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, 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, or being a householder of the annual value of 10l., or having a leasehold of the annual value of 10l. It is provided also by the Electoral Act that no man shall be entitled to vote, who has been attainted, or convicted of treason, felony, or other infamous offence in any part of Her Majesty’s dominions, unless he has received a free pardon or one conditional on not leaving the colony for such offence, or has undergone the sentence passed on him for such offence. The members of the House of Assembly receive compensation for their service. The salary of the President of the Legislative Council is; 1,000l. per annum, and that of the Speaker of the House of Assembly 1,500l.
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