Under the Constitution Act 1902 (NSW) (the Constitution Act) the Premier and Ministers are appointed by the Governor. The Premier identifies and allocates the ministerial portfolios and recommends to the governor that the selected people be appointed.
Ministers decide on policy and are accountable to the Parliament for their decisions. One convention of the Westminster system is ministerial responsibility, whereby Ministers administer and bear responsibility for the actions of an agency within their control.
Ministers’ parliamentary duties include:
- answering questions from other members of parliament during question time in the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council
- responding to questions on notice from other members of parliament
- the passage of bills for which they are responsible through their house of the parliament
- appearing at budget estimates inquiries.
- providing government responses to recommendations of committee inquiries.
The Premier may appoint a Minister to help them or other Ministers carry out their responsibilities. This assistance may include receiving deputations, attending meetings and functions, and handling correspondence. The Governor commissions these appointments. All appointments to or changes to the ministry are published in the NSW Government Gazette on the day of approval.