Jervis Bay Territory

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Jervis Bay Territory
ACT-Jervis Bay-MJC.png
Location of the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory
Australia location map.svg
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Jervis Bay Territory
Coordinates 35°8′55″S150°42′49″E / 35.14861°S 150.71361°E / -35.14861; 150.71361 Coordinates: 35°8′55″S150°42′49″E / 35.14861°S 150.71361°E / -35.14861; 150.71361
Population391 (2016 census) [1]
 • Density5.6/km2 (15/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2540
Area67.8 km2 (26.2 sq mi) [2]
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
Federal Division(s) Fenner [3]
Mean max temp [4] Mean min temp [4] Annual rainfall [4]
20.6 °C
69 °F
14.2 °C
58 °F
1,165.6 mm
45.9 in

The Jervis Bay Territory ( /ˈɑːrvɪs/ or /ˈɜːrvəs/ ) [5] [6] is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 [7] [8] so that the Australian Capital Territory would have access to the sea. [9]

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australian Capital Territory Federal territory of Australia, containing the capital city, Canberra

The Australian Capital Territory, formerly known as the Federal Capital Territory until 1938 and commonly referred to as the ACT, is a federal territory of Australia containing the Australian capital city of Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in the south-east of the country and is an enclave within the state of New South Wales. Founded after federation as the seat of government for the new nation, all important institutions of the Australian federal government are centred in the Territory.


It was administered by the Department of the Interior (and later by the Department of the Capital Territory) as if it were part of the Australian Capital Territory, although it has always been a separate Commonwealth territory. The perception that it is part of the ACT stems from the fact that under the terms of the Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act, the laws of the ACT apply to the Jervis Bay Territory. [10] In 1989, when the ACT achieved self-government, the Department of The Arts, Sport, The Environment, Tourism and Territories took over responsibility for the JBT's administration, and it has since been administered by various Commonwealth Departments responsible to the Minister for Territories.

Self-governance, self-government, or autonomy is an abstract concept that applies to several scales of organization.


Jervis Bay has a long history of Indigenous Australian settlement. [11] Booderee, the name of the national park that covers the majority of the Jervis Bay Territory, means ‘bay of plenty’ or ‘plenty of fish’ in the local Aboriginal language. [12] The Yuin people have a strong and continuing connection to the Jervis Bay area. It was decided in December 2016 to apply for Native Title, to recognise the long and ongoing connection. [13]

The bay was sighted by Lieutenant James Cook aboard HMS Endeavour on 25 April 1770 (two days after Saint George's Day) and he named the southern headland Cape St George. [14] [15]

James Cook 18th-century British explorer

Captain James Cook was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

HMS <i>Endeavour</i> 18th-century Royal Navy research vessel

HMS Endeavour, also known as HM Bark Endeavour, was a British Royal Navy research vessel that Lieutenant James Cook commanded to Australia and New Zealand on his first voyage of discovery from 1768 to 1771.

Saint Georges Day Feast day of Saint George (for general use)

Saint George's Day, also known as the Feast of Saint George, is the feast day of Saint George as celebrated by various Christian Churches and by the several nations, kingdoms, countries, and cities of which Saint George is the patron saint including England, and regions of Portugal and Spain.

In August 1791 the bay was entered and named by Lieutenant Richard Bowen aboard the convict transport ship Atlantic of the Third Fleet in honour of Admiral John Jervis, under whom he had served. [14] [15] In November 1791 Master Matthew Weatherhead aboard the Matilda entered the bay to undertake repairs. [15]

Richard Bowen (Royal Navy) British Royal Navy officer

Richard Bowen was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars. Bowen saw service with Horatio Nelson, and was killed fighting alongside him at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Atlantic was launched in 1783. She made one voyage from England to Australia in 1791 carrying convicts. Later, she made one voyage for the East India Company (EIC). Subsequently she sailed to Smyrna, Surinam, and Gibraltar, before she disappeared from records in 1810.

