The Coral Sea Islands Territory is an external territory of Australia which comprises a group of small and mostly uninhabited tropical islands and reefs in the Coral Sea, northeast of Queensland, Australia. The only inhabited island is Willis Island. The territory covers 780,000 km2 (301,160 sq mi), most of which is ocean, extending east and south from the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef and includes Heralds Beacon Island, Osprey Reef, the Willis Group and fifteen other reef/island groups. Cato Island is the highest point in the Territory.
|Coral Sea Islands Territory|
|Population||4[n 1] (1 January 2011)|
The Coral Sea Islands were first charted in 1803. In the 1870s and 1880s the islands were mined for guano but the absence of a reliable supply of fresh water prevented long-term habitation. The Coral Sea Islands became an Australian external territory in 1969 by the Coral Sea Islands Act (prior to that, the area was considered part of Queensland) and extended in 1997 to include Elizabeth Reef and Middleton Reef nearly 800 km further south, already in the Tasman Sea.
The two latter reefs are much closer to Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, (about 150 km (93 mi)) than to the southernmost island of the rest of the territory, Cato Island. The islands, cays and reefs of the Great Barrier Reef are not part of the territory, belonging to Queensland instead. The outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef is the boundary between Queensland and the Coral Sea Islands Territory.
The territory is a possession or external territory of Australia, administered from Canberra by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Previously it was administered by the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Transport and Regional Services). Defence is the responsibility of Australia, and the territory is visited regularly by the Royal Australian Navy.
Australia maintains automatic weather stations on many of the isles and reefs, and claims a 200-nautical-mile (370 km) exclusive fishing zone. There is no economic activity (except for a significant but as yet unquantified charter fishing and diving industry), and only a staff of three or four people to run the meteorological station on Willis Island (South Islet), established in 1921.  In November 2011, the Australian government announced that a 989,842-square-kilometre (382,180 sq mi) protected area was planned in the Coral Sea.
The Supreme Court of Norfolk Island has jurisdiction over the islands. However, the laws of the Australian Capital Territory apply not those of Norfolk Island. The territory's FIPS 10-4 code is CR, whereas ISO 3166 includes it in Australia (AU).
In 2004, the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was declared as a sovereign state as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in Australia in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognise same-sex marriages. The Kingdom was dissolved on 17 November 2017 following results of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey indicated a majority of Australians supported same-sex marriage. The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 received royal assent in December 2017.
There are about 30 separate reefs and atolls, twelve being wholly submerged or drying only during low tide, and 18 others with a total of about 51 islets and cays (18 alone on the atoll Lihou Reef), some of which are vegetated. The atolls exhibit a wide range of size, from a few kilometres in diameter to perhaps the second largest atoll in the world by total area (including lagoon): Lihou Reef, with a lagoon size of 100 by 30 kilometres (62 by 19 miles) and an area of 2,500 square kilometres (970 square miles), which compares to a combined land area of the 18 individual islets of only 0.91 square kilometres (0.35 square miles). The islands are all very low.
The Willis Islets are important nesting areas for birds and turtles but contain negligible natural resources. They comprise less than three square kilometres (1.2 square miles) of land. There is no port or harbour, only offshore anchorage.
Most of the atolls fall into two groups, while Mellish Reef to the east, and Middleton Reef and Elizabeth Reef to the south are grouped separately:
The atolls of the Northwestern Group, except Osprey Reef and Shark Reef in the north, and Marion Reef in the south, are located on the Coral Sea Plateau (Queensland Plateau), a contiguous area of depths less than 1000 m.
The Nature Reserves were created to protect wildlife in the respective areas of the territory; together they form the Coral Sea Reserves Ramsar Site.
Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, together with reefs around Lord Howe Island (New South Wales) 150 km to the south, are regarded as the southernmost coral reefs in the world. Their location, where tropical and temperate ocean currents meet, contributes to an unusually diverse assemblage of marine species. These mostly submerged atolls which dry only during low tide were added to the territory only in 1989. They are located on the Lord Howe Rise in the Tasman Sea which joins the Coral Sea in the south. Already on 23 December 1987, they were protected as the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, which has an area of 1880 km2.
