Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jervis Bay Territory
The Jervis Bay Territory is a territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was bought by the Commonwealth Government in 1915 from the state of New South Wales so the Federal capital at Canberra would have access to the sea. Strictly speaking it is a separate territory and is not part of the Australian Capital Territory, but it is treated as part of the ACT for most practical purposes.
Jervis Bay is named after the British admiral John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent. Jervis pronounced his name "Jarvis," but most residents of Jervis Bay pronounce it as it is spelled.
Approximately 760 people live in the territory, the majority working and living at the Royal Australian Navy base, HMAS Creswell. Over 90% of the territory is now legally recognised as Aboriginal land. There is an Aboriginal community at Wreck Bay in the Booderee National Park.
For most purposes the territory is governed under the law of the Australian Capital Territory. Its residents have access to the courts of the ACT, but are not represented in the ACT Legislative Assembly. They are represented in the Parliament of Australia as part of the Division of Fraser in the ACT and by the ACT's two Senators. There is a Jervis Bay Administration that handles matters normally concerned with local or state government.
Huskisson is the nearest New South Wales town.
Jervis Bay is a natural harbour 16km north-south and 10km east-west, opening to the east onto the Pacific Ocean. The bay is sited about 150km south of the city of Sydney, on the southern coast of New South Wales. The nearest city is Nowra, about 40km or 30 minutes drive away, on the Shoalhaven River to the north. The water area forms the Jervis Bay Marine Park. The bay's extensive sand bottom features sea grass meadows where fish and dolphins can be found.
The southern Behwere Peninsula ends at Governors Head, and is mainly taken up with the Booderee National Park (formerly Jervis Bay National Park), accessible by road. (Booderee is an Aboriginal word from the Dhurga language meaning "bay of plenty" or "plenty of fish.")
The bay's northern coast and headland forming Beecroft Peninsula ends at Point Perpendicular with a major coastal lighthouse. A significant portion of the headland and surrounding area is a gun bombardment range for the navy. Bowen Island, at the entrance to the bay opposite Governors Head, is 51 hectares. It has rookeries for the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) at the northern extent of its range. Other villages and towns on the bay are: Hyams Beach, Vincentia, Huskisson, Culburra, Callala Bay, Callala Beach and Myola. To the south-west of Jervis Bay lies St Georges Basin, an extensive marine estuary and lake system.
The Australian National Botanic Gardens Annexe of approximately 80 hectares was established in 1951 near Lake Windermere to cater for plants not tolerant to frost found sometimes at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra.
Within the Booderee National Park is HMAS Creswell, the Royal Australian Navy College named after Captain William Creswell , the Director of the Commonwealth Naval Forces which later became the RAN. The Jervis Bay Airfield is adjacent, operated by the RAN to support its Kalkara (Storm Petrel) pilotless target aircraft (Beech / BAe MQM-107E). Kalkara are launched from the airfield and later recovered by parachute into the water and thence by boats maintained at HMAS Creswell, after target-towing exercises off the coast with ships or aircraft. Control equipment is sited at Bherwerre Ridge overlooking the sea to the east.
Of historical interest is the site of the nuclear reactor proposed to be built within the Jervis Bay Territory. The site is near the Greenpatch camping area, east of HMAS Creswell, on the south-east coast of the bay. The project was cancelled in 1971 after site works were done and a road was constructed to the territory border.
- Official site: includes a detailed map
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