The Third Fleet comprised 11 ships that set sail from the United Kingdom in February, March and April 1791, bound for the Sydney penal settlement, with more than 2,000 convicts aboard. The passengers comprised convicts, military personnel and notable people sent to fill high positions in the colony. More important for the fledgling colony was that the ships also carried provisions.

Survivors of the Sydney Cove shipwreck in 1797 reached the area by foot, heading to Port Jackson. [15] [16]

<i>Sydney Cove</i> (1796 ship)

Sydney Cove was the Bengal country ship Begum Shaw that new owners purchased in 1796 to carry goods to Sydney Cove, and renamed for her destination. She was wrecked in 1797 on Preservation Island off Tasmania while on her way from Calcutta to Port Jackson. She was among the first ships wrecked on the east coast of Australia.

Port Jackson Part of Sydney Harbour, Australia

Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea. It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.

Explorer George Bass entered the bay on 10 December 1797. He named Bowen Island. [15]

John Oxley, an English explorer and surveyor, travelled from Sydney by sea to explore the bay in 1819. [15]

At the time of federation, to allay fears that it would have too much influence in the federal government, New South Wales had agreed to surrender territory for the Australian Capital Territory and to allow it access to the sea. Jervis Bay was selected to be that federal port. The crown land in the area was granted by New South Wales to the Commonwealth in 1909 at the same time that the ACT was surrendered to the Commonwealth. [17] In 1915 the jurisdiction over the Jervis Bay Territory was also surrendered to the Commonwealth. [18] NSW also granted to Commonwealth permission to build a rail corridor linking the two territories but this was never implemented.

At the 2016 census, 391 people lived in the territory, the majority working and living at the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base, HMAS Creswell. [1]

The area of land and water owned by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council in the JBT is approximately 68 km2 (26 sq mi), which is about 90% of the land. The remaining land in the JBT is managed by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. [19] There is an Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay in the Booderee National Park.

Vincentia is the nearest town, roughly 3 km (2 mi) north of the border.


Jervis Bay Territory is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. However, it is counted as part of the ACT for the purpose of the ACT's representation in the Senate; and it forms part of the Division of Fenner for House of Representatives purposes.

For most purposes, the territory is governed under the laws of the Australian Capital Territory, by the Jervis Bay Administration, which handles matters normally concerned with local or state government, and provides primary school teachers and Australian Federal Police staffing. Residents have access to the courts of the ACT, but are not separately represented in the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Jervis Bay Territory is in the Commonwealth Electoral Division of Fenner. Jervis Bay Territory residents are not represented at the local or State government level but have access to the decision-making process through community organisations.

The Defence Force Discipline Act (DFDA) Section 61 makes all Australian Defence Force members and "Defence Civilians" subject to the criminal laws of the Jervis Bay Territory regardless of where the offence occurred. This is a legal device which makes Defence personnel subject to the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and offences against the criminal law of the ACT, as military law, even if the offence is committed outside Australia.

The Commonwealth contracts the ACT government to provide courts, education and welfare, the Government of New South Wales for rural fire services and community health, Shoalhaven City Council for waste collection and library services, and commercial providers for electricity and water supplies.


Sign denoting the NSW/JBT Border JBT border.jpg
Sign denoting the NSW/JBT Border
Native vegetation JBT vegetation.JPG
Native vegetation
Hyams Beach, a white sandy beach. Hyams Beach 006.jpg
Hyams Beach, a white sandy beach.

Having 65.7 km2 (25 sq mi) of land and 8.9 km2 (3 sq mi) marine reserve, [20] Jervis Bay Territory is the smallest of all the mainland states and territories of Australia. Jervis Bay is a natural harbour 16 km (10 mi) north-south and 10 km (6 mi) east-west, opening to the east onto the Pacific Ocean. The bay is situated about 198 km (123 mi) south of the city of Sydney, on the southern coast of New South Wales. The nearest city is Nowra, about 40 km (25 mi) on the Shoalhaven River to the north. The majority of Jervis Bay embayment is part of Jervis Bay Marine Park (NSW State) but the waters within JB Territory are part of Booderee National Park (Commonwealth). Booderee National Park was formerly known as Jervis Bay National Park (Commonwealth).

