Documenting Democracy
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Northern Territory

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Northern Territory (Administration) Act 1910 (Cth)
Northern Territory (Administration) Act 1910 (Cth), cover
Northern Territory (Administration) Act 1910 (Cth), p1
Northern Territory (Administration) Act 1910 (Cth), p2
Northern Territory (Administration) Act 1910 (Cth), p3
This document, recording the Governor-General’s Assent on 25 November 1910, provided the necessary basis in law for the administrative structure of the Commonwealth's new acquisition under the Northern Territory Acceptance Act.

This Act includes provision for the appointment of an Administrator and power for the Governor-General to make ordinances for the Northern Territory and is thus the basic instrument of government.
The two major ordinances made under this Act in 1911 were the Northern Territory Government Ordinance (No. 1 of 1911) defining the powers and functions of the Administrator, and the Supreme Court Ordinance No. 9 of 1911. Amended from time to time, the Northern Territory (Administration) Act remained the basis of government in the Northern Territory until the Territory achieved a limited independence under the Self-Government Act in 1978.

When Andrew Fisher's Labor Ministry reintroduced the measure in 1910, Deakin threw the whole force of his influence behind it. The Bill passed and from 1 January 1911 the Northern Territory became the exclusive responsibility of the Commonwealth of Australia. South Australian laws remained in force, subject to any later changes by the Commonwealth.


Heatley, Alistair and Nicholson, Graham, Selected Constitutional Documents on the Northern Territory, Northern Territory Department of Law, Darwin, 1989.

Powell, Alan, Far Country: A Short History of the Northern Territory, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1996.

Long Title:An Act to provide for the Provisional Government of the Northern Territory. (No. 2 of 1910)
No. of pages:4
Medium:Parchment cover with blue silk ribbons
Measurements:29.3 x 22.2 cm.
Provenance:House of Representatives
Features:Signatures on p.3
Location & Copyright:National Archives of Australia
Reference:NAA: A1559/1, 1910/27