Northern Territory

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Northern Territory
Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern Territory Coat of Arms.svg
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Territory;
The Top End
Northern Territory in Australia.svg
Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates 20°S133°E / 20°S 133°E / -20; 133 Coordinates: 20°S133°E / 20°S 133°E / -20; 133
Capital city Darwin
Demonym Northern Territorian, Territorian
Government Constitutional monarchy
 Administrator Vicki O'Halloran
 Chief Minister Michael Gunner  (ALP)
Australian territory  
 • Established by NSW1825
 • Transferred to South Australia1862
 • Transferred to Commonwealth1911
 • Dissolved1927
 • Reformed1931
 Responsible
   government
1978
Area 
 • Total1,420,970 km² (3rd)
548,640 sq mi
 • Land1,349,129 km²
520,902 sq mi
 • Water71,839 km² (5.06%)
27,737 sq mi
Population
(Mar 2018) [1]
 
 • Population246,700 (8th)
 • Density0.18/km² (8th)
0.5 /sq mi
Elevation 
 • Highest point Mount Zeil
1,531 m (5,023 ft)
Gross territorial product
(2014–15)
 
 • Product ($m)$22,450 [2] (8th)
 • Product per capita$92,107 (2nd)
Time zone(s) UTC+9:30 (ACST)
Federal representation  
 House seats 2/150
 Senate seats 2/76
Abbreviations 
 • PostalNT
 ISO 3166-2 AU-NT
Emblems 
 Floral Sturt's desert rose
(Gossypium sturtianum) [3]
 Animal Red kangaroo
(Macropus rufus)
 Bird Wedge-tailed eagle
(Aquila audax)
 Colours Black, white, and ochre [4]
Website www.nt.gov.au

The Northern Territory (officially the Northern Territory of Australia) [5] (abbreviated NT) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west (129th meridian east), South Australia to the south (26th parallel south), and Queensland to the east (138th meridian east). To the north, the territory looks out to the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, including Western New Guinea and other Indonesian islands. The NT covers 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi), making it the third-largest Australian federal division, and the 11th-largest country subdivision in the world. It is sparsely populated, with a population of only 246,700, [1] making it the least-populous of Australia's eight states and major territories, with fewer than half as many people as Tasmania. [1]

States and territories of Australia first-level subdivision of Australia

The states and territories are the first-level administrative divisions of the Commonwealth of Australia. They are the second level of government in Australia, located between the federal and local government tiers.

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.

Western Australia state in Australia

Western Australia is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres, and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

Contents

The archaeological history of the Northern Territory begins over 40,000 years ago when Indigenous Australians settled the region. Makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory for trepang from at least the 18th century onwards. The coast of the territory was first seen by Europeans in the 17th century. The British were the first Europeans to attempt to settle the coastal regions. After three failed attempts to establish a settlement (1824–28, 1838–49, and 1864–66), success was achieved in 1869 with the establishment of a settlement at Port Darwin. Today the economy is based on tourism, especially Kakadu National Park in the Top End and the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park (Ayers Rock) in central Australia, and mining.

The history of the Northern Territory began over 60,000 years ago when Indigenous Australians settled the region. Makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory for trepang from at least the 18th century onwards, and possibly 300 years prior to that.

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

Makassan contact with Australia

Trepangers from the Makassar region of Sulawesi began visiting the coast of northern Australia sometime around the middle of the 1700s, first in the Kimberley region, and some decades later in Arnhem Land, to collect and process trepang, a marine invertebrate sea cucumber prized for its culinary value generally and for its medicinal properties in Chinese markets. The term Makassan is generally used to apply to all the trepangers who came to Australia, although some were from other islands in the Indonesian Archipelago, including Timor, Rote and Aru.

The capital and largest city is Darwin. The population is concentrated in coastal regions and along the Stuart Highway. The other major settlements are (in order of size) Palmerston, Alice Springs, Katherine, Nhulunbuy and Tennant Creek. Residents of the Northern Territory are often known simply as "Territorians" and fully as "Northern Territorians", or more informally as "Top Enders" and "Centralians".

Darwin, Northern Territory City in the Northern Territory, Australia

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory of Australia, situated on the Timor Sea. It is the largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, with a population of 145,916. It is the smallest and most northerly of the Australian capital cities, and acts as the Top End's regional centre.

