States and territories of Australia

Last updated

Australian states and territories
Map of Australia.png
Category States (6)
Internal territories (3)
External territories (7)
Location Commonwealth of Australia
Populations There are no permanent residents in two territories: Ashmore & Cartier Islands and Heard & McDonald Islands.
The most populous state/territory is New South Wales, with 7,955,900 people (2016).
Areas The smallest territory is the Coral Sea Islands with an area of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi).
The largest state/territory is the Australian Antarctic Territory, which is 5,896,500 km2 (2,276,700 sq mi).
Subdivisions Local government areas
Cadastral divisions

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.

Government of Australia federal democratic administrative authority of Australia

The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.

Local government in Australia

Local government in Australia is the third tier of government in Australia administered by the states and territories, which in turn are beneath the federal tier. Local government is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia and two referenda in the 1970s and 1980s to alter the Constitution relating to local government were unsuccessful. Every state government recognises local government in their respective constitutions. Unlike Canada or the United States, there is only one level of local government in each state, with no distinction such as cities and counties.


The country comprises six states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. They retain a degree of sovereignty, being the successors of the previous Australian colonies. The states each have their own parliaments, able to legislate over certain residual and concurrent power areas.

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 December 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.

Victoria (Australia) State in Australia

Victoria is a state in south-eastern Australia. Victoria is Australia's smallest mainland state and its second-most populous state overall, making it the most densely populated state overall. Most of its population lives concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay, which includes the metropolitan area of its state capital and largest city, Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Victoria is bordered by Bass Strait and Tasmania to the south, New South Wales to the north, the Tasman Sea to the east, and South Australia to the west.

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

Two of the three internal territories, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), function in reality as states themselves. The ACT and Northern Territory each possess their own level of self-government through their respective legislative assemblies, but instead derive their power from the Commonwealth, theoretically revocable at any time. The third internal territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, is a territory in its own right and is the product of Australia's complex relationship with its capital city. Rather than having the same level of autonomy as the states and the two other internal territories, Jervis Bay instead has services provided by arrangement from New South Wales and the ACT.

Northern Territory federal territory of Australia

The Northern Territory is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south, and Queensland to the 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, making it the least-populous of Australia's six states and two territories, with fewer than half as many people as Tasmania.

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.

Jervis Bay Territory Australia

The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 so that the Australian Capital Territory would have access to the sea.

Australia also consists of seven external territories. These do not comprise Australia proper, but are nevertheless under Australian sovereignty. Only three of the external territories have a permanent population, and as a result, they are all directly administered by the federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (or the Department of the Environment and Energy in the case of the Australian Antarctic Territory). Norfolk Island was partially self-governing, until this was revoked in 2015.

Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Australian government department

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development is an Australian Public Service department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility for infrastructure and major projects, transport, local government, external territories administration, rural and regional development, population policy, and cities.

The Department of the Environment and Energy is an Australian government department.

Australian Antarctic Territory Australias territorial claim in Antarctica

The Australian Antarctic Territory (AAT) is a part of Antarctica administered by the Australian Antarctic Division, an agency of the federal Department of the Environment and Energy. The territory's history dates to a claim on Enderby Land made by the United Kingdom in 1841, which was subsequently expanded and eventually transferred to Australia in 1933. It is the largest territory of Antarctica claimed by any nation by area. In 1961, the Antarctic Treaty came into force. Article 4 deals with territorial claims, and although it does not renounce or diminish any preexisting claims to sovereignty, it also does not prejudice the position of Contracting Parties in their recognition or non-recognition of territorial sovereignty. As a result, only four other countries—New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, and Norway—recognise Australia's claim to sovereignty in Antarctica.

Geographic Australia

The term geographic Australia is used by the Australian government to describe the area covered by demographic statistics such as national population figures. This area comprises Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in addition to the six states and three mainland territories; Norfolk Island is the only territory with a permanent population that is not part of geographic Australia. [1]

Christmas Island Australian external territory

The Territory of Christmas Island is an Australian external territory comprising the island of the same name. Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean, around 350 kilometres (220 mi) south of Java and Sumatra and around 1,550 kilometres (960 mi) north-west of the closest point on the Australian mainland. It has an area of 135 square kilometres (52 sq mi).

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Australian external territory

The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands is an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean, comprising a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka and closer to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is part of Southeast Asia and is in the Southern Hemisphere. The territory's dual name reflects that the islands have historically been known as either the Cocos Islands or the Keeling Islands.

