States and territories of Australia

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States and territories of Australia
Number16 (6 states, 3 internal territories, and 7 external territories)
PopulationsSmallest state:
Largest state:
Smallest territories:Largest territory:
AreasSmallest state:
Largest state:
Smallest territory:
Largest territories:

The states and territories are the second level of government of Australia. The states are administrative divisions that are self-governing polities that are partly sovereign, having ceded some sovereign rights to the federal government.[2] They have their own constitutions, legislatures, executive governments, judiciaries and law enforcement agencies that administer and deliver public policies and programs. Territories can be autonomous and administer local policies and programs much like the states in practice, but are still legally subordinate to the federal government.

Australia has six federated states: New South Wales (including Lord Howe Island), Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania (including Macquarie Island), Victoria, and Western Australia. Australia also has ten federal territories,[3] out of which three are internal territories: the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, and the Northern Territory[3] on the Australian mainland; and seven are external territories: the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory,[a] Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Norfolk Island[3] that are offshore dependent territories. Every state and internal territory (except the Jervis Bay Territory) is self-governing with its own independent executive government, legislative branch, and judicial system, while the rest only have local government status overseen by federal departments.

State and territory governments may legislate on matters concerning their citizens, subject to the limits of the federal constitution (notably section 51 and section 109). Each state and internal territory (except Jervis Bay Territory) has its own legislature, although the Federal Parliament can override territorial legislation. The federal High Court of Australia acts as a final court of appeal for all matters, and has the authority to override any state judiciary. While all states and internal territories have their own judicial system (subject to appeal to the High Court), most external territories are subject to the judiciary and legislature of either a state or internal territory. Excluding the Heard Island and McDonald Islands and the Australian Antarctic Territory (which are governed by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water), the external territories are governed by the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.[4] Norfolk Island had its own legislature from 1979 to 2015.[5]

Each state is a successor to historical British colonies, and each has its own constitution. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory for the most part operate indistinguishably from the states, even though they do not have constitutional status as states and territorial legislation can be overridden.


Surrounded by the Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans, Australia is separated from Maritime Southeast Asia and New Guinea by the Arafura Sea, the Timor Sea, and the Torres Strait, from Island Melanesia by the Coral Sea, and from New Zealand by the Tasman Sea. The world's smallest continent, Australia is also the sixth-largest country by land area and sometimes considered the world's largest island. Australia has a mainland coastline of 32,994 kilometres (20,502 mi)[6] and claims an exclusive economic zone of about 8,200,000 square kilometres (3,200,000 sq mi).[7]


States and territories[edit]

At Federation in 1901, what is now the Northern Territory was within South Australia, what are now the Australian Capital Territory and 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[8] and was annexed to the Northern Territory prior to adoption of the Statute of Westminster in 1942, deemed effective from 1939; it has thus become part of Australia.


States of Australia[b]
Flag State Postal ISO[9] Capital Population
(Sept 2023)[10]
Area (km2)[11] Population Density (/km2) No. of Reps. in Aus House[12] Governor Premier
State Government
New South Wales NSW AU-NSW Sydney 8,394,714 800,150 10.24 47 Margaret Beazley Chris Minns (Labor) Government of New South Wales
Victoria VIC AU-VIC Melbourne 6,865,358 227,416 28.47 38 Margaret Gardner Jacinta Allan
Victorian Government
Queensland QLD AU-QLD Brisbane 5,495,524 1,729,742 2.93 30 Jeannette Young Steven Miles
Queensland Government
Western Australia WA AU-WA Perth[c] 2,905,922 2,527,013 1.08 16 Chris Dawson Roger Cook
Government of Western Australia
South Australia SA AU-SA Adelaide 1,860,054 984,321 1.77 10 Frances Adamson Peter Malinauskas (Labor) Government of South Australia
Tasmania TAS AU-TAS Hobart 573,328 64,519 6.31 5 Barbara Baker Jeremy Rockliff
Tasmanian Government


Internal territories[edit]

