Saturday, June 29, 2013

It comes with the Territory

I kind of got stuck after Home Affairs. It was easy to leave transport since the portfolios for rail (1916) and road (1928) evolved over time and were not intrinsic to the parent portfolio. Territories, even though they were only separated out after years, relate this same notion of managing physical locale. Before hopping on to the next designated portfolio earmarked by our federation founders, it seemed a fair subcategory to focus on. The only issue is that there have been 36 ministers for Territories and many of them are repeats of names we've seen much of recently (in this blog) and serving the same short terms. Indeed, while documenting the further tasks of a Gorton or Whitlam, there are repetitions of Home itself.

So, as compromise (we may list those Territory watchers at a later date - sorry Christmas Island), I've decided to list the shorter list of specific territory ministries.

Minister for the Capital Territory

Kep Enderby
Gordon Bryant
Reg Withers
Eric Robinson
Tony Staley
Robert Ellicott
Michael Hodgman

Minister for the Northern Territory

Kep Enderby
Rex Patterson
Paul Keating
Ian Sinclair
Evan Adermann
Bob Collins
Ben Humphreys
Gary Gray

Except only Enderby, Patterson, and Adermann were known by that title. Patterson, Keating, and Sinclair were introduced as Minister for Northern Australia. Collins and Humphreys were Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Northern Australia (sharp-eyed readers will see where this is going) and Gray has been first Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Northern Australia under Rudd, and Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia under Gillard. What the status quo is on appointing for points north now that Rudd is again Prime Minister is unknown at this stage

Not wishing to extemporise, the reduced role is a reflection of the Northern Territory's increased autonomy. It's just interesting that there's still this vestige of commonwealth control, albeit exerted on a less localised basis.


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