Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Victorian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia. The other is the Legislative Assembly. Both sit in Parliament House in Spring Street , Melbourne. It serves as a house of review, in a similar fashion to its federal counterpart, the Australian Senate. Although it is possible for legislation to be first introduced in the Council, most bills receive their first hearing in the Legislative Assembly.
The Council was created in 1851, four years before the Assembly, and today has 44 members serving eight-year terms. They represent 22 Electoral Provinces, with two members representing each Province. This system had favoured the Liberal Party of Australia over the Australian Labor Party and minor parties, such as the Australian Greens. This had caused many incidences where a Labor-controlled Assembly had a faced a hostile Council - a rare occurrence elsewhere in Australia.
This system is due to change at the next election, as a result of major reforms passed by Steve Bracks' Labor government in 2003. Under the new reforms, members will serve fixed four-year terms, unless the Assembly is dissolved sooner. The number of Councillors will be decreased to 40, representing eight regions, each consisting of five members. The reforms also remove the ability of the Council to block supply, and introduce proportional representation. The reforms will likely improve the chances of minor parties gaining the balance of power at the expense of government dominance of both houses.
- Parliaments of the Australian states and territories
- List of members of the Victorian Legislative Council
Current distribution of seats
|Australian Labor Party||25|
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