The constitution of Victoria was established by an Act, passed by the Legislature of the colony, in 1854, to which the assent of the Crown was given, in pursuance of the power granted by the Act of the Imperial Parliament of 18 & 19 Vict. cap. 55. This charter vests the legislative authority in a parliament of two chambers, the Legislative Council, and the House of Assembly. The Council consists of thirty and the Assembly of seventy-eight members. The members of Council must be owners of freehold estates worth 500l. a year; and are required to be at least thirty years of age and British born subjects. Six members retire by rotation every two years, and new ones are elected by voters, possessed of a property qualification of 100l. a year. In the constituencies for the election of members of the Assembly, the franchise is obtained by a variety of petty qualifications. A vote is given to every man of the age of twenty-one years, being a natural born or naturalised subject, holding a freehold estate situate within his electoral district of the value of 100l., without encumbrance for at least six months before the date of the writ of election, or being a householder for six months within such district of the annual value of 10l., or holding a license to depasture lands within such district, or having a leasehold estate in possession within such district of the annual value of 10l. having not less than three years’ lease to run.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.