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Victoria - Concept

State Government of Victoria (1901 - )


The State Government of Victoria is the name of the body that has governed Victoria since Federation in 1901. Prior to Federation the State Government of Victoria was known as the Colony of Victoria.


In 1901 Australia was federated and the Colony of Victoria became the State Government of Victoria. Federation meant Victoria could still make some of its own legislation but was required to abide by any law made by the new Commonwealth Government of Australia.

After Federation the State Government of Victoria still operated within a Westminster System. The Westminster system is the system of government originating from Britain and it divides power to make, amend and repeal laws between two houses. In Victoria these are the Legislative Council (upper house) and the Legislative Assembly (lower house). Members of each of these houses are elected by the people of Victoria. Prior to 1908 however women were not allowed to vote.

It is the responsibility of members of the Legislative Council (upper house) and Legislative Assembly (lower house) to debate on legislation and proposals for new laws (called 'bills'). To become law, bills have to be debated and agreed upon by both houses of government and then signed off by the Governor General. Bills generally originate from the Legislative Assembly (lower house).

The political party or coalition of parties who hold the most seats in the Legislative Assembly (lower house) become the government and the leader of their group or coalition is the Premier. One of the main ideas behind having multiple parties and two houses is that it will ensure as many perspectives as possible go into making laws and that the people making and debating these laws represent as many sections of the Victorian community as possible.


 1836 - 1851 Port Phillip District
       1851 - 1901 Colony of Victoria
             1901 - State Government of Victoria

Related Concepts

Related Legislation


Online Resources

Sources used to compile this entry: Law Research Service, Melbourne Law School, Law Library, The University of Melbourne. 'Find and Connect Project - Victorian Legislation', 1 February 2013, held in the project files at the University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre.

Prepared by: Elizabeth Daniels and Christine Moje