Proposed Northern Territory statehood

The Northern Territory (NT) is the most commonly mentioned potential seventh state of Australia. In a 1998 referendum, the voters of the Northern Territory rejected a statehood proposal that would have given the territory three Senators, rather than the twelve held by the other states, although the name "Northern Territory" would have been retained. Alongside what was cited as an arrogant approach adopted by then Chief Minister Shane Stone, it is believed that most Territorians, regardless of their general views on statehood, were reluctant to adopt the particular offer that was made.[1]

Location of the Northern Territory in Australia

In July 2015, members of the Council of Australian Governments unanimously agreed with then Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles that the territory should become its own state by 1 July 2018.[2] As of June 2021, it is not a state.

It has been suggested[by whom?] that statehood for the Northern Territory may lead to a change in the Australian flag. The design elements of the Australian flag have been changed seven times since it was first flown on 3 September 1901. However, in 1908 a seventh point was added to the "Commonwealth Star" to represent the Australian territories—originally this star had six points, one for each of the former colonies.[3] Should the Northern Territory become a state then consideration may be given to adding another point to the Commonwealth Star.[original research?] However at the time of the 1998 referendum the Australian government stated that the flag would not change even if Territorians voted for statehood.[4]

See also


  1. ABC Lateline Discussion (Current Affairs). Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 October 1998. Archived from the original on 31 August 2018.
  2. Whyte, Sarah (23 July 2015). "Northern Territory could become Australia's seventh state by 2018". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  3. Australian Flag - Home
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-05-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)