HistoryHumans have lived in the present area of the Northern Territory since at least 48.4 to 68.7 thousand years ago and for at least the last five centuries of that time, extensive seasonal trade links are said to have existed between the Indigenous Australians, Indigenous peoples of this area and what is now . With the coming of the British, there were four early attempts to settle the harsh environment of the northern coast, of which three failed in starvation and despair. The land now occupied by the Northern Territory was part of colonial New South Wales from 1825 to 1863, except for a brief time from February to December 1846, when it was part of the short-lived colony of North Australia. The Northern Territory was part of South Australia from 1863 to 1911. Under the administration of colonial South Australia, the Australian Overland Telegraph Line, overland telegraph was constructed between 1870 and 1872. From its establishment in 1869 the Port of Darwin was the major Territory supply for many decades. A railway was built between Palmerston, Northern Territory, Palmerston and Pine Creek, Northern Territory, Pine Creek between 1883 and 1889. The economic pattern of cattle raising and mining was established so that by 1911 there were 513,000 cattle. Victoria River Downs Station, Victoria River Downs was at one time the largest cattle station in the world. Gold was found at Grove Hill in 1872 and at Pine Creek, Northern Territory, Pine Creek, Brocks Creek, Burundi, and copper was found at Daly River, Northern Territory, Daly River. On 1 January 1911, a decade after federation, the Northern Territory, alongside the Australian Capital Territory, was separated from South Australia and transferred to federal control. Alfred Deakin opined at this time "To me the question has been not so much commercial as national, first, second, third and last. Either we must accomplish the peopling of the northern territory or submit to its transfer to some other nation." In late 1912 there was growing sentiment that the name "Northern Territory" was unsatisfactory. The names "Kingsland" (after George V of the United Kingdom, King George V and to correspond with ), "Centralia" and "Territoria" were proposed with Kingsland becoming the preferred choice in 1913. However, the name change never went ahead. For a brief time between 1927 and 1931 the Northern Territory was divided into North Australia (territory), North Australia and Central Australia (territory), Central Australia at the 20th parallel of South latitude. Soon after this time, parts of the Northern Territory were considered in the Kimberley Plan as a possible site for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland, understandably considered the "Unpromised Land". During World War II, most of the Top End was placed under military government. This is the only time since Federation that part of an Australian state or territory has been under military control. After the war, control for the entire area was handed back to the Commonwealth. The Bombing of Darwin occurred on 19 February 1942. It was the largest single attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia. Evidence of Darwin's World War II history is found at a variety of preserved sites in and around the city, including ammunition bunkers, airstrips, oil tunnels and museums. The port was damaged in the 1942 Japanese air raids. It was subsequently restored. In the late 1960s improved roads in adjoining States linking with the territory, port delays and rapid economic development led to uncertainty in port and regional infrastructure development. As a result of the Commission of Enquiry established by the Administrator, port working arrangements were changed, berth investment deferred and a port masterplan prepared. Extension of rail transport was then not considered because of low freight volumes. Indigenous Australians had struggled for rights to fair wages and land. An important event in this struggle was the Gurindji strike, strike and walk off by the Gurindji people at Kalkaringi, Wave Hill Cattle Station in 1966. The Northern Territory Council for Aboriginal Rights (NTCAR) supported the strikers and provided publicity. The federal government of Gough Whitlam#Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam set up Aboriginal Land Rights Commission, the Woodward Royal Commission in February 1973, which set to enquire into how land rights might be achieved in the Northern Territory. Philip Woodward (judge), Justice Woodward's first report in July 1973 recommended that a Central Land Council and a Northern Land Council be established to present to him the views of Aboriginal people. In response to the report of the Royal Commission a Land Rights Bill was drafted, but the Whitlam Government was dismissed before it was passed. The ''Aboriginal Land Rights Act, Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976'' was eventually passed by the Malcolm Fraser, Fraser government on 16 December 1976 and began operation on 26 January 1977). In 1974, from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, Darwin was devastated by tropical Cyclone Tracy. Cyclone Tracy killed 71 people, caused A$837 million in damage (approximately A$6.85 billion in 2018), and destroyed more than 70 per cent of Darwin's buildings, including 80 per cent of houses. Tracy left more than 41,000 out of the 47,000 inhabitants of the city homeless. The city was rebuilt with much-improved construction codes and is a modern, landscaped metropolis today. The Northern Territory Council for Aboriginal Rights was disestablished in 1976. In 1978 the territory was granted responsible government, with a Legislative Assembly headed by a chief minister. The territory also publishes official notices in its own ''Northern Territory of Australia Government Gazette, Government Gazette''. The administrator of the Northern Territory is an official acting as the Queen's ''indirect'' representative in the territory. During 1995–96 the Northern Territory was briefly one of the few places in the world with Euthanasia in Australia#Legalisation in the Northern Territory, legal voluntary euthanasia, until the Federal Parliament overturned Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995, the legislation. Before the over-riding legislation was enacted, four people used the law supported by Dr. Philip Nitschke.
