[tz] Australian Timezone Abbreviations (Daylight Savings Time)

Timothy Arceri t.arceri at bom.gov.au
Sat Mar 30 10:05:37 UTC 2013

Clive D.W. Feather <clive <at> davros.org> writes:

> Random832 said:
> >>>"There are three timezones across Australia.
> >> Given that there seem to be at least five, this doesn't seem too reliable.
> >
> > How do you figure? Consider that in common layperson usage, "time zones" 
> > only refers to the standard offset itself (and perhaps the basic name 
> > Eastern/Central/Western), not whether/when daylight savings is in effect.
> In winter, there are five common clock settings (including Lord Howe Island
> and Eucla), while in summer there are six. Neither of those numbers feels
> consistent with "three".
> (Note that this is not like the continental USA, which only has four values
> at any time of year, even if the boundaries shift around.)

I feel this is getting off topic arguing the technicality of how many timezones
there are detracts from the point that the database contains abbreviations that
are ambiguous and are not recognised by everyday Australians, state, federal or
territory governments. It seems that the abbreviations were created due to
legislation mentioning summer time rather than daylight savings, although there
has been no evidence I've seen presented that EST is a regconised abbreviation
of Easter Summer time in Australia. On the other hand I presented multiple
government sites as reference for the use of the Australian Governments
abbreviation format.

But if we must. As already mentioned the common layperson usage of timezones in
Australia is that there is only three as these timezones cover the vast majority
of the population. As further reference please see the Western Australia's
official tourism site:  

"There are three time zones in Australia:

Time Zone Clocks Western Standard Time (AWST - GMT + 8:00) in Western Australia
Central Standard Time (ACST - GMT + 9:30) in South Australia and Northern
Territory; and Eastern Standard Time (AEST - GMT +10:00) which operates in New
South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.

ACST is half an hour behind AEST, while AWST is two hours behind AEST."


I must say its rather belittling as an Australian to see how many times my
fellow Australians have brought up this issue only to be ignored and told that
the abbreviations we use everyday are not correct. 

More information about the tz mailing list