States and territories of Australia

The states and territories are federated administrative divisions in Australia, ruled by regional governments that constitute the second level of governance between the federal government and local governments. States are self-governing polities with incomplete sovereignty (having ceded some sovereign rights to federation) and have their own constitutions, legislatures, departments, and certain civil authorities (e.g. judiciary and law enforcement) that administer and deliver most public policies and programs. Territories can be autonomous and administer local policies and programs much like the states in practice, but are still constitutionally and financially subordinate to the federal government and thus have no true sovereignty.

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 Federation of Australia constitutionally consists of six federated states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) and ten federal territories,[1] out of which three are internal territories (the Australian Capital Territory, the Jervis Bay Territory, and the Northern Territory)[1] contiguous to the Australian mainland; and the other seven are external territories (Ashmore and Cartier Islands, the Australian Antarctic Territory,[lower-alpha 1] Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and Norfolk Island),[1] which 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 have executive authority to 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 government can override any 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, which is 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 Agriculture, Water and the Environment), the external territories are governed by the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.[2] Norfolk Island had its own legislature from 1979 to 2015.[3]

Each state of Australia is a successor to historical British colonies, and each has its own state or territorial 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 legislations 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, Timor Sea, and Torres Strait, from the Melanesian islands 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 34,218 kilometres (21,262 mi) and claims an Exclusive Economic Zone of 8,148,250 square kilometres (3,146,060 sq mi).


States and territories

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[4] 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[lower-alpha 2]
Flag State Postal ISO[5] Capital Population
(June 2022)[6]
Area (km2)[7] Population Density (/km2) No. of Reps. in Aus House[8] Governor Premier
State Government
New South WalesNSWAU-NSWSydney8,153,584809,952 9.99 47 Margaret Beazley Dominic Perrottet
Government of New South Wales
VictoriaVICAU-VICMelbourne6,613,727237,657 27 38 Linda Dessau Daniel Andrews
Victorian Government
QueenslandQLDAU-QLDBrisbane5,322,0581,851,736 2.84 30 Jeannette Young Annastacia Palaszczuk
Queensland Government
Western AustraliaWAAU-WAPerth[lower-alpha 3]2,785,3122,642,753 1.05 16 Chris Dawson Mark McGowan
Government of Western Australia
South AustraliaSAAU-SAAdelaide1,820,5301,044,353 1.73 10 Frances Adamson Peter Malinauskas (Labor) Government of South Australia
TasmaniaTASAU-TASHobart571,51790,758 6.28 5 Barbara Baker Jeremy Rockliff
Tasmanian Government

Internal territories

Internal territories of Australia[lower-alpha 4]
Flag Territory Postal ISO[5] Capital
(or largest settlement)
(June 2022)[6]
Area (km2)[7] Population Density (/km2) No. of Reps. in Aus House[8] Administrator Chief Minister
Territory Government
Australian Capital TerritoryACTAU-ACTCanberra456,6522,358 192 3 None[lower-alpha 5] Andrew Barr
ACT Government
Northern TerritoryNTAU-NTDarwin250,6351,419,630 0.18 2 Vicki O'Halloran Natasha Fyles
Northern Territory Government
Jervis Bay TerritoryNSWNone
(Jervis Bay Village)
40567 6.04 (Part of Division of Fenner) None[lower-alpha 6] None

External territories

External territories of Australia[lower-alpha 7]
Flag Territory Postal ISO[5] Capital
(or largest settlement)
(Jun 2018)[6]
Area (km2)[7] Population Density (/km2) Seats in House of Representatives Administrator Shire President or Mayor
Norfolk Island NSWNFKingston2,60135 74 (Part of Division of Bean) Eric Hutchinson Robin Adams (mayor)[9]
Christmas Island WACXFlying Fish Cove1,938135 14 (Part of Division of Lingiari) Vacant Gordon Thompson
Cocos (Keeling) Islands WACCWest Island54714 39 (Part of Division of Lingiari) Vacant Aindil Minkom[10]
Australian Antarctic TerritoryTASAQ[lower-alpha 8] None
(Davis Station)
60[lower-alpha 9]5,896,500 0.0000102 None None
Coral Sea Islands None
(Willis Island)
4[lower-alpha 10]780,000[lower-alpha 11] 0.000005 None None
Ashmore and Cartier IslandsNone
(offshore anchorage)
0199 0 None None
Heard Island and McDonald Islands TASHMNone
(Atlas Cove)
0372 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.[12]