Stuart Highway highway in the Northern Territory and South Australia

Stuart Highway is one of Australia's major highways. It runs from Darwin, Northern Territory, in the north, via Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, to Port Augusta, South Australia, in the south – a distance of 2,834 km (1,761 mi). Its northern and southern extremities are segments of Australia's Highway 1. The principal north-south route through the central interior of mainland Australia, the highway is often referred to simply as "The Track".

Palmerston, Northern Territory City in the Northern Territory, Australia

Palmerston is situated near Darwin Harbour and had a population of 33,695 at the 2016 census, making it the second largest city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory. Palmerston is a planned satellite city of Darwin, the capital and largest city in Australia's Northern Territory.

History

Thomas Baines with Aborigines near the mouth of the Victoria River. Thomas Baines, Thomas Baines with Aborigines near the mouth of the Victoria River, N.T, 1857.jpg
Thomas Baines with Aborigines near the mouth of the Victoria River.

Indigenous Australians have lived in the present area of the Northern Territory for an estimated 40,000 years, and extensive seasonal trade links existed between them and the peoples of what is now Indonesia for at least five centuries.

Indonesia Republic in Southeast Asia

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world's largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres, the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world's 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world's most populous island, contains more than half of the country's population.

With the coming of the British, there were four early attempts to settle the harsh environment of the northern coast, of which three failed in starvation and despair. The Northern Territory was part of colonial New South Wales from 1825 to 1863, except for a brief time from February to December 1846, when it was part of the short-lived colony of North Australia. It was part of South Australia from 1863 to 1911. Under the administration of colonial South Australia, the overland telegraph was constructed between 1870 and 1872.

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 March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 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.

North Australia can refer to a short-lived former British colony, a former federal territory of the Commonwealth of Australia, or a proposed state which would replace the current Northern Territory.

Australian Overland Telegraph Line Australian telecommunication circuit

The Australian Overland Telegraph Line was a 3200 km telegraph line that connected Darwin with Port Augusta in South Australia. Completed in 1872, the Overland Telegraph Line allowed fast communication between Australia and the rest of the world. An additional section was added in 1877 with the completion of the Western Australian section of the line. It was one of the great engineering feats of 19th-century Australia and probably the most significant milestone in Australia's telegraphic history.

From its establishment in 1869 the Port of Darwin was the major Territory supply for many decades.

A railway was built between Palmerston and Pine Creek between 1883 and 1889. The economic pattern of cattle raising and mining was established so that by 1911 there were 513,000 cattle. Victoria River Downs was at one time the largest cattle station in the world. Gold was found at Grove Hill in 1872 and at Pine Creek, Brocks Creek, Burrundi, and copper was found at Daly River.

Pine Creek, Northern Territory Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Pine Creek is a small town in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, Australia. As at the 2016 Census there were 328 residents of Pine Creek, which is the fourth largest town between Darwin and Alice Springs.

Victoria River Downs Station

Victoria River Downs Station also often called Victoria Downs and often referred to as The Big Run is a pastoral lease that operates as a cattle station.

Cattle station large Australian farm (station, the equivalent of an American ranch), whose main activity is the rearing of cattle

In Australia, a cattle station is a large farm, whose main activity is the rearing of cattle; the owner of a cattle station is called a grazier. The largest cattle station in the world is Anna Creek Station in South Australia, Australia.

On 1 January 1911, a decade after federation, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and transferred to federal control. Alfred Deakin opined at this time "To me the question has been not so much commercial as national, first, second, third and last. Either we must accomplish the peopling of the northern territory or submit to its transfer to some other nation." [6]

Letters Patent annexing the Northern Territory to South Australia, 1863 Letters Patent Northern Territory.jpg
Letters Patent annexing the Northern Territory to South Australia, 1863

In late 1912 there was growing sentiment that the name "Northern Territory" was unsatisfactory. [7] [8] The names "Kingsland" (after King George V and to correspond with Queensland), "Centralia" and "Territoria" were proposed with Kingsland becoming the preferred choice in 1913. However, the name change never went ahead. [9] [10]

For a brief time between 1927 and 1931 the Northern Territory was divided into North Australia and Central Australia at the 20th parallel of South latitude. Soon after this time, parts of the Northern Territory were considered in the Kimberley Plan as a possible site for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland, understandably considered the "Unpromised Land".[ citation needed ]

During World War II, most of the Top End was placed under military government. This is the only time since Federation that part of an Australian state or territory has been under military control. After the war, control for the entire area was handed back to the Commonwealth. The Bombing of Darwin occurred on 19 February 1942. It was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. Evidence of Darwin's World War II history is found at a variety of preserved sites in and around the city, including ammunition bunkers, airstrips, oil tunnels and museums. The port was damaged in the 1942 Japanese air raids. It was subsequently restored.

