Jervis Bay Territory

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The Jervis Bay Territory is an anomalous and tiny internal territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was surrendered by the state of New South Wales to the Commonwealth Government in 1915 so that the Federal capital at Canberra would have "access to the sea".

It does not have a capital.

An estimated 394 people live in the territory, the majority working and living at the Royal Australian Navy base, HMAS Creswell.

It was administered by the Department of the Interior and later, the Department of the Capital Territory as if it were part of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), although it was always a separate Commonwealth territory. The perception that it is part of the ACT stems from the fact that under the terms of the Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act, the laws of the ACT apply to the Jervis Bay Territory.

In 1989, when the ACT achieved self government, the Department of The Arts, Sport, The Environment, Tourism and Territories took over responsibility for the JBT's administration, and it has since been administered by various Commonwealth Departments responsible to the Minister for Territories.

Jervis Bay Territory is currently administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. However, it is counted as part of the ACT for the purpose of the ACT's representation in the Senate; and it forms part of the Division of Fraser for House of Representatives purposes. The Department of Regional Australia has proposed returning Jervis Bay Territory to New South Wales .

Over 90% of the territory is now legally recognised as Aboriginal land. There is an Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay in the Booderee National Park.

For most purposes, the territory is governed under the laws of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), by the Jervis Bay Administration, which handles matters normally concerned with local or state government, and provides primary school teachers and Australian Federal Police staffing. Residents have access to the courts of the ACT, but are not separately represented in the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Jervis Bay Territory is in the Commonwealth Electoral Division of Fraser (ACT). Jervis Bay Territory residents are not represented at the local or State government level but have access to the decision-making process through community organisations.

For more details see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jervis_Bay_Territory



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