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Accountability or representation? Victorian bicameralism

Government accountability Election districts Upper houses Australia Victoria

This paper was presented as a lecture in the Department of the Senate Occasional Lecture Series at Parliament House.

On 27 March the Victorian parliament passed legislation significantly reforming the upper house. Among other things, the Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Bill 2003 reconstituted the Council to consist of 40 members elected from eight regions with each region returning five members; provided for proportional representation with optional preferential voting for members of the Council; provide for the filling of casual vacancies in the Council; and removed the ability of the Council to block supply bills. In this paper Brian Costar outlines the background to the reforms and examines their likely impact.

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