On the chance that you were wondering how the different levels of government in Australia worked, in the 19th century all the states we now know as Australia (and for a second there, almost Fiji and New Zealand) agreed to federate, but all the states would keep their governments.

They agreed to give these powers to the new federal government though, as you can read in section 51 of the Constitution. Local governments are different again, each state’s Local Government Act determines what the councils can do.

So that’s the weird thing about Australia. The Prime Minister parades around like he’s Kingpin but he’s basically working for the states on a little to-do list put together 120 years ago.

Every now and then the PM has a nuanced little opportunity to flex some muscle with money, but basically the state Premiers are the real MVPs.

In hindsight it’s quite the odd system. If you were starting fresh today you’d probably design a country very differently.

Josh Withers @joshua