dislocated time/space regions

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Wed Apr 10 05:41:03 UTC 2002

> From: "Alex Livingston" <alex at agsm.edu.au>
> Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 12:13:00 +1000

> The time kept in the three "towns" you mention is half way between the
> times in Western Australia (WA) and South Australia (SA) only when South
> Australia is NOT observing daylight-saving time. When it is, these towns
> are 1&3/4 hours behind SA, but only 3/4 of an hour (less than half as
> ahead of WA.

Yes.  This is confirmed by the section entitled
"What's the deal with time zones???" in
which says a few other things:

 * Border Village, SA also is 45 minutes ahead of Perth.
 * The locals call this time zone "central W.A. Time" (presumably "CWAT").
 * The locals also call Western Australia time "Perth time".

It's not clear from context whether everyone in Western Australia
knows of this naming convention, or whether it's just the people in
this subregion.

I found some independent confirmation of the extra zone on Page 6 of
<http://www.epta.com.au/Nullarbor.pdf>, and in the Day 13 entry of

The earliest note that I found about the situation was
dated 1999-03-14, so the practice has been going on at least since then.

> it would seem to me much more sensible and convenient if their clocks
> kept a whole hour ahead of WA

Most likely these locations rely on self-generated power, so it's
possible that this tradition arose from the fact that traditional
electric clocks (which are synced to the local generators) tend to
wander, so people are more aware of the fact that local time is
somewhat arbitrary.  I've heard of similar effects in Antarctica.

"One Year By Bicycle" notes the following in its 2001-09-22 entry:

   Balladonia to roadside rest area

   Digital clock at the motel gained 15 minutes overnight. Generators
   for the roadhouse must have difficulty maintaining 50 Hz. I also
   set my watch ahead, but by 45 minutes. East of Caiguna is a time
   zone offset from rest of WA by 45 minutes. I believe that when
   parts of Australia change to summer time in a few weeks, there will
   be six different times on the continent since WA, NT and Qld do not
   have summer time. (Relative to WA - Western Australia: 0:00, Eucla:
   0:45, Northern Territory: 1:30, Queensland: 2:00, South Australia:
   2:30, Victoria/NSW/Tasmania: 3:00). Seems confusing to me.


This story is echoed by Vermeulen's fellow bicyclists in
in its 2001-09-22 entry.

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