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Jervis Bay Territory (Australia)

Last modified: 2015-06-22 by ian macdonald
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[flag of Australia] image by António Martins, 28 Nov 2005

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Jervis Bay Territory

When the Australian government established the Australian Capital Territory almost 100 years ago, one of the requirements was that the seat of government should have access to the sea. Because Canberra is an inland city, a peninsula on the South Coast of New South Wales (Jervis Bay) was made Commonwealth territory as well. There is no requirement, however, for Jervis Bay to be connected to Canberra. JBT was considered part part of the Capital Territory until the rest of the ACT was granted self-government in 1988. The planned rail link between Canberra and Jervis Bay has never materialised.
Miles Li, 10-11 August 2004, 5 February 2007

Some facts on Jervis Bay:

  • "Territory was acquired by the Commonwealth from the State of New South Wales in 1915 so that the national seat of government (Canberra ACT) would have access to the sea."
  • The Jervis Bay Territory (JBT) (611 residents, majority Royal Australian Navy personnel) is comprised of 7400 hectares, 90% of which has been granted to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community (WBAC) (180 residents), which has leased back the land & water comprising the Booderee National Park (formerly Commonwealth Jervis Bay National Park and Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens) to the Director of National Parks, a Commonwealth employee and managed jointly between him and the representatives of the WBAC.
  • "The Governor-General [of the Commonwealth, Queen's representative in Australia] in Council has the power to make ordinances for the peace, order and good government of the Territory." and these ordinances are administered by a Commonwealth Minister.
  • The Australian Federal Police (a Commonwealth authority, with its own flag) provides policing services to the territory.
  • "Each court of the Australian Capital Territory has jurisdiction in, and in relation to, the Territory as if the Territory formed part of the Australian Capital Territory. In 1995 the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council was given a limited by-law [sic] making power which has not been exercised to date."
  • JBT is in the Commonwealth Electoral Division of Fraser, as pointed out on a previous posting, but is *not* represented at local or state government level, however residents "have access to the decision making process through community organisations, including Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and the Jervis Bay Residents Group."
  • The State of New South Wales (NSW), which surrounds the land based and some sea areas of JBT, does not have any jurisdiction over the territory, but there is an ordinance which applies NSW legislation on rural fires to the territory.
  • A magistrate in NSW or Australian Capital Territory (ACT) may issue a warrant in relation to premises in the JBT.
  • There is a Jervis Bay Administration which provides on behalf of the Commonwealth some services directly, but others are carried out under contract by agencies of the ACT Government and other private companies and agencies.
Commonwealth Government, Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTARS)
Commonwealth Government, Department of the Environment and Heritage
Parliament of Australia
Colin Dobson, 12 August 2004

Flag use in Jervis Bay

The Australian Government publication 'Australian Flags' [ozf98] notes that Jervis Bay Territory does not have its own flag. I have been to Jervis Bay once many years ago, and the only flag I saw in the village was the National Flag at the Police Station.
Miles Li, 11 August 2004