New South Wales has a bicameral legislature (consisting of two houses). The Legislative Council (or Upper House) and the Legislative Assembly (or Lower House) of New South Wales are made up of Members of Parliament who are directly elected by the state's residents. Both bodies have equal power, but may differ on how they exercise this power.
In Victoria the term "house" refers to either chamber of the Victorian Parliament. Like their New South Wales counterparts, Senators are indirectly elected by the people of Victoria and do not represent any particular district or region. They serve a six-year term, with half coming up for election every three years. Representatives are directly elected from single member districts and can be chosen by first-past-the-post or closed party preselection. Half of the members retire after each federal election and new ones are elected by the membership. The remaining seats are filled through special elections called by the Premier or by ministers. Under section 15(1) of the Constitution of Australia, there can only be one Senate seat per state and territory. However, under section 7(3) of the Australian Constitution, states can pass legislation allowing them to appoint multiple senators if they choose to do so. No such laws have been passed and thus Victoria has only one senator at any time.
South Australia has a bi-cameral parliament, with the upper house being known as the Legislative Council and the lower house as the Legislative Assembly.
The Legislative Council (Upper House) and the Legislative Assembly are the two chambers of the New South Wales Parliament (Lower House). There are significant distinctions between the two. The Lower House forms the government of the day, while the Upper House is known as the "House of Review." The Speaker presides over the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly respectively.
The current building was designed by Sir Edward Dendy Jones and was completed in 1868. It replaced an earlier building on the same site which had been built in 1788 by James Barnet. That original building had been constructed for £15,000 and was originally intended only be a temporary structure but has now been converted into apartments named The Barracks. The new Legislative Council Building was estimated to have cost £750,000 at the time it was built; today this would be valued at approximately $20 million.
The building is constructed in the Italian Renaissance style with white marble from Carrara in Italy. It features a large central dome and smaller domed roofs over the three legislative chambers. The building is set within its own park, which includes gardens, trees, and benches for visitors to use.
The location of the new Legislative Council Building is significant because it is near Parliament Street, which runs directly from Sydney's Central Business District to Parramatta Road, the main road connecting Sydney with the rest of NSW.
Together with the Governor of New South Wales, the Legislature (the Upper House) or Legislative Council, and the Lower House or (Legislative Assembly), make up the government of New South Wales. The Parliament meets in Sydney. Its current composition is defined by the Constitution Act 2003.
The bicameral system was established by the New South Wales Constitution Act 1842. The two houses are directly elected by proportional representation using closed lists. Candidates must be over 21 years old, have been a resident of New South Wales for at least three months, and be an Australian citizen. They cannot be bankrupts, members of the Royal Family, or officers of the Australian Army or Navy. Senators can be elected for life but cannot remain in office longer than nine years.
In addition to their legislative duties, the Senate can propose amendments to the Constitution and has the power to veto laws passed by the Assembly. If the Senate rejects a law, it can refer the matter to a public referendum. The Governor can break any tie vote in the Senate by deciding which way to vote.
The Assembly consists of representatives from 160 districts called seats. Each district should return one member, but the number of seats can vary from as few as 80 to as many as 120 depending on population estimates.
The Parliament of New South Wales is the state's legislative body and Australia's earliest and oldest parliament. The Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council are democratically elected chambers. The Parliament meets in New South Wales Parliament House, located in Sydney's central business district.
Parliament is made up of two houses: the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The two houses have equal power and their members are elected by proportional representation for a fixed four-year term of office. The Speaker presides over both houses and has a role similar to that of a minister in other parliaments. He or she can make decisions on matters before them and may also have a role in introducing legislation.
Both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council meet in Parliament House, which is located in central Sydney near the site of Sydney's first government house. The building was constructed from 1824 to 1828 and is the world's third oldest parliamentary building after those of Westminster and Singapore. It was originally known as the Colonial Office but this was changed following the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.
The current speaker of the Legislative Assembly is Penny Sharpe, who has held the position since 2013. She is the first female speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the first woman from NSW to hold the post.