GeographyThere are many very small settlements scattered across the territory, but the larger population centres are located on the single paved road that links Darwin to southern Australia, the Stuart Highway, known to locals simply as "the track". The Northern Territory is home to two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), which are sacred to the local Aboriginal peoples and which have become major tourist attractions. The northern portion of the territory is principally tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, tropical savannas, composed of several distinct List of ecoregions in Australia, ecoregions – Arnhem Land tropical savanna, Carpentaria tropical savanna, Kimberley tropical savanna, Victoria Plains tropical savanna, and Mitchell Grass Downs. The southern portion of the territory is covered in deserts and xeric shrublands, including the Great Sandy-Tanami desert, Simpson Desert, and Central Ranges xeric scrub. In the northern part of the territory lies Kakadu National Park, which features extensive wetlands and native wildlife. To the north of that lies the Arafura Sea, and to the east lies Arnhem Land, whose regional centre is Maningrida, Northern Territory, Maningrida on the Liverpool River delta. There is an extensive series of river systems in the Northern Territory. These rivers include: the Alligator Rivers, Daly River (Northern Territory), Daly River, Finke River, McArthur River, Roper River, Todd River and Victoria River (Northern Territory), Victoria River. The Hay River is a river south-west of Alice Springs, with the Marshall River, Arthur Creek, Camel Creek and Bore Creek flowing into it.
National parks* Arnhem Land (Restricted Area) * Barranyi (North Island) National Park * Casuarina, Northern Territory, Casuarina Coastal Reserve * Daly River (Northern Territory), Daly River Nature Park * Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve * Djukbinj National Park * Dulcie Range National Park * Elsey National Park * Finke Gorge National Park * Gregory National Park * Gurig National Park-now Garig Gunak Barlu National Park * Howard Springs Nature Park Conservation Reserve * Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park * Kakadu National Park * Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve * Keep River National Park * Litchfield National Park * Mary River (Northern Territory), Mary River Crossing Conservation Reserve and proposed Mary River National Park * Mataranka Hot Springs * Nitmiluk National Park * Katherine Gorge * Palm Valley (Northern Territory), Palm Valley * Tanami Desert * The Olgas * Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park * Watarrka National Park (including Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Kings Canyon) * West MacDonnell National Park
ClimateThe Northern Territory has two distinctive climate zones. The northern end, including Darwin, has a tropical climate with high humidity and two seasons, the wet (October to April) and dry season (May to September). During the dry season nearly every day is warm and sunny, and afternoon humidity averages around 30%. There is very little rainfall between May and September. In the coolest months of June and July, the daily minimum temperature may dip as low as , but very rarely lower, and frost has never been recorded. The wet season is associated with tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. The majority of rainfall occurs between December and March (the southern hemisphere summer), when thunderstorms are common and afternoon relative humidity averages over 70% during the wettest months. On average more than of rain falls in the north. Rainfall is highest in north-west coastal areas, where rainfall averages from . The central region is the desert centre of the country, which includes Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock), and is semi-arid with little rain usually falling during the hottest months from October to March. Seasons are more distinct in central Australia, with very hot summers and cool winters. Frost is recorded a few times a year. The region receives less than of rain per year. The highest temperature recorded in the territory was at Aputula, Northern Territory, Finke on 1 and 2 January 1960. The lowest temperature was at Alice Springs on 17 July 1976.
