The Explore Your Parliament activities have been developed by the Queensland Parliament to provide teachers at all schooling levels with classroom resources to help them teach young people about democracy in Queensland. Explore Your Parliament has been organised according to the functions of the Parliament:
- representing the people,
- making the State Government accountable,
- passing legislation,
- and bringing down and passing the Budget.
A section on E-Democracy has also been included.
The information and activities have been categorized and are marked as follows:
Tertiary/Teacher Professional Development
Suitable for all levels
National Curriculum links and resources
Australia has three levels of Government: local, state and federal. This kit deals with the Queensland State level. The Queensland Parliament is Australia’s only State unicameral (single House) Parliament, having abolished its Upper House (the Legislative Council) in 1922.
Members of Parliament represent all the constituents in their electorate. The Queensland Parliament has 89 members of Parliament, representing 89 electorates. Members are elected every three years. In Queensland, the voting method used for State elections is optional preferential voting.
Parliament is often at its most robust when it is performing the scrutiny function. The Government is accountable to the Parliament and during the Question Time hour, Members have the opportunity to ask Government Ministers questions about Government policies and activities. The Leader of the Opposition always asks the first two questions. Government and non-Government Members are then called in turn.
The term ‘legislation’ refers to statute law (law made by the Parliament) and applies to both Bills and Acts. Before State legislation has been signed by the Queensland Governor, it is known as a Bill. Following Royal Assent, it is known as an Act.
Before the Parliament can pass legislation involving the appropriation of money it must receive a message from the Governor giving permission for that to occur. The State Budget is usually brought down in June. This is in the form of Appropriation Bills.
eDemocracy refers to the use of information and communication technologies, like the internet and digital and mobile phone technologies, in democratic processes. This includes Parliamentary proceedings, voting and Government consultations with the public.