States and territories

Reference map for states and territories of Australia
Australia states and territories labelled.svg

States of Australia [n 1]
Flag State nameAbbrev ISO [2] Postal Capital Population
(Dec 2018) [3]
Area (km²) [4] Governor Premier
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South Wales NSWAU-NSWNSW Sydney 8,046,070800,628 Margaret Beazley Gladys Berejiklian
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland QLDAU-QLDQLD Brisbane 5,052,8271,723,936 Paul de Jersey Annastacia Palaszczuk
Flag of South Australia.svg South Australia SAAU-SASA Adelaide 1,742,744978,810 Hieu Van Le Steven Marshall
Flag of Tasmania.svg Tasmania TasAU-TASTAS Hobart 531,52964,519 Kate Warner Will Hodgman
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria VicAU-VICVIC Melbourne 6,526,413227,010 Linda Dessau Daniel Andrews
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Australia WAAU-WAWA Perth [n 2] 2,606,3382,526,786 Kim Beazley Mark McGowan
Internal territories of Australia [n 3]
Flag Territory nameAbbrev ISO [2] Postal Capital Population
(Dec 2018) [3]
Area (km²) [4] Administrator Chief Minister
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Australian Capital Territory ACTAU-ACTACT Canberra 423,8112,280none [5] Andrew Barr
Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern Territory NTAU-NTNT Darwin 245,8541,349,129 Vicki O'Halloran Michael Gunner
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Jervis Bay Territory JBTACTnone (Jervis Bay Village)40572none [6] none
External territories of Australia [n 4]
Flag Territory nameAbbrev ISO [2] Postal Capital
(or largest settlement)
(Dec 2018) [3]
Area (km²) [4] AdministratorShire President
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ashmore and Cartier Islands none(Offshore anchorage)0199
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australian Antarctic Territory AATAQ [n 5] Davis Station 60 [n 6] 5,896,500nonenone
Flag of Christmas Island.svg Christmas Island CX Flying Fish Cove 1,938135 Natasha Griggs Gordon Thompson
Flag of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.svg Cocos (Keeling) Islands CC West Island 54714 Seri Wati Iku
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Coral Sea Islands (Willis Island)4 [n 7] 10nonenone
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Heard Island and McDonald Islands HIMIHM(Atlas Cove)0372nonenone
Flag of Norfolk Island.svg Norfolk Island NF Kingston 1,75835 Eric Hutchinson none

At Federation in 1901, what is now the Northern Territory was within South Australia, what are now the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory were within New South Wales, and Coral Sea Islands was part of Queensland. Ashmore and Cartier Islands was accepted by Australia in 1934 [7] and was annexed to the Northern Territory prior to adoption of the Statute of Westminster in 1942, deemed effective fron 1939; it has thus become part of Australia.

Statute of Westminster 1931 United Kingdom legislation

The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom whose modified versions are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms. Passed on 11 December 1931, the act, either immediately or upon ratification, effectively both established the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom and bound them all to seek each other's approval for changes to monarchical titles and the common line of succession. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. As the statute removed nearly all of the British parliament's authority to legislate for the Dominions, it had the effect of making the Dominions largely sovereign nations in their own right. It was a crucial step in the development of the Dominions as separate states.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands voted for integration in 1984. Together with Christmas Island, Commonwealth laws apply automatically to the territory unless expressly stated otherwise [8] and residents of both external territories are associated with Northern Territory for federal elections. They are, thus, constitutionally part of Australia.

Uninhabited Heard and McDonald Island is treated as constitutionally part of Australia by the central government. [9]

The constitutional status of the Australian Antarctic Territory is unclear, with successive governments treating it either as a separate territory (as in the United Kingdom and Norway) or an integral part of the country (as in New Zealand and France). As of 2018, the present government appears to take the view that it is not constitutionally part of Australia. [10]

Norfolk Island's status is controversial, with the present (as of 2018) government taking measures to integrate the territory into Australia proper (including representation in parliament and compulsory voting). The Norfolk Islanders have not formally consented to this change in constitutional status and assert that they are not Australian. [11]

Defunct territories

Three territories established by the federal government under section 122 of the Constitution of Australia no longer exist:

Additionally, two other areas were administered by Australia as de facto external territories.

Both New Guinea and Nauru were originally German territories, but were occupied by Australian forces during World War I and subsequently made League of Nations mandates. They later became United Nations trust territories. The Papua and New Guinea Act 1949 placed the Territory of New Guinea in an "administrative union" with the Territory of Papua. The Territory of Papua and New Guinea was eventually given independence as Papua New Guinea in 1975. Nauru was granted independence in 1968.

