The department provides the Australian Government with strategic policy advice in relation to the Commonwealth's interests in these two self-governing territories:
- Australian Capital Territory, and
- Northern Territory.
The department manages the Commonwealth's residual responsibilities for these territories. This includes:
- providing advice on governance and the Commonwealth's planning responsibilities in the Australian Capital Territory, and
- developments in the self-government legislation for the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory to keep it relevant and effective.
The department's role
The Australian Government's vision for Australia's self-governing territories is for increasing sustainable economic prosperity combined with effective governance and constitutional development consistent with the national interest. The department contributes to achieving these outcomes by providing the Government with the following services:
- develop policy and legislation to maintain effective systems of self-government in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory
- assess policy advice on the effectiveness of Commonwealth policies programs and practices in supporting the economic development of the territories, and
- provide policy and legislative advice on the role of the Commonwealth in planning of the National Capital.
Canberra a Capital Place: Report of the Independent Review of the National Capital Authority and the Australian Government's response
The report, Canberra a Capital Place: Report of the Independent Review of the National Capital Authority, was prepared by Dr Allan Hawke AC and provides advice to the Australian Government on how to find the right balance for planning responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the ACT Government. The report was released publicly in October 2011.
In May 2012 the former Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government released the Australian Government response to the report.
Inquiry into the role of the National Capital Authority
The Australian Government tabled its response to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories" report on the role of the National Capital Authority on 11 December 2008.
Inquiry into the provision of amenity within the Parliamentary Triangle and the Australian Government's response
The Report of the inquiry into the provision of amenity within the Parliamentary Triangle was prepared by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories. The terms of reference of the inquiry were broadened by the Committee, from investigating amenities in the ‘Parliamentary Triangle’, a colloquial term used to define the land bounded by State Circle, Commonwealth and Kings Avenues, and Lake Burley Griffin to the ‘Central National Area’. The Central National Area is formally defined as the Parliamentary Zone and its setting; Lake Burley Griffin and Foreshores; the Australian National University; the Australian Defence Force Academy; Duntroon; Campbell Park and Canberra Airport/RAAF Base Fairbairn. Also included are diplomatic lands at Yarralumla, O"Malley, West Deakin and Red Hill.
The report was released publically in June 2013.
The Australian Government tabled its response to the report on 10 July 2014.
An Estate for the Future: Inquiry into the Allocation of Land to Diplomatic Missions in the Australian Capital Territory and the Australian Government's response
The Report of the inquiry into the allocation of land to Diplomatic Missions in the Australian Capital Territory was prepared by the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories. The inquiry highlighted the need for an Australian Government policy to address the shortage of National Land to accommodate the anticipated future demand for diplomatic missions, supported by a National Capital Authority strategy for long term allocation of land.
The report was released publically in March 2013.
The Australian Government tabled its response to the report on 10 July 2014. The response seeks to balance the interests of the Commonwealth, the ACT Government, the diplomatic community and the residents of Canberra given the uniqueness of Canberra as a purpose built, planned city.