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New Provisions For the Australian Parliament

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a constitutional sovereign state consisting of the main island of Australia, Tasmania, and several small islands off the coast. It is the fourth-most populous country in the world and the sixth-most populous country by total area in Oceania. In the 2021 census, Australia had a population of around 21 million. This is despite the reality that many people of indigenous Australian descent have died in the process of trying to migrate to Australia.

The Australian Government has been in a ongoing effort to facilitate an orderly migration to Australia by implementing a series of legislative instruments. One of these instruments is the Migration Legislation Amendment Act 1995 (MCL). Among other things, the MCL empowers the Immigration Minister to arrange for the arrival of eligible non refugee and immigrant people on Australian soil. Partly, this Act is intended to ensure that the Federal Government obtains a correct proportion of permanent resident population as well as immigration profiles.

As noted, the MCL was revised in 1995 to accord more substantive than usual powers to the immigration minister with regard to the determination of the nationalities of people entering Australia. For example, it is now permitted the Minister to order the removal of any alien who is a national of another country if the applicant is a national of that country and is not in genuine fear of returning to that country. Furthermore, the Minister may also, by way of statutory instruments, provide for the removal of any alien who has become a national or permanent resident of another country and who is in genuine fear of returning to that country. These provisions are contained within the wide range of legislative instruments making up the Consolidated Laws Amendment Act 1995. Although not specifically referred to in the Constitution, they are affirmed by the judgements and declarations of the Federal Court.

These new provisions in the Australian Constitution reflect international conventions which have been implemented in the Australian laws to accord respect to the human dignity of every person irrespective of race, nationality, colour or religion. The federal government has been successful in securing its objectives through these legislative instruments. While the constitution clearly reflects the relationship between the legislature and the executive branch of government, there is some scope for improvement.

The creation and maintenance of a forum for consultation between the governments and other bodies in society has been made possible by the Official Gazette. This has been incorporated into the Code of Practice for the Conduct of Government Business and is available to all members of the House of Representatives and the Senate together with the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister. The role of the Governor in Australia has been expanded substantially through the passage of the former Constitution of Federation in a more consultative role. He is now responsible for the integrity of state institutions such as the boards of university and school boards, the accreditation of education institutions and regulation of professional occupational practices. He is also responsible for the formulation of government policies that are directed at the promotion of social and economic progress for all Australians.

There is no doubt that the Australian polity is working hand-in-hand with the political leaders of the world in pursuing its global aspirations. However, the Constitution of Australia has been amended in a way that grants greater freedom to the members of parliament to be elected for different portfolios rather than being limited to one. For instance, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate who wish to stand for election for portfolios in the lower house can now be chosen from a list of candidates provided by the prime minister. In essence this frees the prime minister from having to depend on the votes of a select group of members of the lower house for the continued participation in cabinet.

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