A wide variety of flora and fauna are native to the Booderee (aboriginal: bay of plenty) National Park with approximately 206 species of birds, 27 species of mammals, 15 species of amphibians, 23 species of reptiles and 180 species of fish native to the area. [21] The park itself encompasses approximately 90% of the territory of Jervis Bay and covers the overlap between Australia's northern and southern climatic zones.

Ancient sand dunes overlay the sedimentary bedrock formations formed from upheaval of the surrounding marine environment 280–225 million years ago. The park was designated sacred Aboriginal land in 1995. A significant portion of the bay's northern coast and headland forming Beecroft Peninsula and ending at Point Perpendicular and surrounding area is a gun bombardment range for the Royal Australian Navy.

There are three small lakes within the territory: Lake Windermere, the largest, with an area of 31 ha (77 acres), Lake Mckenzie, 7 ha (17 acres), and Blacks Waterhole 1.4 ha (3.5 acres).

Bowen Island, at the entrance to the bay 230 m (750 ft) north of Governors Head, is 51 ha (130 acres) in area. It has rookeries for the little penguin Eudyptula minor.

Jervis Bay looking through the heads, with ten Royal Australian Navy ships at anchor. RAN Jervis Bay.jpg
Jervis Bay looking through the heads, with ten Royal Australian Navy ships at anchor.

Towns and villages

There are two small towns or villages in the Jervis Bay Territory. They are both covered by postcode 2540. Listed from north to south, they are:

There are four private leasehold properties in Jervis Bay Territory, within but not part of Booderee National Park.

Among these leasehold properties is the historic, heritage-listed Christian's Minde settlement, which was founded in 1880 by the Ellmoos family from Denmark. [22] Christian's Minde was the first guesthouse on the NSW south coast between Port Hacking and Twofold Bay. The properties Christian's Minde, Kullindi and Ellmoos have been consistently inhabited and looked after by descendants and relatives of the first settlers. [23] Many members of the family are buried in a cemetery on a hill, surrounded by dense bush near the settlement. [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]

HMAS Creswell

Within the Booderee National Park is HMAS Creswell, the Royal Australian Navy College named after Sir William Rooke Creswell, the Director of the Commonwealth Naval Forces which later became the RAN. The Jervis Bay Airfield is adjacent, operated by the RAN to support its BAE Systems Kalkara (Storm Petrel) pilotless target aircraft. Kalkaras are launched from the airfield and later recovered by parachute into the water and thence by boats maintained at HMAS Creswell, after target-towing exercises off the coast with ships or aircraft. Control equipment is sited at Bherwerre Ridge overlooking the sea to the east.[ citation needed ]

Proposed reactor site

Murrays Beach looking east Murrays Beach.jpg
Murrays Beach looking east

The territory was once the proposed location for a nuclear power plant. The project, which was to be on the south east corner of the Bay near Murray's Beach, was cancelled in 1971. This was after preparatory excavation and levelling had been done and an access road constructed between the site and the territory border. The levelled area is now the car park for Murray's Beach and its adjacent boat ramp.

See also

Related Research Articles

Protected areas of Australia

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Booderee National Park and Botanic Gardens Protected area in the Jervis Bay Territory, Australia

Booderee National Park and Botanic Gardens are located in the Jervis Bay Territory of Australia. The reserve is composed of two sections:

Jervis Bay bay in New South Wales, Australia

Jervis Bay is a 102-square-kilometre (39 sq mi) oceanic bay and village on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, said to possess the whitest sand in the world. It is surrounded by Jervis Bay and Wreck Bay.

Beecroft Peninsula locality in New South Wales, Australia

Beecroft Peninsula is the northern headland of Jervis Bay, on Australia's east coast. On the western and southern sides of the peninsula steep sandstone cliffs rise out of the ocean, up to 91 metres at its southernmost point, Point Perpendicular. White sandy beaches are found along the northern, eastern and southern sides interspersed with numerous intertidal reefs.

The history of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) as a separate administrative division began in 1911, when it was transferred from New South Wales to the Australian federal government. The territory contains Australia's capital city Canberra and various smaller settlements. Until 1989, it also administered the Jervis Bay Territory, a small coastal region.

The Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909 is an Australian Commonwealth Government act, that in conjunction with the Seat of Government Surrender Act 1909 transferred land from the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth for the creation of the Federal Capital Territory.

The Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 was an Act of the Parliament of Australia which followed the New South Wales Seat of Government Surrender Act 1915. The Act created the Territory of Jervis Bay, subject to the laws of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). While the Act's use of the language of "annexed" is sometimes interpreted as implying that the Jervis Bay Territory was to form part of the Federal Capital Territory, the accepted legal position is that it has been a legally distinct territory from its creation, despite being subject to FCT/ACT law and being administratively treated as part of the FCT/ACT.

Royal Australian Naval College, HMAS Creswell Royal Australian Navy shore establishment

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The Seat of Government Surrender Act 1915 was an Act of the New South Wales Parliament transferring land from New South Wales to establish the Jervis Bay Territory as part of the Federal Capital Territory. The Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 was the corresponding Commonwealth Act accepting the transfer of land.

Jervis Bay National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

Jervis Bay National Park, formerly known as Jervis Bay National Park (NSW), consists of several protected areas on the western and northern foreshores of Jervis Bay, on the south coast of New South Wales. The park is close to the town of Huskisson and includes Hyams Beach, renowned for its white sand, whale watching and fishing opportunities.

Jervis Bay Airfield airport in Australia

Jervis Bay Airfield is a military aerodrome in the Jervis Bay Territory in Australia. It is the only aerodrome in the territory and is located about 10 km (6.2 mi) east of Sussex Inlet; and about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of Jervis Bay Village and HMAS Creswell.

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Jervis Bay Village Town in the Jervis Bay Territory, Australia

Jervis Bay Village is a village in the Jervis Bay Territory. HMAS Creswell Royal Australian Navy base is located in the town. Apart from the navy base there is an Aboriginal community in the town. It is the largest town in the Jervis Bay Territory with 250 inhabitants.

Wreck Bay Village, Jervis Bay Territory Town in the Jervis Bay Territory, Australia

Wreck Bay Village is an Aboriginal locality in the Jervis Bay Territory, Australia. At the 2011 census the population was 198. It is a largely an Australian Aboriginal community due to the area being a former Aboriginal Australian reserve.

Greenpatch Point village in Jervis Bay Territory, Australia

Greenpatch is a locality in the Jervis Bay Territory in Australia.

St Vincent County Cadastral in Australian Capital Territory

St Vincent County was one of the original Nineteen Counties in New South Wales and is now one of the 141 Cadastral divisions of New South Wales. It included the south coast area encompassing Batemans Bay, Ulladulla, Jervis Bay and inland to Braidwood. The Shoalhaven River is the boundary to the north and west, and the Deua River the boundary to the south.

Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory

The Magistrates Court of the Australian Capital Territory is a court of summary jurisdiction that deals with the majority of criminal law matters and the majority of small civil law matters in the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory and the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Parish of Bherwerre Cadastral in New South Wales, Australia

The Parish of Bherwerre is a parish of the County of St Vincent in New South Wales which formerly included the area that is now the Jervis Bay Territory, which was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1915. Because of this, the parish is now less than half the size it was in the nineteenth century. The Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act of 1915 mentions that 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) of the parish were transferred to the Commonwealth. The Seat of Government Acceptance Act of 1909 mentions that three separate parcels in the parish were planned to be transferred to the Commonwealth from Bherwerre, along with land in other nearby parishes, although the actual land transfer in 1915 was only made up of land in the Parish of Bherwerre. The land mentioned in the 1909 act was a 2-square-mile (5.2 km2) portion, a 412-acre (167 ha) portion, and the 132 acres (53 ha) of Bowen Island. At the time, the parish was located in Clyde Shire.

Great Australian Bight Marine National Park Protected area in South Australia

Great Australian Bight Marine National Park is a marine protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located 918 km (570 mi) west of the state capital of Adelaide. The national park was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 (SA) by the South Australian Government on 26 September 1996 principally to protect the calving waters of the Southern right whale and the Australian sea lion populations. It consists of two sections occupying the ocean immediately adjoining the coastline up to a distance of 3 nautical miles and extending from the Western Australia border in the west to a locality known as the Tchalingaby Sandhills in the east. The gap between the two sections is also a protected area known as the Great Australian Bight Marine Park Whale Sanctuary which was proclaimed on 22 June 1995 under the Fisheries Act 1982 (SA). The national park is also part of the group of marine protected areas which are located together in waters within Australian and South Australian jurisdictions within the Great Australian Bight and which is collectively known as the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. Since late 2012, the national park and the whale sanctuary have also been within the boundaries of the Far West Coast Marine Park.


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Jervis Bay Territory (OT)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 February 2018. Blue pencil.svg
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "2011 Community Profiles: Jervis Bay (OT)". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 8 May 2013. Blue pencil.svg
  3. "Profile of the electoral division of Fenner". Australian Electoral Commission. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "Jervis Bay (Point Perpendicular AWS)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology . Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  5. Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN   1-876429-14-3
  6. The ABC Standing Committee on Spoken English: A guide to the pronunciation of Australian place names. Angus & Robertson 1957. p. Pg 61.
  7. Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 (Cth)
  8. "Seat of Government Surrender Act (NSW) Act 9 of 1915". This document, assented to by the Governor-General in 1915, provided for the transfer of 28 square miles of land at Jervis Bay to the Commonwealth, in addition to the areas surrendered under the Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909 and the Seat of Government Surrender Act 1909. Museum of Australian Democracy . Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  9. "Jervis Bay area Most Suitable for Commonwealth Purposes". A portion of land at Jervis Bay was included in the Federal Capital Territory to provide a seaport for Australia’s only inland capital. Museum of Australian Democracy. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  10. "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, in so far 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 . Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  11. "Our Culture". Parks Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  12. "Our Culture". Parks Australia. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  13. "South Coast Native Title meeting at Narooma a big boost for Yuin people". South Coast Register. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  14. 1 2 Place Names of Australia (Reed, 1973).
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Crabb, Peter (2007). Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin 1788–1939 : an emptied landscape. Lady Denman Heritage Complex. ISBN   095864473X.
  16. "The Sydney Cove". Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service . Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  17. "Seat of Government Acceptance Act 1909" . Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  18. "Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915" . Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  19. "WBACC Annual Report 2013-2014" (PDF). Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council. Retrieved 2 August 2015.[ permanent dead link ]
  20. "Territories of Australia". The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Australian Government. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  21. Lindenmayer, David; MacGregor, Christopher; Dexter, Nick; Fortescue, Martin (2014). Booderee National Park. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN   9781486300426.
  22. "Christians Minde Settlement, Ellmoos Rd, Sussex Inlet, ACT, Australia". Australian Heritage Database. Department of Environment and Energy. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  23. "The Ellmoos Story". Sussex Inlet Community. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  24. "Walking trails brochure - Booderee National Park" (PDF). Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  25. "Christians Minde". Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  26. "Kullindi Homestead". Kullindi Homestead. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  27. "Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Branch: Holiday Bookings". 15 November 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  28. "Jervis Bay, Sussex Inlet, & Hyams Beach holiday accommodation". Bay of Plenty Lodges. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2016.