The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) (formerly, 'The Territory for the Seat of Government' and, later, the 'Federal Capital Territory') is a territory in the south east of Australia, enclaved within New South Wales. It is the smaller of the two selfgoverning internal territories in Australia. The only city and by far the most populous community is Canberra, the capital city of Australia.The need for a national territory was flagged by colonial delegates during the Federation conventions of the late 19th century. Section 125 of the Australian Constitution provided that, following Federation in 1901, land would be ceded freely to the new Federal Government. The territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by the state of New South Wales in 1911, two years prior to the naming of Canberra as the national capital in 1913. The floral emblem of the ACT is the royal bluebell and the bird emblem is the ganggang cockatoo.The economic activity of the Australian Capital Territory is heavily concentrated around the largest and most populous city, Canberra. A stable housing market, steady employment and rapid population growth in the 21st century have led to economic prosperity and in 2011, ACT was ranked as the second best performing economic region in the country by CommSec.The ACT is bounded by the GoulburnCooma railway line in the east, the watershed of Naas Creek in the south, the watershed of the Cotter River in the west, and the watershed of the Molonglo River in the northeast. The ACT also has a small strip of territory around the southern end of the Beecroft Peninsula, which is the northern headland of Jervis Bay.Apart from the city of Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory also contains agricultural land (sheep, dairy cattle, vineyards and small amounts of crops) and a large area of national park (Namadgi National Park), much of it mountainous and forested. Small townships and communities located within the ACT include Williamsdale, Naas, Uriarra, Tharwa and Hall.
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Tidbinbilla is a locality to the southwest of Canberra that features the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, operated by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of its Deep Space Network.Because of its elevation 650 metres (2,130&160ft) and distance from the coast, the Australian Capital Territory experiences four distinct seasons, unlike many other Australian cities whose climates are moderated by the sea. Canberra is noted for its warm to hot, dry summers, and cold winters with occasional fog and frequent frosts. Many of the higher mountains in the territory's southwest are snowcovered for at least part of the winter. Thunderstorms can occur between October and March, and annual rainfall is 623&160mm (24.5&160in), with rainfall highest in spring and summer and lowest in winter.The highest maximum temperature recorded in the ACT was 42.8&160C (109.0&160F) at Acton on 11 January 1939. The lowest minimum temperature was 14.6&160C (5.7&160F) at Gudgenby on 11 July 1971.Notable geological formations in the Australian Capital Territory include the Canberra Formation, the Pittman Formation, Black Mountain Sandstone and State Circle Shale.