Shire of Cocos

Shire of Cocos
Population 604 (2009)[1]
 • Density 44/km2 (110/sq mi)
Area 14.1 km2 (5.4 sq mi)
Mayor Balmut Pirus
Council seat Home Island
Region External territory of Australia
Federal Division(s) Lingiari
Website Shire of Cocos

The Shire of Cocos is a local government area which manages local affairs on the Australian external territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands (12°07′S 96°54′E / 12.117°S 96.900°E / -12.117; 96.900; post code: 6799). The island is grouped with Western Australia but is administered by Attorney-General's Department[2] and an Administrator.

It covers an area of 14.1 km² in the Indian Ocean about 2,770 km north-west of Perth and 1,000 km south-west of Java in Indonesia. It has a population of 621 (ABS 2001).


From the 19th century onwards, the islands were owned by the Clunies-Ross family, and in 1886 were granted to them in perpetuity by Queen Victoria. On 23 November 1955 the islands were transferred to Australian control under the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955. In 1978, Australia entered a form of purchase of the islands with the Clunies-Ross family, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Council came into existence in July 1979 as a representative of the Cocos Malay community.

The Administrator is Brian Lacy, who was appointed on 18 September 2009 and is also the Administrator of Christmas Island. These two Territories comprise Australia's Indian Ocean Territories. The Australian Government provides Commonwealth-level government services through the Christmas Island Administration and the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. As per the Federal Government's Territories Law Reform Act 1992, which came into force on 1 July 1992, Western Australian laws are applied to the Cocos Islands, "so far as they are capable of applying in the Territory";[3] non-application or partial application of such laws is at the discretion of the federal government. The Act also gives Western Australian courts judicial power over the islands. The Cocos Islands remain constitutionally distinct from Western Australia, however; the power of the state to legislate for the territory is power delegated by the federal government. The kind of services typically provided by a state government elsewhere in Australia are provided by departments of the Western Australian Government, and by contractors, with the costs met by the federal government.

There also exists a unicameral Cocos (Keeling) Islands Shire Council with seven seats. A full term lasts four years, though elections are held every two years; approximately half the members retire each two years. Federally, Cocos (Keeling) Islanders form the electorate of Lingiari with Christmas Island and outback Northern Territory. The first elections to the Shire Council, established by ordinance, were held in May 1993.

The Shire's offices are at Jalan Bunga Kangkong, Home Island.


The shire has seven councillors and no wards.

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (30 March 2010). "Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2008–09". Retrieved 5 June 2010.
  2. First Assistant Secretary, Territories Division (2008-01-30). "Territories of Australia". Attorney-General's Department. Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2008-02-07. The Federal Government, through the Attorney-General's Department administers Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Jervis Bay, and Norfolk Island as Territories.
  3. Territories Law Reform Act 1992. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
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