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Australian time zones
Mainland Australia has three official time zones. The full names of the time zones are usually shortened by dropping the Australian. Most Australian external territories are in different time zones. Many parts of Australia have daylight saving time.
|Official Australian time zones|
of time zone
of time zone
|Hours and minutes
ahead of GMT
|+ 8:00||+ 9:30||+10:00|
|Western Australia||Northern Territory
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
The three official standard time zones were set up in February 1895.
Originally South Australia was nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) but in May 1899 they added another thirty minutes to that. Some people have disliked having this non-whole number of hours difference. In 1986 and 1994 they tried to take the thirty minutes away again or add another thirty minutes but they failed.
When the Australian Capital Territory separated from New South Wales they kept using Eastern Standard Time. When the Northern Territory separated from South Australia they kept using Central Standard Time.
There have been some other changes.
- In Broken Hill in far-western New South Wales they use Central Standard Time.
- On Lord Howe Island they use set their clocks 10:30 ahead of GMT.
- Some towns on the Eyre Highway in the south-east corner of Western Australia, between the South Australian border almost as far as Caiguna, use Central Western Standard Time. This is an unofficial time zone 45 minutes ahead of the official Western Australian time.
- The Indian Pacific train has its own time zone when travelling between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta. They call it "train time".
Australia's many outside territories follow their own time zones. None follow daylight saving time.
|Heard and McDonald Islands||UTC+5|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||UTC+6:30|
|Christmas Island CXT||UTC+7|
|Norfolk Island NFT||UTC+11:30|
|Australian Antarctic Territory - Mawson||UTC+6|
|Australian Antarctic Territory - Davis||UTC+7|
|Australian Antarctic Territory - Casey||UTC+8|
Daylight saving time
South Australia, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania use daylight saving time every year. In these regions daylight saving time begins on the first Sunday in October at 2:00 am local standard time, and ends on the first Sunday in April at 3:00 am local daylight saving time. The starting and finishing times can also be changed when there are special events, such as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, in Australia.
The Northern Territory does not have daylight saving time. Queensland does not have daylight savings time either. Many people who live in the south east corner of Queensland would like to have. But many people who live in the rural towns and farming regions of Queensland are against it.
In Western Australia they have voted on daylight saving time three times: in 1975, 1984 and 1992. Each time people voted "No". Western Australia is trying daylight saving time again from spring 2006 until autumn 2009. Then they are going to vote again.
- The Australian National Time System National Standards Commission Leaflet No. 8, January 2003. Linked via Wayback machine
- NSW Legislative Council Hansard, 2 March 2005
- Daylight Saving Petitions
- Daylight Saving Time History of daylight saving time implementation dates at the Bureau of Meteorology website.