Northern Territory To Become A State By 1 July 2018

Northern Territory To Become A State By 1 July 2018

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles

Statehood On The Agenda Following Historic Leaders’ Retreat

Victor P Taffa

Statehood for Territorians is a step closer following the Australian Leaders’ Retreat in Sydney.

The Prime Minister, together with state and territory leaders, supported the Northern Territory’s resolve to become a state by 1 July 2018.

The nation’s leaders also mapped a way forward to meet the challenge of funding the rising demand for social services and infrastructure.

Chief Minister Adam Giles said the retreat delivered the non-partisan constructive forum as he had hoped.

“Regardless of the size of the jurisdiction, the challenge is the same. That challenge is how we meet the future and ever increasing cost of delivering the health and education services the community legitimately expects and needs.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“Health costs are continuing to escalate, demand is increasing, particularly in areas such as chronic disease and renal.”

“The Retreat made the type of progress on these issues not normally seen at such meetings, largely because of the desire of the participants to work towards a simpler and fairer way of raising the money needed for key services.”

Chief Minister Giles welcomed the opportunity for the NT to move towards becoming Australia’s newest state.

“It’s great to see engagement among Australia’s political leadership for this move and it comes after extensive lobbying by the Territory since the Country Liberals entered government in 2012.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“Today’s decision will see the Territory report back to the leaders on progress towards Statehood at the next COAG meeting.”

“Now we start the journey ensuring it is inclusive of all Territorians and that we agree on the mechanics of being recognised as a state. There is much work to be undertaken in the next three years.”

Leaders considered how to strengthen early learning as a means of addressing the emerging gap between the performance of the Australian education system and its international counterparts.

“My counterparts and I believe that improving early learning gives our kids the right start towards a quality education.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“We believe there should be as seamless a transition as possible between child care and early learning, and pre-school. The Territory will work with South Australia to assist drive policy options across jurisdictions to be considered at the next COAG meeting.”

“A smoother transition between early learning and pre-school would mean children around the country start the educational experience earlier and are better equipped for school.” Chief Minister Giles said.

The leaders also want to find ways to better deliver housing support for those in need.

“We need some real innovation here, particularly around the provision of rental assistance, to ensure we can provide better and fairer support and remove duplication.”

“The cost of providing health services is presenting serious funding dilemmas for all jurisdictions, with the Territory no different.”

“We have emerging costs in areas such as renal services alone. We need to make important decisions now to ensure we can meet these costs as they arrive.” Chief Minister Giles said.

As a first step to raise the money required to fund increased health costs, the Leaders agreed the GST would be broadened to cover overseas online transactions under $1,000.

“This will help encourage more spending with local Territory businesses and protect jobs in our retail industry while also helping raise the revenue needed to deliver the health services we need, but we still will have a long away to go in meeting these costs.”

Wider revenue questions such as the GST rate and scope, together with proposals around the Medicare levy, will be considered further by the leaders at their next meeting.

Chief Minister Giles said he was pleased the outcomes will deliver important benefits to Territorians.

“Improving the delivery of rental support for people doing it tough and improving educational opportunities for our children are two outcomes that could really make a difference to delivering fairness and opportunity.” Chief Minister Giles said.

“The opportunity presented to work towards Statehood is also welcome and the Northern Territory Government will consider what shape an inclusive process towards Statehood might take.”

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles








Northern Territory Statehood

The Northern Territory has a long and proud history and the time is right for Statehood to be granted to The Northern Territory. The Northern Territory was established by New South Wales in 1825. The Northern Territory was transferred to South Australia in 1862 and annexed from South Australia in 1911. The Northern Territory was dissolved in 1927 and reformed in 1931.

The Northern Territory Legislative Council was formed in 1947 and replaced with a Legislative Assembly in 1974. Self Government was granted in 1978. An earlier referendum on Statehood was defeated in 1998 as the issue did not have bi-partisan support between the Country Liberal Party and NT Labor. The issue of statehood now has bi-partisan support from both parties.

The greatest advancement for Northern Australia will be a State of Northern Australia from within the current boundaries of The Northern Territory.

Currently, The Northern Territory has its legal hand held by the Federal Government and Territorians do not legally own their own land. In New South Wales people who own land have Torrens or Strata Title ownership whereas people living in The Northern Territory do not have this basic right.



Australia became a Federation of States on 1 January 1901 after many decades of wrangling on issues largely over money. Colonial Borders were also boundaries for excise and taxation. After 1 January 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia took over many functions that Colonial Governments previously managed including Taxation.

The issue of a Capital City for the Commonwealth was also an argument between Sydney and Melbourne as to where it should be. To overcome this issue The Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.) was a Territory set aside within New South Wales for a Capital City to be established.

From 1 January 1901 the Parliament of Victoria became the Commonwealth Parliament until 1927 when the Federal Parliament moved to Canberra.

On 1 January 1901 Australia’s Original Six Colonies became States as follows:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia

As the 7th State of the Commonwealth of Australia, legally The Northern Territory would have to change its name. The State of Northern Australia is in keeping with the States of Western Australia and South Australia.

As the 7th duly constituted State, Northern Australia would have a

  • State Governor
  • State Constitution
  • State Premier
  • State Parliament
  • State Flag
  • State Senate representation in the Commonwealth Parliament



Senate Representation for original States is 12 Senators each. When Northern Australia becomes the 7th State of the Commonwealth the Senate Representation for original States would be 12 Senators per State. Northern Australia would have 6 Senators initially and the ACT would maintain 2 Senators giving the new look Senate 80 Senators instead of the current 76 Senators. The Commonwealth Constitution provides for original states maintaining equal representation and not less than 6 Senators. Australia became a Federation of States on 1 January 1901.


New Look Senate

A.C.T*                        2

New South Wales       12

Northern Australia      6

Queensland                 12

South Australia           12

Tasmania                     12

Victoria                       12

Western Australia       12

Total Senators           80

*Australian Capital Territory



The new State of Northern Australia would retain 2 seats in the House of Representatives given that Senate numbers would increase to 6.

However with Statehood, Northern Australia will retain mining royalties that will drive the local economy which at present gets swallowed up in the Federal Treasury.