Australian Time Zones
The size of Australia means that we have three times zones.
Eastern states – Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania – are on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) which is UTC/GMT plus 10 hours.
South Australia and the Northern Territory are on Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) which is UTC/GMT plus 9.5 hours.
Western Australia is on Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) which is GMT plus 8 hours.
Australian Daylight Saving (summer time) Dates
New South Wales (including the ACT), Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania move their clocks forward one hour on the first Sunday in October and back one hour on the first Sunday in April.
Western Australia had a three year daylight saving trial from 2006 to 2009. They voted against daylight saving in 2009 and now maintain Western Standard Time all year round.
Queensland maintains Eastern Standard Time all year round. This causes much debate every year in the south-eastern corner of the state, and particularly on the Gold Coast which straddles the border.
The Northern Territory, also in the tropics, do not change their clocks.
What to do to changeover:
- The night before the start of daylight savings time, set your clocks forward one hour.
- The night before the end of daylight savings time, set your clocks back one hour
The Queensland Debate
Every year, the debate springs up in Queensland. Some south-east Queensland residents and businesses complain about the inconvenience of being on a different time-zone to New South Wales. If you work full-time in an air-conditioned office, daylight saving makes sense.
However, much of Queensland is in the tropics where residents have no desire to change their clocks and increase the amount of hot sunlight and UV rays that they, and their children, are exposed to just so office workers can enjoy some late afternoon daylight. Children will be walking home from school and playing outdoors at 2pm rather than 3pm which means that they are exposed in the hotter part of the day and if they play outside until dark, they are in sunlight for longer periods. Skin cancer is far too common in the topics and subtropics.
- NSW daylight saving acts and background information
See also Australian School Holiday Dates.