§ 47. “Colonies or Territories.”

The only “States” at the outset will be the “Original States,” namely, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania. But under sec. 121 the Federal Parliament may admit or establish new States; and any colonies or territories which are so established as States will thenceforth be included in the definition. Apart from New Zealand and the northern Territory of South Australia, new States are hardly likely to be formed except by the sub-division of existing States.

TERRITORIES.—A description may here be given of the chief Australasian territories which are likely, in time, to become territories of the Commonwealth—though their size or political condition, or both, render it unlikely that any of them will be admitted to the rank of States.

NORFOLK ISLAND.—This island, about five miles in length, and three in breadth, situated 900 miles from the Australian main land, and 1,100 miles from Sydney, was discovered by Captain Cook, on 9th October, 1774. It is said to be one of the most beautiful spots in the Pacific. The inhabitants are governed, since 14th November, 1896, by a Resident Magistrate, and an elective Council of 12 members; they are subject to the instructions of the Governor of New South Wales, who is expected to visit it once during his term of office. Area, 10 square miles; population about 750.

LORD HOWE ISLAND.—This picturesque island, seven miles in length, and about one and half miles in breadth, situated about 400 miles from Sydney, was discovered by Lieutenant Ball, on 14th February, 1788, whilst on a voyage in H.M.S. Supply from Port Jackson to found a Settlement at Norfolk Island. It is administered by the Government of New South Wales, and since 1882, it has been under the jurisdiction of a visiting Magistrate from Sydney. Population, 55.

FIJI.—The Fiji Islands were ceded to the Queen by the Chiefs and people thereof, and the British flag was hoisted on 10th October, 1874. Rotumah was annexed in December, 1880. The islands are ruled by a Governor, assisted by an Executive and a Legislative Council. There are about 80 inhabited islands in the group, containing a total area, including Rotumah, of about 8,000 square miles, and having a population of 121,180; of whom 99,773 are Fijians, and the rest Indians, Polynesians, Rotumans, and Europeans.

NEW GUINEA.—By letters patent, dated 8th June, 1888, British New Guinea was erected into a separate possession, as part of the Queen's dominions. Its area is calculated to include about 86,000 square miles. The territory is at present governed by a local administrator, assisted by an Executive Council; the sum of £15,000 per year being guaranteed by the colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria towards the expenses of governing the territory.

Repeal of Federal Council Act. (48 and 49 Vic. c. 60.)

7. The Federal Council of Australasia Act, 1885, is hereby repealed, but so as not to affect any laws passed by the Federal Council of Australasia48 and in force at the establishment of the Commonwealth.

Any such law may be repealed as to any State by the Parliament of the Commonwealth, or as to any colony not being a State by the Parliament thereof.

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HISTORICAL NOTE.—Clause 6 of the Commonwealth Bill of 1891 was in almost identical words, and was adopted by the convention of 1897–8 without debate. At the Melbourne session, verbal amendments were made before the first report and after the fourth report.