|West Holmes Reef||atoll||2|
|Diane Bank||atoll (mostly sunken)||Diane Bank Cay|
|Willis Group||atoll (partially sunken)||South Islet (Willis Island), Mid Islet, North Cay|
|Magdelaine Cays and Coringa Islets||atoll (partially sunken)||Northwest Islet, Southeast Cay, Southwest, Chilcott Islets|
|Herald Cays (North)||reef||Northwest Cay|
|Herald Cays (South)||reef||Southeast Cay|
|Lihou Reef and Cays||atoll||18|
|Diamond Islands and Tregosse Reefs||atoll (partially sunken)||4|
|Flinders Reefs (North)||atoll||Flinders, Main, Victoria Cays|
|Marion Reef||atoll||Paget, Carola, Brodie Cays|
|Mellish Reef||atoll||Heralds-Beacon Islet|
|Frederick Reefs||atoll||Observatory Cay|
|Kenn Reef||atoll||Observatory Cay|
|Saumarez Reef||atoll||Northeast, Southwest Cays|
|Wreck Reef||atoll||Bird, West Islets, Porpoise Cay|
|Cato Reef||atoll||Cato Island|
|Total number of islands/cays||51|
Automatic, unmanned weather stations are located on the following reefs or atolls:
Lighthouses are located on following reefs or islands:
Willis Island, the only inhabited island, has a number of structures.
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.
As part of the Machinery of Government Changes following the Federal Election on 29 November 2007, administrative responsibility for Territories has been transferred to the Attorney General's Department.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
The Coral Sea Reserves Ramsar Site comprises the 17,292 km2 of oceanic island and reef habitats within the former Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve and the former Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve in the Australian Coral Sea Islands Territory.Cordia subcordata
Cordia subcordata is a species of flowering tree in the borage family, Boraginaceae, that occurs in eastern Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. The plant is known by a variety of names including beach cordia, sea trumpet, and kerosene wood, among others.Elizabeth Reef
Elizabeth Reef 29°57′25″S 159°4′32″E is a coral reef in the Tasman Sea. The reef is separated by a deep oceanic pass, some 45 km wide, from nearby Middleton Reef, both of which are part of the underwater plateau known as the Lord Howe Rise. It is around 160 km from Lord Howe Island and 555 km from the New South Wales coast of Australia. The Environment, Sport and Territories Legislation Amendment Act 1997 included Elizabeth Reef in Australia's Coral Sea Islands Territory.
It is the southernmost coral atoll in the world and one of the southernmost platform reefs in the world. It measures 8.2 km by 5.5 km. Despite the relatively high latitude, a wide variety of flora and fauna exists on the reef and in the surrounding waters due to their location where tropical and temperate ocean currents converge.
At low tide most of the reef flat is exposed, at high tide, both a cay and a sand spit are visible, Elizabeth Island, with a diameter of about 400 m and one metre above sea level. Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs form the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Park Reserve managed by the Government of Australia under the Natural Heritage Trust.Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Park Reserve
Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Park Reserve is a former Marine protected area consisting of waters around Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs located at the south-eastern end of the Coral Sea Islands, an Australian territory in the Coral Sea and the north-western Tasman Sea. It was incorporated into the new Lord Howe Commonwealth Marine Reserve in December 2012. The two reefs also form a Ramsar site, having been listed as Ramsar Site 1223, on 21 October 2002, under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance.Forbes Islands National Park
Forbes Islands is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 1,962 km northwest of Brisbane in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Queensland and is located about 40 km North East of Iron Range National Park and Lockhart River in the Cape Weymouth area in the Coral Sea just off the small locality of Portland Roads.Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands
The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands (also known as The Gay Kingdom of the Coral Sea) was a micronation established as a symbolic political protest by a group of gay rights activists based in Australia. Declared in 2004 in response to the Australian government's refusal to recognise same-sex marriages, it was founded on Australia's external overseas Territory of the Coral Sea Islands, a group of uninhabited islets east of the Great Barrier Reef. The Kingdom was dissolved on 17 November 2017 following the decision made by the Australian people to legalize gay marriage.The Coral Sea Islands Territory is an external territory of Australia which comprises a group of small and mostly uninhabited tropical islands and reefs in the Coral Sea, northeast of Queensland, Australia. The territory covers 780,000 km2 (301,160 sq mi), most of which is ocean, extending east and south from the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef, and includes Heralds Beacon Island, Osprey Reef, the Willis Group, and fifteen other reef/island groups. Cato Island is the highest point in the Territory and a camp site on the Island called Heaven was the claimed capital of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands.Headhunters of the Coral Sea
Headhunters of the Coral Sea is a 1940 book by Ion Idriess about Jack Ireland and Will d'Oyly, two survivors of the 1834 wreck, the Charles Eaton.Idriess had previously written a version of this story in Drums of Mer.Isles of Despair
Isles of Despair is a 1947 historical novel by Ion Idriess based on the true story of Barbara Thomson, a white woman who was the sole survivor of a shipwreck and was raised by Coral Sea islanders, before being rescued in 1849.It had a follow up, The Wild White Man of Badu.Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve
Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve is a former marine protected area covering an area of 8440 km2in the Australian Coral Sea Islands Territory that was incorporated into the new Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve in December 2012. Together with the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, from which it is separated by about 100 km of open ocean, it forms the Coral Sea Reserves Ramsar Site, designated on 16 August 2002, listing it under the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance.List of LGBT-related organizations and conferences
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) related organizations and conferences range from social and support groups to organizations that are political in nature. Some groups are independent, while others are officially recognized advocacy groups within mainstream religious organizations.