ParliamentThe Northern Territory Parliament is one of the three unicameralism, unicameral parliaments in the country. Based on the Westminster System, it consists of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly which was created in 1974, replacing the Northern Territory Legislative Council. It also produces the ''Northern Territory of Australia Government Gazette''. The Northern Territory Legislative Council was the partly elected governing body from 1947 until its replacement by the fully elected Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in 1974. The total enrolment for the 1947 election was 4,443. The Northern Territory was split into five electorates: Darwin, Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Batchelor, and Stuart. While this assembly exercises powers similar to those of the parliaments of the states of Australia, it does so by legislated devolution of powers from the Government of Australia, Commonwealth Government, rather than by any constitutional right. As such, the Commonwealth Government retains the right to legislate for the territory, including the power to override legislation passed by the Legislative Assembly. The Queen of Australia, Monarch is represented by the Administrator of the Northern Territory, who performs a role similar to that of a governors of the Australian states, state governor. Twenty-five members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to four-year terms from single-member Electoral district, electorates. For some years there has been Proposed Northern Territory statehood, agitation for full statehood. A 1998 Northern Territory referendum, referendum of voters in the Northern Territory was held on the issue in 1998, which resulted in a 'no' vote. This was a shock to both the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments, as opinion polls showed most Territorians supported statehood. But under the Australian Constitution, the federal government may set the terms of entry to full statehood. The Northern Territory was offered three senators, rather than the twelve guaranteed to original states. (Because of the difference in populations, equal numbers of Senate seats would mean a Territorian's vote for a senator would have been worth more than 30 votes in New South Wales or Victoria (Australia), Victoria.) Alongside what was cited as an arrogant approach adopted by then chief minister Shane Stone, it is believed that most Territorians, regardless of their general views on statehood, were reluctant to adopt the particular offer that was made.
Chief minister and cabinetThe Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, chief minister is the head of government of a self-governing territory (the head of a state government is a ''premier''). The chief minister is appointed by the administrator of the Northern Territory, administrator, who in normal circumstances appoints the leader of whichever party holds the majority of seats in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. The current chief minister is Michael Gunner of the Australian Labor Party. He replaced Adam Giles on 31 August 2016.
AdministratorThe Northern Territory became self-governing on 1 July 1978 under its own administrator of the Northern Territory, administrator appointed by the Governor-General of Australia. The federal government, not the NT government, advises the governor-general on the appointment of the administrator, but by convention consults first with the Territory government. The current administrator is Vicki O'Halloran.
Federal governmentThe Northern Territory is represented in the Parliament of Australia, federal parliament by two members in the House of Representatives and two members in the Senate. , resulting from the 2019 Australian federal election, 2019 federal election, Warren Snowdon from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Luke Gosling from the Australian Labor Party (ALP) serve in the House of Representatives, and Malarndirri McCarthy from the ALP and Sam McMahon from the Country Liberal Party serve in the Senate.
Local governmentThe Northern Territory is divided into 17 Local government areas of the Northern Territory, local government areas, including 11 shires and five municipalities. Shire, city and town councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Northern Territory parliament, such as road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants.
Aboriginal land councilsAboriginal land councils in the Northern Territory are groups of Aboriginal landowners, set up under the ''Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976''.
Political partiesThe two historically dominant political parties in the Northern Territory are the conservative Country Liberal Party, and the Social democracy, social-democratic Australian Labor Party (Northern Territory Branch), Australian Labor Party. Minor parties that are also active in the NT include the Northern Territory Greens, the Shooters and Fishers Party, Territory Alliance and various others. It is common for independent politicians to win election.
