Talk:States and territories of Australia

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Comparative terminology[edit]

User:ZanderSchubert commented in June 2006 that the Comparative Terminology table was "ambiguous as it's impossible to tell where the cell borders are, and therefore which state/territory uses which name." I just read article for first time and was equally confused as it's still not corrected. If nobody knows how to create those "boxed" tables (I dont) may I suggest the author repeats the various titles against each state/territory, rather than showing the title at some ambiguous mid-point. Tiddy (talk) 04:55, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


earlier comments without date[edit]

If you were to check the Public Service Style Manual you would find that the correct title for the head of Government in the Northern Territory is the Chief Minister FOR the Northern Territory.

Somin - I'm not so keen on your adjustments to the ACT Chief Minister situation - my original text pointed out that the Chief Minister is the only "popularly elected" chief executive in Australian government. Yes, he/she is elected by the Legislative assembly, but has to have been popularly elected to that assembly in the first place. Your revision, while accurate, seems to lose this distinction, in my opinion at least. Your thoughts? MMGB

I changed it because I was worried that "popularly elected" might be misinterpreted as meaning he/she was directly elected like how Presidents in several countries are (each voter casts their vote for a candidate, whichever candidate gets the most votes becomes President). I can see your point though. -- SJK


See Talk:Australian States and Territories/Australian states table generator for the Perl script used to generate the tables for the 8 States and territories of Australia.

State capitals[edit]

I've added the state capitals here since I've done a redirect from Australian capital cities from this page. (Other options for re-direction include List of cities in Australia and List of capitals of sub-national entities, but I thought this page seemed like the best choice.)

I will also adjust Jervis Bay Territory on the list - it is a territory, but it isn't regarded as a territory the same as NT and ACT are. I think it may actually be administered as part of ACT, but I think the External Territories should be changed to 'Minor Territories' or something similar, and add JBT to that list. Chuq

Yes, Jervis Bay is an integral part of the ACT. JackofOz 04:06, 11 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I've made the state/territory changes, as mentioned above (that was also me - forgot to sign it the first time) Chuq 10:48, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
Belatedly, I wasn't quite right about JBT being a part of the ACT. See my recent edit to the article. -- JackofOz (talk) 04:02, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The Honourable[edit]

A note about the changes I made to the "Honorable"s attached to the names of the state/territory political leaders.

  • The word is not normally spelled in full, but the abbreviation "The Hon" (without a full stop) is highly acceptable and appropriate (not to mention shorter)
  • if you do spell the word in full, PLEASE use the Australian spelling "Honourable" (with a "u"), not the American.
  • The title "Honourable" arises from being a member of the relevant Executive Council, and anybody who has ever been a Minister of the Crown remains an Executive Councillor-under-summons for the rest of their life unless they are specifically removed from such a status by misbehaviour etc.
  • because there are no Executive Councils in the ACT and the NT, their Chief Ministers are not "the Hon" but simply Mr, Ms or whatever. (unsigned by User:JackOfOz)
I know this is old, but I just saw it and wanted to note for the record that this comment is completely wrong about the Northern Territory - which does use the honourable title for their Chief Ministers, not to mention all their other ministers. I'm not so sure for the ACT, however. Ambi 14:21, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
Only just seen this comment today. I can find no reference to any NT Chief Minister or any other NT Minister ever being called "the Hon" by virtue of their NT offices. JackofOz 07:11, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Alphabetical order[edit]

Is there any reason why the states were changed to alphabetical order? One order is as good as any I guess, but I can't think of a reason to specifically change them? NSW-Vic-Qld-SA-WA-Tas-NT-ACT is pretty much the "standard" order for states - don't know why (approximately by population) but it just is - see post codes prefixes, etc. -- Chuq 11:03, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

True, but then where do you place Norfolk I. etc? Grant65 (Talk) 15:58, Nov 20, 2004 (UTC)
At the end I guess :) -- Chuq 23:56, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Flag icons[edit]

The icons next to the states aren't very distinctive at that resolution. Would anyone object to using the state badges instead? This would lead to inconsistency between states and territories icons, but you'd get a better idea of what the picture was, so it'd have a bit more value IMHO. —Felix the Cassowary (ɑe hɪː jɐ) 14:05, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

