Monday, April 06, 2015

Learn with me #37

This is as much for my benefit as yours.

The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of a number of states and territories. The states are relatively easy to know and even if you are not Australian, you will probably have heard of them. Less known are our territories apart from a couple of major ones. I certainly did not know them all.

Let us begin with the mainland states, their abbreviations and their capital cities. The elected head of each state is known as the Premier and each state also has a Queen's representative, a Governor. Australia as a whole has another representative of the Queen, the Governor General.

Queensland, QLD, Brisbane
New South Wales, NSW, Sydney
Victoria, VIC, Melbourne
South Australia, SA, Adelaide
West Australia, WA, Perth

Then there is our island state:
Tasmania, TAS, Hobart

Two major territories on the mainland:
Australian Capital Territory, ACT, Canberra (our national capital, with the ACT surrounded by NSW)
Northern Territory, NT, Darwin

Now we get quite obscure and I was completely unaware of this one on the mainland:
Jervis Bay Territory, JBT (with a Pacific coastline, administered by the ACT and within NSW)

The rest are offshore territories or more accurately, external territories:
Norfolk Island,  NF, Kingston (Pacific Ocean)
Christmas Island, CX (Indian Ocean)
Cocos (Keeling) Islands, CC (Indian Ocean)
Coral Sea Islands (Pacific Ocean)
Heard and McDonald Islands, HM (Indian Ocean)
Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Indian Ocean)
Australian Antarctic Territory (Antarctic)
Papua and New Guinea, PNG, Port Moresby  (no, we let that one go)
New Zealand, NZ, Wellington (haha, not yet)

So six states and ten territories make up Australia. You have my admiration if you already knew of them all.

40 comments:

  1. I had forgotten about JBT which I guess was created because of the Naval base.

    I never knew about Coral Sea Islands being a Territory of Australia. Do we have resorts there that we can visit?

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    1. Victor, from my brief reading JBT was wanted by ACT so it could have some coastline, but perhaps because it wanted a naval base in its territory. I've no idea about Coral Sea Island.

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    2. Very generous of NSW to concede even further territory to ACT just so it could have some coastline or was this yet another example of Victorian effrontery.

      If JBT provides ACT some coastline then I hope the 'self governing' ACT finances that area.

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    3. We do. And we didn't want self-government, it was foisted upon us.

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    4. EC, I don't think you have done too badly from self government, your territory spending federal funds.

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    5. Victor, is it not a little odd that the Australian Prime Minister and the Australian Governor General both have digs in Sydney as well as where they are supposed to be, in Canberra, but none elsewhere. As EC said, JBT is funded by the ACT and it is only such a small bit of a very large state that you sacrificed.

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    6. Not odd at all Andrew. Who wouldn't want to have digs in such a beautiful city as Sydney; especially harbourside digs. People pay millions just for that pleasure, including the taxpayers on behalf of those dignitaries.

      'A' small bit? You mean two bits don't you; ACT and JBT. Anyway, it is understandable that a Territory would want to have the security of being surrounded by such a great state as NSW.

      (Sydney v Melbourne anyone?)

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  2. New Zealand almost joined the newly federated nation in 1/1/1901. I wonder what our name would have been and our map would have looked like, had we federated with our Kiwi cousins.

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    1. Hels, more to the point, would we speak with odd accents.

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  3. I failed on three of the Territories: Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands, and Ashmore and Cartier Islands. Which when I think about it is fairly shameful. Thank you.

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    1. Good effort EC. Of the offshore, I knew only a couple.

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  4. All those places to dump refugees and they picked Cambodia. I'd love to know what deal was put in place for that. If they ever stop denying global warming and sea levels rising, I hope it's before those little islands disappear forever.

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    1. Jah Teh, at some point Australia may have to take in people from the low lying islands to our east and west. If you recall a certain John Howard excised some territories from Australia, such as Ashmore Island.

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  5. I live very near to Jervis Bay Territory and it is awesome there. You have to go to their gorgeous beaches sometime. :)

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    1. Snoskred of the few southern NSW beaches I have seen, they are brilliant.