Internal territories of Australia[d]
Flag Territory Postal ISO[9] Capital
(or largest settlement)
(Sept 2023)[10]
Area (km2)[11] Population Density (/km2) No. of Reps. in Aus House[12] Administrator Chief Minister
Territory Government
Australian Capital Territory ACT AU-ACT Canberra 469,194 2,358 192 3 None[e] Andrew Barr
ACT Government
Northern Territory NT AU-NT Darwin 252,469 1,347,791 0.18 2 Hugh Heggie Eva Lawler
Northern Territory Government
Jervis Bay Territory ACT None
(Jervis Bay Village)
405 67 6.04 (Part of Division of Fenner) None[f] None

External territories[edit]

External territories of Australia[g]
Flag Territory Postal ISO[9] Capital
(or largest settlement)
(Jun 2018)[10]
Area (km2)[11] Population Density (/km2) Seats in House of Representatives Administrator Shire President or Mayor
Norfolk Island NSW NF Kingston 2,601 35 74 (Part of Division of Bean) George Plant Robin Adams (mayor)[13]
Christmas Island WA CX Flying Fish Cove 1,938 135 14 (Part of Division of Lingiari) Farzian Zainal Gordon Thompson
Cocos (Keeling) Islands WA CC West Island 547 14 39 (Part of Division of Lingiari) Farzian Zainal Aindil Minkom[14]
Australian Antarctic Territory[a] TAS AQ[h] None
(Davis Station)
60[i] 5,896,500 0.0000102 None None
Coral Sea Islands QLD None
(Willis Island)
4[j] 780,000[k] 0.000005 None None
Ashmore and Cartier Islands None
(offshore anchorage)
0 199 0 None None
Heard Island and McDonald Islands TAS HM None
(Atlas Cove)
0 372 0 None None

Each external territory is regulated by an Act of the federal Parliament. These Acts contain the majority of provisions determining the legal and political structure applying in that external territory. Under s 122 of the Australian Constitution the federal Parliament has plenary power to make laws for all territories including all external territories.[16]

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands voted for integration in 1984. Together with Christmas Island, these two territories comprise the Australian Indian Ocean Territories. Commonwealth laws apply automatically to the territories unless expressly stated otherwise[17] and residents of both external territories are associated with Northern Territory for federal elections. They are, thus, constitutionally part of Australia.

The Heard Island and McDonald Islands, although uninhabited, are treated as constitutionally part of Australia by the central government.[18]

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.[5]

Integration of territories with small populations
Territory Ref. Subject to laws of Subject to courts of Part of electorate of
for House for Senate
Christmas Island [19] Western Australia[a] Division of Lingiari Northern Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands [20]
Jervis Bay Territory [21] Australian Capital Territory[a] Division of Fenner Australian Capital Territory
Norfolk Island [22]
Norfolk Island[b]
New South Wales[a]
Norfolk Island Division of Bean
Ashmore and Cartier Islands [25] Northern Territory (no permanent population)
Australian Antarctic Territory [26] Australian Capital Territory
Heard Island and McDonald Islands [27]
Coral Sea Islands [28][29] Australian Capital Territory Norfolk Island
  1. ^
    a) Residents of the territory are not represented in the parliament or assembly that makes these laws, or in the government that appoints judges to these courts.
  2. ^
    b) Laws passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly while it existed from 1979 to 2015 remain in effect unless modified or repealed by the federal government.[30]

Former territories[edit]


Two internal territories established by the Australian federal government under Section 122 of the Constitution of Australia no longer exist:


Two present-day Oceanic countries, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru, were administered by the federal government of Australia as de facto or de jure external territories for differing periods between 1902 and 1975.

Papua and New Guinea (1883–1975)[edit]

Following World War II, the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949 placed the Territory of New Guinea in an "administrative union" with the Territory of Papua, and the combined Territory of Papua and New Guinea was created. However, both territories remained technically distinct for some administrative and legal purposes, until 1975, when the combined entity eventually was given independence as Papua New Guinea.

Nauru (1920–1968)[edit]

Nauru was previously under the German colonial empire as part of the German New Guinea. Following World War I, the Australian government received a League of Nations mandate for Nauru. After World War II, the Territory of Papua, Territory of New Guinea and Nauru were all controlled by the Australian government as United Nations trust territories. Nauru was granted independence in 1968.


The majority of Australians live in the eastern coastal mainland states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory, which collectively forms 79% of the entire population of Australia (more than three-quarters of all Australians). Most of the major population centres are located east and south of the Great Dividing Range on the coastal plains and their associated hinterland regions.

