Talk:Australian Capital Territory

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Head of state[edit]

According to Laying down the Law (a standard Aussie undergraduate law textbook), page 163, the ACT has no head of state. I guess this means that although the Governor-General may annull legislation, he's not the head of state and neither is the Queen. Is this view correct? Is it the case that NSW has the Queen has head of state and the ACT exists somehow superimposed on the land that already has that head of state from the NSW Constitution? - Richardcavell 08:49, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

The entire thing has been shrouded in controversy ever since Sydney got grumpy about not being the nations capital. I'm sure they were eventually happy, after all, it is just 100 miles from Sydney and surrounded by N.S.W. No doubt there was some underhandedness in the creatinon of the Australian Capital Territory. The creation of Canberra however, should be noted as an architectural, engineering and social masterpiece of the 20th century, brilliance by Walter Burley Griffin and all who participated in designing Canberra.

I'd like to see this issue investigated further as I have no clear sources to behind my comments. Although I'm sure somehow it will slowly fade away and be forgotten. Nick carson 03:03, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know the text book but I would disagree that the ACT has no head of state. (a) The fact that the ACT is physically within NSW is irrelevant. Legally, it is entirely separate. (2) The ACT is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. The British monarch is the head of state of Australia and is therefore the head of state of all parts of Australia, including the ACT. The very fact that the GG can annul ACT legislation proves that the person he represents, the Queen, is the head of state. If she were not the head of state, not only could the GG not annul legislation, but neither could he give it royal assent to begin with. JackofOz 06:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The ACT is not a state in either sense of the word, it has no sovereign or constitutional status, and therefore has no "head of state." It is an adminstrative convenience created by the Commonwealth, and could be abolished by the Commonwealth at any time. Since it has a Westminster system someone has to play the role of the Crown, and I gather that someone is the Governor-General, but his role is only analagous to that of a state governor, it is not constitutionally the same. Adam 08:09, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Neither is the Northern Territory. Despite having self-government, it too could be abolished at any time, techically speaking (although achieving that politically would be a very different question). Why does the NT have its own Administrator to represent the monarch, but the ACT not? The GG is a creature of the Australian Constitution, and the convention is that he acts solely on the advice of the Prime Minister. Does the ACT Chief Minister also get to advise him about ACT matters? What happens if the advices clash? JackofOz 03:38, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

The Commonwealth could not abolish the ACT if it wanted to. The existance of a Federal territory for the seat of government is mandated in the constitution. The closest thing to a Head of State in Canberra is the Governor-General. The Self government legislation gives the GG the power to summon the territory assembly, assent to laws and so on. In practice it is the Chief Minister who turns up to things and opens Art Gallerys, like the Governor would interstate. 08:23, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Lowest Elevation in Infobox[edit]

I think off the top of my head the lowest elevation in the ACT is where the Murrumbidge flows out to NSW. Not sure of it's elevation though. --Martyman-(talk) 05:05, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Looking up the and putting in the 2 m contour the elevation is 423 meters where the river leaves the territory. However the low point would be in Jervis Bay at around sea level. Are we counting Jervis Bay in ACT?

GB 05:41, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

No Jervis bay is not technically par tof the ACT any more. --Martyman-(talk) 06:00, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think I got 429m from one of my paper maps I am sure the source you have is better. --Martyman-(talk) 06:01, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The ACT does not have equal Federal representation.[edit]

I am just adding a comment The ACT does not have the full Federal representation accorded to a State to the governance section. That is a NPOV comment and it is notable. For example, the District of Columbia (in a similar situation to the ACT) has an entire section on the less than full Federal representation. This is very much the type of information that someone from a country other than Australia (who does not have the fine detail knowledge of the Senate) would feel it helpful to have.Sad mouse 03:42, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The Senate was dreated as a States' House, to protect WA and the other small states against Victoria and NSW. The introduction of Territory Senators went against this whole notion and was challanged twice in the High Court. As the ACT is not a State and was not an original State if anything it is overrepresented in the Senate. Xtra 04:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Additionally the ACT is vastly different from D.C. as the ACT is represented in both houses with voting members, unlike D.C. and if people want to find out about the Senate they can click on the link. Xtra 04:10, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
That is the why. I understand that. Just because there is a reason does not mean that it should be hidden. As I already said, the DC article spends an entire paragraph on it, and you constantly revert half a sentence. Your removal of a relevant fact of Australian politics in regards to the ACT is POV. Sad mouse 04:12, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It can be mentioned - but - in a NPOV way. Such as: "not being one of the original States, the ACT is not granted the Constitutional entitlement of 12 Senators, but rather has been granted 2" Xtra 04:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

You don't actually understand NPOV, do you? I'll leave this article to someone else to fix up, someone that you don't stalk around reverting. Sad mouse 04:18, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Being a Westminster system, parliamentarians are just sheep lead by their party, since there is only 2 senate seats, one will go to each big party. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:04, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

coat of arms[edit]

