Government of Tasmania

Logo of the Tasmanian Government

The form of the Government of Tasmania is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901 Tasmania has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth.

Under the Australian Constitution, Tasmania 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.


Executive and Judicial Powers

Tasmania 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 Tasmania, which consists of the Crown, represented by the Governor of Tasmania, and the two Houses, the Tasmanian Legislative Council and the Tasmanian House of Assembly.

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 Tasmania and 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 Tasmania and a system of subordinate courts, but the High Court of Australia and other federal courts have overriding jurisdiction on matters which fall under the ambit of the Australian Constitution.

Current Ministry

The current ministry of Tasmania comprises the following seven Labor and two Greens members:

Office Minister

Minister for the Arts

Lara Giddings, MP

Deputy Premier
Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Minister for Energy and Resources
Minister for Local Government
Minister for Planning
Minister for Racing

Bryan Green, MP

Minister for Tourism
Minister for Hospitality
Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Scott Bacon, MP

Minister for Education and Skills
Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection
Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy

Nick McKim, MP

Minister for Infrastructure
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology
Minister for Police and Emergency Management
Minister for Workplace Relations

David O'Byrne, MP

Minister for Health
Minister for Children
Minister for Sport and Recreation
Leader of Government Business

Michelle O'Byrne, MP

Minister for Human Services
Minister for Community Development
Minister for Climate Change
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Cassy O'Connor, MP

Minister for Justice
Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage

Brian Wightman, MP

Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Council

Doug Parkinson, MLC

Houses of Parliament

House of Assembly

Tasmania's House of Assembly is the lower house of the Tasmanian parliament. There are five House of Assembly divisions: Bass, Braddon, Denison, Franklin and Lyons. These divisions have the same boundaries as the five Commonwealth House of Representatives divisions for Tasmania. There are twenty-five members of the House of Assembly, with five members elected for each of the divisions using the Hare-Clark voting system of multi-member proportional representation. Members are elected for a term of up to 4 years.

Party Seats held Percentage of Assembly Current House of Assembly
Australian Labor Party 10 40%                            
Liberal Party of Australia 10 40%                            
Tasmanian Greens 5 20%                            

Legislative Council

Tasmania's Legislative Council is the upper house of the Tasmanian parliament. It has 15 members, each representing one of the following 15 electoral divisions: Apsley, Montgomery, Rosevears, Derwent, Murchison, Rowallan, Elwick, Nelson, Rumney, Huon, Paterson, Wellington, Mersey, Pembroke and Windermere. The boundaries of the current divisions are determined by the Legislative Council Redistribution Tribunal.[1] Elections are conducted on a 6 year periodic cycle. Elections for 3 members are held in May one year, with elections for 2 members held in May the following year and so on.

Party Seats held Current Legislative Council
Australian Labor Party 3                      
Liberal Party of Australia 1                      
Independents 11                      

Counting is currently underway after upper house elections were held on 7 May 2011 in the two Labor-held seats of Rumney and Derwent and independent-held Launceston. While the count remains tight and all three seats remain too close to call, the most likely scenario is that Labor retains Derwent and an independent replaces the retiring independent in Launceston, while in Rumney, Labor's Lin Thorp appears to have been defeated by independent Liberal candidate Tony Mulder.[2][3][4]

Parliament House

Both houses meet since 1841 in Parliament House in the Hobart suburb of Salamanca by the waterfront. The house was originally intended as a customs house but changed use when Tasmania achieved self-government.

Tasmanian Government Departments

The current Tasmanian Government Departments consist of[5]

Local Government in Tasmania

Local Government elections are conducted under the Local Government Act using the Hare-Clark voting system of multi-member proportional representation. Elections for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and half the councillor positions are held during September and October in each uneven numbered year. Tasmania has twenty-nine local government areas. These include six cities (three in greater Hobart, one covering each of Launceston, Burnie and Devonport) and twenty-three municipalities. The largest council (by number of enrolled electors) is City of Launceston and the smallest council is Municipality of Flinders (which serves the Flinders Island and surrounding islands, and has just over 800 electors)

See also


  1. ^ "Tasmanian Legislative Council". Tasmanian Electoral Commission. 2006-09-08. 
  2. ^ Tasmanian upper house elections live: Poll Bludger
  3. ^ Tasmanian upper house elections: Poll Bludger
  4. ^ Too close to call: ABC 8 May 2011
  5. ^ "Service Tasmania Tasmanian Government Organisations". Service Tasmania. 2011-04-13. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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