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Australia, is a nation comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, plus many small islands. It is the world’s sixth-largest nation by total region. Neighbouring nations include Indonesia, East Timor plus Papua New Guinea with the north; the Solomon Islands plus Vanuatu with the north-east; plus New Zealand with the south-east.
For at smallest 40,000 years before the initial British settlement inside the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, whom talked languages grouped into about 250 code groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers inside 1606, Australia’s eastern half was advertised by Great Britain inside 1770 plus initially settled from penal transportation with the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. The population grew continuously inside next decades; the continent was explored plus an more five self-governing Crown Colonies were established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Because Federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political program which functions because a federal parliamentary democracy plus constitutional monarchy comprising six states plus many territories. The population of 23.6 million is very urbanised plus seriously concentrated inside the eastern states plus found on the coastline.
Australia is a developed nation plus among the wealthiest inside the planet, with all the world’s 12th-largest economy. In 2012 Australia had the world’s fifth-highest per capita money, Australia’s military expenditure is the world’s 13th-largest. With the second-highest human development index worldwide, Australia ranks very inside numerous global comparisons of nationwide performance, including standard of existence, wellness, knowledge, financial versatility, as well as the security of civil liberties plus political rights. Australia is a associate of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation plus Development (OECD), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum.
Australia has six states—New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Tasmania (TAS), Victoria (VIC) plus Western Australia (WA)—and 2 main mainland territories—the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) as well as the Northern Territory (NT). In many respects these 2 territories function because states, nevertheless the Commonwealth Parliament will override any legislation of their parliaments. By comparison, federal legislation overrides state legislation just inside regions which are set out inside Section 51 of the Australian Constitution; state parliaments retain all residual legislative powers, including those over universities, state authorities, the state judiciary, roads, public transport plus surrounding government, because these never fall below the provisions indexed inside Section 51.
Every state plus main mainland territory has its own parliament—unicameral inside the Northern Territory, the ACT plus Queensland—and bicameral inside the different states. The states are sovereign entities, though topic with certain powers of the Commonwealth because defined by the Constitution. The lower houses are termed as the Legislative Assembly (the Home of Assembly inside South Australia plus Tasmania); the upper houses are termed as the Legislative Council. The head of the government inside every state is the Premier plus inside every territory the Chief Minister. The Queen is represented inside every state with a Governor; plus inside the Northern Territory, the Administrator. In the Commonwealth, the Queen’s representative is the Governor-General.
Australia’s size offers it a broad range of landscapes, with tropical rainforests inside the north-east, mountain ranges inside the south-east, south-west plus east, plus dry desert inside the centre. It is the flattest continent, with all the oldest plus smallest fertile soils; desert or semi-arid land commonly well-known as the outback makes up undoubtedly the biggest part of land. The driest inhabited continent, just its south-east plus south-west corners have a temperate climate. The population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, is amidst the lowest inside the globe, though a big proportion of the population lives over the temperate south-eastern coastline.
Eastern Australia is marked by the Great Dividing Range, that runs parallel with the coastline of Queensland, New South Wales plus much of Victoria. The name is not purely exact, considering components of the range comprise of low slopes, as well as the highlands are usually no over 1,600 metres (5,249 ft) inside height. The coastal uplands along with a belt of Brigalow grasslands lay involving the coastline as well as the mountains, whilst inland of the dividing range are big regions of grassland. These include the western plains of New South Wales, as well as the Einasleigh Uplands, Barkly Tableland, plus Mulga Lands of inland Queensland. The northernmost point of the east coastline is the tropical-rainforested Cape York Peninsula.
Map showing the topography of Australia, showing certain elevation inside the west plus high elevation inside mountains inside the southeast
Topographic chart of Australia
The landscapes of the northern piece of the country—the Top End as well as the Gulf Country behind the Gulf of Carpentaria, with their tropical climate—consist of woodland, grassland, plus desert. At the north-west corner of the continent are the sandstone cliffs plus gorges of The Kimberley, plus under which the Pilbara. To the south of these plus inland, lay more regions of grassland: the Ord Victoria Plain as well as the Western Australian Mulga shrublands. At the heart of the nation are the uplands of central Australia; prominent highlights of the centre plus south include the inland Simpson, Tirari plus Sturt Stony, Gibson, Great Sandy, Tanami, plus Great Victoria deserts, with all the distinguished Nullarbor Plain found on the southern coastline.
