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Australian Capital Territory - Concept

Commonwealth of Australia (1901 - )


The Commonwealth of Australia was formed on 1 January 1901, with the federation of the six former colonies, which became known as states. Australia has two mainland territories - the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Before the territories became self-governing (in 1978 and 1989 respectively), the Commonwealth of Australia made the laws - through Commonwealth Acts or through Ordinances, which were made by the Governor-General. Even after self-government, Commonwealth law can still override laws made by Territory governments. (The Commonwealth can override State laws only in the areas set out in section 51 of the Australian constitution.)

Related Legislation

Prepared by: Cate O'Neill