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[13] 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.[14]

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.[3]

Integration of territories with small populations
TerritoryRef.Subject to laws ofSubject to courts ofPart of electorate of
for Housefor Senate
Christmas Island[15]Western Australia[a]Division of LingiariNorthern Territory
Cocos (Keeling) Islands[16]
Jervis Bay Territory[17]Australian Capital Territory[a]Division of FennerAustralian Capital Territory
Norfolk Island[18]New South Wales[a]Norfolk IslandDivision of Bean
Ashmore and Cartier Islands[19]Northern Territory(no permanent population)
Australian Antarctic Territory[20]Australian Capital Territory
Heard Island and McDonald Islands[21]
Coral Sea Islands[22][23]Australian Capital TerritoryNorfolk 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.


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 (1883–1949)

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)

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[7][25]
Population density
  • % of population
  • in capital
km2sq miRank NumberRank /km2/sq miRank  %Rank
 New South WalesNSW801,150 309,330 57,704,30019.62 24.9 363.0%5[26]
 VictoriaVIC227,444 87,817 66,039,100226.56 68.8 271.0%4[27]
 QueenslandQLD1,729,742 667,857 24,827,00032.79 7.2 546.0%7[28]
 Western AustraliaWA2,527,013 975,685 12,613,70041.03 2.7 773.4%3[29]
 South AustraliaSA984,321 380,04841,706,50051.74 4.5673.5%2[30]
 TasmaniaTAS68,401 26,4107518,50067.58 19.6441.0%8[31]
 Australian Capital TerritoryACT2,358 910 8395,2007167.6 434 199.6%1[32]
 Northern TerritoryNT1,347,791 520,385 3244,00080.18 0.47 854.0%6[33]

Statistical divisions

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 3060 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 200800 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 3,00025,000 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 30,000130,000 people.
  • Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) – SA4s are broader representations of labour forces in population centres, with 100,000300,000 people in regional areas and 300,000500,000 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.[34]

Background and overview

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),[35] 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.[36]

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,[37] 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.[38] 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.[39]

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,[40] travel,[41] applications to educational institutions out of one's home state.[42]

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

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 MHA
New South Wales Legislative Assembly MP
Victoria MLA
Western Australia
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 abbreviation MP is an acceptable, and indeed more common, term for members of each lower house.
  2. Between 1979 and 2015 Norfolk Island was a self-governing external territory with its own legislature, the Norfolk Legislative Assembly, until this was abolished by the Commonwealth Parliament.


Map showing the states of Australia and their governing political parties as of 2022.

Governors and administrators

Post Incumbent Appointed
Governor of New South Wales Margaret Beazley 2 May 2019
Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau 1 July 2015
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 Vicki O'Halloran 31 October 2017
Administrator of Norfolk Island Eric Hutchinson 1 April 2017
Australian Indian Ocean Territories Vacant 4 October 2022

Premiers and chief ministers

Post Incumbent Political party Appointed
Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet MP Liberal 5 October 2021
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews MP Labor 4 December 2014
Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk MP Labor 14 February 2015
Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan MLA Labor 17 March 2017
Premier of South Australia Peter Malinauskas MHA 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 Natasha Fyles MLA Labor 13 May 2022
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

