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Northern Territory

Northern Territory
State flag (Full size) Coat of Arms (Full size)
Capital Darwin
— Land
— Marine
— Total

1 349 129 kmē
71 839 kmē
1 420 968 kmē
Population (2002)
197 700
Time zone UTC+9:30
Highest point Mt Zeil (1 531 m)
ISO 3166-2 code: AU-NT
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia. There were four attempts to settle the harsh environment of the northern coast, of which three failed horribly in starvation and despair. The Northern Territory was part of New South Wales from 1825 to 1863 and was later part of South Australia from 1863 to 1911. On January 1, 1911 the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia. It was transferred to Commonwealth control shortly after Federation. During World War II, most of the "top end" was placed under military government. This is the only time that an Australian state or territory has been placed under military government. After the war, control for the entire area was handed back to the Commonwealth government. In 1974 the NT was given self-government, with a Legislative Assembly. The capital city is Darwin, the successful fourth settlement on the north coast; the second biggest city is Alice Springs, in the desert interior to the south. Other towns include Katherine, Pine Creek, and Tennant Creek, with many small settlements scattered across the Territory.

For several years there has been agitation for full statehood. A referendum was held on the issue in 1998 which failed. This was a shock to both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments, for opinion polls showed most Territorians supported statehood. However, under the Australian Constitution, the Federal government may set the terms of entry to full statehood. The Northern Territory was offered 3 Senators, rather than the full complement of 12. Alongside the arrogant approach adopted by then Chief Minister Shane Stone[?], it is believed that most Territorians were reluctant to adopt the poor offer which was made.

The Northern Territory for a while was one of the first places in the world with legal voluntary euthanasia, but the Federal Parliament overturned the legislation. Before the overriding legislation was enacted, three people had been voluntarily euthanasised by Dr Philip Nietschke[?].

The current head of government in the Territory is Chief Minister Clare Martin of the Australian Labor Party (since August 2001[?]).

Local Government Areas of the Northern Territory

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