Probable change needed to the Aust zone files

Alex Livingston alex at
Fri Dec 20 00:26:46 UTC 1996

>I was told recently that the town (district probably) of
>Kunumurra, in far north east Western Australia has switched its
>time zone to be the same as that of the Northern Territory
>instead of using WA time (they're just over the border, and the
>WA time zone is wildly inappropriate, so it makes sense).

To say that the WA time, 08:00 ahead of UT, in Kununurra (I presume that is where is meant: there were no matches for Kunumurra on an AltaVista Web search but about 200 for Kununurra [and 9 and 7 for Kunnunurra and Kununnurra respectively]) is wildly inappropriate is more than an overstatement. The WA-NT border runs along the 129 deg. E meridian, so WA time in Kunnunurra is less than 36 minutes behind LMT. Is that particularly inappropriate? If Kununurra adopts / has adopted NT time, 09:30 ahead of UT, then its time will be / is more than 54 minutes ahead of LMT. Isn't that even more "inappropriate"? It is Australia's "Central Time" (09:30 ahead of UT) that is inappropriate. The closest it comes to being "appropriate" is on SA's eastern border with NSW, where it is still 6 minutes ahead of LMT.

IMHO Australia's time zoning is a farce. Australia is wholly responsible for 3 of world's "off the hour" time zones (central zone, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island) and partially responsible for another 1 (Cocos Islands - same time as Burma). The least justifiable of these is "Central Time", and Lord Howe Island comes a close second, what with its almost entirely pointless daylight-saving practices. (I started a message about the latter several weeks ago but haven't got round to finishing it yet.) There seems to me to be two main options for the central zone:

1: Put the whole zone on UT+10 year-round (no more inappropriate than Argentina, not to mention China), with the possible exception of the southwest corner of SA (where hardly anyone lives), which could keep on UT+9 (whether "officially" or otherwise) along with the southeast corner of WA (where even fewer people live) which already keeps UT+8:45 year-round (ugh!).

2: Put the whole zone on UT+9 during a standardised non-daylight-saving period, advancing the southern section to UT+10 during a standardised daylight-saving period.

In either case, a section of northeast WA could consider adopting UT+9 year-round.

What chance of this?

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