They are sized the same as the country flag templates ( Australia). I think they're better then badges, and you're right, it would mean inconsistencies between states and territories. I was planning to convert that list to a table like in Departments of Colombia.--Cyberjunkie | Talk 14:15, 30 October 2005 (UTC)

Ashmore and Cartier Islands?[edit]

Ashmore and Cartier Islands' page says its part of Northern Territory. I don't know which one is right

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was move. —Nightstallion (?) 07:04, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Requested move to States and territories of Australia[edit]

Australian States and TerritoriesStates and territories of Australia – The proposed article name/format is consistent with almost all other articles concerning national subdivisions (e.g., Provinces and territories of Canada). E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 01:45, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Update Tobias Conradi moved the article shortly after the RfM was posted. (Thanks!) I'll retain the RfM for now if only, for anything, to reaffirm this decision or identify challenges/other opinions. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 02:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Voting[edit]

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~

Discussion[edit]

I'm not particularly opposed to the move, but I don't support it either. However, I will say that it's most inappropriate to move a page as prominent as this without discussion. There are many corresponding structures that will now need to be updated to conform with the new title (I won't propose it be moved back). Categories are one instance. If this change persists, I suggest that Category:Australian states and territories be deprecated and that Category:Subdivisions of Australia take its place with Category:States of Australia and Category:Territories of Australia as subcategories. I've left a note at the Australian Wikipedians' Notice Board for further input.--cj | talk 03:48, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I support dropping the joined category and using what you suggested. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 13:04, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I wonder if the top-level category should be named Category:Subnational entities of Australia instead (I only suggest this given the apparent prevalence of that term in Wp) ... I don't see there being a problem using categories and subcategories, and also using whatever is consistently used throughout Wp. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 13:34, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

The prevalent term is subnational entity and the 2nd most used is "subdivision" (Category:Subdivisions by country). Subdivision is shorter and when used with the name of a region (mostly a country) then it is not ambigous as when used alone. Tobias Conradi (Talk) 13:43, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Sure – these are just options. Whatever prevails yet is consistent. E Pluribus Anthony | talk | 14:15, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Selective deletion[edit]

I am about to delete from the article history those revisions whose content and/or edit summaries libel Xtra, per Wikipedia's libel policy. Selective deletion requires full deletion followed by selective restoration. Therefore this article will be deleted for a very brief period of time. Snottygobble 04:02, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Complete. Snottygobble 04:06, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Lord Howe Island[edit]

The section "State and Territory Codes" lists Lord Howe Island. This is not a territory, but an integral part of New South Wales. I tried to remove it but my table formatting skills let me down. Anyone?? JackofOz 06:59, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Central Australia[edit]

The short lived territory's details have been added. Move it to somewhere else if you think it is more appropriate, but I believe it should be included somewhere. Kransky 06:45, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Compared Terminology[edit]

Can someone who is good with Wiki tables please edit the 'Compared Terminology' table? As it currently appears (at least on my computer) the names of (for example) the houses of parliament are ambiguous as it's impossible to tell where the cell borders are, and therefore which state/territory uses which name. ZanderSchubert 03:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Suggested merger of Eastern states of Australia, Southern Australia, Northern Australia[edit]

I say no way, José..... These are all common terms to varying degrees. How is it going to help someone from overseas, looking for a definition, to be redirected to States and territories of Australia? Grant65 | Talk 05:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Oppose. I agree with Grant. These cross-border divisions are very significant and definitely should be covered. For example, the term 'northern Australia' is very important to articles which describe Australia's military and military history and a central definition of what 'northern Australia' is needs to be provided. --Nick Dowling 11:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose if for no other reason than America has articals on each of its geographical reagons. Xtra 11:22, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
No, there isn't :-) Grant65 | Talk 05:55, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

States as constitutional monarchies[edit]

