There are eight capital cities in Australia, each of which functions as the seat of government for the state or territory in which it is located. One of these, Canberra, is also the national capital. Section 125 of the Constitution of Australia specified that the seat of the national government, that is, the national capital, would be in its own territory within New South Wales, at least 100 miles from Sydney. The Constitution specified that until this national capital was ready, the Parliament would sit in Melbourne. In 1927, the national capital was finally ready and the national government relocated from its former seat in Melbourne to Canberra within the Australian Capital Territory (or the Federal Capital Territory as it was known at the time).
In each state and internal territory, the capital is also the jurisdiction's most populous city. The Australian external territory of Norfolk Island has its official capital at Kingston, although this acts merely as the administrative centre of government; its de facto capital is Burnt Pine.
|State/territory||Capital||City population||State/territory population||Percentage of state/territory population in capital city||Established||Date of statehood||Capital since||Image|
|Australian Capital Territory||Canberra||403,468||403,468||100.00%||1913||Must remain a territory as per s.125 of the Australian Constitution [N 1]||1913|
|New South Wales||Sydney||5,029,768||7,759,274||64.82%||1788||1788||1788|
|Northern Territory||Darwin||145,916||245,740||59.38%||1869||Has not attained Statehood[N 2]||1911|
- Although the ACT has its own government, it remains a territory ultimately under Commonwealth rule.
- in 1911, South Australia transferred responsibility for governing the Northern Territory to the Commonwealth Government of Australia. It was granted self-governance in 1978, however the Northern Territory is still considered a territory under Commonwealth rule, not a state.
- Norfolk Island - Kingston http://www.pitcairners.org/vt_kingston.html Norfolk Island's Home on the Web
- Statistics, c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia; ou=Australian Bureau of. "Main Features - Main Features". www.abs.gov.au.
- Statistics, c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia; ou=Australian Bureau of. "Details - Main Features". www.abs.gov.au.