Local Government of Australia
Ministry: Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
Association: Australian Local Government Association
The Commonwealth of Australia is a Federation with six states and two territories. Areas of authority of the federal government are defined in the constitution as defence, foreign policy, immigration, customs and excise, and the post office. Other powers (justice, education, health and internal transport) are the responsibility of the state governments. During the World War II, a temporary arrangement was made whereby the federal government would collect income tax and refund the states using an agreed formula. This arrangement became permanent, leaving the states financially dependent on the federal government.