- Government of South Australia
The form of the Government of South Australia is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901
South Australiahas been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitutionregulates its relationship with the Commonwealth.
Under the Australian Constitution, South Australia ceded certain legislative and judicial powers to the Commonwealth, but retained complete independence in all other areas. In practice, however, the independence of the Australian states has been greatly eroded by the increasing financial domination of the Commonwealth.
South Australia is governed according to the principles of the
Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. Legislative power rests with the Parliament of South Australia, which consists of the Crown, represented by the Governor of South Australia, and the two Houses, the South Australian Legislative Counciland the South Australian House of Assembly, with legislative elections held every four years.
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 South Australiaand the Cabinet, who are appointed by the Governor, but who hold office by virtue of their ability to command the support of a majority of members of the House of Assembly.
Judicial power is exercised by the
Supreme Court of South Australiaand a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australiaand other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.
There are 13 separate Departments within the government of South Australia's public service.
Department for Families and Communities
Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure
Department of Education and Children's Services
Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology
Department of Health
Department of Justice
Department of Primary Industries & Resources
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Department of Trade and Economic Development
Department of Treasury and Finance
Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation
* [http://www.sa.gov.au/ Government of South Australia website]
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/ca1934188/ The Constitution of South Australia]
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