Police forces

State and territory codes

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)NnVK2xx 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)VnVK3xx VIC 3nnn, 8nnn[nb 1]+61 3 xxxx xxxx[nb 2]+10+11
Queensland Qld 4xx(x)xx(x)QnVK4xx QLD 4nnn, 9nnn[nb 1]+61 7 xxxx xxxx+10
Western Australia WA 6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK6xx WA 6nnn+61 8 9xxx xxxx
+61 8 6xxx xxxx
South Australia SA 5xx(x)xx(x)SnVK5xx SA 5nnn+61 8 8xxx xxxx
+61 8 7xxx xxxx
Tasmania Tas 7xx(x)xx(x)TnVK7xx 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
Northern Territory NT 8xx(x)xx(x)DnVK8xx NT 08nn+61 8 89xx xxxx+9+12
External territories
Christmas Island 6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK9xx WA 6798+61 8 9164 xxxx+7
Norfolk Island 2xx(x)xx(x)NnVK2xx NSW 2899+672 3 xx xxx+11
Cocos Island 6xx(x)xx(x)WnVK9xx WA 6799+61 8 9162 xxxx+6+12
Australian Antarctic Territory AAT none VK0xx TAS 7151+672 1 +6 to +8
  1. This is used for some PO box and large users only.
  2. 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 number of broadcast stations in the ACT have call signs allocated as if ACT were part of New South Wales.

See also


  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.[11]
  11. Most of which is ocean.


  1. Section 2B, Acts Interpretation Act 1901
  2. "Territories of Australia". Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. Retrieved 29 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Davey, Melissa (21 May 2015). "'We're not Australian': Norfolk Islanders adjust to shock of takeover by mainland". The Guardian.
  4. "Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act 1933". Federal Register of Legislation.
  5. ISO 3166-2:AU (ISO 3166-2 codes for the states and territories of Australia)
  6. "National, state and territory population". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 17 September 2021. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  7. "Area of Australia – States and Territories". Geoscience Australia: National Location Information. Geoscience Australia. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. "Number of Members". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  9. "Norfolk Island Regional Council under Administration". Norfolk Island Regional Council. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "Meet the Council". Shire of Cocos Keeling Islands. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  11. "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.
  12. "External territories". Archived from the original on 19 January 2022. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  13. "10. External territories". 15 July 2010.
  14. "Frequently asked questions".
  15. Christmas Island Act 1958 Archived 10 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  16. Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  17. Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 Archived 3 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  18. Norfolk Island Act 1979 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  19. Ashmore and Cartier Islands Acceptance Act 1933 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  20. Australian Antarctic Territory Act 1954 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  21. Heard Island and McDonald Islands Act 1953 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  22. Application of Laws Ordinance 1973 (Coral Sea Islands) Archived 5 November 2021 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  23. Coral Sea Islands Act 1969 Archived 22 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Federal Register of Legislation.
  24. Ling, Ted. "Dividing the Territory, 1926–31". Commonwealth Government Records about the Northern Territory. National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  25. "Area of Australia - States and Territories". 15 May 2014.
  26. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "New South Wales". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  27. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Victoria". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  28. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Queensland". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  29. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Western Australia". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  30. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "South Australia". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  31. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Tasmania". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  32. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Australian Capital Territory". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  33. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Northern Territory". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  34. "Australian Statistical Geography Standards". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 11 June 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  35. A.H. McLintock (ed), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, 3 vols, Wellington, NZ:R.E. Owen, Government Printer, 1966, vol 3 p. 526.'
  36. Constitution of Australia, section 122
  37. Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915 (Cth) Archived 6 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
  38. "Jervis Bay Territory Governance and Administration". The Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport. Retrieved 17 January 2013. Although the Jervis Bay Territory is not part of the Australian Capital Territory, the laws of the ACT apply, insofar 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'
  39. Hayward, Philip (2021). "Australia's oddest jurisdiction : the continuous anomaly of Jervis Bay Territory". Small States & Territories. 4 (1): 157–170.
  40. "Interstate-registered vehicles". Government of South Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  41. "Interstate travel". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  42. "Applying interstate". VTAC. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
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