Administrator of the Northern Territory

The administrator of the Northern Territory is an official appointed by the Governor-General of Australia to represent the government of the Commonwealth in the Northern Territory, Australia. They perform functions similar to those of a state governor.

Administrator of the
Northern Territory
Crest of the Administrator
Vicki O'Halloran

since 31 October 2017
Office of the Administrator
StyleHer Honour the Honourable
ResidenceGovernment House, Darwin,
NominatorChief Minister
AppointerGovernor-General of Australia
on the advice of the Chief Minister
Term lengthAt the Governor-General's pleasure
(usually 5 years by convention)
Formation12 June 1931
First holderJohn A. Gilruth

Strictly speaking, the appointment of an Administrator is made by the Governor-General-in-Council, that is, the Governor-General acting on the advice of the Commonwealth Government, rather than the advice of the Government of the Northern Territory.[1] The Northern Territory received self-government on 1 July 1978, in accordance with the provisions of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 (Cth).[2] Since then, the practice has arisen that in making an appointment the Governor-General-in-Council will act on the recommendation of the Northern Territory Government.

Unlike an Australian State Governor, the Administrator is not the direct representative of the Queen in the Territory but is instead appointed by the Queen's representative in the Commonwealth, the Governor-General, to administer the Territory in accordance with the Act. In practice, however, the Administrator performs a similar constitutional role to that of a state governor and can be considered the Queen's indirect representative in the Territory. This is light of the fact that territories are not sovereign in the same way as states, there being no 'Crown in right of the NT'.

The Administrator formally appoints the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the members of the Cabinet after every election. In all but a few cases, they are required by convention to act on the Cabinet's advice. The Administrator gives royal assent to all bills passed by the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. Although the Governor-General (in practice, the Commonwealth Government) has the power to veto any territorial bill, in practice this right is almost never exercised.

The office of the Deputy of the Administrator was created in 1997.

In 2014, the Governor-General granted current, future and living former Administrators the title of 'The Honourable' for life,[3] following the lead of Governors-General and Governors of New South Wales in granting the title.[citation needed]

The present Administrator is Vicki O'Halloran, AO.[4]