In the late 1960s improved roads in adjoining States linking with the territory, port delays and rapid economic development led to uncertainty in port and regional infrastructure development. As a result of the Commission of Enquiry established by the Administrator, [11] port working arrangements were changed, berth investment deferred and a port masterplan prepared. [12] Extension of rail transport was then not considered because of low freight volumes.

Indigenous Australians had struggled for rights to fair wages and land. An important event in this struggle was the strike and walk off by the Gurindji people at Wave Hill Cattle Station in 1966. The federal government of Gough Whitlam set up the Woodward Royal Commission in February 1973, which set to enquire into how land rights might be achieved in the Northern Territory. Justice Woodward's first report in July 1973 recommended that a Central Land Council and a Northern Land Council be established to present to him the views of Aboriginal people. In response to the report of the Royal Commission a Land Rights Bill was drafted, but the Whitlam Government was dismissed before it was passed.

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 was eventually passed by the Fraser government on 16 December 1976 and began operation on 26 January 1977).

In 1974, from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, Darwin was devastated by tropical Cyclone Tracy. Cyclone Tracy killed 71 people, caused A$837 million in damage (1974 dollars), or approximately A$4.45 billion (2014 dollars), and destroyed more than 70 per cent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 per cent of houses. Tracy left more than 41,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless. The city was rebuilt with much-improved construction codes and is a modern, landscaped metropolis today.

In 1978 the territory was granted responsible government, with a Legislative Assembly headed by a chief minister. The territory also publishes official notices in its own Government Gazette . The administrator of the Northern Territory is an official acting as the Queen's indirect representative in the territory.

During 1995–96 the Northern Territory was briefly one of the few places in the world with legal voluntary euthanasia, until the Federal Parliament overturned the legislation. [13] Before the over-riding legislation was enacted, four people used the law supported by Dr. Philip Nitschke.

Geography

Northern Territory towns, settlements and road network. Northern Territory 0216.svg
Northern Territory towns, settlements and road network.
The northern coast of Australia is on the left with Melville Island in the lower right ISS036-E-029323 lrg.jpg
The northern coast of Australia is on the left with Melville Island in the lower right

There are many very small settlements scattered across the territory, but the larger population centres are located on the single paved road that links Darwin to southern Australia, the Stuart Highway, known to locals simply as "the track".

The Northern Territory is home to two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sacred to the local Aboriginal peoples and which have become major tourist attractions.

In the northern part of the territory lies Kakadu National Park, which features extensive wetlands and native wildlife. To the north of that lies the Arafura Sea, and to the east lies Arnhem Land, whose regional centre is Maningrida on the Liverpool River delta. There is an extensive series of river systems in the Northern Territory. These rivers include: the Alligator Rivers, Daly River, Finke River, McArthur River, Roper River, Todd River and Victoria River.

National parks

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Kata Tjuta pan.jpg
Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park

Climate

Koppen climate types in the Northern Territory Northern Territory Koppen.svg
Köppen climate types in the Northern Territory
Satellite image of fire activity in central Australia Fires in Northern Territory, Australia.jpg
Satellite image of fire activity in central Australia
Average monthly maximum
temperature in Northern Territory
MonthDarwinAlice Springs
January31.8 °C36.3 °C
February31.4 °C35.1 °C
March31.9 °C32.7 °C
April32.7 °C28.2 °C
May32.0 °C23.0 °C
June30.6 °C19.8 °C
July30.5 °C19.7 °C
August31.3 °C22.6 °C
September32.5 °C27.1 °C
October33.2 °C30.9 °C
November33.2 °C33.7 °C
December32.6 °C35.4 °C
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

The Northern Territory has two distinctive climate zones.

The northern end, including Darwin, has a tropical climate with high humidity and two seasons, the wet (October to April) and dry season (May to September). During the dry season nearly every day is warm and sunny, and afternoon humidity averages around 30%. There is very little rainfall between May and September. In the coolest months of June and July, the daily minimum temperature may dip as low as 14 °C (57 °F), but very rarely lower, and frost has never been recorded.

