[tz] Australian Timezone Abreviations - Next step

Robert Elz kre at munnari.OZ.AU
Fri Oct 19 13:27:00 UTC 2012

    Date:        Fri, 19 Oct 2012 11:45:08 +1000
    From:        Shaun Bouckaert <shaun.bouckaert at gmail.com>
    Message-ID:  <CALBLQPY6v-Xq+VrTgkbwt2DFfydoNHAjRbPMZXi1wsNwnsi1dw at mail.gmail.com>

  | Did you ever think that existing uses of the three letter acronyms are
  | because that's the way they are currently in the database?

Some of them may be but consider ...


(for example) ...

Sydney Australia Time Zone:
UTC/GMT +10 hours (Eastern Standard Time EST)

While that "EST" might perhaps come from our data, someone clearly
wrote it as "Eastern Standard Time" by hand - that string isn't in the
(compiled) data anywhere.

  | This also isn't just one site. This is the page that
  | has been specifically set up to state what the timezones of Australia
  | are.

Yes, just like the one I quoted above, both are aimed at non-Australians
(tourists, others wanting to know what time it is in Aust, etc).

And both are equally authoritative (zero) - the Commonwealth govt has no
authority over time (or what it is called) anywhere in Aust other than
ACT, and Northern Territory.

What's more, the page that quotes "AEST" and "AEDT" as the zones that
apply in Victoria, also gives a link to "more information on daylight
saving in Victoria", if you follow that, you find that (among other things)
it says ...

"Victoria's period of daylight saving will start at 2:00am on Sunday 7
October 2012. At 2:00am standard time (Eastern Standard Time) move
clocks forward one hour to 3:00am summer time."

Note "Eastern Standard Time"  (not Australian Eastern Standard Time)
and "to 3:00am summer time" (not to 3amm daylight saving time, and no
"Australian" in that either).

And this is a Vic Govt website, which is the govt that is responsible
for defining the time in Victoria.

Ref: http://www.vic.gov.au/daylight-saving-in-victoria.html

You should also look at 


(sorry about the long line) which is

   Research Paper no. 10 2009-10

   Greg Baker
   Statistics and Mapping Section
   19 November 2009

(I think this is "...Section of the Parliamentary Library" but
I am not sure of thyat).   It says, in part, ...

  Australia has three time zones. These are called Eastern Standard Time (EST),
  Central Standard Time (CST), and Western Standard Time (WST) which is
  sometimes called Western Australian Time. These zones are sometimes referred
  to as AEST, ACST and AWST respectively where the prefix refers to Australia.
  These time zones were set up by colonial legislatures in the mid to late

  EST is 10 hours ahead of UTC. In winter it applies to New South Wales,
  except in Broken Hill[7] which is on CST; Victoria; Queensland; Tasmania;
  and the Australian Capital Territory. Lord Howe Island is administratively
  part of New South Wales, but has standard time 10 hours 30 minutes ahead
  of UTC.[8]

  CST is 9 hours 30 minutes ahead of UTC. CST applies throughout South
  Australia, the Northern Territory and Broken Hill in New South Wales.[9]

  WST is 8 hours ahead of UTC and applies throughout Western Australia.

Note the "sometimes referred to" where it refers to AEST (etc), and that it
both gives, and internally uses, just "EST" (etc) as the proper abbreviation.

There's a lot of useful information in that report (lots of historical
info) and it looks to be well researched, it is not (and does not claim to
be) authoritative for anything however (and I'm not saying it should be
used that way.)

  | > Yes, official statements from national and state government departments
  | > would be useful.
  | Although I'm certainly making an attempt at this,

For Qld, I think you'll be able to find (at least extracts from) the
Standard Time Act, 1894, on line (just do a web search).  From what I
can tell, it still applies, essentially unammended.   Note no typo,
that's 1894 - pre federation, there was no "Australia" then, so it would
be astounding if the official name for the timezone were "Australian"
anything.   In fact, from what I can determine, there is no real name
in Qld, just "standard time", which is not surprising for the period.

This is why I requested that you get some pointer to authority for
whatever opinion you get, so we don't end up just taking some random
minor bureaucrat's opinion as being blessed by some Govt authority.

  | If there are people in other states

For NSW & ACT the statutes are also available, neither refer to
"Australian" in the names (aside from the "A" in ACT), though from
what I can see, neither refer to "Eastern" either, "New South Wales
Standard Time" and "ACT Standard Time" appear to be what they use.

Vic & Tas used to have legislation online, but it seems to be no longer
available (unless you want to pay for it, the Summer Time Act 1972, Vic,
is available for $3.90 if you want to acquire it).  It used to say
"Eastern Standard Time" and "Eastern Summer Time" and I doubt it has
been changed (but feel free to acquire a copy, or go visit a law
library and examine it there).

I haven't looked for SA or WA (for the brief period Summer Time
applied in WA).


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