Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) are a group of Islands located in the Indian Ocean south of Africa. The islands are an external territory of Australia. Australia took over the governing of Heard Island from the United Kingdom on December 26, 1947. The territory is governed by the Australian Antarctic Division which falls under the Australian Department of the Environment. The government can be described as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Australia is a member of the Commonwealth realm.

There are no elections carried out in the islands as they have no permanent residents. The Australian parliament is made up of the Queen, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Governor-General in Australia is nominated by the Queen as per the prime minister's recommendation and represents the Queen in Australia. The members of the Senate/Upper House are elected, and they represent the six states in Australia and the two self-governing territories. Members of the House of Representatives/Lower House are also elected from the different constituencies. Elections are carried out every three years, and the members of the House of Representatives and half of the Senate usually dissolves to run for re-election. The whole cabinet can be dissolved at times. Heard Island and McDonald Islands do not send representatives to the Senate as they do not have permanent residents.

The official location of the Australian Antarctic Division is in Hobart, Tasmania. There is no physical house of parliament or presidential residence in the islands. As the islands are governed by Australia, the parliament house in Australia is situated in Australia’s capital city which is Canberra. Michell/Giurgola and Thorp Architects designed the building, which was opened on May 9, 1988. The parliament house has 4,700 rooms with several areas being open to the public. The queen resides in Buckingham Palace in London and represented in Australia by the Governor-General.

There are no political parties in the territory. Australia has two dominant political parties, the Liberal/National Party and the Australian Labor Party. Some of the parties represented in parliament include the Australian Greens, The Australian Labor Party, Nick Xenophon Team, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Liberal Democratic Party, Australian Conservatives, The Coalition, and several other parties.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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