The wet season is associated with tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. The majority of rainfall occurs between December and March (the southern hemisphere summer), when thunderstorms are common and afternoon relative humidity averages over 70% during the wettest months. On average more than 1,570 mm (62 in) of rain falls in the north. Rainfall is highest in north-west coastal areas, where rainfall averages from 1,800 to 2,100 mm (71 to 83 in).

The central region is the desert centre of the country, which includes Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock), and is semi-arid with little rain usually falling during the hottest months from October to March. Central Australia receives less than 250 mm (9.8 in) of rain per year.

The highest temperature recorded in the territory was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F) at Finke on 1 and 2 January 1960. The lowest temperature was −7.5 °C (18.5 °F) at Alice Springs on 17 July 1976. [15]

Governance

The legislative assembly building in Darwin Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.jpg
The legislative assembly building in Darwin

Parliament

The Northern Territory Parliament is one of the three unicameral parliaments in the country. Based on the Westminster System, it consists of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly which was created in 1974, replacing the Northern Territory Legislative Council. It also produces the Northern Territory of Australia Government Gazette.

The Northern Territory Legislative Council was the partly elected governing body from 1947 until its replacement by the fully elected Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in 1974. The total enrolment for the 1947 election was 4,443. The Northern Territory was split into five electorates: Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Batchelor, and Stuart.

While this assembly exercises powers similar to those of the parliaments of the states of Australia, it does so by legislated devolution of powers from the Commonwealth Government, rather than by any constitutional right. As such, the Commonwealth Government retains the right to legislate for the territory, including the power to override legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly. The Monarch is represented by the Administrator of the Northern Territory, who performs a role similar to that of a state governor.

Twenty-five members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to four-year terms from single-member electorates.

For some years there has been agitation for full statehood. A referendum of voters in the Northern Territory was held on the issue in 1998, which resulted in a 'no' vote. This was a shock to both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments, as opinion polls showed most Territorians supported statehood. But under the Australian Constitution, the federal government may set the terms of entry to full statehood. The Northern Territory was offered three senators, rather than the 12 guaranteed to original states. (Because of the difference in populations, equal numbers of Senate seats would mean a Territorian's vote for a senator would have been worth more than 30 votes in New South Wales or Victoria.) Alongside what was cited as an arrogant approach adopted by then chief minister Shane Stone, it is believed that most Territorians, regardless of their general views on statehood, were reluctant to adopt the particular offer that was made. [16]

Chief minister and cabinet

The chief minister is the head of government of a self-governing territory (the head of a state government is a premier ). The chief minister is appointed by the administrator, who in normal circumstances appoints the leader of whichever party holds the majority of seats in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. The current chief minister is Michael Gunner of the Australian Labor Party. He replaced Adam Giles on 31 August 2016.

Administrator

The Northern Territory became self-governing on 1 July 1978 under its own administrator appointed by the Governor-General of Australia. The federal government, not the NT government, advises the governor-general on the appointment of the administrator, but by convention consults first with the Territory government. The current administrator is Vicki O'Halloran.

Federal government

Children wave Australian flags during an Anzac Day parade in Palmerston Children wave Australian flags during an Anzac Day parade in Palmerston, Australia, April 25, 2013, as U.S. Marines with the 1st Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational 130425-M-AL626-014.jpg
Children wave Australian flags during an Anzac Day parade in Palmerston

The Northern Territory is represented in the federal parliament by two members in the House of Representatives and two members in the Senate. As of September 2016, resulting from the 2016 federal election, Warren Snowdon from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Luke Gosling from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) serve in the House of Representatives, and Malarndirri McCarthy from the ALP and Nigel Scullion from the CLP serve in the Senate.

Local government

The Northern Territory is divided into 17 local government areas, including 11 shires and five municipalities. Shire, city and town councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Northern Territory parliament, such as road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants.

Aboriginal land councils

Aboriginal Australians own about 49% of the Northern Territory's land Australia Aboriginal Culture 011.jpg
Aboriginal Australians own about 49% of the Northern Territory's land

Aboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory are groups of Aboriginal landowners, set up under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

Political parties

The two dominant political parties in the Northern Territory are the conservative Country Liberal Party, and the social-democratic Australian Labor Party. Minor parties that are also active in the NT are the Northern Territory Greens, Palmer United Party and Australia's First Nations Political Party. In the 2016 Northern Territory general election only two CLP representatives were elected (MLAs Higgins and Finocchiaro) plus five independents. This makes the parliamentary status of the CLP as a major party a matter of conjecture.

