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Glossary

F

federal
Relating to the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Government, rather than state/territory parliaments and state/territory governments.
federal election
The process by which eligible citizens vote for people to represent them in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Federal Executive Council
The council of ministers including the Governor-General which can make secondary legislation, and discusses government policies and actions, in accordance with the Australian Constitution.
federal Parliament
(see Australian Parliament)
federal government
(see Australian Government)
federalism
A system of governance in which powers and responsibilities are divided between a federal government and state governments.
federation
A nation formed by the union of a number of states which give up some of their powers and responsibilities to a central government.
Federation Chamber
The second chamber of the House of Representatives, used to conduct routine business referred by the House, including long debates.
filibuster
To use long speeches or other tactics to deliberately delay a parliamentary decision or vote.
first reading
The first stage of a bill’s passage through the Parliament, in which the bill is introduced and the title of the bill is read for the first time.
first speech (formerly maiden speech)
The first speech in the chamber by a newly-elected member of parliament, during which they talk about what is important to them and what they hope to achieve in Parliament.
free vote
A vote (sometimes called a conscience vote) in which members of parliament are not obliged to vote with their party; instead, they can vote according to their own beliefs.
frontbencher
A member of parliament who is a minister or a shadow minister.

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