States and territories of Australia

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Evolution of states and territories of Australia.

The states and territories of Australia make up the Commonwealth of Australia under a federal system of government.

States and territories of Australia[change | change source]

States[change | change source]

State Abbreviation Capital
Flag of New South Wales.svg New South Wales NSW Sydney
Flag of Queensland.svg Queensland QLD Brisbane
Flag of South Australia.svg South Australia SA Adelaide
Flag of Tasmania.svg Tasmania TAS Hobart
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg Victoria VIC Melbourne
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Australia WA Perth

Territories[change | change source]

Mainland[change | change source]

Territory Abbreviation Capital
Flag of the Australian Capital Territory.svg Australian Capital Territory ACT Canberra
Flag of Australia.svg Jervis Bay Territory JBT
Flag of the Northern Territory.svg Northern Territory NT Darwin

From 1926 to 1931, Central Australia existed as a separate territory between the 20th and 26th parallels of latitude, before being becoming a part of the Northern Territory again.

Overseas territories[change | change source]

Australian overseas territories

Former[change | change source]

Background and overview[change | change source]

The states started as separate British colonies before Federation (in 1901). Their powers are protected by the Australian constitution. The territories are under the control of the Commonwealth government. The Australian Parliament has powers to create laws in the territories that it does not have in the states.

Most of the territories are directly administered by the Commonwealth government. Three of the territories (the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Norfolk Island) administer themselves. In the territories that govern themselves, the Australian Parliament has the power to govern, and can override laws made by the territorial governments. It has done this at times, but it is rare that it happens. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory are usually treated as states.

Each state has a governor. This governor is chosen by the Queen, but she chooses the person on the advice of the state Premier. The Administrators of the Northern Territory and of Norfolk Island are chosen by the Governor-General. The Australian Capital Territory is governed by the Governor-General.

The head of government of each state is called the Premier. This person is chosen by the state's Governor. Normally the Governor will select as Premier whoever leads the lower house of the state Parliament. However, the Governor can chose someone else as Premier. The head of government of the self-governing mainland territories is called the Chief Minister. The Northern Territory's Chief Minister, is normally whoever controls the Legislative Assembly, is appointed by the Administrator.

Statistics[change | change source]

State/territory Land area (km²) Rank Population (2004) Rank Population density (/km²) Rank  % of population in capital Rank
Australian Capital Territory 2358 8th 324300 7th 137.53 1st 99.6% 1st
New South Wales 800642 5th 6760000 1st 8.44 3rd 63% 5th
Victoria 227416 6th 5002300 2nd 22 2nd 71% 4th
Queensland 1730648 2nd 3919500 3rd 2.26 5th 46% 7th
South Australia 983482 4th 1537900 5th 1.56 6th 73.5% 2nd
Western Australia 2529875 1st 1998400 4th 0.79 7th 73.4% 3rd
Tasmania 68401 7th 484000 6th 7.08 4th 41% 8th
Northern Territory 1349129 3rd 200800 8th 0.15 8th 54% 6th

Other websites[change | change source]