Demographics

Estimated resident population since 1981 ABS-3101.0-AustralianDemographicStatistics-EstimatedResidentPopulationStatesTerritories-EstimatedResidentPopulation-Persons-NorthernTerritory-A2060849W.svg
Estimated resident population since 1981
Population estimates
for the Northern Territory
19014,765
195619,556
196144,481
1974102,924
197697,090
1981122,616
1991165,493
1996181,843
2002200,019
2006192,900
2011211,945
2016228,833
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
(Est Resident Pop)

The population of the Northern Territory at the 2011 Australian census was 211,945, [17] a 10 per cent increase from the 2006 census. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated a June 2015 resident population of 244,300, taking into account residents overseas or interstate. The territory's population represents 1% of the total population of Australia. [18] [19] [20]

Aerial view of Yulara Yulara from helicopter (August 2004).jpg
Aerial view of Yulara

The Northern Territory's population is the youngest in Australia and has the largest proportion (23.2%) under 15 years of age and the smallest proportion (5.7%) aged 65 and over. The median age of residents of the Northern Territory is 31 years, six years younger than the national median age. [17]

More than 100 nationalities are represented in the Northern Territory's population, including more than 50 organisations representing different ethnic groups. [21]

The 2011 Census revealed that the most common ancestries in Northern Territory were Australian 23.9%, English 19.4%, Australian Aboriginal 14.7%, Irish 6.2% and Scottish 5.1%. [22]

In terms of birthplace, according to the 2011 census 25.4% of the population were born overseas. [17] 2.5% of Territorians were born in the United Kingdom, 1.9% in New Zealand, 1.7% in Philippines, 0.9% in India and 0.5% in the United States.

Glen Namundja, an Australian Aboriginal artist from Arnhem Land, at work Glen Namundja.jpg
Glen Namundja, an Australian Aboriginal artist from Arnhem Land, at work

Indigenous Australians own some 49% of the land. The life expectancy of Aboriginal Australians is well below that of non-Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, a fact that is mirrored elsewhere in Australia. ABS statistics suggest that Indigenous Australians die about 11 years earlier than the average Australian. There are Aboriginal communities in many parts of the territory, the largest ones being the Pitjantjatjara near Uluru, the Arrernte near Alice Springs, the Luritja between those two, the Warlpiri further north, and the Yolngu in eastern Arnhem Land.

More than 54% of Territorians live in Darwin, located in the territory's north (Top End). Less than half of the territory's population live in the rural Northern Territory. Despite this, the Northern Territory is the least urbanised federal division in the Commonwealth (followed by Tasmania).

Cities and towns

Not all communities are incorporated cities, or towns. They are referred to as "Statistical Local Areas."

RankStatistical Local Areas2011 Population [23]
1 Darwin 78,925
2 Palmerston-East Arm 30,098
3 Alice Springs 28,449
4 Litchfield 20,039
5 Katherine 10,355
6 Nhulunbuy 4,383
7 Tennant Creek 3,515
8 Wadeye/Victoria-Daly 2,682
9 Jabiru 1,271
10 Yulara 991

Religion

Tjuki tells a dreaming story about Manpi. Storytelling and oral traditions are an integral part of Aboriginal mythology which is practised by Indigenous Australians throughout the Northern Territory. Tjuki tells a dreaming story about Manpi (pigeon).jpg
Tjuki tells a dreaming story about Manpi. Storytelling and oral traditions are an integral part of Aboriginal mythology which is practised by Indigenous Australians throughout the Northern Territory.

In the 2016 census Roman Catholics form the single largest religious group in the territory with 19.9% of the Northern Territory's population, followed by Anglican (8.4%), Uniting Church (5.7%) and Lutheran (2.6%). Buddhism is the territory's largest non-Christian religion (2.0%), followed by Hinduism (1.6%), which is the fastest growing religion population percentage wise in the state. Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology (1.4%) is also practiced. Around 30% of Territorians do not profess any religion. [24]

Many Aborigines practise their traditional religion, their belief in the Dreamtime.

Languages

A Warumungu man Warumungu native.jpg
A Warumungu man

There are more than 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects spoken in the Northern Territory, [25] in addition to English which is most common in cities such as Darwin or Alice Springs. Major indigenous languages spoken in the Northern Territory include Murrinh-patha and Ngangikurrungurr in the northwest around Wadeye, Warlpiri and Warumungu in the center around Tennant Creek, Arrernte around Alice Springs, Pintupi-Luritja to the south east, Pitjantjatjara in the south near Uluru, Yolngu Matha to the far north in Arnhem Land (where the dialect Djambarrpuyngu of Dhuwal is considered a lingua franca), and Burarra, Maung, Iwaidja and Gunwinggu in the center north and on Croker Island and the Goulburn Islands. Tiwi is spoken on Melville Island and Bathurst Island. [26] Literature in many of these languages is available in the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages.

