NT Government position on Statehood issues

In August 1986, Cabinet was asked to approve a position on Statehood issues which had been identified as requiring intergovernmental negotiation in the bid for Northern Territory Statehood.

The Submission noted that the objective of Statehood for the Northern Territory was to ensure that those people who have chosen to live in or visit the Territory enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as other Australians.

The recommendations to Cabinet were put forward on the basis that the route to Statehood would be through a grant of Statehood under section 121 of the Australian Constitution. On this basis, the Northern Territory Government would need a firm position on a number of issues which would feature in the terms and conditions which the Federal Parliament might set.

The Submission discussed a range of matters including the Territory’s constitutional disadvantages, what would be required to achieve constitutional equality with the States, and options for NT representation in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Cabinet approved the following objectives in respect of Statehood for the Northern Territory -

  • the attainment of a status which provides constitutional equality with other States, and its people having the same constitutional rights, privileges, entitlements and responsibilities as the people of the existing states
  • political representation in both Houses of Federal Parliament which will result in the people of the Territory enjoying the same political consideration as the people of the States
  • the secure settlement of financial arrangements with the Commonwealth as similar as possible to those which apply to the States particularly in respect of loan raising and revenue sharing.

Read Cabinet decision – submission No. 4074 and Decision No. 4764 (6.6 mb) of 12 August 1986

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Last updated: 11 October 2017