DemographicsThe population of the Northern Territory at the 2011 Australian census was 211,945,2011 Census QuickStats: Northern Territory
Cities and townsNot all communities are incorporated cities, or towns. They are referred to as "Statistical Local Areas."
Ancestry and immigrationAt the 2016 census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were: 31.2% of the population was born overseas at the 2016 census. The five largest groups of overseas-born were from the Philippines (2.6%), England (2.4%), New Zealand (2%), India (1.6%) and Greece (0.6%). 25.5% of the population, or 58,248 people, identified as Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders) in 2016.
LanguagesAt the 2016 census, 58% of the population spoke only Australian English, English at home. The other languages most commonly spoken at home were Australian Kriol, Kriol (1.9%), Dhuwal language, Djambarrpuyngu (1.9%), Greek language, Greek (1.4%) Tagalog language, Tagalog (1.3%), and Warlpiri language, Warlpiri (0.9%). There are more than 100 Australian Aboriginal languages, Aboriginal languages and dialects spoken in the Northern Territory, in addition to English which is most common in cities such as Darwin or Alice Springs. Major indigenous languages spoken in the Northern Territory include Murrinh-patha language, Murrinh-patha and Ngangikurrungurr in the northwest around Wadeye, Northern Territory, Wadeye, Warlpiri language, Warlpiri and Warumungu language, Warumungu in the centre around Tennant Creek, Upper Arrernte language, Arrernte around Alice Springs, Pintupi dialect, Pintupi-Luritja to the south east, Pitjantjatjara language, Pitjantjatjara in the south near Uluru, Yolngu Matha to the far north in Arnhem Land (where the dialect Djambarrpuyngu of Dhuwal language, Dhuwal is considered a lingua franca), and Burarra language, Burarra, Maung language, Maung, Iwaidja language, Iwaidja and Bininj Kunwok language, Kunwinjku in the centre north and on Croker Island and the Goulburn Islands. Tiwi language, Tiwi is spoken on Melville Island (Australia), Melville Island and Bathurst Island (Northern Territory), Bathurst Island. Literature in many of these languages is available in the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages.
ReligionIn the 2016 census Roman Catholics form the single largest religious group in the territory with 19.9% of the Northern Territory's population, followed by Anglican (8.4%), Uniting Church (5.7%) and Lutheran (2.6%). Buddhism is the territory's largest non-Christian religion (2.0%), followed by Hinduism (1.6%), which is the fastest growing religion population percentage wise in the state. Australian Aboriginal religion and mythology (1.4%) is also practiced. Around 30% of Territorians do not profess any religion.
Primary and secondaryA Northern Territory school education consists of six years of primary schooling, including one transition year, three years of middle schooling, and three years of secondary schooling. In the beginning of 2007, the Northern Territory introduced Middle School for Years 7–9 and High School for Years 10–12. Northern Territory children generally begin school at age five. On completing secondary school, students earn the Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE). Students who successfully complete their secondary education also receive a tertiary entrance ranking, or ATAR score, to determine university admittance. Northern Territory schools are either publicly or privately funded. Public schools, also known as state or government schools, are funded and run directly by the Department of Education. Private fee-paying schools include schools run by the Catholic Church and independent schools, some elite ones similar to English Public school (UK), public schools. Some Northern Territory Independent schools are affiliated with Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican, Greek Orthodox or Seventh-day Adventist Churches, but include non-church schools and an Indigenous school. As of 2009, the Northern Territory had 151 public schools, 15 Catholic schools and 21 independent schools. 39,492 students were enrolled in schools around the territory with 29,175 in public schools, and 9,882 in independent schools. The Northern Territory has about 4,000 full-time teachers.
TertiaryThe Northern Territory has List of universities in Australia, one university which opened in 1989 under the name of the Northern Territory University. Now renamed as the Charles Darwin University, it had about 19,000 students enrolled: about 5,500 higher education students and about 13,500 students on vocational education and training (VET) courses. The first tertiary institution in the territory was the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education which was established in the mid-1960s.
