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Parliament of South Australia facts for kids

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Parliament of South Australia
53rd Parliament
Coat of arms or logo
Houses House of Assembly
Legislative Council
Elizabeth II
Since 6 February 1952
Hieu Van Le
Since 1 September 2014
Speaker of the House of Assembly
Michael Atkinson, Labor
Since 5 February 2013
President of the Legislative Council
Russell Wortley, Labor
Since 6 May 2014
Seats 69
47 MHA
22 MLC
SA House of Assembly Diagram.svg
House of Assembly political groups
     Labor (24)

     Liberal (21)

     Independent (2)
SA Legislative Council 2017.svg
Legislative Council political groups
     Labor (8)

     Liberal (8)

     Greens (2)
     Family First (2)
     Xenophon (1)
     Dignity (1)
House of Assembly voting system
Instant-runoff Vote
Legislative Council voting system
Single Transferable Vote
Last general election
15 March 2014
Next general election
17 March 2018
Meeting place
Adelaide parliament house.JPG
Parliament House,
Adelaide, South Australia,
Parliament House
Historical ballot boxes for South Australia
Recreated lower and upper house booths, history, and voting procedures
SA Parliament Opening
SA Parliament Opening

The Parliament of South Australia at Parliament House, Adelaide is the bicameral legislature of the Australian state of South Australia. It consists of the 47-seat House of Assembly (lower house) and the 22-seat Legislative Council (upper house). All of the lower house and half of the upper house is filled at each election. It follows a Westminster system of parliamentary government. The fourth-term South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party has been in government since the 2002 election.

The Queen is represented in the State by the Governor of South Australia. According to the South Australian Constitution, unlike the Federal Parliament, and the parliaments of the other states and territories of Australia, neither the Sovereign or the Governor is considered to be a part of the South Australian Parliament. However, the same role and powers are granted to them.

The 47-seat lower house consists of 24 Labor, 21 Liberal and 2 independents, Geoff Brock and Martin Hamilton-Smith. Following the 2014 election, the lower house consisted of 23 Labor, 22 Liberal and 2 independents, Geoff Brock and Bob Such. Hamilton-Smith became an independent shortly after the election, reducing the Liberals to 21 seats. Both Hamilton-Smith and fellow independent Geoff Brock are in cabinet and provide confidence and supply while retaining the right to vote on conscience. Labor went from minority to majority government when Nat Cook won the 2014 Fisher by-election which was triggered by the death of Bob Such. Despite this, the Jay Weatherill Labor government kept crossbench MPs Brock and Hamilton-Smith in cabinet, giving the government a 26 to 21 parliamentary majority.

The 22-seat upper house consists of eight Labor, eight Liberal, two Greens, two Family First, one Dignity for Disability and one Nick Xenophon Team MLCs.


The Parliament of South Australia began in 1857, when the colony was granted self-government. Women gained the right to vote and stand for election in 1895, taking effect at the 1896 election.

South Australia became a state of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 following a vote to Federate with the other British colonies of Australia. While smaller than the Eastern states, South Australia has often been at the vanguard of political and social change in Australia.

House of Assembly

The House of Assembly (or "lower house") is made up of 47 members who are each elected by the full-preference instant-runoff voting system in single-member electorates. Each of the 47 electoral districts (electorates) contains approximately the same number of voters, and boundaries are redistributed after each election by the Electoral Commission of South Australia, an independent body.

Government is formed in the House of Assembly by the leader of the party or coalition who can demonstrate they have the support of the majority of the House, and is called upon by the Governor to form government. The leader of the government becomes the Premier.

While South Australia's total population is 1.7 million, Adelaide's population is 1.3 million − uniquely, over 75 percent of the state's population resides in the metropolitan area and has 72 percent of seats (34 of 47) alongside a lack of comparatively-sized rural population centres, therefore the metropolitan area tends to decide election outcomes. At the 2014 election for example, although the state-wide two-party vote (2PP) was 47.0% Labor v 53.0% Liberal, the metropolitan area recorded a 2PP of 51.5% Labor v 48.5% Liberal.


The seat of the Parliament of South Australia is Parliament House in the state capital of Adelaide. Parliament House sits on the North-Western corner of the intersection of King William Street and North Terrace.

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