The climate of Australia is greatly influenced by ocean currents, including the Indian Ocean Dipole as well as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, that is correlated with regular drought, as well as the seasonal tropical low-pressure program which produces cyclones inside northern Australia. These factors result rainfall with fluctuate markedly from year with year. Much of the northern piece of the nation has a tropical, predominantly summer-rainfall (monsoon) climate. The southwest corner of the nation has a Mediterranean climate. Much of the southeast (including Tasmania) is temperate.
Australia is a rich country; it generates its money from numerous sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications, banking plus production. It has a marketplace economy, a reasonably excellent GDP per capita, along with a comparatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average riches, Australia rated 2nd inside the planet following Switzerland inside 2013, though the nation’s poverty rate improved from 10.2 per cent with 11.8 per cent, from 2000/01 with 2013. It was diagnosed by the Credit Suisse Research Institute because the country with all the highest median riches inside the planet as well as the second-highest average riches per adult inside 2013.
The Australian dollar is the currency for the country, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, plus Norfolk Island, plus the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, plus Tuvalu. With the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange as well as the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange became the ninth biggest inside the planet.
Ranked 3rd inside the Index of Economic Freedom (2010), Australia is the world’s twelfth biggest economy plus has the fifth highest per capita GDP (nominal) at $66,984. The nation was rated next inside the United Nations 2011 Human Development Index plus initially inside Legatum’s 2008 Prosperity Index. All of Australia’s main cities fare effectively inside international comparative livability surveys; Melbourne reached initially area about The Economist’s 2011, 2012 plus 2013 world’s many liveable cities lists, followed by Adelaide, Sydney, plus Perth inside the fifth, seventh, plus ninth places respectively. Total government debt inside Australia is regarding $190 billion – 20% of GDP inside 2010. Australia has amidst the greatest home costs plus a few of the highest household-debt degrees inside the globe.
World chart showing the distribution of Australian goods
Destination plus value of Australian exports inside 2006
An focus about exporting commodities instead of produced goods has underpinned a immense heighten inside Australia’s terms of trade because the begin of the 21st century, due with increasing commodity costs. Australia has a balance of repayments which is a bit more than 7% of GDP damaging, plus has had persistently big active account deficits for over 50 years. Australia has grown at a typical yearly rate of 3.6% for over 15 years, compared to the OECD yearly average of 2.5%. Australia was truly the only advanced economy to not experience a recession due with the worldwide financial downturn inside 2008–2009. But, the economies of six of Australia’s main trading couples have been inside recession, which has affected Australia, greatly hampering its financial development inside latest years. From 2012 with early 2013, Australia’s nationwide economy grew, however several non-mining states plus Australia’s non-mining economy experienced a recession.
The Hawke Government floated the Australian dollar inside 1983 plus partially deregulated the financial program. The Howard Government followed with a partial deregulation of the labour marketplace as well as the further privatisation of state-owned companies, many notably inside the telecommunications industry. The indirect taxes program was significantly changed inside July 2000 with all the introduction of the 10% Goods plus Services Tax (GST). In Australia’s taxes program, individual plus organization money taxes are the leading sources of government money.
Aerial see of farming fields interspersed with roads, a tiny woodland close to the front of the photo
Australia is the world’s 4th biggest exporter of wine. The Barossa Valley is a main wine-producing area inside South Australia.
In May 2012, there were 11,537,900 persons employed (either full- or part-time), with an unemployment rate of 5.1%. Youth unemployment (15–24) stood at 11.2%. Data introduced inside mid-November 2013 showed which the quantity of welfare recipients had grown by 55%. In 2007 228,621 Newstart unemployment allowance recipients were registered, a total which improved with 646,414 inside March 2013.
Over the previous decade, inflation has usually been 2–3% as well as the base rate of interest 5–6%. The service sector of the economy, including tourism, knowledge, plus financial services, accounts for regarding 70% of GDP. Rich inside all-natural resources, Australia is a main exporter of agricultural goods, especially wheat plus wool, minerals like iron-ore plus gold, plus stamina inside the types of liquified all-natural fuel plus coal. Although farming plus all-natural resources account for just 3% plus 5% of GDP respectively, they lead significantly with export performance. Australia’s biggest export markets are Japan, China, the US, South Korea, plus New Zealand. Australia is the world’s 4th biggest exporter of wine, as well as the wine industry adds $5.5 billion per year with the nation’s economy.