ACT: Australian Capital Territory

Australian Capital Territory, Australia

In the heartland of Australia, lies the Commonwealth of Australia within its smallest self-governing internal territory known as the “ACT” or “Australian Capital Territory” that is knicknamed the “Bush Capital” hosting a population of approximately 333,667 inhabitants. The ACT is similar in function and organization to the United State’s “District of Columbia”. The ACT is surrounded completely within New South Wales. It was created as a “National Territory” during the 19th century’s Federation conventions so that in 1901 land would be ceded freely from New South Wales to create the new Federal Government in completion by 1911. By 1913 Canberra was named the National Capital. The ACT is bounded by Naas Creek to the South, Cotter River watershed to the west, Molonglo River to the Northeast, and the Goulburn-Cooma railway to the East. The confines of the land consists mainly of countryside and agriculture as well as some National Park with its mountains and forests. There is a small area on the Beecroft Peninsula that grants the ACT a tiny coastline strip around the northern headland of Jervis Bay. Besides Canberra, the ACT has Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa, Hall, and Williamsdale. The internal self governing territory is not independent like the rest of the Australian states. Canberra hosts a eleced 17 member Legislative Assembly representing the ACT and the other states that enacts the laws even though it can be over-ruled by the Australian Governor-General. The ACT unlike the other territories does not have an administrator but rather the Governor General for the Territory. Its Federal Parliament is represented by four Federal members – two of which are of the House of Representatives, then the Division of Fraser and the Division of Canberra. The ACT operates departments/divisions of “Health”, “Planning and Land Authority”, “the Chief Minister’s Department”, Department of Disability, Housing, and Community Services; Department of Education and Training; Department of Justice and Commmunity Safety; the Department of Territory and Municipal Services”, and the Department of Treasury. The ACT is also one of Australia’s areas that experiences all four of the seasons with hot dry summers and cold winters. Canberra is also home to the 1840’s discovery of trilobites and brachiopods that once were the oldest fossils found in Australia and its oldest rocks dating to over 480 million years old. Surrounding the capital city of Canberra are three peaks – the Black Mountain, Red Hill, and Mount Ainslie which are held to have different spiritual values.





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