1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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The Commonwealth Government assumed control of both the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in 1911. The Northern Territory (since 1978) and the Australian Capital Territory (since 1989) are self-governing territories with powers almost matching those of the states.

The Northern Territory has been working towards full statehood, though a referendum on the question was rejected by Northern Territory voters in 1998. Norfolk Island was accepted into the Commonwealth as an Australian territory in 1914. The Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cwlth) grants a considerable degree of self-government to that territory. The Northern Territory and Norfolk Island both have an administrator of the territory, appointed by the Governor-General (table 4.6). The Administrator acts as a representative both of the Crown and of the Australian Government, as well as carrying out other duties according to the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1987 (Cwlth) and the Norfolk Island Act 1979 (Cwlth) respectively.

The Australian Capital Territory has neither administrator nor governor.

Northern TerritoryThe Hon. Sally Thomas
Norfolk IslandThe Hon. Owen Walsh

Source: Library of the Commonwealth Parliament.

Each territory has an elected Legislative Assembly, with a wide range of powers, with a government headed by a chief minister (table 4.7). The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have a formally recognised opposition. Norfolk Island’s Legislative Assembly does not possess a formal opposition.

4.7 CHIEF MINISTERS—March 2012
Northern TerritoryThe Hon. Paul Henderson MLA (ALP)
Australian Capital TerritoryThe Hon. Katy Gallagher MLA (ALP)
Norfolk IslandThe Hon. David E. Buffett MLA

Source: Library of the Commonwealth Parliament.

Jervis Bay Territory, and the external territories of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Coral Sea Islands, and Ashmore and Cartier Islands, make up the non-self governing territories of Australia.

The resident communities of Jervis Bay Territory, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island are provided with an extensive range of government services. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island both have an elected local government, and residents may vote in Commonwealth parliamentary elections in the electorate of Lingiari (Northern Territory). Residents of Jervis Bay Territory are enrolled in the Commonwealth electorate of Fraser (Australian Capital Territory).

Australia's activities in its Antarctic Territory are governed by the Antarctic Treaty (1959) (see the article Australia and Antarctica, in Year Book Australia 2007). Under this agreement, the nations active in Antarctica consult on the uses of the continent, with a commitment that it should not become 'the scene or object of international discord'.


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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.