Portal:Australian Capital Territory


Portal:Australian Capital Territory
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The Australian Capital Territory Portal

Flag of Australian Capital Territory
Coat of Arms of South Australia
Location within Australia

The Australian Capital Territory is the capital territory of the Commonwealth of Australia and its smallest self-governing internal territory. It is an inland enclave in New South Wales, situated in bushland. It is bounded by the Goulburn-Cooma railway line in the east, the watershed of Naas Creek in the south, the watershed of the Cotter River in the west, and the watershed of the Molonglo River in the north-east. Despite its small size, 2,358 square kilometres (910 sq mi), its population of 339,000 makes it the most densely populated of Australia's federal divisions.

Before European settlement the area now known as the ACT was inhabited by three Aboriginal tribes: the Ngunnawal, Walgalu, and Ngarigo. White exploration and settlement did not occur until the 1820s. The ACT was conceived during the federation conventions of the late 1800s as neutral location for a new National Capital. The Australian Constitution provided that following Federation in 1901, land would be ceded to the new Federal Government. The Territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911, and construction of the capital, Canberra, began in 1913.

The Australian Capital Territory's population is largely concentrated on Canberra, with only 869 people living outside of the city as of the 2006 census. Canberrans are relatively young, highly mobile, and well-educated, with most employed by the government. The main industries are government administration and defence.

The floral emblem of the ACT is the Royal Bluebell and the faunal emblem is the Gang-gang cockatoo.

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City Walk, Civic
Canberra is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 kilometres (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 650 kilometres (400 mi) north-east of Melbourne.

The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between age-old rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra.

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National Library of Australia
Credit: Martyman

The National Library of Australia is located in Canberra, Australia. Established in 1960, the Library grew out of the Federal Parliamentary Library, which was established in 1901. In 1960, the National Library was separated from the Parliamentary Library by the National Library Act 1960. In 1968, a new building inspired by the Parthenon was built for it on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Australian copyright law requires that a copy of every book published in Australia be deposited with the National Library of Australia.

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Lake Burley Griffin in the foreground, Commonwealth Place and Old Parliament House in the middle, and Parliament House in the background
Credit: Adz

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. It is located in Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was opened on 9 May 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II. Its construction cost was over $1.1 billion. Prior to 1988, the Parliament of Australia met in the Provisional Parliament House, which is now known as "Old Parliament House".

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