In the infobox of each state article, the form of government is listed as "constitutional monarchy". Is this really true? Is the head of state of Western Australia a monarch? That is, is Elizabeth the Queen of Western Australia, along with all the other things she is queen of? I do see how this is not a clear-cut issue, because she does appoint the Governors (and I would assume that her choice is, in theory, unrestricted). But the infoboxes of other state articles, like Alberta, Oregon and Bavaria, don't list a form of government at all. Wouldn't that be the best solution here too? -- Jao 11:46, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes, the queen is head of state of each state. The Governor represents the monarch directly, not through the Governor-general of Australia. --Scott Davis Talk 14:48, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Are you sure? I googled a little, and this book seems to think that the question doesn't have an unambiguous answer. -- Jao 19:29, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Scott Davis is correct. Australia is really 7 monarchies, not 1. If Australia had become a republic, theoretically one of the states could have remained a monarchy despite Australia as a whole becoming a republic. We have state governors, not lieutenant-governors like the provinces of Canada - that's because of the unique way our country federated. Lonelygirl16 10:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
We are getting ahead of ourselves, but...if the monarch remained monarch of one or more states, she/he would become subordinate to a (federal) president, in any feasible republican constitution. I doubt the monarch would accept such a state of affairs. But maybe I'm wrong. Grant | Talk 11:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately that's not how it works - the states are separate to the Commonwealth in terms of the executive. That's why the Governor-General and the Commonwealth Government have no say in who becomes a state governor; they only do in the case of administrators of territories (NT and NI at the moment). Lonelygirl16 08:29, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

NO the states are not separate from the Commonwealth -- and they are component parts of the Commonwealth and are subject to the Constitution of the Commonwealth . If the Constitution of the Commonwealth was changed to eliminate the ' Queen of Australia ' then the Governors of the States would not be able to give their assent- ' in the Queens name ' to state Laws . There is no law which authorises Elizabeth II to ' act' as the Queen of any State. Access to the Monarch by the States is as ' Queen of Australia '. It is important to remember that at Federation the colonies ceased to exist and became ' states of the Commonwealth ' . Lejon 15 March 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.68.11.244 (talk) 13:42, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

(Having come through a link from Talk:Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom#United Kingdom) See Talk:Republicanism in Australia/Archive 3#1 republic or 7? for a previous discussion on this. See also the Queensland Constitution Convention Communique which seems pretty clear that a successful federal referendum alone won't abolish the Queen of Australia who rules the individual states. (Before 1986 it was even messier as the states weren't ruled by the "Queen of Australia" but by the "Queen of the United Kingdom"! Fortunately the two being the same person hid the mess.) Timrollpickering (talk) 21:06, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
The Queen doesn't rule Australia or its States at all. Grassynoel (talk) 17:02, 13 July 2010 (UTC)


In 1975 the Queensland Government tried to establish the ' Queen ' as Queen of Queensland - a challenge was heard in the High Court and the attempt was rejected . Here is part of Murphy J 's summation --

"In truth, the Queensland Act is incompatible with the unity of the "one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth" which was established by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. The Constitution Act is the authority for the Constitution of Queensland and the powers of its Parliament (Constitution ss. 106, 107). (at p337) 27. The establishment by an Australian State of a relationship with another country under which a governmental organ (judicial or otherwise) of that country is to advise the State on the questions and matters referred to in the Act, is quite inconsistent with the integrity of Australia as an independent sovereign nation in the world community. It is not within the legislative competence of the Parliament of any State to compromise or attempts to compromise Australian sovereignty and independence. (at p337)" .

Please see also some more excerpts discussing the relationship of the States to the Commonwealth at ' Australia Act 1986 ' ( wikipedia ) Note - the States did not continue as ' colonies ' after the Statute of Westminster -- simply because they were not colonies before the Statute . There was no ' dual ' Monarchy after 1931/1942 . A higer level of autonomy was granted at the Federal level but that level was not extended to the second level of Australian Government . Lejon (talk) 04:21, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Comparative Terminology only for Mainland States and Territories?[edit]

