If the police believe that someone has broken the law, they can arrest them and bring them before a court of law to ensure a fair and impartial judgment is passed down.

The Australian Federal Police investigates crimes against federal laws, for example, drug trafficking, crimes against national security and crimes against the environment. The Australian Federal Police is also responsible for general police work in the

Australian Capital Territory.

It is a serious crime to bribe or even offer a bribe to a police officer or any other official.

Road and traffic rules are controlled by state and territory governments.

5 questions

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Section 4: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE: 90 QUESTIONS
1 question

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Instructor Biography

J O, Internet entrepreneur

Hi there!

I'll be interacting with you in many ways to make your learning through different courses nice and easy.

Hope you enjoy learning about Australia as much as I did.

Happy learning!

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