State / territory Abbreviation Land area[11]
Population density
  • % of population
  • in capital
km2 sq mi Rank Number Rank /km2 /sq mi Rank % Rank
 New South Wales NSW 801,150 309,330 5 8,072,163 1 9.62 24.9 3 63.0% 5 [32]
 Victoria VIC 227,444 87,817 6 6,503,491 2 26.56 68.8 2 71.0% 4 [33]
 Queensland QLD 1,729,742 667,857 2 5,156,138 3 2.79 7.2 5 46.0% 7 [34]
 Western Australia WA 2,527,013 975,685 1 2,660,026 4 1.03 2.7 7 73.4% 3 [35]
 South Australia SA 984,321 380,048 4 1,781,516 5 1.74 4.5 6 73.5% 2 [36]
 Tasmania TAS 68,401 26,410 7 557,571 6 7.58 19.6 4 41.0% 8 [37]
 Australian Capital Territory ACT 2,358 910 8 453,890 7 167.6 434 1 99.6% 1 [38]
 Northern Territory NT 1,347,791 520,385 3 232,605 8 0.18 0.47 8 54.0% 6 [39]

Statistical divisions[edit]

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) Australian Statistical Geography Standard describes several main statistical divisions of Australia:

  • Mesh Block (MB) – the smallest area of division, MBs are rarely used for statistics and represent 30–60 dwellings, though some have no population or development. They are conventionally used as a way to ensure confidentiality of responses.
  • Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) – SA1s are small areas of 200–800 people and are used to balance spatial detail and cross comparison in the Census of Population and Housing.
  • Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) – SA2s are designed to represent financial and social interactions, such as a suburb or neighbourhood of 3,000–25,000 people (averaging at 10,000) and is often the smallest division used in statistical releases.
  • Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) – SA3s are regional representations of local communities, generally containing similar characteristics, administrative boundaries, and labour markets, each having 30,000–130,000 people.
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) – SA4s are broader representations of labour forces in population centres, with 100,000–300,000 people in regional areas and 300,000–500,000 in metropolitan areas.
  • States and Territories

The ABS also defines other divisions such as the Greater Capital City Statistical Area Structure, Significant Urban Area Structure, Remoteness Structure, and Indigenous Structure. Other non-ABS divisions include Local Government Areas, Postal Areas, electoral divisions, and tourism regions.[40]

Background and overview[edit]

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),[41] 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.

The 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.[42]

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 monarch (currently King Charles III), which by convention he 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,[43] 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.[44] 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 Fenner (named the Division of Fraser until 2016) 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.[45]

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.

The term interstate is used within Australia to refer to a number of events, transactions, registrations, travel, etc. which occurs across borders or outside of the particular state or territory of the user of the term. Examples of use include motor vehicle registration,[46] travel,[47] applications to educational institutions out of one's home state.[48]

There are very few urban areas bifurcated by state or territory borders. The Queensland-New South Wales border runs through Coolangatta (Queensland) and Tweed Heads (New South Wales) and splits Gold Coast Airport. Oaks Estate, a contiguous residential of Queanbeyan, was excised out of New South Wales when the Australian Capital Territory was established in 1909. Some Urban Centres and Localities reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics include some agglomerations of cities spreading across state borders, including Gold Coast–Tweed Heads, Canberra–Queanbeyan, AlburyWodonga (New South Wales-Victoria) and MilduraWentworth (Victoria-New South Wales)