Education

A campus building of Charles Darwin University CDU library, Casuarina.jpg
A campus building of Charles Darwin University

Primary and secondary

A Northern Territory school education consists of six years of primary schooling, including one transition year, three years of middle schooling, and three years of secondary schooling. In the beginning of 2007, the Northern Territory introduced Middle School for Years 7–9 and High School for Years 10–12. Northern Territory children generally begin school at age five. On completing secondary school, students earn the Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE). Students who successfully complete their secondary education also receive a tertiary entrance ranking, or ENTER score, to determine university admittance. An International Baccalaureate is offered at one school in the territory—Kormilda College.

Northern Territory schools are either publicly or privately funded. Public schools, also known as state or government schools, are funded and run directly by the Department of Education. [27] Private fee-paying schools include schools run by the Catholic Church and independent schools, some elite ones similar to English public schools. Some Northern Territory Independent schools are affiliated with Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican, Greek Orthodox or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, but include non-church schools and an Indigenous school.

As of 2009, the Northern Territory had 151 public schools, 15 Catholic schools and 21 independent schools. 39,492 students were enrolled in schools around the territory with 29,175 in public schools, and 9,882 in independent schools. The Northern Territory has about 4,000 full-time teachers.

Tertiary

The Northern Territory has one university which opened in 1989 under the name of the Northern Territory University. [28] Now renamed as the Charles Darwin University, it had about 19,000 students enrolled: about 5,500 higher education students and about 13,500 students on vocational education and training (VET) courses. The first tertiary institution in the territory was the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education which was established in the mid-1960s.

Libraries

The Northern Territory Library is the territory's research and reference library. It is responsible for collecting and preserving the Northern Territory documentary heritage and making it available through a range of programs and services. Material in the collection includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, pictures, objects, sound and video recordings and databases.

Economy

The Northern Territory's economy is largely driven by mining, which is concentrated on energy producing minerals, petroleum and energy and contributes around $2.5 billion to the gross state product and employs over 4,600 people. Mining accounts for 14.9% of the gross state product in 2014–15 compared to just 7% nationally. [29]

In recent years, largely due to the effect of major infrastructure projects and mine expansions, construction has overtaken mining as the largest single industry in the territory. Construction, mining and manufacturing, and government and community services, combine to account for about half of the territory's gross state product (GSP), compared to about a third of national gross domestic product (GDP). [30]

The economy has grown considerably over the past decade, from a value of $15 billion in 2004–05 to over $22 billion in 2014–15. In 2012–13 the territory economy expanded by 5.6%, over twice the level of national growth, and in 2014–15 it grew by 10.5%, four times the national growth rate. [31]

Between 2003 and 2006 the gross state product had risen from $8.67 billion to $11.476 billion and increase of 32.4%. During the three years to 2006–2007 the Northern Territory gross state product grew by an average annual rate of 5.5%. Gross state product per capita in the Northern Territory ($72,496) is higher than any Australian state or territory and is also higher than the gross domestic product per capita for Australia ($54,606).

The Northern Territory's exports were up 12.9% or $681 million in 2012–13. The largest contributor to the territory's exports was: mineral fuels (largely LNG), crude materials (mainly mineral ores) and food and live animals (primarily live cattle). The main international markets for territory exports are Japan, China, Indonesia, the United States and Korea. [32]

Imports to the Northern Territory totalled $2,887.8 million which consisted of mainly machinery and equipment manufacturing (58.4%) and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing (17.0%). [33]

The principal mining operations are bauxite at Gove Peninsula where the production is estimated to increase 52.1% to $254 million in 2007–08, manganese at Groote Eylandt, production is estimated to increase 10.5% to $1.1 billion which will be helped by the newly developed mines include Bootu Creek and Frances Creek, gold which is estimated to increase 21.7 per cent to $672 million at the Union Reefs plant and uranium at Ranger Uranium Mine. [34]

Tourism is an important economic driver for the territory and a significant industry in regional areas. [35] Iconic destinations such as Uluru and Kakadu make the Northern Territory a popular destination for domestic and international travellers. Diverse landscapes, waterfalls, wide open spaces, aboriginal culture and wild and untamed wildlife provides the opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural wonder that the Northern Territory offers. In 2015, the territory received a total of about 1.6 million domestic and international visitors contributing an estimated $2.0 billion to the local economy. Holiday visitors made up the majority of total visitation (about 792,000 visitors).