Background and overview

Australia history.gif

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 Colony of Tasmania (initially established as a separate colony named Van Diemen's Land in 1825), the Colony of Western Australia (initially established as the smaller Swan River Colony in 1829), the Province of South Australia (1836), the Colony of New Zealand (1840), [13] the Victoria Colony (1851) and the Colony of Queensland (1859). Upon Federation, the six colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania became the founding states of the new Commonwealth of Australia.

Legislative powers of the states are protected by the Australian constitution, section 107, 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; laws for territories are determined by the Australian Parliament. [14]

Most of the territories are directly administered by the Commonwealth Government, while two (the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory) have some degree of self-government although less than that of the states. 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 if they were states.

Each state has a governor, appointed by the Queen, which by convention she does on the advice of the state Premier. The Administrator of the Northern Territory, by contrast, is 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 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 1915, [15] 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. [16] 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.

The external territory of Norfolk Island possessed a degree of self-government from 1979 until 2015.

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, each 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.


Comparative terminology

EntityType of entityTie to the QueenDomestic administratorHead of GovernmentUpper House of ParliamentLower House of ParliamentMember of Parliament
Upper houseLower house [note 1]
Commonwealth of Australia Federal governmentDirectGovernor-GeneralPrime MinisterSenateHouse of RepresentativesSenatorMP
South Australia Federated state Direct (established by the Australia Act 1986 )GovernorPremierLegislative CouncilHouse of AssemblyMLCMHA
New South Wales Legislative AssemblyMP
Victoria MLA
Western Australia
Queensland N/A (abolished 1922)N/AMP
Australian Capital Territory Self-governing territoryIndirect (through Governor-General acting as "administrator")Assembly and Chief ministerChief ministerN/AMLA
Northern Territory Indirect (through Governor-General)Administrator
Christmas Island External territoryMayor/shire presidentShire CouncilCouncillor
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Norfolk Island Regional Council [note 2]
  1. The abbreviation MP is an acceptable, and indeed more common, term for members of each lower house.
  2. Between 1979 and 2015 Norfolk Island was a self-governing external territory with its own legislature, the Norfolk Legislative Assembly, until this was abolished by the Commonwealth Parliament.

Governors and administrators of states and territories

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 Her Excellency Kate Warner 10 December 2014
Governor of Victoria Her Excellency Linda Dessau 1 July 2015
Governor of Western Australia His Excellency Kim Beazley 1 May 2018
Governor of New South Wales Her Excellency Margaret Beazley 2 May 2019
Administrator of the Northern Territory Her Honour Vicki O'Halloran 31 October 2017
Administrator of Norfolk Island His Honour Eric Hutchinson 1 April 2017
Administrator of Australian Indian Ocean Territories
(Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands)
Her Honour Natasha Griggs 5 October 2017

Premiers and chief ministers of states and territories

PostIncumbentPolitical partyAppointed
Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian MP Liberal 23 January 2017
Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk MP Labor 14 February 2015
Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall MHA Liberal 19 March 2018
Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman MP Liberal 31 March 2014
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews MP Labor 4 December 2014
Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan MLA Labor 17 March 2017
Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Andrew Barr MLA Labor 11 December 2014
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner MLA Labor 31 August 2016
Mayor of Norfolk Island Council Councillor Robin Adams6 July 2016
Presidents of Australian Indian Ocean Territories:
President of the Shire of Christmas Island
President of the Shire of Cocos Council

Councillor Foo Kee Heng
Councillor Balmut Pirus

18 October 2011
May 2013

State and territorial parliaments

State and territory supreme courts

State and territory police forces

State and territory borders


State / territoryAbbreviationLand area [4] [17]
Population density
  • % of population
  • in capital
km2sq miRankNumberRank/km2/sq miRank%Rank
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Australian Capital Territory ACT2,2808808395,2007167.6434199.6%1 [18]
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South WalesNSW800,628309,12457,704,30019.6224.9363.0%5 [19]
Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern TerritoryNT1,335,742515,7333244,00080.180.47854.0%6 [20]
Flag of Queensland.svg QueenslandQLD1,723,936665,61524,827,00032.797.2546.0%7 [21]
Flag of South Australia.svg South AustraliaSA978,810377,92041,706,50051.744.5673.5%2 [22]
Flag of Tasmania.svg TasmaniaTAS64,51924,9117518,50067.5819.6441.0%8 [23]
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg VictoriaVIC227,01087,65066,039,100226.5668.8271.0%4 [24]
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western AustraliaWA2,526,786975,59812,613,70041.032.7773.4%3 [25]

