Report on Interest Groups
Thursday, 2nd May 2013
In 1901, Australia first formed what is now one of the oldest continuous democracies in the world (Commonwealth of Australia). When the six British Colonies, which we now recognised as the six states of Australia, agreed to federate and become the Commonwealth of Australia now known as the Australian Government (Government, Australia, 2008). These six colonies adopted a very similar government structure as Britain, which is known as a constitutional monarchy. Although Australia is an independent parliamentary democracy, Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom is also known as the Queen of Australia, and her appointed representative in Australia is the Governor General. As part of Federation, powers were divided between the Federal Government and the six State governments, with the Federal Government being responsible for legislating of areas such as taxation, defence, foreign affairs and communications. Whilst the State controlled areas such as police, hospitals, education and public transport. This newly formed democracy had all the power in the early days, and legislation and decision were made without any or little consultation with the general community. If people where happy with the government’s decision then they just had to accept it. As the years have gone on, so has the public’s influence in regarding to the decisions made by the government. This has come about from the introduction of groups of people wanting a change known as Interest Groups.
An interest group can also be known as an advocacy group, lobbying group, pressure group, or special interest and as a group are determined to encourage, influence or prevent changes in public policy without trying to be elected (Debbie Twyman, 2009). Interest Groups in Australia play a pivotal role in the political process (Van Acker, 2013). These groups do not have any desire of becoming apart of the government but...