What happened to the coat of arms image? According to a comment on Talk:Coat of arms of Canberra there is no ACT coat of arms. --Astrokey44 10:43, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Technically it is the coat of arms of the city of Canberra; I have no idea what happened to the image. --Peta 03:52, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
There are no logs for it on Wikipedia. An image with the same name (perhaps same image) was deleted on the 1 January 2007 on Commons though.--cj | talk 04:14, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I have loaded another image. But this page should probably not display any coat of arms, since the ACT doesnt have one. Left a message on Template talk:Australia state or territory about it --Astrokey44 10:47, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
Fixed. - 52 Pickup 13:42, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

area in infobox[edit]

The area in the infobox was completely wrong. I corrected it from this source: It doesn't say anything about percentage of water and so on, so I had to leave that blank.--Barend 14:04, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Unforunately, leaving it blank led to some funny behaviour. So, using the given percentage and total area, I've calculated some new values. If this data is inaccurate, it is only a temporary solution and the land/water are fields can be hidden if really necessary. - 52 Pickup 13:52, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposed reworking of ACT & disambig pages[edit]

I've given some rationale for changing the way we currently use the ACT page (currently disambig), and was hoping to get some consensus for change, so I was hoping regular editors of this page might comment at talk:ACT.--YbborTalk 11:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Australian Capital Territory = Canberra[edit]

Are the governmental borders of the ACT and Canberra coterminus? If so, this is a very important fact that needs to be made known in the opening paragraph. --Criticalthinker (talk) 10:46, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

If you mean that they are one in the same, then no. Whilst ACT usually equals Canberra, the majority of the ACT is actually national park. Canberra itself only occupies the northern part of the ACT. In regards to government representation, the ACT is actually divided into two electorates for federal and three for ACT elections. Bridabella (for both local and federial elections and the electrate I live in) covers most of the ACT which is not part of Canberra, as well as a good part of the southern half of Canberra. (eg Tuggies). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Villages such as Hall, Australian Capital Territory and Tharwa, Australian Capital Territory are part of the ACT but are not part of Canberra. For most practical intents and purposes they may as well be part of Canberra, but technically they're not. -- JackofOz (talk) 12:39, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
In terms of local government, then yes, Canberra and the ACT are the same entity. The ACT government provides local government services as a unitary body to all of the ACT, including the outlying towns. There is no separate "City of Canberra" local government authority covering only the Canberra section of the territory. The Australian Bureau of Statistics makes a differentiation between the two. For example, the ACT had 324,034 residents at the 2006 census, while Canberra had only 322,036 residents. Thus, according to the ABS 2006 census, 1,998 people lived in the ACT but not in Canberra. Make of all that what you will! -- Mattinbgn\talk 12:53, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
It looks like Mttinbgn got what I was asking. If they are coterminous as far as governance, this should be made known. I know that the actual urban area doesn't feel the boundaries of the territory, but the "municipal" boundaries, if you will are the same as that of the ACT's territorial boundaries. They are one and the same. --Criticalthinker (talk) 07:32, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
That's because the government of the ACT governs the whole of the ACT, not just Canberra. The boundaries of the ACT are fixed and precise; but exactly where "Canberra" starts and ends is fuzzy, and not defined anywhere as far as I know. Is it defined by the outer suburbs in any direction? Maybe, but I couldn't say for sure. It's fluid anyway; if they decided to build some more suburbs to the south of what is currently the most southern suburb in Tuggeranong, then Canberra would expand. -- JackofOz (talk) 08:21, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Again, Mattinbgn understood what I was asking exactly. And, again, I was simply saying that Canberra and the ACT are coterminous as far as local government is concerned. I'm not talking about whether Canberra fills the entire area. Anyone that can look at a map knows that's not true. But, as far as government goes, ACT and Canberra are one and the same. --Criticalthinker (talk) 01:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I actually disagree with that. The ACT, which includes Canberra, is governed by the ACT Government. No argument there. But that's not the same as saying they're the same thing, or are coterminous. A person who lives in Tharwa or Tidbinbilla would never say they live in Canberra, because they don't, but they still live in the ACT and have the same government as Canberra does. "Coterminous" is a geographical term, not commensurate with "governance", a political/governmental term. Before the 1989 split-off, would you have said that Jervis Bay was "coterminous for governance purposes" with the ACT? That would make as much sense as what I think you're getting at here. -- JackofOz (talk) 09:00, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

William farrer has been removed[edit]

I noted the mention of Farrer in this article which sits oddly in the first few paras

One homestead of special historical interest was Lambrigg, near Tharwa. This was the place in which William Farrer developed the rust-resistant Federation wheat strain that had a major beneficial effect on Australia's wheat industry.

