The states and mainland territories of the Commonwealth of Australia combine to make up the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Australia comprises six states and various territories; the Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories (including small, somewhat anomalous Jervis Bay Territory), with the sixth state being located on the island of Tasmania to the south of the mainland. In addition, there are six island territories, known as external territories. Australia also claims part of Antarctica as the Australian Antarctic Territory.
All states and two of the three internal territories have their own parliaments and administer themselves; all remaining territories are administered by the federal government, but with Norfolk Island having some degree of self-government.
States and Territories Edit
|Flag||State/Territory name||Abbrev||ISO||Postal||Type||Capital (or largest settlement)||Population||Area (km²)|
|Ashmore and Cartier Islands||External||0||199|
|Australian Antarctic Territory||External||(Mawson Station)||1,000||5,896,500|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT||AU-ACT||ACT||Territory||Canberra||373,100||2,358|
|Christmas Island||CX||External||Flying Fish Cove||2,072||135|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||CC||External||West Island||596||14|
|Coral Sea Islands||External||(Willis Island)||4||10|
|Heard Island and McDonald Islands||HM||External||(Atlas Cove)||0||372|
|Jervis Bay Territory||JBT||Territory||(Jervis Bay Village)||377||70|
|New South Wales||NSW||AU-NSW||NSW||State||Sydney||7,272,800||800,642|
See also: List of State Codes
Australia has had three now-defunct territories in its history:
- From 1926 to 1931, the Northern Territory was divided into Central Australia and North Australia, with the border at the 20th parallel of latitude. Both territories were reincorporated as the Northern Territory at the end of this period.
- From 1949 to 1975, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea was a territory of Australia, remaining so until the independence of the country of Papua New Guinea.
Background and overviewEdit
The states originated as separate British colonies prior to Federation (in 1901). The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland, as well as Lord Howe Island, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and Van Diemen's Land, in addition to the area currently referred to as the state of New South Wales. During the 19th century, large areas were successively separated to form the colonies of Tasmania (established as a separate colony named Van Diemen's Land in 1825), South Australia (1836), New Zealand (1840), Victoria (1851) and Queensland (1859). The Swan River Colony (present-day city of Perth) was established in Western Australia in 1829. On Federation, the six colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania became original states of the new Commonwealth of Australia.
Legislative powers of the States are protected by the Australian constitution, and under the principle of federalism Commonwealth legislation only applies to the states where permitted by the constitution. The territories, by contrast, are from a constitutional perspective directly subject to the Commonwealth government. The Australian Parliament has powers to legislate in the territories that it does not possess in the states.
Most of the territories are directly administered by the Commonwealth Government, while three (the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Norfolk Island) have some degree of self-government. In the self-governing territories, the Australian Parliament retains the full power to legislate, and can override laws made by the territorial institutions, which it has done on rare occasions. For the purposes of Australian (and joint Australia-New Zealand) intergovernmental bodies, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are treated as states.
Furthermore, the distribution of powers between the Commonwealth and the territories is different from that between the Commonwealth and the states. In the Northern Territory, the Commonwealth retains the power to directly administer uranium mining and Aboriginal lands – powers which it does not possess with respect to the states.
Each state has a Governor, appointed by the Queen, which by convention she does on the advice of the state Premier. The Administrators of the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island are, by contrast, appointed by the Governor-General. The Australian Capital Territory has neither a Governor nor an Administrator, but the Governor-General exercises some powers that in other jurisdictions are exercised by the Governor of a state or Administrator of a territory, such as the power to dissolve the Legislative Assembly.
Jervis Bay Territory is unique in being the only non-self-governing internal territory. Until 1989, it was administered as if it were a part of the ACT, although it has always been a separate territory. Under the terms of the Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act, the laws of the ACT apply to the Jervis Bay Territory insofar as they are applicable and providing they are not inconsistent with an Ordinance. Although residents of the Jervis Bay Territory are generally subject to laws made by the ACT Legislative Assembly, they are not represented in the Assembly. They are represented in the Parliament of Australia as part of the Electoral Division of Fraser in the ACT and by the ACT's two Senators. In other respects, the territory is administered directly by the Federal Government through the Territories portfolio.