Recently I was bold and added the terminology used in the inhabited external territories to the comparative terminology section. The title of the section and nothing in the section ever suggested that it was restricted only to the States and the Northern Territory, and seeing that none of the external territories are represented in any state or mainland territory's local legislature, I added them. User CJ however, reverted the edit with the simple explanation that they are not the same thing (which is pretty obvious), but doesn't explain why they are to be excluded. It is true that the Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are represented in the Australian Parliament as part of a electoral division encompassing a section of Northern Territory, but they are distinct. They have separate administrators (or in this case a shared administrator separate from the Northern Territory administrator) and are not represented in Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. In addition, the laws of Western Australia apply to Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands, which of course leaves the islands in the odd position of having W. Australian laws applying, but being represented in Australia's government along with Northern Territory, but at the same time not being represented in the legislatures of either Western Australia or the Northern Territory. Norfolk Island isn't even represented in the Australian legislature from what can be gathered on wikipedia's article on Australia's Electoral Divisions. This can be contrasted with Jervis Bay Territory which is represented in Australia's legislature along with ACT, has access to ACT courts and has ACT laws applied to it. It isn't represented in the ACT legislature either, but then neither does it seem to have any territorial terms with which to compare it to the states and other territories (no administrator or legislature, just the Jervis Bay Administration). So if all these external territories are territories of Australia and if they are inhabited and have some form of government structure then why exclude them from this section of an article about Australia's States and Territories (presumably all of Australia's territories too)?72.27.92.79 18:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

More on Comparative Terminology[edit]

Three questions:

  • We show the Governor-General as head of state of Australia. This is a matter of ongoing debate, but most commentators are squarely of the view that the Queen is the head of state, because it is she who appoints the GG to represent her. Similarly for the Governors in relation to the states - they're also appointed by the Queen.
  • We show the Chief Minister of the ACT as the head of state of the ACT. Is this really so, given that the Federal Parliament can override ACT laws (and has done so), and that any such act of the Federal Parliament would have to be given Royal Assent by the Governor-General, representing the Queen? Is there a citation showing the Chief Minister is the head of state?
  • We purport to show the terminology for the members of the various state/territory/federal legislative houses. What I think we actually show is the abbreviations of their titles. A case in point is members of the House of Representatives. Their title is just that, “member of the House of Representatives”; “member of Parliament” is also used (and I note the footnote to that effect). The standard abbreviation of the “member of the House of Representatives” title is MHR. The standard abbreviation of the “member of Parliament” title is MP. In both cases, the postnominal letters they get to use are MP (although many MHR/MPs erroneously use MHR as their postnominal). Can this be clarified somehow? -- JackofOz (talk) 04:06, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

How many states and territories?[edit]

  • Lede - The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of 8 states and territories …
  • The States and Territories of Australia table lists 16
  • Comparative terminology lists 12
  • Premiers and Chief ministers lists 9
  • State and territorial parliaments lists 9
  • State and territory police forces lists 8.

So, how many? -- JackofOz (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

All numbers are reasonable counts: 8 states and territories without Jervis Bay Territory, which seems to formally be a territory but mostly not function as one; 9 states and territories with JBT; 12 states, territories and inhabited (not only by weather or research staff) external territories; 16 states, territories and external territories. I agree that we should try to get the numbers consistent, or when this is not possible, explain why they are not. -- Jao (talk) 23:52, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Right on. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:57, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Timeshift (talk) 01:22, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead and borrowed some text from the main Australia article. This way seems less confusing and more accurate to me. Regards, ClovisPt (talk) 17:11, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, an explanation is needed. I've lived in Australia (Melbourne) all my life and have never heard of Jervis Bay. That's why I said there are 8 when I reworded the lead. BalkanFevernot a fan? say so! 01:27, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

By the way, where are the sources? BalkanFever 01:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Confusion[edit]

Why are there two pictures overlapping? Perhaps someone could put the two pictures in seperate boxes? I would do it myself, but I don't know how. QuackOfaThousandSuns (talk) 02:58, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

  • By the way, the box at the top of the talk page says "This article has been rated but has no comments." Isn't it time it was removed? QuackOfaThousandSuns (talk) 02:58, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

State constitutions[edit]

Do the Australian stats each have their own constitutions, as do the states of Germany and the USA? - BilCat (talk) 05:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


Yes the States of Australia do have their own Constitutions .Lejon (talk) 12:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Nauru[edit]

Should Nauru be added as a former territory of Australia? The administrative arrangements documents here [2] on an Australian governments website place Nauru as a territory of Australia, treated like the others. It was a UN territory given to Australia after WWII, and I think it should go on the list with Papua, North Australia, and Central Australia. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 08:22, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Administrator is the upper house of Parliament???[edit]