Tourism has strong links to other sectors in the economy including accommodation and food services, retail trade, recreation and culture, and transport. [36]

The territory's current[ when? ] marketing campaign is 'Do the NT'.

Transport

The Lasseter Highway connects Uluru (Ayers Rock) to the Stuart Highway LasseterHighway.JPG
The Lasseter Highway connects Uluru (Ayers Rock) to the Stuart Highway
The Ghan NR45 + NR10 + Ghan Alice Springs, 2015 (02).JPG
The Ghan

The Northern Territory is the most sparsely populated state or territory in Australia.

The NT has a connected network of sealed roads, including two National Highways, linking with adjoining States and connecting the major Territory population centres, and other important centres such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. The Stuart Highway, once known as "The Track", runs north to south, connecting Darwin and Alice Springs to Adelaide. Some of the sealed roads are single lane bitumen. Many unsealed (dirt) roads connect the more remote settlements.

The Adelaide–Darwin railway, a new standard gauge railway, connects Adelaide via Alice Springs with Darwin, replacing earlier narrow gauge railways which had a gap between Alice Springs and Birdum. The Ghan passenger train runs from Darwin to Adelaide, stopping at Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Kulgera in the NT.

The Northern Territory was one of the few remaining places in the world with no speed restrictions on select public roads, until 21 November 2016. On 1 January 2007 a default speed limit of 110 km/h was introduced on roads outside of urban areas (Inside urban areas of 40, 50 or 60 km/h). Speeds of up to 130 km/h are permitted on some major highways, such as the Stuart Highway. [37] On 1 February 2014, the speed limit was removed on a 204 km portion of the Stuart Highway for a one-year trial period. [38] The maximum speed limit was changed to 130 km/h on 21 November 2016. [39] Darwin International Airport is the major domestic and international airport for the territory. Several smaller airports are also scattered throughout the territory and are served by smaller airlines; including Alice Springs Airport, Ayers Rock Airport, Katherine Airport and Tennant Creek Airport.

Media

Print

The Northern Territory has only one daily tabloid newspaper, News Corporation's Northern Territory News, or NT News. The Sunday Territorian is the sister paper to the NT News and is the only dedicated Sunday tabloid newspaper in the Northern Territory.

The Centralian Advocate is circulated around the Alice Springs region twice a week. There are also five weekly community newspapers. The territory receives the national daily, The Australian , while The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Guardian Weekly are also available in Darwin. Katherine's paper is the Katherine Times .

There is an LGBT community publication, QNews Magazine, [40] which is published in Darwin and Alice Springs.

Television

Metropolitan Darwin has had five broadcast television stations:

Darwin also has a single open-narrowcast station:

Regional Northern Territory has a similar availability of stations:

Remote areas are generally required to receive television via the Viewer Access Satellite Television service, which carries the same channels as the regional areas, as well as some extra open-narrowcast services, including Indigenous Community Television and Westlink.

Radio

Darwin has radio stations on both AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include ABC NewsRadio (102.5FM), 105.7 ABC Darwin (8DDD 105.7FM), ABC Radio National (657AM), ABC Classic FM (107.3FM) and Triple J (103.3FM). The two commercial stations are Mix 104.9 (8MIX) and Hot 100 FM (8HOT).

The leading community stations are 104.1 Territory FM, and Radio Larrakia (8KNB).

The radio stations in Alice Springs are also broadcast on the AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include Triple J (94.9FM), ABC Classic FM (97.9FM), 783 ABC Alice Springs (783AM) and ABC Radio National (99.7FM). There are two community stations in the town—CAAMA (100.5FM) and 8CCC (102.1FM). The commercial stations, which are both owned by the same company are Sun 96.9 (96.9FM) and 8HA (900AM). Two additional stations, Territory FM (98.7FM) and Radio TAB (95.9FM) are syndicated from Darwin and Brisbane, respectively.

Sport

See also

Related Research Articles

The protected areas of the Northern Territory consists of protected areas managed by the governments of the Northern Territory and Australia and private organisations with a reported total area of 335,527 square kilometres (129,548 sq mi) being 24.8% of the total area of the Northern Territory of Australia.