  • 1788 – British Empire establishes the Colony of New South Wales across central and eastern mainland Australia, the island of Tasmania, both islands of New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
  • 1803 – The Coral Sea Islands are claimed by New South Wales.
  • 1825 – The island of Tasmania becomes the independent colony of Van Diemen's Land. New South Wales extends its borders further west in mainland Australia.
  • 1829 – The British Empire establishes the Swan River Colony in western mainland Australia.
  • 1832 – Swan River Colony is renamed the "colony of Western Australia".
  • 1836 – The Colony of South Australia is established.
  • 1841 – The islands of New Zealand become the independent colony of New Zealand. Much of eastern Antarctica is annexed by Britain as Victoria Land.
  • 1844 – New South Wales transfers Norfolk Island to Van Diemen's Land.
  • 1846 – Northern central and eastern Australia briefly become the independent Colony of North Australia, then are returned to New South Wales.
  • 1851 – Southeastern mainland Australia becomes the independent colony of Victoria.
  • 1856 – Van Diemen's Land is renamed the colony of Tasmania. Norfolk Island becomes the independent colony of Norfolk Island, however it is to be administered by the same governor as New South Wales.
  • 1857 – Much of southern central mainland Australia becomes the independent colony of South Australia. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are annexed by Britain.
  • 1859 – Northeastern mainland Australia and Coral Sea Islands become the independent colony of Queensland.
  • 1860 – A pocket of New South Wales territory remaining in southern central mainland Australia is transferred to South Australia.
  • 1862 – Some of New South Wales' northern central mainland Australian territory is transferred to Queensland.
  • 1863 – New South Wales' remaining northern central mainland Australian territory is transferred to South Australia.
  • 1878 – Britain annexes Ashmore Island.
  • 1883 – Queensland annexes southeastern New Guinea.
  • 1884 – Southeastern New Guinea becomes the independent Territory of Papua.
  • 1886 – The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are to be administered by the same governor as the Straits Settlements.
  • 1888 – Christmas Island is annexed by Britain and incorporated into the Straits Settlements.
  • 1897 – Norfolk Island is officially reintegrated into New South Wales.
  • 1901 – New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia federate into the Commonwealth of Australia. Queensland transfers the Coral Sea Islands to the federal government, creating a federal external territory.
  • 1902 – Britain transfers Papua to Australia as an external territory.
  • 1903 – The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are incorporated into the Straits Settlements.
  • 1909 – Britain annexes Cartier Island.
  • 1910 – Britain claims Heard Island and the McDonald Islands.
  • 1911 – The state of South Australia transfers control of northern central mainland Australia to the federal government, creating the Northern Territory. A small pocket of New South Wales around the city of Canberra is transferred to the federal government (who are seated within it), creating the Federal Capital Territory.
  • 1913 – New South Wales transfers Norfolk Island to the federal government, making it a federal external territory.
  • 1915 – A small pocket of New South Wales around Jervis Bay is transferred to the federal government and incorporated into the Federal Capital Territory.
  • 1920 – Following the defeat of the German Empire in World War I, the League of Nations establishes an Australian mandate in northeastern New Guinea, it becomes the external Territory of New Guinea.
  • 1923 – Another conquered German territory, the island of Nauru, is established as an Australian mandate and external territory by the League of Nations, this time as a co-mandate with Britain and New Zealand.
  • 1927 – The Northern Territory is split into two territories – North Australia and Central Australia.
  • 1930 – The remaining territory in eastern Antarctica is annexed by Britain as Enderby Land.
  • 1931 – North Australia and Central Australia are reincorporated as the Northern Territory. Britain recognises Australia as possessors of the uninhabited Ashmore and Cartier Islands, making them an external federal territory.
  • 1933 – Britain transfers Victoria Land and Enderby Land to Australia, creating the Australian Antarctic Territory, with ongoing limited international recognition.
  • 1938 – The Federal Capital Territory is renamed the "Australian Capital Territory".
  • 1942 – The Japanese Empire conquers Nauru from Australia, Britain and New Zealand as part of World War II. Japan also conquers much of the Straits Settlements, including Christmas Island. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are not conquered and are transferred to the Colony of Ceylon.
  • 1946 – The United Nations, the successor to the League of Nations, renews its mandate of New Guinea to Australia.
  • 1947 – Following the defeat of Japan in World War II, the United Nations returns Nauru to Australia, Britain and New Zealand as a joint mandate. Christmas Island returns to Britain and is incorporated into the Colony of Singapore. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are also transferred to Singapore.
  • 1949 – Papua and New Guinea are incorporated into the singular Territory of Papua and New Guinea. Britain transfers Heard Island and the McDonald Islands to Australia, creating a federal external territory.
  • 1955 – Britain transfers the Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Australia, they become an external territory.
  • 1958 – Britain transfers Christmas Island to Australia, it becomes an external territory.
  • 1966 – The Republic of Nauru is established, ending Australian-British-New Zealander control of the island.
  • 1975 – Papua and New Guinea becomes the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, ending British-Australian control.
  • 1978 – Northern Territory gains self-government with certain Commonwealth control.
  • 1979 – Norfolk Island gains self-government with certain Commonwealth control.
  • 1989 – The Australian Capital Territory gains self-government with certain Commonwealth control. Jervis Bay becomes independent of the ACT, becoming the Jervis Bay Territory.
  • 2015 – Norfolk Island loses self-government with full Commonwealth control.

