History of Australian Capital Territory
The Royal Bluebell was announced as the floral emblem of the Australian Capital Territory on 26 May 1982 by the Hon. Michael Hodgman, the Minister for the Capital Territory.
Following the colonisation of Australia by the British, the 19th century saw the initial European exploration and settlement of the area and their encounters with the local indigenous peoples, beginning with the first explorations in 1820 and shortly followed by the first European settlements in 1824. At the outset the region was dominated by large properties used for sheep and cattle grazing, which had been granted to free settlers that had arrived in Australia from the United Kingdom and other European countries. These large properties were later broken up and subdivided in accordance with changes to land tenure arrangements, smaller farms and urban developments becoming more common.
In 1908, the region was selected as the site of the nation's future capital city. In 1909, New South Wales formally ceded to the federal government the territory and additional land at Jervis Bay for the establishment of a sea port for the capital. The territory officially came under federal government control as the Federal Capital Territory on 1 January 1911. The planning and construction of Canberra followed, with the Parliament of Australia moving there in 1927.
The Territory officially became the Australian Capital Territory in 1938. Canberra was built to accommodate the government, while the surrounding area was developed to support the city, including the construction of dams, the establishment of plantation forests and the creation of protected areas.
The first years of the 21st century saw a period of extended drought in the ACT region, accompanied by several bushfires that caused widespread devastation. Over the 2001 Christmas period, five separate bushfires burnt over 16 km2 of forest in the ACT, including millions of dollars' worth of plantation pine forest. The drought conditions continued during the following years, and in 2003 the ACT burned again. The 2003 bushfires damaged around 70% of the ACT's area, including 99% of the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and significant areas of government-owned pine plantation.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is Australia’s smallest state (territory, area, whatever) covering an area of just 2,358 km². Even if it were a country in its own right, it would still be a small country. It would be slightly smaller than Luxembourg but twice the size of Hong Kong. It is about 100 times smaller than the UK and if it were an American state, it would be the smallest.
Canberra. With a population of 403,468 it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest overall. The city is located at the northern end of the ACT, 280 km south-west of Sydney and 660 km north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a "Canberran". Although Canberra is the capital and seat of government, many federal government ministries have secondary seats in state capital cities, as do the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.