"How much power does the government have over us?"

Thanks for your question. If you're asking about the power of Australian Government over the individual Australian citizen, there are a number of ways this can be explored. As a starting point, the government has certain powers, and the individual has certain rights and responsibilities.

The rights and responsibilities of an individual can be interpreted in many ways. Sometimes these are defined by Australian and international law, sometimes they are not. The main organisation that deals with human rights in Australia is the Australian Human Rights Commission – this might be a good place to start your research.

If you want to know about responsibilities and Australian citizenship, take a look at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's webpage: Learn About Citizenship.

In terms of the government's power, sections 51 and 52 of the Australian Constitution describe the law-making powers of the federal Parliament.

These sections list many areas over which the federal Parliament has legislative power. These include trade and commerce, taxation, currency, marriage, communication services and immigration.

You might also find this Closer Look on making laws helpful.

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