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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12920

Mr Latham asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 12 October 1999:

(1) On what dates was the Australia Act approved by the Parliaments concerned.

(2) Is the Attorney-General able to say which Governors of Australian States have been appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Premiers of those States.

Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Australia Act 1986 was passed by the Commonwealth Parliament on 2_December 1985, assented to on 4_December 1985 and came into operation on 3 March 1986 at 5 am Greenwich Mean Time. The Australia Act 1986 of the United Kingdom Parliament came into force at the same time. The United Kingdom Act was enacted pursuant to a request made and consent given by the Parliament and Government of the Commonwealth in the Australia (Request and Consent) Act 1985, which came into force on 4 December 1985, and with the concurrence of all the States of Australia made by the Australia Acts (Request) Act 1985 of each State. The State Acts were passed during September-October 1985.

(2) Subsection 7(1) of the Australia Act (Commonwealth and United Kingdom) provides that Her Majesty's representative in each State shall be the Governor and subsection 7(5) provides that advice to Her Majesty in relation to the exercise of the powers and functions of Her Majesty in respect of a State shall be tendered by the Premier of the State. Section 10 of the Australia Act provides that, after the commencement of the Act, the Government of the United Kingdom has no responsibility for the government of any State. All State governors appointed by the Queen from the time the Australia Act came into force on 3 March 1986 have been appointed on the advice of State Premiers. Prior to that, from the late 1940s, State governors were chosen by State governments, but the appointment was formally recommended to the Queen by the British Secretary for Dominion, and later Commonwealth, Affairs.