The first hill to tackle when trying to engage with our politicians is figuring out how each level of government works, what they are responsible for, and who to contact when. Below is a brief overview and guide. Check out the next page for details on how to find and contact our politicians.
The Federal Parliament is divided into two Houses; the House of Representatives (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House).
The House of Representatives is made up of 151 Members of Parliament (MPs), each one representing an electorate (geographical area). Each electorate is carefully mapped out so that it contains roughly the same number of people (around 100,000 voters each). Your MP will be in Canberra sitting in Parliament for twenty weeks of the year, and the other time they spend at their office in their electorate.
The Senate is made up of 76 Senators who are drawn from the six states and two territories within Australia. Each state elects 12 Senators, however, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory elect only two Senators each.
The House of Representatives ensures that every Australian is represented equally in Parliament, while the Senate helps to ensure that states are represented equally. The Senate also plays an important role in scrutinising the actions of the government and proposed laws through its many committees.
The Federal Parliament is (obviously) responsible for things that affect the whole country, such as foreign affairs, defence, trade, taxes, pensions, citizenship, immigration, etc.
As mentioned, the Federal Government is formed by the party or coalition (a formal partnership of two or more parties) with a majority in the House of Representatives. In most cases, each Prime Minister will appoint ministers (who oversee certain portfolios), with senior Ministers forming the Cabinet (or front bench). There are usually about 20 ministers in the House of Representatives, and 10 in the Senate. The opposition also does the same thing, and these are known as shadow ministers.
The Prime Minister and ministers are responsible for developing policy and putting government decisions into action. Most ministers are in charge of a government department or assist in the administration of a department, such as the Department of Defence, Department of Health, or Treasury. Shadow ministers have the important responsibility of scrutinising the work of the government and individual ministers.
Australia has six state parliaments, and two territory parliaments. These parliaments are located in Australia's eight capital cities. Like the Federal Parliament, all states (except for Queensland) have two houses; the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) and the Legislative Council (Upper House). QLD, NT and ACT only have Legislative Assemblies.
State Parliaments work the same as Federal; Government is formed in the Legislative Assembly, while the Legislative Council acts as a house of review. Members of the Legislative Council are elected to represent the whole state or regions of the state (depending on your state), whereas members of the Legislative Assembly represent their electoral districts.
State Parliaments are basically in charge of things that the constitution doesn’t say the Federal Parliament is responsible for. This includes schools, hospitals, roads, public transport, community services, police, prisons, etc. If Federal and State Governments make conflicting laws about the same thing, then the Federal one takes precedence.
There are 537 councils Australia-wide, and because constitutional responsible for local government lies with state and territory governments, their roles and responsibilities differ. A council, led by a mayor, is elected to govern each local government area.
Local government responsibilities include infrastructure and property services (local roads, bridges, paths, etc), recreation facilities (parks, sports venues, pools, halls, etc), health services (water and food inspection, noise control, animal control, etc), community services (childcare, aged care, etc), building services (inspections, licensing, etc), planning and development approval, cultural facilities, and water and sewerage.
INFORMATION WE COLLECT FROM YOU
In the course of your visits to our website or use of our products and services, we may obtain the following information about you: name, company name, email address, telephone number, credit card details, billing address, geographic location, IP address, survey responses, support queries, blog comments and social media handles (together ‘Personal Data’).
Our services are not directed to persons under 18 and we do not knowingly collect Personal Data from anyone under 18. If we become aware that a child under 18 has provided us with Personal Data, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you are the parent or guardian of a child and you believe they have provided us with Personal Data without your consent, then please contact us.
You can review, correct, update or delete your Personal Data by either logging into your account and making the changes yourself or contacting us directly to do so.
HOW WE USE YOUR INFORMATION
Personally Identifiable Information: We use the information we collect to deliver our services to you, including: communicating with you, providing technical support, notifying you of updates and offers, sharing useful content, measuring customer satisfaction, diagnosing problems and providing you with a personalised website experience.
Marketing communications are only sent to you if you have requested or subscribed to them. You can opt out of our marketing communications at any time by unsubscribing or emailing us and your request will be actioned immediately.
Non-Personally Identifiable Information: We also use the information we collect in aggregated and anonymized forms to improve our services, including: administering our website, producing reports and analytics, advertising our products and services, identifying user demands and assisting in meeting customer needs generally.
Any information you choose to make publicly available, such as blog comments and testimonials on our website, will be available for others to see. If you subsequently remove this information, copies may remain viewable in cached and archived pages on other websites or if others have copied or saved the information.
STORAGE AND SECURITY OF YOUR INFORMATION
We will use all reasonable means to protect the confidentiality of your Personal Data while in our possession or control. All information we receive from you is stored and protected on our secure servers from unauthorized use or access. Credit card information is encrypted before transmission and is not stored by us on our servers.
To enable us to deliver our services, we may transfer information that we collect about you, including Personal Data, across borders for storage and processing in countries other than Australia. If your Personal Data is transferred and processed outside Australia, it will only be transferred to countries that have adequate privacy protections.
We retain your personal information for as long as needed to provide services to you and as otherwise necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.
In the event there is a breach of our security and your Personal Data is compromised, we will promptly notify you in compliance with the applicable law.
COOKIES AND PIXELS
SHARING YOUR INFORMATION WITH THIRD PARTIES
We do not and will not sell or deal in Personal Data or any customer information.
DISCLOSURE OF YOUR INFORMATION
We may from time to time need to disclose certain information, which may include your Personal Data, to comply with a legal requirement, such as a law, regulation, court order, subpoena, warrant, in the course of a legal proceeding or in response to a law enforcement agency request. Also, we may use your Personal Data to protect the rights, property or safety of https://tna.org.au/, our customers or third parties.
If there is a change of control in one of our businesses (whether by merger, sale, transfer of assets or otherwise) customer information, which may include your Personal Data, could be transferred to a purchaser under a confidentiality agreement. We would only disclose your Personal Data in good faith and where required by any of the above circumstances.
LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES
Welcome to our website. If you continue to browse and use this website you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following disclaimer.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only and is provided by Theatre Network Australia (TNA). While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose.
Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. You need to make your own enquiries to determine if the information or products are appropriate for your intended use. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website. Through this website you may be able to link to other websites which are not under the control of TNA. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those websites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them. Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, TNA takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.