Strategic objective : Territories which provide for their residents the same opportunities and responsibilities as other Australians enjoy in comparable communities
The department manages Commonwealth interests in, and provides advice to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services and the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government and a range of other stakeholders on the Australian territories.
The Australian territories operate in different geographical, historical and social contexts and their forms of governance reflect those differing situations:
- self-governing territories comprise Norfolk Island, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory
- non self-governing territories comprise the Indian Ocean Territories (Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands), the Jervis Bay Territory, the Coral Sea Islands Territory, and the Territories of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
During 2002-03, the department continued to assist the territories establish and maintain effective and appropriate governance.