"Why do we have a parliament?"

Having a parliament is important and necessary because it is the place where decisions that shape the nation are made.

The name ‘parliament’ comes from the French word parler meaning ‘to talk or speak’ so it is a place for representatives to assemble and discuss issues affecting the nation.

Australians choose representatives by voting at federal elections, usually held every three years, to speak for them in parliament.

The Australian Parliament has 4 main roles:

The elected government is held to account for its policies, actions and spending through debates, question time, committees of inquiry and Senate estimates.

This fact sheet will tell you more about the structure and key functions of the Australian Parliament.

diagram to help explain Why do we have a parliament?