Portal:Australian Capital Territory

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The Australian Capital Territory Portal

Flag of Australian Capital Territory
Coat of Arms of the Australian Capital Territory
Location within Australia

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.

On 1 January 1901, federation of the colonies of Australia was achieved. Section 125 of the new Australian Constitution provided that land, situated in New South Wales and at least 100 miles (160 km) from Sydney, would be ceded to the new federal government. Following discussion and exploration of various areas within New South Wales, the Seat of Government Act 1908 was passed in 1908 which specified a capital in the Yass-Canberra region. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the capital city being founded and formally named as Canberra in 1913.

While the overwhelming majority of the population reside in the city of Canberra in the ACT's north-east, the Territory also includes some surrounding townships such as Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall. The ACT also includes the Namadgi National Park which comprises the majority of land area of the Territory. Despite a common misconception, the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the ACT although the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply as if Jervis Bay did form part of the ACT. The Territory has a relatively dry, contintental climate experiencing warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.

The Australian Capital Territory is home to many important institutions of the federal government, national monuments and museums. This includes the Parliament of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian War Memorial. It also hosts the majority of foreign embassies in Australia as well as regional headquarters of many international organisations, not-for-profit groups, lobbying groups and professional associations. Several major universities also have campuses in the ACT including the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, the University of New South Wales, Charles Sturt University and the Australian Catholic University.

A locally elected legislative assembly has governed the Territory since 1988. However, the Commonwealth maintains authority over the Territory and may overturn local laws. It still maintains control over the area known as the Parliamentary Triangle through the National Capital Authority. Residents of the Territory elect three members to the House of Representatives and two Senators to the Australian Senate.

With 419,200 residents, the Australian Capital Territory is second smallest mainland state or territory by population. At the 2016 census, the median weekly income for people in the Territory aged over 15 was $998 and higher than the national average of $662. The average level of degree qualification in the ACT is also higher than the national average. Within the ACT, 37.1% of the population hold a bachelor's degree level or above education compared to the national figure of 20%.

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University
The Australian National University, commonly abbreviated to ANU, is a public research university situated in Canberra, Australia. It was established by an act of the Parliament of Australia on 1 August 1946, with the legislated purpose of conducting and promoting research in Australia.

The university is a member of several university alliances and cooperative networks, including the Group of Eight (Australian universities), the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and the International Alliance of Research Universities. The University consistently ranks highly on several international surveys, including the Newsweek Top 100 and the annual Times Higher Education Supplement rankings. Its notable staff and alumni include five Nobel laureates. The University is governed by a 15-member council.

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Canberra Raiders vs. Canterbury Bulldogs in a March 2005 match at Canberra Stadium
Credit: *Paul*

Canberra Stadium (originally known as Bruce Stadium) is a facility primarily used for rugby league and rugby union games, located adjacent to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Capacity is a nominal all-seated 25,000, the largest crowd being 28,753 for the 2004 Super 12 Final. Bruce is the Canberra suburb where the stadium is located, and in turn Bruce was named after Stanley Bruce, Australian Prime Minister 1923-1929.

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Overlooking Lake Burley Griffin and the Australian War Memorial to view Mount Ainslie
Credit: John Conway

Mount Ainslie or Mount Ainslie-Majura is a part of Canberra Nature Park. It borders on the inner suburbs of Campbell, Ainslie and Hackett. See also Mount Majura. It has a lookout area surmounted by a rotating aircraft beacon on the summit which stands 842 metres above sea level and gives excellent 360° views across the city and surrounding country within the Australian Capital Territory and beyond to New South Wales.

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