How Parliament works

What is Parliament?

The Parliament of Victoria represents you when making decisions for our state. Its main roles are to debate issues, pass laws and hold the government to account.

The three parts of Parliament

Legislative Assembly

an elected group of 88 members

Legislative Council

an elected group of 40 members

The King

represented by the Governor 


Members of the Victorian Parliament:

  • form a government from its members
  • represent the opinions of the people of Victoria in a public forum
  • debate, pass, amend and repeal laws
  • examine and approve government taxes and spending
  • hold the government to account for its policies and actions.


As a state parliament, the Parliament of Victoria is responsible for sectors such as:  

  • crime 
  • schools 
  • hospitals 
  • emergency services
  • water 
  • public transport and roads  
  • agriculture

Laws about national matters such as defence, immigration and foreign affairs are the responsibilities of the federal Parliament. Visit the federal Parliament website here.

Local matters such as building permits, waste management and pest control are the responsibility of your local council. Find contacts for your local council here. 

Differences between Parliament and government


Parliament of Victoria

Victorian Government 

Main roles 

To make laws 

To hold the government to account for its decisions 

To govern the state and set policy 

To administer and implement laws 


All members of Parliament and the Crown  

Premier and ministers  

How are members chosen?

Elected by the Victorian people. Each member represents a district (Lower House) or region (Upper House) of Victoria. 

Formed by the party, or coalition, that wins the majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly 


Where Parliament gets its power

The Constitution Act 1975 (known as Victoria’s Constitution) gives the Parliament of Victoria the power to make laws.

Learn more about the Constitution

How members of Parliament are chosen

General elections for the Parliament of Victoria are held every four years.

If a member cannot complete their term, they may be replaced by by-election or appointment. 

Learn more about elections

Who do I contact?

For information about Victorian laws or government services, contact the relevant government department.

If you want to discuss the needs of your local area or have an issue raised in Parliament, speak to your local member of Parliament.


Find departments Find your local members