Department of External Territories (1968–1973)

The Department of External Territories was an Australian government department that existed between February 1968 and November 1973. It was the second Australian Government department to be given the name.

Department of External Territories
Department overview
Formed20 February 1968[1]
Preceding Department
Dissolved30 November 1973[1]
Superseding agency
JurisdictionCommonwealth of Australia
Ministers responsible
Department executives

History and scopeEdit

The Department of External Territories was established by the Gorton Government in 1968, formed from the portions of the old Department of Territories (I) that dealt with Papua New Guinea and Australia's smaller external territories and hiving off the portions of the department that dealt with Northern Territory.[2]

According to the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 20 December 1972, the Department dealt with matters related to the Territory of Papua, the Territory of New Guinea, the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the Territory of Christmas Island.[3]


The Department was an Australian Public Service department, staffed by officials who were responsible to the Minister for External Territories.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "CA 1284: Department of External Territories [II], Central Office", National Archives of Australia, retrieved 9 February 2021
  2. ^ "Problems of a new broom in Canberra". The Canberra Times. 28 February 1968. p. 2.
  3. ^ Administrative Arrangements Order issued 20 December 1972 (PDF), National Archives of Australia, 20 December 1972, p. 3, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2013