The familiar annual ritual of changing clocks, tied to the cycle of daylight saving time, is once again upon us. Residents of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, and South Australia should prepare to adjust their clocks forward by one hour, representing an overnight temporal leap as of Sunday, October 1st. While this will result in a loss of an hour on that day, all involved will find that hour returned at the conclusion of the summertime measure, set to end on Sunday, April 7, 2024.
A worthy trade-off for this slight disruption comes in the form of an extra hour of evening sunshine. The heart of the day, its warmest hours, will also arrive a bit later during those lingering summer spells.
Daylight saving requires different adjustments depending on one’s locale. Inhabitants of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, South Australia, and Norfolk Island will need to skip the 2 am hour, moving their clocks directly from 1.59 am to 3 am on October 1st. The ubiquity of modern connected devices, such as computers and smartphones, alleviates much of this obligation—they will update their time automatically, subject to user settings. Nevertheless, one must not overlook appliances or older technology which require a manual adjustment of 60 minutes forward.
As a result of this change, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania will operate on Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT), Norfolk Island will be an hour ahead under Norfolk Island Daylight Time (NFDT), and South Australia will lag half an hour behind AEDT, following Australian Central Daylight Time (ACDT).
Regions including Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Christmas Island, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands do not implement daylight saving and therefore require no adjustments. Yet, for those who travel or communicate with individuals in daylight saving territories, it is crucial to keep in mind the time discrepancies.
Queensland will remain one hour behind the AEDT states under Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST). The Northern Territory will persist with Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), remaining one-and-a-half hours behind the AEDT regions. Western Australians should remember they are a full three hours behind their compatriots in Sydney, Melbourne, or Hobart.
From October through April, the Australian mainland spans a considerable five different time zones. Although daylight saving was enforced across all states and territories during the World Wars, consistent annual observance did not become commonplace until 1971. Though Queensland initially joined in annually adjusting their clocks, they soon abandoned the practice in 1972, despite attempts to reintroduce daylight saving from 1989 to 1992. After a referendum, 54.5 percent of Queenslanders declared their opposition to daylight saving, solidifying the state’s stance on the time-altering practice.