Each state has a bicameral parliament except Queensland, which abolished its upper house in 1922. The lower house is called the Legislative Assembly, except in South Australia and Tasmania, where it is called the House of Assembly. Tasmania is the only state to use proportional representation for elections to its lower house; all others elect members from single member constituencies, using preferential voting. The upper house is called the Legislative Council and is generally elected from multi-member constituencies using proportional representation. The three self-governing territories, the ACT, the Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island, have unicameral Legislative Assemblies.
The head of government of each state is called the Premier, appointed by the state's Governor. In normal circumstances, the Governor will appoint as Premier whoever leads the party or coalition which exercises control of the lower house (in the case of Queensland, the only house) of the state Parliament. However, in times of constitutional crisis, the Governor can appoint someone else as Premier. The head of government of the self-governing internal territories is called the Chief Minister. The Northern Territory's Chief Minister, in normal circumstances whoever controls the Legislative Assembly, is appointed by the Administrator.
|Entity||State/Territory type||Tie to the Queen||Domestic administrator||Head of Government||Upper House of Parliament||Lower House of Parliament||Member of Parliament|
|Upper house||Lower house[note 1]|
|Commonwealth of Australia||Federal government||Direct||Governor-General||Prime Minister||Senate||House of Representatives||Senator||MP|
|South Australia||Federated state||Direct (established by Australia Act)||Governor||Premier||Legislative Council||House of Assembly||MLC||MHA|
|New South Wales||Legislative Assembly||MLA|
|Queensland||N/A (abolished 1922)||N/A||MP|
|Australian Capital Territory||Self-governing territory||None||Assembly and Chief Minister||Chief Minister||N/A||MLA|
|Northern Territory||Indirect (through Governor-General)||Administrator|
|Norfolk Island||External self-governing territory|
|Christmas Island||External territory||Mayor/Shire President||Shire Council||Councillor|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands|
| Note: |
Governors and Administrators of states and territoriesEdit
|Governor of New South Wales||Her Excellency Marie Bashir||1 March 2001|
|Governor of Queensland||His Excellency Paul de Jersey||29 July 2014|
|Governor of South Australia||His Excellency Hieu Van Le||1 September 2014|
|Governor of Tasmania||vacant|
|Governor of Victoria||His Excellency Alex Chernov||8 April 2011|
|Governor of Western Australia||vacant|
|Administrator of the Northern Territory||Her Honour Sally Thomas||31 October 2011|
|Administrator of Norfolk Island||His Honour Neil Pope||1 April 2012|
| Administrator of Australian Indian Ocean Territories|
(Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands)
|His Honour Jon Stanhope||5 October 2012|
Premiers and Chief Ministers of states and territoriesEdit
|Premier of New South Wales||Mike Baird MP||Liberal||April 2014|
|Premier of Queensland||Campbell Newman MP||Liberal National||March 2012|
|Premier of South Australia||Jay Weatherill MHA||Labor||October 2011|
|Premier of Tasmania||Will Hodgman MP||Liberal||March 2014|
|Premier of Victoria||Denis Napthine MLA||Liberal||March 2013|
|Premier of Western Australia||Colin Barnett MLA||Liberal||September 2008|
|Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory||Katy Gallagher MLA||Labor||May 2011|
|Chief Minister of the Northern Territory||Adam Giles MLA||Country Liberal||March 2013|
|Chief Minister of Norfolk Island||Lisle Snell MLA||March 2013|
| Mayor of Australian Indian Ocean Territories|
(Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands)
|Councillor Balmut Pirus||March 2013|
State and territorial parliamentsEdit
- Parliament of New South Wales
- Parliament of Queensland
- Parliament of South Australia
- Parliament of Tasmania
- Parliament of Victoria
- Parliament of Western Australia
- Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
- Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly
- Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly
State and territory supreme courtsEdit
- Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory
- Supreme Court of New South Wales
- Supreme Court of the Northern Territory
- Supreme Court of Queensland
- Supreme Court of South Australia
- Supreme Court of Tasmania
- Supreme Court of Victoria
- Supreme Court of Western Australia
- Supreme Court of Norfolk Island
State and territory police forcesEdit
- Australian Capital Territory Police (performed by Australian Federal Police)
- New South Wales Police
- Northern Territory Police
- Queensland Police
- South Australia Police
- Tasmania Police
- Victoria Police
- Western Australia Police
State and territory bordersEdit
- Australian Capital Territory borders
- New South Wales borders
- Northern Territory borders
- Queensland borders
- South Australian borders
- Tasmanian borders
- Victorian borders
- Western Australian borders
|State / Territory||Land area|| Population|
|Population density|| % of population|
|km2||sq mi||Number||/km2||/sq mi||%|
|Australian Capital Territory||2,358.0||910.4||8th||357,222||7th||137.53||356.2||1st||99.6%||1st|
|New South Wales||801,321.7||309,392.0||5th||6,917,658||1st||8.44||21.9||3rd||63.0%||5th|
Distance in kilometres from the corresponding city on the X-Y axis.
