II. Scan the text and decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F):
1. The Australian system of government has its beginnings in two great democratic traditions. Following Irish settlement in 1788, the Irish model was used as the basis of government in the six separate colonies established across the continent in the 19th century.
2. The British tradition is expressed through a written constitution defining the powers of the national government.
3. Like the United States and Britain, Australia has a written constitution. The Australian Constitution defines the responsibilities of the federal government, which include foreign relations, trade, defence and immigration.
4. The Australian Constitution can be amended only with the approval of the electorate through a national referendum in which all adults on the electoral roll must participate.
5. The Australian Constitution sets out the powers of government in three separate chapters—the legislature, the executive and the judiciary—but insists that members of the judiciary must also be members of the executive.
6. A national general election must be held within three years of the first meeting of a new federal parliament. The average life of parliaments is about two-and-a-half years. In practice, general elections are held when the Governor-General agrees to a request from the Prime Minister, who selects the date of the election.
7. For all citizens over the age of 21 it is compulsory to vote in the election of both federal and state governments, and failure to do so may result in a fine or prosecution.
8. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) is a forum to initiate, develop and implement national policy reforms requiring cooperative action between the three levels of government: national, state or territory, and local.
9.The form of government at the national level corresponds largely with the American democratic tradition. The federal legislature consists of a House of Representatives and a Senate.
10. Each Minister of State is responsible to the Queen for the operation of a department, in some cases jointly with other ministers.
11. Australia is one of the few countries to adopt compulsory voting at the national and state level and to have a permanent electoral commission charged with overseeing fair elections and regular redistribution of the boundaries of electorates for the House of Representatives.
12. State governments have basically similar institutions to their federal counterpart. Each has its own Mayor with powers similar to those of the Mayor-General, also exercised on the advice of the Government.
13. There are six Australian territories outside the borders of the states. Two mainland territories, The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and The Northern Territory (NT) and one offshore territory, Norfolk Island, have been granted a limited right of self-government by the Australian Government.
14. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force branch of the ADF. The RAAF has modern combat and transport aircraft and a network of bases in strategic locations across Australia.
15. A high percentage of ADF personnel are drawn from the Aboriginal portion of Australia's population. In 2007 the proportion of ADF personnel born in Australia and the other predominately Anglo-Celtic countries was higher than this population group's share of both the Australian workforce and overall population.
III. Read this short text about the role of the Queen. Choose the phrase from A to K to fill in the gaps. There is one phrase that you won’t need to use:
Australia is 1 _____ . A monarchy is a country where the position of 2 _____is inherited. A constitutional monarchy is one where the powers of the monarch or sovereign—the King or Queen— 3 _____ , and generally exercised only according to the advice of an elected government.
The head of state is a formal, 4 _____ , as opposed to the position of head of government, which has the administrative power to govern the country. In some systems of government the head of state and head of government are the same person—for example, in the United States the President 5 _____ .
Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth is also Queen of the United Kingdom and several other countries which 6 _____ the former British Empire. The Queen’s role as Queen of Australia is quite separate from her role as Queen of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom Government 7 _____ in the Queen’s role as Queen of Australia.
In Australia the powers of the Queen 8 _____ by the Australian Constitution to her representative in Australia, the Governor-General. That is, while Australia’s head of state is the Queen, 9 _____ are performed by the Governor-General. The Queen’s only necessary constitutional function is to appoint the Governor-General, and in doing this the Queen acts as advised by the Australian Prime Minister. The Constitution gives the Queen 10 _____ an Australian Act of Parliament, but this has never been done and it is extremely unlikely that it would ever be done.