LibrariesThe Northern Territory Library is the territory's research and reference library. It is responsible for collecting and preserving the Northern Territory documentary heritage and making it available through a range of programs and services. Material in the collection includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, pictures, objects, sound and video recordings and databases.
EconomyThe Northern Territory's economy is largely driven by Mining in the Northern Territory, mining, which is concentrated on energy producing minerals, petroleum and energy and contributes around $2.5 billion to the Gross regional domestic product, gross state product and employs over 4,600 people. Mining accounts for 14.9% of the gross state product in 2014–15 compared to just 7% nationally. In recent years, largely due to the effect of major infrastructure projects and mine expansions, construction has overtaken mining as the largest single industry in the territory. Construction, mining and manufacturing, and government and community services, combine to account for about half of the territory's gross state product (GSP), compared to about a third of national gross domestic product (GDP). The economy has grown considerably over the past decade, from a value of $15 billion in 2004–05 to over $22 billion in 2014–15. In 2012–13 the territory economy expanded by 5.6%, over twice the level of national growth, and in 2014–15 it grew by 10.5%, four times the national growth rate. Between 2003 and 2006 the gross state product had risen from $8.67 billion to $11.476 billion and increase of 32.4%. During the three years to 2006–2007 the Northern Territory gross state product grew by an average annual rate of 5.5%. Gross state product per capita in the Northern Territory ($72,496) is higher than any Australian state or territory and is also higher than the gross domestic product per capita for Australia ($54,606). The Northern Territory's exports were up 12.9% or $681 million in 2012–13. The largest contributor to the territory's exports was: mineral fuels (largely LNG), crude materials (mainly mineral ores) and food and live animals (primarily live cattle). The main international markets for territory exports are Japan, China, Indonesia, the United States and Korea. Imports to the Northern Territory totalled $2,887.8 million which consisted of mainly machinery and equipment manufacturing (58.4%) and petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing (17.0%). The principal mining operations are bauxite at Gove Peninsula where the production is estimated to increase 52.1% to $254 million in 2007–08, manganese at Groote Eylandt, production is estimated to increase 10.5% to $1.1 billion which will be helped by the newly developed mines include Bootu Creek and Frances Creek, gold which is estimated to increase 21.7 per cent to $672 million at the Union Reefs plant and uranium at Ranger Uranium Mine. Tourism is an important economic driver for the territory and a significant industry in regional areas. Iconic destinations such as Uluru and Kakadu National Park, Kakadu make the Northern Territory a popular destination for domestic and international travellers. Diverse landscapes, waterfalls, wide open spaces, Australian Aboriginal culture, aboriginal culture and wild and untamed wildlife provides the opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the natural wonder that the Northern Territory offers. In 2015, the territory received a total of about 1.6 million domestic and international visitors contributing an estimated $2.0 billion to the local economy. Holiday visitors made up the majority of total visitation (about 792,000 visitors). Tourism has strong links to other sectors in the economy including accommodation and food services, retail trade, recreation and culture, and transport.
TransportThe Northern Territory is the most sparsely populated state or territory in Australia. The NT has a connected network of sealed roads, including two National Highways, linking with adjoining States and connecting the major Territory population centres, and other important centres such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu Highway, Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. The Stuart Highway, once known as "The Track", runs north to south, connecting Darwin and Alice Springs to Adelaide. Some of the sealed roads are single lane bitumen. Many unsealed (dirt) roads connect the more remote settlements. The Adelaide–Darwin railway, a new standard gauge railway, connects Adelaide via Alice Springs with Darwin, replacing earlier narrow gauge railways which had a gap between Alice Springs and Birdum, Northern Territory, Birdum. The Ghan passenger train runs from Darwin to Adelaide, stopping at Katherine, Northern Territory, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Kulgera, Northern Territory, Kulgera in the NT. The Northern Territory was one of the few remaining places in the world with no speed restrictions on select public roads, until 21 November 2016. On 1 January 2007 a default speed limit of 110 km/h was introduced on roads outside of urban areas (Inside urban areas of 40, 50 or 60 km/h). Speeds of up to 130 km/h are permitted on some major highways, such as the Stuart Highway. On 1 February 2014, the speed limit was removed on a 204 km portion of the Stuart Highway for a one-year trial period. The maximum speed limit was changed to 130 km/h on 21 November 2016. Darwin International Airport is the major domestic and international airport for the territory. Several smaller airports are also scattered throughout the territory and are served by smaller airlines; including Alice Springs Airport, Ayers Rock Airport, RAAF Base Tindal, Katherine Airport and Tennant Creek Airport.