For groups whose primary purpose is campaigning for the legal rights of LGBT people, please see List of LGBT rights organizations.
For organizations affiliated with political parties, please see List of LGBT organizations that affiliate with political parties.
For organizations primarily serving LGBT medical professionals or promoting LGBT health, please see List of LGBT medical organizations.Middleton Reef
Middleton Reef is a coral reef in the Tasman Sea. It is separated by a deep oceanic pass some 45 km wide from nearby Elizabeth Reef, forming part of the Lord Howe Rise underwater plateau. It is around 220 km from Lord Howe Island and 555 km from the coast of New South Wales. In 1997 the Environment, Sport and Territories Legislation Amendment Bill 1996 included the reef in Australia's Coral Sea Islands Territory.
It is among the southernmost platform reefs in the world. Despite its relatively high latitude, there is a wide variety of flora and fauna on the reef and in the surrounding waters, due to converging tropical and temperate ocean currents.
It is about 8.9 km long by 6.3 km wide. At low tide most of the reef flat is exposed, at high tide only one cay is visible, The Sound, 100 m by 70 m and one metre above sea level.
The reefs form the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Park Reserve managed by the Government of Australia under the Natural Heritage Trust.Piper Islands National Park
The Piper Islands National Park is a national park in Far North Queensland, Australia. It lies 1977 km northwest of Brisbane. It comprises four small islands lying on the inner northern Great Barrier Reef off the eastern coast of the Cape York Peninsula in Temple Bay, between Cape Grenville and Fair Cape.Pisonia grandis
Pisonia grandis, the grand devil's-claws, is a species of flowering tree in the Bougainvillea family, Nyctaginaceae.Quoin Island National Park
Quoin Island is a national park in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Queensland, Australia, 1,947 km northwest of Brisbane. It is situated about 30 km North East of Iron Range National Park and Lockhart River in the Cape Weymouth area near Portland RoadsSupreme Court of Norfolk Island
The Supreme Court of Norfolk Island is the superior court for Australian territory of Norfolk Island. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the territory in civil matters and hears the most serious criminal matters. It also has jurisdiction over the Coral Sea Islands Territory. All matters are heard before a single judge, including appeals from the Court of Petty Sessions. In the Australian court hierarchy it is one of eight state and territory Supreme Courts having unlimited jurisdiction in their respective parts of Australia. Appeal lies to the Federal Court of Australia, from which an appeal by special leave can be made to the High Court of Australia.Willis Island
Willis Island is the only permanently inhabited island in the Coral Sea Islands Territory, an external territory of Australia, located beyond the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. The island is located some 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Cairns, Queensland. It is the southernmost of the Willis Islets, a group of three islands which with their associated sandy cays stretch in a NNE to SSW line for about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi). Willis Island itself is aligned NW to SE and is about 500 metres (1,600 ft) long by 150 metres (490 ft) wide, 7.7 hectares (19 acres) in area, rising to about 9 metres (30 ft) above sea level.Ximenia americana
Ximenia americana, commonly known as tallow wood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi'ut (Chamorro), is a small sprawling tree of woodlands native to the tropics.
Leaves are oval shaped, bright green and have a strong smell of almonds. Flowers are pale in color. Fruits are lemon-yellow or orange-red.