september-img5

Government and law

Australian local government

Local governments are responsible for town planning, building approvals, local roads, parking, public libraries, public toilets, water and sewerage, waste removal, domestic animals and community facilities. 

Local taxes (rates) are collected from home owners based on the value of their home. These taxes are used to pay for the services provided. Local governments also collect parking fees.

Law

The legal system in  Australia is based on the British model. There are two sources of law – common law (case law) and statute law (legislation). Both evolve by interpretation in the courts which can consider, where necessary, precedents set in earlier decisions made by courts. Parliament uses its power to pass statutes which are called Acts of Parliament. Statutes create new laws or codify or change the common law.

In Australia, the court system is completely separate and independent from the executive government or parliament. The government or parliament cannot change or influence a judge’s decision. The government also cannot influence the composition of a jury nor do anything to influence a jury’s d​ecision. There are many different courts with many different functions, ra​nging from tribunals, to magistrate, supreme and federal courts. Each state and territory has its own independent system of courts.