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These uninhabited islands came under Australian authority in 1931; formal administration began two years later. Ashmore Reef supports a rich and diverse avian and marine habitat; in 1983, it became a National Nature Reserve. Cartier Island, a former bombing range, is now a marine reserve.
no indigenous inhabitants
note: Indonesian fishermen are allowed access to the lagoon and fresh water at Ashmore Reef’s West Island
conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Defence is the responsibility of Australia; periodic visits by the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force
no economic activity
Indonesian groups challenge Australia’s claim to these islands; Australia closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier Reserve to Indonesian traditional fishing and placed restrictions on certain catches
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