What Do The Three Levels of Government Do?

The main difference between the three levels of government is that, although some responsibilities may overlap, generally each level of government provides different services.

The Australian Government is responsible for:

  • taxation
  • national economic management
  • employment assistance
  • postal services and the communications network
  • social security (pensions and family support)
  • defence
  • trade and commerce
  • airports and air safety
  • foreign affairs (relations with other countries).

State and territory governments are primarily responsible for:

  • hospitals and health services
  • schools
  • roads and railways
  • forestry
  • police and ambulance services
  • public transport.

Local governments (and the Australian Capital Territory Government) are responsible for:

  • street signs, traffic controls
  • local roads, footpaths, bridges
  • drains
  • parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, sports grounds
  • camping grounds and caravan parks
  • food and meat inspection
  • noise and animal control
  • rubbish collection
  • local libraries, halls and community centres
  • certain child-care and aged-care issues
  • building permits
  • social planning
  • local environmental issues

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Part 1 - Australia and its people

» Australia's states and territories
» Important days for Australians
» Australia's flags and symbols

Part 2 - Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

» Our democratic beliefs
» Our freedoms
» Our equalities
» Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship
» Participating in Australian society

Part 3 - Government and the law in Australia

» How do I have my say?
» How did we establish our system of government?
» How is the power of government controlled?
» Who is Australia's Head of State?
» Who are some of Australia's leaders?
» How is Australia Governed?
» What do the three levels of government do?
» What role do political parties play in the way Australia is governed?
» How is the Australian Government formed?
» How are laws made?
» How are laws enforced?
» Criminal offences in Australia

Part 4 - Australian values

» Our values
» Our community

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