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  6. Of the offshore territories, I would like to visit Christmas Island the most, especially when thousands of red crabs are making their journey from the forests to the sea to breed. I have seen documentary footage and it looks spectacular.

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    1. Ad Rad, there must be a You Tube video out there of the crabs. I believe there are warning signs on the road to not drive over the crabs but at times it is impossible as there just a carpet of them moving across roads. I agree, either the Christmas Islands on the Cocos.

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  7. Andrew, so fantastic Geography lesson. At school it wasn't my favourite subcject now having blogf I am much better at Geography. But In Poland it is a popular proverb " A man learns whole life but dies stupid"...

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    1. Gosia, when we are old we know many many things, but everything we have learnt dies with us.

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  8. I had no idea those islands were territories, or even Australian.
    Nor did I know the Antarctic Territory is Australian.
    I'm so woefully ignorant. (*~*)

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    1. Sadly only some of Antarctica is ours. There are a lot of countries who have staked a claim to it.

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    2. River, from memory, New Zealand has a slice of Antarctica, the US has some and most disconcertingly, so does Russia. Russia wanted to drill for oil there.

      EC, at least we are responsible custodians and we have the biggest chunk.

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  9. Can you explain to this foreigner why ACT and NT are territories and not states? I kind of get why the offshore ones are territories but not why ACT and NT are not another two states? I'm sure that the answer is obvious bit sadly it alludes me.

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    1. I cannot Craig and few Australians would know, but a couple of thoughts. ACT was probably created to contain the capital of Australia, Canberra, so it was not in one state. Read into that Sydney and Melbourne rivalry, perhaps like Glasgow and Edinburgh rivalry. Ad Rad hails from Canberra and may know more. Northern Territory was once part of South Australia, and my theory is that while it wanted independence, it was recognised that it was not financially sustainable as a state and would always need federal funding. Back then the states were not as reliant on federal funding as they now are. They have given over powers to the federal government in exchange for loot. The power of the states diminishes as time goes, and that is not such a bad thing in many ways.

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    2. Yes I was thinking along those lines for ACT - a bit like DC and Washington I suppose. I didn't know about NT and SA so that too makes more sense to me now. Thanks for the lesson!

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    3. Yep...Andrew is right. The capital of Australia has to be in a Territory. It's written into our Constitution. However, there is nothing stopping the Northern Territory from one day becoming a fully fledged State (unless our nation's capital moves there).

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    4. Thanks Ad Rad. Every so often there are murmurings about NT becoming a state, but nothing ever happens.

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  10. I didn't know all of that. I of course new the obvious. Also Tasmania has it's islands.

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    1. WA, indeed, King Island being one of them. We saw an ad before a movie for King Island cheese, which was interesting enough, but then it was repeated. Boring.

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  11. Sorry I haven't visited for a while been busy and needed a break. I remember learning this the last Australia Day when I did research for a post.

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    1. Diane, I should remember then, but I don't. I guess I can go back to your Australia day post.

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  12. So sad.. I failed.. No admiration earned :)

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    1. Grace, I should have been taught this at school, but I wasn't. You didn't even go to school here. Just remember for trivia nights, six states, ten territories.

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  13. I'd heard of most of them (places like Ashmore reef etc don't get past the birdos), but NEVER of JBT!!! I feel quite dismayed! Now, of course, it'll be my mission to visit them all!!

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    1. Lordy Red, you will never get off the mainland and from the deserts. I was gobsmacked about JBT and not knowing. I almost feel like JBT has been deliberately hidden from us.What does happen at that naval base?

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    2. Did your Pilchard know about JBT?

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  14. I just remember the states. I've been to three!

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    1. Susie, how does that compare to the number of US states you have been to? I haven't been to West Australia yet.

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  15. Good Lord... knew the main ones of course but all those islands!!! You learn a new thing (or in this case, several new things) every day. Thanks for the education!!!
    :-)

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    1. BB, nor did I know about all of the island territories. Curious to me, and I think Keeling is the old name, Cocos Island nearly always had Keeling in brackets with the name. Why keep using Keeling?

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