Australian time zoning

Chris Carrier 72157.3334 at CompuServe.COM
Tue Dec 24 05:32:44 UTC 1996

Alex Livingston writes:
>>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.
According to Doane (1972) and adopted GMT+9 when they first
adopted standard time 1895-02-01, and then moved to GMT+9:30 on 1899-05-01. 
Like many places, they moved from the right time to the wrong time.
I believe that the change was made because Adelaide (138E35), the largest city
in the two states/territories is right on the eastern edge of the time zone
and prefers to be on LMT+0:16 to LMT-0:14.
>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).
While I would be opposed to current ACT if I lived there, I do not regard off-
hour zones to be a bad thing, if it is a better fit to LMT.  (ACT, of course,
does NOT meet this standard.)  If I lived in Portugal or Ireland, I would be
in favor of GMT-0:30 instead of GMT or GMT-1.  In the USA the row of states
from North Dakota to Texas would be better off on GMT-6:30 instead of -6,
especially since they all keep DST until late October.
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!).
Actually if I lived in Kununurra I would want to keep UT+8:45 as opposed to
either UT+8 (and certainly +9:30!).  Given that LMT is probably about UT+8:35
(since the WA-NT border is +8:36), +8:45 is better than +8, +9, or +9:30.  It
would also be WA+0:45 and NT-0:45.
>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.
I like this idea better than idea 1.

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