While he made an important contribution this was to the national wheat industry not the history of the ACT per se. He died in 1906 which predates the founding of Canberra. Anyway he is covered in the accompanying history article 05:02, 12 May 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrisfromcanberra (talkcontribs)

I have moved some of the more detailed content under History to the dedicated History Page[edit]

This article should be a summary of the ACT and ideally the 4 (5?) sections should be of equal length. Hopefully this change is greeted positively Chrisfromcanberra (talk) 10:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Bush Capital??[edit]

The opening paragraph states that the ACT is regularly referred to as Australia's "Bush Capital". I live in Melbourne Australia, and am an active follower of Australian politics and have never hear this term used. I suggest this statement be removed or an external reference provided. Maybe this is a term used by people in Canberra? or Sydney?? but it's news to me.Pugsworth (talk) 06:14, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, yes, often by greens as a reason not to build stuff we actually need. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phil Ian Manning (talkcontribs) 00:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I am a resident of Canberra and have spent more than 35 years here. I can assure you that the phrase 'Bush capital' has been used for all that time and long before I came here. When the site for Canberra was chosen, coastal locations and existing cities were not considered—hence the term 'bush' capital. --Greenmaven (talk) 04:42, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


this edit resulted in weird syntax appearing. I've stabbed wildly at trying to address the anonymous' concern, using 'Vice-regal representative' as mentioned at Governor-General of Australia. #Head_of_state may be of use. John Vandenberg (chat) 10:17, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Territory near Jervis Bay[edit]

The article says:

The ACT also has a small strip of territory around the southern end of the Beecroft Peninsula, which is the northern headland of Jervis Bay.

with the footnote

The area of ACT land on the Beecroft Peninsula is clearly shown in the New South Wales Roads Directory (Map 177, grid ref. S 2), which is published by the National Roads and Motoring Association and is based on NSW Department of Lands maps. Several maps showing the boundaries of the ACT exclave on the Beecroft Peninsula are available online, for example:

Can anyone confirm this? I have various maps (e.g. from the ABS or the ACT) that "clearly show" all of Beecroft Pensinsula as NSW territory. I think we need to rely on legal definitions for this.

Felix the Cassowary 13:22, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Well, waddaya know. Beecroft Peninsula seems to have the story. Ask 10,000 ACT residents about this, and I'd guess you'd get 9,999 blank stares. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:07, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
But see also Talk:Beecroft Peninsula. An editor foreshadowed he'd be changing a major error of fact by the end of January 2011, but has not done so yet. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 01:15, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Beecroft Peninsula has now been amended and it's clear that the entire Beecroft Peninsula is part of NSW. The erroneous idea that the southern tip of the Peninsula is part of the ACT comes from confusion between the concept of land owned by the Commonwealth government, as opposed to land that is under Commonwealth jurisdiction. Maps that show the southern tip as part of the ACT are simply inaccurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rithom (talkcontribs) 06:48, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

The new federal dept. states "...Athough the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the Australian Capital Territory, the laws of the ACT apply, in so far 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." - [1]

To say that the Jervis Bay Territory is or has ever been part of the ACT is incorrect. Jervis Bay has always been a separate territory, although it was administered as if it was part of the ACT until 1989. After that time, Jervis Bay was administered separately from the ACT. Refer [2] and also Jervis Bay TerritoryDgnsnj (talk) 14:02, 11 September 2012 (UTC).


There is essentially nothing in this article about the ACT's history, but there is an article called History of the Australian Capital Territory that is linked to in the "See also" section. That article should be considered a sub-article of this one, with a section here written according to Wikipedia:Summary style. That should probably be done by someone with some sensitivity to what is actually important, but I would recommend a paragraph (or at least sentence or two) on Pre-European history, another about the area's selection as the capital, and another paragraph or two about early relations with the federal government and moves toward self-governance. -Rrius (talk) 03:01, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Gay Marriage Commentary[edit]

I have moved the commentary on gay marriage to the History of the Australian Capital Territory wiki page. It is a more appropriate spot to place such commentary as opposed to second paragraph of the main article. Libstooge 01 (talk) 13:11, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Is the ACT a constitutional monarchy?[edit]

As stated (and cited) in the article, the ACT has no vice-regal post like Governor or Administrator. The article ACT Legislative Assembly makes the same claim and cites yet another source, a government website regarding the ACT Self-Government Act. On this basis, I have removed the Administrator from the infobox. I note that the infobox also says the ACT is a "constitutional monarchy", but is that quite correct if the ACT has no vice-regal post? If that statement is to remain, it should be cited from a reliable source. Origin238 (talk) 02:53, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

The form of government in the ACT is "constitutional monarchy" because the ACT is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, whose form of government is constitutional monarchy. That seems to me to be plain enough in the article. It is so in all of the State articles, as well as that for the NT. The Norfolk Island article is different and maybe that needs to be brought into line. Wikiain (talk) 03:44, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The main difference between the ACT and the other states is that the ACT has no vice-regal post representing the crown. The federal government has the Governor-General, each state has a Governor, and NT has an Administrator, all of which are representatives of the Queen. The ACT has no equivalent post. Even Norfolk Island has an Administrator who represents the crown. It could be that the ACT is still a "constitutional monarchy" anyway; I don't know. But I will remove the Administrator from the infobox because the article explicitly says that the ACT doesn't have one. If someone really wants to have an Administrator there, perhaps they can come here to form a consensus. Origin238 (talk) 07:07, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 2 external links on Australian Capital Territory. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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