Governments are groups of people given responsibility for looking after various aspects of our lives and community. Governments are formed through fair and democratic elections. Voters choose which person they wish to represent them at all levels. Voting is compulsory for people over the age of 18.
Levels of government
In Australia, there are three levels of government:
The Federal Government looks after the whole of Australia. Their responsibilities include defence, telecommunications, postal services and immigration.
State Governments look after individual states and territories. Victoria’s state government looks after services such as education, health, water supply, police and transport.
Local Governments (such as the City of Greater Dandenong), look after specific areas within each state. Each local government area varies in size and population. These organisations, known as Councils, look after services such as waste, leisure centres, parks and gardens, pet registrations and more.
In local government, an independent group of people called Councillors work with and for their local community to make decisions on how the local area is managed and how resources are used. The community votes for the councillors to represent them at elections, which are held every four years.
Every year, one Greater Dandenong councillor is voted by the others to become mayor for the next 12 months.