TelevisionMetropolitan Darwin has had five broadcast television stations: * Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Northern Territory – (ABD (TV station), ABD) * Special Broadcasting Service, SBS Northern Territory – (SBS Television, SBS) * Southern Cross Television – (TND) – ''Seven Network Affiliate'' * Nine Network Darwin – (NTD (television station), NTD) * DTD (TV station), Ten Darwin (or Darwin Digital Television) – (DTD (TV station), DTD) – ''Network Ten Affiliate'' Darwin also has a single open-narrowcast station: * ITV64 Regional Northern Territory has a similar availability of stations: * Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC Northern Territory – (ABD (TV station), ABD) * Special Broadcasting Service, SBS Northern Territory – (SBS Television, SBS) * Southern Cross Central – (QQQ) – ''Seven Network Affiliate'' * Imparja – (Imparja, IMP) – ''Nine Network Affiliate'' * Central Digital Television, Ten Central (or Central Digital Television) – (Central Digital Television, CDT) – ''Network Ten Affiliate'' Remote areas are generally required to receive television via the Viewer Access Satellite Television service, which carries the same channels as the regional areas, as well as some extra open-narrowcast services, including Indigenous Community Television and Westlink (Australian TV channel), Westlink.
RadioDarwin has radio stations on both AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include ABC News (radio), ABC NewsRadio (102.5FM), ABC Radio Darwin, 105.7 ABC Darwin (8DDD 105.7FM), ABC Radio National (657AM), ABC Classic FM (107.3FM) and Triple J (103.3FM). The two commercial stations are Mix 104.9 (8MIX) and Hot 100 FM (8HOT). The leading community stations are 104.1 Territory FM, and Radio Larrakia (8KNB). The radio stations in Alice Springs are also broadcast on the AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include Triple J (94.9FM), ABC Classic FM (97.9FM), 783 ABC Alice Springs (783AM) and ABC Radio National (99.7FM). There are two community stations in the town—Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, CAAMA (100.5FM) and 8CCC (102.1FM). The commercial stations, which are both owned by the same company are Sun 969, Sun 96.9 (96.9FM) and 8HA (900AM). Two additional stations, Territory FM (98.7FM) and Radio TAB (95.9FM) are syndicated from Darwin and Brisbane, respectively.
See also* Australian Aboriginal prehistoric sites * Crime in the Northern Territory * Index of Australia-related articles * Juvenile detention in the Northern Territory * Northern Territory Police * List of highways in the Northern Territory * :Cities in the Northern Territory * :Towns in the Northern Territory
Sources* Hill, Ernestine. 1951. ''The Territory: The classic saga of Australia's far north''. Angus & Robertson. Reprint: 1995. * Govan, A. (2007) Broadband debate key to NT's future. N.T. Business Review, vol. N/A, no. N/A, p. 7 * Morrison, P. (2000) a pilot implementation of internet access for remote aboriginal communities in the "Top end" Of Australia. Urban Studies, Vol. 37, No.10, pp. 1781–1792. * Toyne, P. (2002) Northern Territory Government's Response to the House of Representatives Communications, Information Technology & the Arts Committee inquiry into Wireless Broadband Communications. In N.T. GOVERNMENT (Ed.) (pp. 3). Darwin: Northern Territory Government. * Toyne, P. (2003) Remote Areas Telecommunications Strategy 2003–2008. In N. T. GOVERNMENT (Ed.) (pp. 1– 32). Darwin N.T. viewed 6 February 2008,