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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

50th anniversary of the transfer (or loss!) of Christmas Island

2008 is the 50th anniversary of the transfer of Christmas Island to Australia, and Australia/Christmas Island Shire Administration is celebrating it with a stamp issue and a number of events. Details available on http://shire.gov.cx/Community_Services/event.html and I have done a copy and paste below. Just as the ICJ judgement effectively secured international recognition of our territorial waters over where the Straits of Singapore meets the South China Sea, imagine the extend of our maritime control near the mouth of Sunda Straits and Jakarta's water lanes if we still control Christmas Island!

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Territory Year 2008

Territory Year 2008 Calendar of Events

The Island was passed from British to Australian hands on 1 October 1958. The Island became, under section 122 of the Australian Constitution, an external Territory. Section 122 enables the Australian Parliament to make laws for "any territory placed by the Queen under the authority of and accepted by the Commonwealth … and may allow the representation of such territory in either House of the Parliament to the extent and on the terms which it thinks fit."

On 1 October 1958 the Christmas Island Act was passed by the Australian Parliament, setting in place arrangements for how the Island would be governed and what laws would apply. In 1984 the Australian Parliament decided to allow the Territory of Christmas Island representation in both Houses of Federal Parliament via inclusion in the Northern Territory "for voting purposes only".

Fifty years on, the Island remains a non-self governing external territory of Australia. There is much to reflect upon about the island's past and future and its place in the Australian landscape.

50th Anniversary Stamp Issue for Christmas Island

Australia Post has decided to issue a series of Christmas Island stamps this year to commemorate our 50th anniversary of becoming an external Territory of Australia. The stamps, which depict both natural and social elements of the Island, will be issued in June.

The stamps are just one aspect of a range of celebrations and reflections which the community are planning to make the 50th anniversary a special year for the Island.

Territory Year Stamps

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