In the Comparative terminology table, for the Northern Territory and Norfolk, Christmas and Cocos Islands, why are we saying the upper house of parliament is the Administator? Surely the correct entry there is None, exactly as we have for the ACT. The Administrator appears under Domestic administrator. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 11:20, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Rights of states and territories[edit]

Does anyone know which page explains the rights of states and territories, and how they are balanced by support from the federal government? Ninahexan (talk) 02:27, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

  • States rights was as much a hobby horse of a number of conservative politicians in the past - best place for this question is

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Australian_politics - and there are a few ideas that might come from a close reading of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secessionism_in_Western_Australia SatuSuro 15:51, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I think the user was asking about separation of powers/competences. At least that is how I understood the question. - BilCat (talk) 16:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

This is probably the last place to ask the question - the Australian politics or even the main Australian project noticeboard would be more approrpriate SatuSuro 23:19, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

If you gave the most acute answer then it seems that this was the second most approrpriate place to ask... 124.149.37.56 (talk) 12:56, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Improving statistics table[edit]

After restoring sorting to this table, I made some other changes that were later reverted. Although I can view the table nicely on my wide monitor, I wanted to improve its appearance for those without wide monitors. I'll describe some of these changes here in hopes of furthering a discussion and reaching a consensus.

  • I tried combining the value and rank columns, but because the ordinals weren't all the same width, this meant the value column wasn't aligned. One alternative I didn't try was to render the ordinal in a fixed-width font.
  • I added parantheses around the rank in hopes of connecting the ordinal number to the preceding column.
  • I eliminated sorting in the value columns. I don't see the benefit of being able to sort separately by area and also by rank in area, by population and also by population rank, etc.
  • I removed the 'Rank' heading so that the rank columns had only the sorting symbol in the header.
  • I inserted line breaks in the headings so the line breaks would occur in predictable places. I would have preferred having a "Population" header that spanned all of the population-related columns, but I couldn't figure out a way to do this and still retain sorting.

Are there some other considerations I am missing? One alternative I haven't researched would be eliminating the column rule between the value column and the associated rank column. If this were done, the two columns would appear visually as a single column and so there would be no need for the "Rank" label or for having two sorting symbols. Any comments? YBG (talk) 04:49, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

The basic problem is that you want to do something that can't done, and it is not entirely clear why it should be done. You can't make sorting work with colspans; it is as simple as that. You allude to something about people without monitors, but what you're on about is beyond me. The width of monitor shouldn't mean a thing. Eliminating sorting on the rank column because you don't see the point is all well and good, but for other people it might be more intuitive to sort by rank than by the underlying fact. Sure, the result is the same, which is to say the rows will end up in the same order, but it is a matter of focus: for them, it will be more natural to sort the rank column and use the simpler numbers to confirm the sorting worked properly. It may be a small benefit, but is greater than whatever aesthetic reason you see in eliminating it. Also, removing heading made it less clear what each of the small columns was for. With a three "Rank" columns for three main columns, it is clear which goes to which, but without even naming them, it is harder for a reader to know what is going on. The table should be easily understood; removing the heading made it less so. Adding parenthesis was odd. They were wholly unnecessary and harm visibility. Why they should "connect the ordinal number to the preceding number to the preceding column" argument is beyond me. Why should it do any such thing? Numbers for a list that are wrapped in parenthesis can as easily precede the item they relate to, and in fact more often do. -Rrius (talk) 07:02, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation. One thing that I did not make clear is my desire to reduce the cluttered look that unplanned line breaks tend to create in page rendering. Thanks especially for your comments about the difficulty of telling which fact column a rank column goes with. I am also concerned about this, and I am not convinced that either version resolves this issue in a completely satisfactory manner. Cheers. YBG (talk) 07:29, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

The moving map perpetuates a misconception[edit]

26 January 1788 is seared into all our memories as the day on which the Colony of NSW was founded. Except, IT WASN'T. Various proclamations were made that day, and certainly the physical possession of the continent by the British can reasonably date from then. But the formal legal promulgation of the Crown Colony of New South Wales did not take place until 12 days later, on 7 February 1788.[3]

Can someone who knows what they're doing fix the date on the map, please? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 20:10, 3 December 2012 (UTC)