Comparative terminology[edit]

Entity Type of entity Tie to the monarch Domestic administrator Head of government Upper House of Parliament Lower House of Parliament Member of Parliament
Upper house Lower house[note 1]
Commonwealth of Australia Federal government Direct Governor-general Prime minister Senate House of Representatives Senator MP
South Australia Federated state Direct (established by the Australia Act 1986) Governor Premier Legislative Council House of Assembly MLC
New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Western Australia MLA
Queensland N/A (abolished 1922) MP
Australian Capital Territory Self-governing territory Indirect (through the governor-general acting as "administrator") Assembly and chief minister Chief minister MLA
Northern Territory Indirect (through the governor-general) Administrator
Christmas Island External territory Shire president Shire Council Councillor
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Norfolk Island Mayor Regional Council[note 2]
  1. ^ The abbreviations MLA and MHA were previously the acceptable term for members of lower houses in states that now use MP.
  2. ^ Between 1979 and 2015 Norfolk Island was a self-governing external territory with its own legislature, the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly, until this was abolished by the Commonwealth Parliament.


Map showing the jurisdictions of Australia and their governing political parties as of March 2023.

Governors and administrators[edit]

Post Incumbent Appointed
Governor of New South Wales Margaret Beazley 2 May 2019
Governor of Victoria Margaret Gardner 9 August 2023
Governor of Queensland Jeannette Young 1 November 2021
Governor of Western Australia Chris Dawson 15 July 2022
Governor of South Australia Frances Adamson 7 October 2021
Governor of Tasmania Barbara Baker 16 June 2021
Administrator of the Northern Territory Hugh Heggie 2 February 2023
Administrator of Norfolk Island George Plant 26 May 2023
Australian Indian Ocean Territories Farzian Zainal 26 May 2023

Premiers and chief ministers[edit]

Post Incumbent Political party Appointed
Premier of New South Wales Chris Minns MP Labor 25 March 2023
Premier of Victoria Jacinta Allan MP Labor 27 September 2023
Premier of Queensland Steven Miles MP Labor 15 December 2023
Premier of Western Australia Roger Cook MLA Labor 8 June 2023
Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas MP Labor 21 March 2022
Premier of Tasmania Jeremy Rockliff MP Liberal 8 April 2022
Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Andrew Barr MLA Labor 11 December 2014
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Eva Lawler MLA Labor 21 December 2023
Mayor of Norfolk Island Council Councillor Robin Adams None 6 July 2016
Presidents of Australian Indian Ocean Territories:
President of the Shire of Christmas Island
President of the Shire of Cocos Council

Councillor Gordon Thomson
Councillor Aindil Minkom


21 October 2013
31 October 2019


Supreme courts[edit]

Police forces[edit]

State and territory codes[edit]

