Christmas Island is an Australian external territory which means it follows the laws of Australia, specifically Western Australia. The nation receives Commonwealth level services from the Government of Australia. The expenses incurred while providing services for the population of Christmas Island are absorbed by the Federal Government of Australia. The Christmas Island Assembly and the now defunct Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government merged to form the Shire of Christmas Island which is a local government organization and the first elections for this nine-member council were held in 1993.

On the Shire of Christmas Island council, there are nine seats that are elected by popular vote to serve a four-year term. Elections are held every two years with four or five of the members of the council going up for re-election each time. Christmas Islanders are represented in the House of Representatives by the Division of Lingiari in the Northern Territory and the Senate by senators from the Northern Territory in Australia who liaise with the representative to Christmas Island. Christmas Island residents who are also Australian citizens can vote in the federal elections of Australia.

The administrative offices and government area for Christmas Island are located in the northern part of the island on Murray Road. The country covers just 136.7 square kilometres, and these government offices of the Shire of Christmas Island are also located close to the capital city of Flying Fish Cove. There is no official residence for the President of the Shire of Christmas Island.

As Christmas Island is technically a non-self-governing overseas territory of Australia, the entire legal system falls under the authority o the Australian government. The Christmas Island Act of 1958 has been amended several times, with the most recent amendment occurring in 2010. Christmas Island recognizes Australia Day, on January 26th, as a holiday.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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