State and territory codesEdit
|State/Territory||Abbrev.||Call signs||Postal||Telephone numbers in Australia||Time zone|
|Australian Capital Territory||ACT||1xx(x)[nb 1]||xx(x)Cn[nb 1]||VK1xx[nb 1]||ACT||02nn,[nb 2] 26nn, 29nn|| +61 2 62xx xxxx|
+61 2 61xx xxxx
|New South Wales||NSW||2xx(x)||xx(x)Nn||VK2xx||NSW||1nnn,[nb 2] 2nnn||+61 2 xxxx xxxx[nb 3]||+10 (+91⁄2)||+11|
|Victoria||Vic||3xx(x)||xx(x)Vn||VK3xx||VIC||3nnn, 8nnn[nb 2]||+61 3 xxxx xxxx[nb 3]||+10||+11|
|Queensland||Qld||4xx(x)||xx(x)Qn||VK4xx||QLD||4nnn, 9nnn[nb 2]||+61 7 xxxx xxxx||+10|
|South Australia||SA||5xx(x)||xx(x)Sn||VK5xx||SA||5nnn|| +61 8 8xxx xxxx|
+61 8 7xxx xxxx
|Western Australia||WA||6xx(x)||xx(x)Wn||VK6xx||WA||6nnn|| +61 8 9xxx xxxx|
+61 8 6xxx xxxx
|Tasmania||Tas||7xx(x)||xx(x)Tn||VK7xx||TAS||7nnn||+61 3 6xxx xxxx||+10||+11|
|Northern Territory||NT||8xx(x)||xx(x)Dn||VK8xx||NT||08nn||+61 8 89xx xxxx||+91⁄2|
|Norfolk Island||2xx(x)||xx(x)Nn||VK2xx||NSW||2899||+672 3 xx xxx||+111⁄2|
|Christmas Island||6xx(x)||xx(x)Wn||VK9xx||WA||6798||+61 8 9164 xxxx||+7|
|Cocos Island||6xx(x)||xx(x)Wn||VK9xx||WA||6799||+61 8 9162 xxxx||+61⁄2|
|Australian Antarctic Territory||none||VK0xx||TAS||+672 1||+6 to +8|
- ISO 3166-2:AU, the ISO codes for the states and territories of Australia.
- Australian regional rivalries
- List of Australian demonyms
- List of regions in Australia
- List of place names of Dutch origin
- List of proposed states of Australia
References and notesEdit
- ^ References and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
- ^ ISO 3166-2:AU (ISO 3166-2 codes for the states and territories of Australia)
- ^ A.H. McLintock (ed), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand", 3 vols, Wellington, NZ:R.E. Owen, Government Printer, 1966, vol 3 p. 526.'
- ^ "Jervis Bay Territory Governance and Administration". Although the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the Australian Capital Territory, the laws of the ACT apply, insofar as they are applicable and, providing they are not inconsistent with an Ordinance, in the Territory by virtue of the "Jervis Bay Acceptance Act 1915". The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. http://www.regional.gov.au/territories/jervis_bay/governanceadministration.aspx. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
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