Three tiers of government in Australia — municipal, state and federal — guide Melbourne's destiny. The city has always been part of larger political entities with administrative authority divided and shared across the metropolitan region and beyond. Voters elect municipal, State and Commonwealth representatives. From the earliest times Melbourne has been a centre of politics and political organisation. As the capital of first the colony and, from 1901, the state of Victoria, Melbourne was an important centre of government and home to both the Victorian and, from 1901 to 1927, the Federal parliaments.