State/territory Abbrev. Call signs Postal Telephone numbers in Australia Time zone
AM/FM TV Amateur Abbrev. Postcode Std Summer
New South Wales NSW 2xx(x) xx(x)Nn VK2xx NSW 1nnn,[nb 1] 2nnn +61 2 xxxx xxxx[nb 2] +10 (+9+12 +10+12) [nb 3] +11 (+10+12) [nb 4]
Victoria Vic 3xx(x) xx(x)Vn VK3xx VIC 3nnn, 8nnn[nb 1] +61 3 xxxx xxxx[nb 2] +10 +11
Queensland Qld 4xx(x) xx(x)Qn VK4xx QLD 4nnn, 9nnn[nb 1] +61 7 xxxx xxxx +10
Western Australia WA 6xx(x) xx(x)Wn VK6xx WA 6nnn +61 8 9xxx xxxx
+61 8 6xxx xxxx
South Australia SA 5xx(x) xx(x)Sn VK5xx SA 5nnn +61 8 8xxx xxxx
+61 8 7xxx xxxx
+9+12 +10+12
Tasmania Tas 7xx(x) xx(x)Tn VK7xx TAS 7nnn +61 3 6xxx xxxx +10 +11
Australian Capital Territory ACT 1xx(x)[nb 5] xx(x)Cn[nb 5] VK1xx[nb 5] ACT 02nn,[nb 1] 26nn, 29nn +61 2 62xx xxxx
+61 2 61xx xxxx
+10 +11
Northern Territory NT 8xx(x) xx(x)Dn VK8xx NT 08nn +61 8 89xx xxxx +9+12
External territories
Christmas Island 6xx(x) xx(x)Wn VK9xx WA 6798 +61 8 9164 xxxx +7
Norfolk Island 2xx(x) xx(x)Nn VK2xx NSW 2899 +672 3 xx xxx +11 +12
Cocos Island 6xx(x) xx(x)Wn VK9xx WA 6799 +61 8 9162 xxxx +6+12
Australian Antarctic Territory AAT none VK0xx TAS 7151 +672 1 +6 to +8
  1. ^ a b c d This is used for some PO box and large users only.
  2. ^ a b Some exceptions apply to numbers in this state's number range.
  3. ^ 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 and Lord Howe Island which is 30 minutes ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time.
  4. ^ Broken Hill and surrounding region observe Australian Central Summer Time. Lord Howe Island adopts Australian Eastern Summer Time.
  5. ^ a b c A number of broadcast stations in the ACT have call signs allocated as if ACT were part of New South Wales.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c The Australian Antarctic Territory covers nearly 5.9 million square kilometres, about 42% of Antarctica, but this claim is only recognised by France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom.[1] Antarctic territorial claims are generally unrecognised by the international community.
  2. ^ Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  3. ^ Perth was defined as the capital by statute in 2016: City of Perth Act 2016 (WA) in AustLII.
  4. ^ Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  5. ^ Crown represented by the Governor-General of Australia.
  6. ^ Administered by the Commonwealth.
  7. ^ Unless provided, references and details on data provided in the table can be found within the individual state and territory articles.
  8. ^ Under the definitions in ISO 3166-1, the AAT is covered by the Antarctican ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code "AQ".
  9. ^ No permanent population, research station with fluctuating staff numbers.
  10. ^ No permanent population, weather monitoring station generally with four staff.[15]
  11. ^ Most of which is ocean.


  1. ^ Antarctic Territory claims and The Antarctic Treaty System
  2. ^ Twomey, Anne (January 2008). "The States, the Commonwealth and the Crown: The Battle for Sovereignty". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  3. ^ a b c Section 2B, Acts Interpretation Act 1901
  4. ^ "Territories of Australia". Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Archived from the original on 9 February 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  5. ^ a b Davey, Melissa (21 May 2015). "'We're not Australian': Norfolk Islanders adjust to shock of takeover by mainland". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Border Lengths – States and Territories". Geoscience Australia. Commonwealth of Australia. 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Oceans and Seas". Geoscience Australia. Australian Government. 7 June 2023. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  8. ^ "Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act 1933". Federal Register of Legislation. 4 July 2008.
  9. ^ a b c ISO 3166-2:AU (ISO 3166-2 codes for the states and territories of Australia)
  10. ^ a b c "National, state and territory population". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 17 September 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d "Area of Australia – States and Territories". Geoscience Australia: National Location Information. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Number of Members". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  13. ^ "Norfolk Island Regional Council under Administration". Norfolk Island Regional Council. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Meet the Council". Shire of Cocos Keeling Islands. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  15. ^ "How Willis Island weather observers survive life working at the remote outpost off Queensland". ABC News. 28 March 2018. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  16. ^ "External territories". Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  17. ^ "10. External territories". 15 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Frequently asked questions". 28 February 2005.
  19. ^ Christmas Island Act 1958, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 10 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 3 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Norfolk Island Act 1979, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Norfolk Island Applied Laws Ordinance 2016". Federal Register of Legislation. 28 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Norfolk Island Applied Laws and Service Delivery (Queensland) Ordinance 2021". Federal Register of Legislation. 4 February 2023.
  25. ^ Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act 1933, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Australian Antarctic Territory Act 1954, Federal Register of Legislation. Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine
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