State and territory codes

State/territoryAbbrev. Call signs Postal Telephone numbers in Australia Time zone
AM/FM TV Amateur Abbrev.PostcodeStd Summer
Australian Capital TerritoryACT1xx(x) [nb 1] xx(x)Cn [nb 1] VK1xx [nb 1] ACT02nn, [nb 2] 26nn, 29nn+61 2 62xx xxxx
+61 2 61xx xxxx
New South WalesNSW2xx(x)xx(x)NnVK2xxNSW1nnn, [nb 2] 2nnn+61 2 xxxx xxxx [nb 3] +10 (+9 12) [nb 4] +11
VictoriaVic3xx(x)xx(x)VnVK3xxVIC3nnn, 8nnn [nb 2] +61 3 xxxx xxxx [nb 3] +10+11
QueenslandQld4xx(x)xx(x)QnVK4xxQLD4nnn, 9nnn [nb 2] +61 7 xxxx xxxx+10
South AustraliaSA5xx(x)xx(x)SnVK5xxSA5nnn+61 8 8xxx xxxx
+61 8 7xxx xxxx
+9 12+10 12
Western AustraliaWA6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK6xxWA6nnn+61 8 9xxx xxxx
+61 8 6xxx xxxx
TasmaniaTas7xx(x)xx(x)TnVK7xxTAS7nnn+61 3 6xxx xxxx+10+11
Northern TerritoryNT8xx(x)xx(x)DnVK8xxNT08nn+61 8 89xx xxxx+9 12
External territories
Norfolk Island2xx(x)xx(x)NnVK2xxNSW2899+672 3 xx xxx+11
Christmas Island6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK9xxWA6798+61 8 9164 xxxx+7
Cocos Island6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK9xxWA6799+61 8 9162 xxxx+6 12
Australian Antarctic TerritoryAATnoneVK0xxTAS+672 1+6 to +8
Macquarie Island none+10+11
  1. 1 2 3 A number of broadcast stations in the ACT have call signs allocated as if ACT were part of New South Wales.
  2. 1 2 3 4 This is used for some PO box and large users only.
  3. 1 2 Some exceptions apply to numbers in this state's number range.
  4. The state of New South Wales observes Australian Eastern Standard Time except for Broken Hill and the surrounding region, which observes Australian Central Standard Time.

See also


  1. Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  2. Perth was defined as the capital by statute in 2016: City of Perth Act 2016 (WA) in AustLII.
  3. Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  4. Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  5. Under the definitions in ISO 3166-1, the AAT is covered by the Antarctican ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code "AQ".
  6. No permanent population, research station with fluctuating staff numbers.
  7. No permanent population, weather monitoring station generally with four staff.

Related Research Articles

Postage stamps and postal history of Australia

This is an overview of the postage stamps and postal history of Australia.

The title Administrator of the Government (Administrator) has several uses in Australia.

Parliaments of the Australian states and territories

The Parliaments of the Australian states and territories are legislative bodies within the federal framework of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Territory of Papua British colony from 1883/4,  placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1902

The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea from 1883 to 1975. In 1883, the Government of Queensland annexed this territory for the British Empire. The United Kingdom Government refused to ratify the annexation but in 1884 a Protectorate was proclaimed over the territory, then called "British New Guinea". There is a certain ambiguity about the exact date on which the entire territory was annexed by the British. The Papua Act 1905 recites that this happened "on or about" 4 September 1888. On 18 March 1902, the Territory was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia. Resolutions of acceptance were passed by the Commonwealth Parliament, who accepted the territory under the name of Papua.

The Australian migration zone is a legal device created by the Australian government for the purpose of Australia's visa policy and immigration policy. In the Australian migration zone, which covers such Australian controlled territories as the government may determine, a non-citizen must hold an Australian visa. Without such a visa, or a bridging visa, the alien is treated as an "unauthorised arrival". Prior to 2001, the Australian migration zone consisted of the mainland, and some external territories.

Territory of New Guinea Australian administered territory est. 1920

The Territory of New Guinea was an Australian administered territory on the island of New Guinea from 1920 until 1975. In 1949, the Territory and the Territory of Papua were established in an administrative union by the name of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. That administrative union was renamed as Papua New Guinea in 1971. Notwithstanding that it was part of an administrative union, the Territory of New Guinea at all times retained a distinct legal status and identity until the advent of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

A Government House is any residence used by Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the British Empire. Government Houses serve as the venue for Governors’ official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by the occupant. Sometimes, the term Government House is used as a metonym for the Governor or his office.