Kakadu National Park Protected area in the Northern Territory, Australia

Kakadu National Park is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin.

Alice Springs Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Alice Springs is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory of Australia. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", Alice Springs is situated roughly in Australia's geographic centre.

Katherine, Northern Territory Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Katherine is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. It is situated on the Katherine River below the "Top End", 320 kilometres (200 mi) southeast of Darwin. It is the fourth largest settlement in the Territory and is known as the place where "The outback meets the tropics". Katherine had an urban population of approximately 6,300 at the 2016 Census. Katherine is also the closest major town to RAAF Base Tindal located 17 km southeast and provides education, health, local government services and employment opportunities for the families of Defence personnel stationed there. In the 2016 census, the base had a residential population of 857, with only around 20% of the workforce engaged in employment outside of defence, the majority commuting to work in Katherine.

Arnhem Land Region in the Northern Territory, Australia

Arnhem Land is one of the five regions of the Northern Territory of Australia. It is located in the north-eastern corner of the territory and is around 500 km (310 mi) from the territory capital Darwin. The region has an area of 97,000 km2 (37,000 sq mi), which also covers the area of Kakadu National Park, and a population of 16,230. In 1623, Dutch East India Company captain William van Colster sailed into the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape Arnhem is named after his ship, the Arnhem, which itself was named after the city of Arnhem in the Netherlands.

Yulara, Northern Territory Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Yulara is a town in the Southern Region of the Northern Territory, Australia. It lies as an unincorporated enclave within MacDonnell Region. At the 2016 census, Yulara had a permanent population of 1,099, in an area of 103.33 square kilometres (39.90 sq mi). It is 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road from world heritage site Uluru and 55 kilometres (34 mi) from Kata Tjuta. It is located in the Northern Territory electorate of Namatjira and the federal electorate of Lingiari.

Crime in the Northern Territory

Darwin has per capita the highest crime rate of any Australian city, while Alice Springs has the second highest crime rate of any Australian city, and the highest murder rate.

Australian rules football in the Northern Territory

Australian Football in the Northern Territory has a history dating back to the 1910s and is the most popular sport in the territory, particularly with indigenous Australian communities in Darwin, Alice Springs and the Tiwi Islands.

Batchelor, Northern Territory Town in the Northern Territory, Australia

Batchelor is a town in the Northern Territory of Australia. The town is the current seat and largest town of the Coomalie Shire local government area. It is located 98 kilometres (61 mi) south of the territory capital, Darwin. A number of residents commute to Darwin and its suburbs for work. In the 2016 census, Batchelor recorded a population of 507 people, with 36% of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

Australian Aboriginal sacred sites

Aboriginal Australians believe that The Dreaming, cultural values, spiritual beliefs and kin-based relationships of the local people cause some areas or places to be sacred.

Ltyentye Apurte Community the Northern Territory, Australia

The Ltyentye Apurte Community, also known as Santa Teresa, is an Arrernte indigenous community in the Northern Territory, Australia, located about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south-east of Alice Springs. .

Malarndirri McCarthy Australian politician

Malarndirri Barbara Anne McCarthy is an Australian politician and former journalist who has been a Senator for the Northern Territory since 2016. She is a member of the Labor Party, and previously served in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 2005 to 2012.

George Jiří Chaloupka OAM, FAHA was an expert on Indigenous Australian rock art. He identified and documented thousands of rock art sites. As a result of Chaloupka's work on the sites, a new "definitive chronological sequence to these paintings was developed". Providing evidence that Indigenous people had occupied the land for much longer than what was previously accepted by the academic community.

Federal and territory government agencies divide the Northern Territory of Australia into different administrative regions of the Northern Territory, though the names and boundaries vary. The federal Bureau of Statistics defines nine 'level 3' statistical areas (SA3s) within the Territory. Four of these – Darwin City, Darwin Suburbs, Palmerston and Litchfield – make up the Darwin metropolitan area and together account for more than half the Territory's population. Outside of the capital are the SA3s of Daly–Tiwi–West Arnhem, East Arnhem, Katherine, Barkly and Alice Springs.

Leigh Bruce ‘Tracker’ Tilmouth was a Northern Territory Aboriginal activist.

National parks of the Northern Territory

This is a list of National parks of the Northern Territory, Australia.

Olga Havnen is a prominent Aboriginal leader, advocate and activist in the Northern Territory of Australia. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Danila Dilba Health Service in Darwin, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.

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Sources