An Executive Council in Commonwealth constitutional practice based on the Westminster system is a constitutional organ which exercises executive power and (notionally) advises the governor or governor-general. Executive Councils often make decisions via Orders in Council.

Territorial evolution of Australia

The first colonies of the British Empire on the continent of Australia were the penal colony of New South Wales, founded in 1787, and the Swan River Colony, founded in 1829. Over the next few decades, the colonies of New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Van Diemen's Land, and Victoria were created from New South Wales, as well as an aborted Colony of North Australia. On 1 January 1901, these colonies, excepting New Zealand, became states in the Commonwealth of Australia. Since federation, the internal borders have remained mostly stable, except for the creation of some territories with limited self-government: the Northern Territory from South Australia, to govern the vast, sparsely populated centre of the country; the split of the Northern Territory into Central Australia and North Australia, and then the quick merger of those back into the Northern Territory; and the Australian Capital Territory, a federal district ceded from New South Wales.

Shire of Cocos Local government area in Australia

The Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, is a local government area which manages local affairs on the Australian external territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The island is grouped with Western Australia but is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and an Administrator.

Outline of Australia Overview of and topical guide to Australia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Australia:

There are six monarchies in Oceania; that is: self-governing sovereign states in Oceania where supreme power resides with an individual hereditary head, who is recognised as the head of state. Each is a constitutional monarchy, wherein the sovereign inherits his or her office, usually keeps it until death or abdication, and is bound by laws and customs in the exercise of their powers. Five of these independent states share Queen Elizabeth II as their respective head of state, making them part of a global grouping known as the Commonwealth realms; in addition, all monarchies of Oceania are members of the Commonwealth of Nations. The only sovereign monarchy in Oceania that does not share a monarch with another state is Tonga. Australia and New Zealand have dependencies within the region and outside it, although five non-sovereign constituent monarchs are recognized by New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and France.

Demographics of Oceania

Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania vary, with it being defined in various ways, often geopolitically or geographically. In the geopolitical conception used by the United Nations, International Olympic Committee, and many atlases, the Oceanic region includes Australia and the nations of the Pacific from Papua New Guinea east, but not the Malay Archipelago or Indonesian New Guinea. The term is sometimes used more specifically to denote Australasia as a geographic continent, or biogeographically as a synonym for either the Australasian ecozone or the Pacific ecozone.

The Department of Territories was an Australian government department that existed between May 1951 and February 1968.

Mainland Australia Largest island of Australia

Mainland Australia is the main land mass of the Commonwealth of Australia excluding Tasmania and other offshore islands and external territories. The land mass also constitutes the mainland of the Australian continent, and the term, along with continental Australia, can be used in a geographic sense to exclude surrounding continental islands. Generally, the term is applied to the states of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia, as well as the Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory, and Jervis Bay Territory.

Flags of country subdivisions (Oceania)

This article is a gallery of the flags of the principal subdivisions of the countries and territories of Oceania. For purposes of this article, Oceania is taken to comprise Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.


  1. Pink, Brian (2010). "Definition of Australia". Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (Report). Australian Bureau of Statistics. p. 5.
  2. 1 2 3 ISO 3166-2:AU (ISO 3166-2 codes for the states and territories of Australia)
  3. 1 2 3 "3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics, Dec 2018". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 20 June 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Area of Australia – States and Territories". Geoscience Australia: National Location Information. Geoscience Australia . Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  5. Crown represented by Governor-General of Australia.
  6. Administered by the Commonwealth.
  7. "Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act 1933". Federal Register of Legislation.
  12. 1 2 Ling, Ted. "Dividing the Territory, 1926–31". Commonwealth Government Records about the Northern Territory. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  13. A.H. McLintock (ed), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, 3 vols, Wellington, NZ:R.E. Owen, Government Printer, 1966, vol 3 p. 526.'
  14. Constitution of Australia, section 122
  15. Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 (Cth).
  16. "Jervis Bay Territory Governance and Administration". The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 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'
  18. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Australian Capital Territory". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  19. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "New South Wales". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  20. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Northern Territory". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  21. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Queensland". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  22. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "South Australia". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  23. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Tasmania". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  24. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Victoria". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  25. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Western Australia". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 February 2013. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg