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australia

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australia


  3  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  Australia 
  n  1:  a  nation  occupying  the  whole  of  the  Australian  continent; 
  aboriginal  tribes  are  thought  to  have  migrated  from 
  southeastern  Asia  20,000  years  ago;  first  Europeans  were 
  British  convicts  sent  there  as  a  penal  colony  [syn:  {Australia}, 
  {Commonwealth  of  Australia}] 
  2:  the  smallest  continent;  between  the  South  Pacific  and  the 
  Indian  Ocean  [syn:  {Australia}] 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  AUSTRALIA,  n.  A  country  lying  in  the  South  Sea,  whose  industrial  and 
  commercial  development  has  been  unspeakably  retarded  by  an  unfortunate 
  dispute  among  geographers  as  to  whether  it  is  a  continent  or  an 
  island. 
 
 
 
  From  The  CIA  World  Factbook  (1995)  [world95]: 
 
  Australia 
 
  Australia:Geography 
 
  Location:  Oceania,  continent  between  the  Indian  Ocean  and  the  South 
  Pacific  Ocean 
 
  Map  references:  Oceania 
 
  Area: 
  total  area:  7,686,850  sq  km 
  land  area:  7,617,930  sq  km 
  comparative  area:  slightly  smaller  than  the  US 
  note:  includes  Macquarie  Island 
 
  Land  boundaries:  0  km 
 
  Coastline:  25,760  km 
 
  Maritime  claims: 
  contiguous  zone:  24  nm 
  continental  shelf:  200  nm  or  to  the  edge  of  the  continental  margin 
  exclusive  economic  zone:  200  nm 
  territorial  sea:  12  nm 
 
  International  disputes:  territorial  claim  in  Antarctica  (Australian 
  Antarctic  Territory) 
 
  Climate:  generally  arid  to  semiarid;  temperate  in  south  and  east; 
  tropical  in  north 
 
  Terrain:  mostly  low  plateau  with  deserts;  fertile  plain  in  southeast 
 
  Natural  resources:  bauxite,  coal,  iron  ore,  copper,  tin,  silver, 
  uranium,  nickel,  tungsten,  mineral  sands,  lead,  zinc,  diamonds, 
  natural  gas,  petroleum 
 
  Land  use: 
  arable  land:  6% 
  permanent  crops:  0% 
  meadows  and  pastures:  58% 
  forest  and  woodland:  14% 
  other:  22% 
 
  Irrigated  land:  18,800  sq  km  (1989  est.) 
 
  Environment: 
  current  issues:  soil  erosion  from  overgrazing  industrial  development, 
  urbanization,  and  poor  farming  practices;  soil  salinity  rising  due  to 
  the  use  of  poor  quality  water;  desertification  clearing  for 
  agricultural  purposes  threatens  the  natural  habitat  of  many  unique 
  animal  and  plant  species;  the  Great  Barrier  Reef  off  the  northeast 
  coast,  the  largest  coral  reef  in  the  world,  is  threatened  by  increased 
  shipping  and  its  popularity  as  a  tourist  site;  limited  natural  fresh 
  water  resources 
  natural  hazards:  cyclones  along  the  coast;  severe  droughts 
  international  agreements:  party  to  -  Antarctic-Environmental  Protocol, 
  Antarctic  Treaty,  Biodiversity,  Climate  Change,  Endangered  Species, 
  Environmental  Modification,  Hazardous  Wastes,  Law  of  the  Sea,  Marine 
  Dumping,  Marine  Life  Conservation,  Nuclear  Test  Ban,  Ozone  Layer 
  Protection,  Ship  Pollution,  Tropical  Timber  83,  Wetlands,  Whaling; 
  signed,  but  not  ratified  -  Desertification 
 
  Note:  world's  smallest  continent  but  sixth-largest  country;  population 
  concentrated  along  the  eastern  and  southeastern  coasts;  regular, 
  tropical,  invigorating,  sea  breeze  known  as  "the  Doctor"  occurs  along 
  the  west  coast  in  the  summer 
 
  Australia:People 
 
  Population:  18,322,231  (July  1995  est.) 
 
  Age  structure: 
  0-14  years:  22%  (female  1,929,366;  male  2,032,238) 
  15-64  years:  67%  (female  6,017,362;  male  6,181,887) 
  65  years  and  over:  11%  (female  1,227,004;  male  934,374)  (July  1995 
  est.) 
 
  Population  growth  rate:  1.31%  (1995  est.) 
 
  Birth  rate:  14.13  births/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Death  rate:  7.37  deaths/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Net  migration  rate:  6.33  migrant(s)/1,000  population  (1995  est.) 
 
  Infant  mortality  rate:  7.1  deaths/1,000  live  births  (1995  est.) 
 
  Life  expectancy  at  birth: 
  total  population:  77.78  years 
  male:  74.67  years 
  female:  81.04  years  (1995  est.) 
 
  Total  fertility  rate:  1.82  children  born/woman  (1995  est.) 
 
  Nationality: 
  noun:  Australian(s) 
  adjective:  Australian 
 
  Ethnic  divisions:  Caucasian  95%,  Asian  4%,  aboriginal  and  other  1% 
 
  Religions:  Anglican  26.1%,  Roman  Catholic  26%,  other  Christian  24.3% 
 
  Languages:  English,  native  languages 
 
  Literacy:  age  15  and  over  can  read  and  write  (1980  est.) 
  total  population:  100% 
  male:  100% 
  female:  100% 
 
  Labor  force:  8.63  million  (September  1991) 
  by  occupation:  finance  and  services  33.8%,  public  and  community 
  services  22.3%,  wholesale  and  retail  trade  20.1%,  manufacturing  and 
  industry  16.2%,  agriculture  6.1%  (1987) 
 
  Australia:Government 
 
  Names: 
  conventional  long  form:  Commonwealth  of  Australia 
  conventional  short  form:  Australia 
 
  Digraph:  AS 
 
  Type:  federal  parliamentary  state 
 
  Capital:  Canberra 
 
  Administrative  divisions:  6  states  and  2  territories*;  Australian 
  Capital  Territory*,  New  South  Wales,  Northern  Territory*,  Queensland, 
  South  Australia,  Tasmania,  Victoria,  Western  Australia 
 
  Dependent  areas:  Ashmore  and  Cartier  Islands,  Christmas  Island,  Cocos 
  (Keeling)  Islands,  Coral  Sea  Islands,  Heard  Island  and  McDonald 
  Islands,  Norfolk  Island 
 
  Independence:  1  January  1901  (federation  of  UK  colonies) 
 
  National  holiday:  Australia  Day  26  January  (1788) 
 
  Constitution:  9  July  1900,  effective  1  January  1901 
 
  Legal  system:  based  on  English  common  law;  accepts  compulsory  ICJ 
  jurisdiction,  with  reservations 
 
  Suffrage:  18  years  of  age;  universal  and  compulsory 
 
  Executive  branch: 
  chief  of  state:  Queen  ELIZABETH  II  (since  6  February  1952), 
  represented  by  Governor  General  William  George  HAYDEN  (since  16 
  February  1989) 
  head  of  government:  Prime  Minister  Paul  John  KEATING  (since  20 
  December  1991);  Deputy  Prime  Minister  Brian  HOWE  (since  4  June  1991) 
  cabinet:  Cabinet;  prime  minister  selects  his  cabinet  from  members  of 
  the  House  and  Senate 
 
  Legislative  branch:  bicameral  Federal  Parliament 
  Senate:  elections  last  held  13  March  1993  (next  to  be  held  by  NA 
  1996);  results  -  percent  of  vote  by  party  NA  seats  -  (76  total) 
  Liberal-National  36,  Labor  30,  Australian  Democrats  7,  Greens  2, 
  independents  1 
  House  of  Representatives:  elections  last  held  13  March  1993  (next  to 
  be  held  by  NA  1996);  results  -  percent  of  vote  by  party  NA  seats  - 
  (147  total)  Labor  80,  Liberal-National  65,  independent  2 
 
  Judicial  branch:  High  Court 
 
  Political  parties  and  leaders: 
  government:  Australian  Labor  Party,  Paul  John  KEATING 
  opposition:  Liberal  Party,  John  HOWARD;  National  Party,  Timothy 
  FISCHER;  Australian  Democratic  Party,  Cheryl  KERNOT  Green  Party, 
  leader  NA 
 
  Other  political  or  pressure  groups:  Australian  Democratic  Labor  Party 
  (anti-Communist  Labor  Party  splinter  group);  Peace  and  Nuclear 
  Disarmament  Action  (Nuclear  Disarmament  Party  splinter  group) 
 
  Member  of:  AfDB  AG  (observer),  ANZUS,  APEC,  AsDB  Australia  Group 
  BIS,  C,  CCC,  CP  EBRD,  ESCAP,  FAO,  G-  8,  GATT,  IAEA,  IBRD,  ICAO,  ICC, 
  ICFTU  ICRM,  IDA,  IEA,  IFAD,  IFC,  IFRCS  ILO,  IMF,  IMO,  INMARSAT 
  INTELSAT,  INTERPOL,  IOC,  IOM,  ISO,  ITU,  MINURSO  MTCR,  NAM  (guest), 
  NEA,  NSG,  OECD  PCA,  SPARTECA  SPC,  SPF,  UN  UNCTAD  UNESCO,  UNFICYP 
  UNHCR  UNIDO  UNOSOM  UNTSO  UNU,  UPU,  WFTU  WHO  WIPO,  WMO,  ZC 
 
  Diplomatic  representation  in  US: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Donald  Eric  RUSSELL 
  chancery:  1601  Massachusetts  Avenue  NW  Washington,  DC  20036 
  telephone:  [1]  (202)  797-3000 
  FAX:  [1]  (202)  797-3168 
  consulate(s)  general:  Atlanta,  Honolulu,  Houston,  Los  Angeles,  New 
  York,  Pago  Pago  (American  Samoa),  and  San  Francisco 
 
  US  diplomatic  representation: 
  chief  of  mission:  Ambassador  Edward  J.  PERKINS 
  embassy:  Moonah  Place  Yarralumla  Canberra,  Australian  Capital 
  Territory  2600 
  mailing  address:  APO  AP  96549 
  telephone:  [61]  (6)  270-5000 
  FAX:  [61]  (6)  270-5970 
  consulate(s)  general:  Melbourne,  Perth,  and  Sydney 
  consulate(s):  Brisbane 
 
  Flag:  blue  with  the  flag  of  the  UK  in  the  upper  hoist-side  quadrant 
  and  a  large  seven-pointed  star  in  the  lower  hoist-side  quadrant;  the 
  remaining  half  is  a  representation  of  the  Southern  Cross  constellation 
  in  white  with  one  small  five-pointed  star  and  four  larger, 
  seven-pointed  stars 
 
  Economy 
 
  Overview:  Australia  has  a  prosperous  Western-style  capitalist  economy, 
  with  a  per  capita  GDP  comparable  to  levels  in  industrialized  West 
  European  countries.  Rich  in  natural  resources,  Australia  is  a  major 
  exporter  of  agricultural  products,  minerals,  metals,  and  fossil  fuels. 
  Primary  products  account  for  more  than  60%  of  the  value  of  total 
  exports,  so  that  as  in  1983-84,  a  downturn  in  world  commodity  prices 
  can  have  a  big  impact  on  the  economy.  The  government  is  pushing  for 
  increased  exports  of  manufactured  goods,  but  competition  in 
  international  markets  continues  to  be  severe.  Australia  has  suffered 
  from  the  low  growth  and  high  unemployment  characterizing  the  OECD 
  countries  in  the  early  1990s.  In  1992-93  the  economy  recovered  slowly 
  from  the  prolonged  recession  of  1990-91,  a  major  restraining  factor 
  being  weak  world  demand  for  Australia's  exports.  Growth  picked  up  so 
  strongly  in  1994  that  the  government  felt  the  need  for  fiscal  and 
  monetary  tightening  by  yearend.  Australia's  GDP  grew  6.4%  in  1994, 
  largely  due  to  increases  in  industrial  output  and  business  investment. 
  A  severe  drought  in  1994  is  expected  to  reduce  the  value  of 
  Australia's  net  farm  production  by  $825  million  in  the  twelve  months 
  through  June  1995,  but  rising  world  commodity  prices  are  likely  to 
  boost  rural  exports  by  7.7%  to  $14.5  billion  in  1995/96,  according  to 
  government  statistics. 
 
  National  product:  GDP  -  purchasing  power  parity  -  $374.6  billion  (1994 
  est.) 
 
  National  product  real  growth  rate:  6.4%  (1994) 
 
  National  product  per  capita:  $20,720  (1994  est.) 
 
  Inflation  rate  (consumer  prices):  2.5%  (1994) 
 
  Unemployment  rate:  8.9%  (December  1994) 
 
  Budget: 
  revenues:  $83.8  billion 
  expenditures:  $92.3  billion,  including  capital  expenditures  of  $NA 
  (FY93/94) 
 
  Exports:  $50.4  billion  (1994) 
  commodities:  coal,  gold,  meat,  wool,  alumina,  wheat,  machinery  and 
  transport  equipment 
  partners:  Japan  25%,  US  11%,  South  Korea  6%,  NZ  5.7%,  UK  Taiwan, 
  Singapore,  Hong  Kong  (1992) 
 
  Imports:  $51.1  billion  (1994) 
  commodities:  machinery  and  transport  equipment,  computers  and  office 
  machines,  crude  oil  and  petroleum  products 
  partners:  US  23%,  Japan  18%,  UK  6%,  Germany  5.7%,  NZ  4%  (1992) 
 
  External  debt:  $147.2  billion  (1994) 
 
  Industrial  production:  growth  rate  3.9%  (FY93/94);  accounts  for  32%  of 
  GDP 
 
  Electricity: 
  capacity:  34,540,000  kW 
  production:  155  billion  kWh 
  consumption  per  capita:  8,021  kWh  (1993) 
 
  Industries:  mining,  industrial  and  transportation  equipment,  food 
  processing,  chemicals,  steel 
 
  Agriculture:  accounts  for  5%  of  GDP  and  over  30%  of  export  revenues; 
  world's  largest  exporter  of  beef  and  wool,  second-largest  for  mutton, 
  and  among  top  wheat  exporters;  major  crops  -  wheat,  barley,  sugarcane, 
  fruit;  livestock  -  cattle,  sheep,  poultry 
 
  Illicit  drugs:  Tasmania  is  one  of  the  world's  major  suppliers  of  licit 
  opiate  products;  government  maintains  strict  controls  over  areas  of 
  opium  poppy  cultivation  and  output  of  poppy  straw  concentrate 
 
  Economic  aid: 
  donor:  ODA  and  OOF  commitments  (1970-89),  $10.4  billion 
 
  Currency:  1  Australian  dollar  ($A)  =  100  cents 
 
  Exchange  rates:  Australian  dollars  ($A)  per  US$1  -  1.3058  (January 
  1995),  1.3667  (1994),  1.4704  (1993),  1.3600  (1992),  1.2835  (1991), 
  1.2799  (1990) 
 
  Fiscal  year:  1  July  -  30  June 
 
  Australia:Transportation 
 
  Railroads: 
  total:  40,478  km  (1,130  km  electrified;  183  km  dual  gauge) 
  broad  gauge:  7,970  km  1.600-m  gauge 
  standard  gauge:  16,201  km  1.435-m  gauge 
  narrow  gauge:  16,307  km  1.067-m  gauge 
 
  Highways: 
  total:  837,872  km 
  paved:  243,750  km 
  unpaved:  gravel,  crushed  stone,  stabilized  earth  228,396  km 
  unimproved  earth  365,726  km 
 
  Inland  waterways:  8,368  km  mainly  by  small  shallow-draft  craft 
 
  Pipelines:  crude  oil  2,500  km  petroleum  products  500  km  natural  gas 
  5,600  km 
 
  Ports:  Adelaide,  Brisbane,  Cairns,  Darwin,  Devonport  Fremantle 
  Geelong  Hobart  (Tasmania),  Launceton  (Tasmania),  Mackay,  Melbourne, 
  Sydney,  Townsville 
 
  Merchant  marine: 
  total:  81  ships  (1,000  GRT  or  over)  totaling  2,620,536  GRT/3,801,970 
  DWT 
  ships  by  type:  bulk  30,  cargo  7,  chemical  tanker  3,  combination  bulk 
  2,  container  7,  liquefied  gas  tanker  6,  oil  tanker  18, 
  roll-on/roll-off  cargo  7,  short-sea  passenger  1 
 
  Airports: 
  total:  480 
  with  paved  runways  over  3,047  m:  9 
  with  paved  runways  2,438  to  3,047  m:  15 
  with  paved  runways  1,524  to  2,437  m:  128 
  with  paved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  125 
  with  paved  runways  under  914  m:  31 
  with  unpaved  runways  1,524  to  2,438  m:  23 
  with  unpaved  runways  914  to  1,523  m:  149 
 
  Australia:Communications 
 
  Telephone  system:  8,700,000  telephones;  good  international  and 
  domestic  service 
  local:  NA 
  intercity:  domestic  satellite  service 
  international:  submarine  cables  to  New  Zealand,  Papua  New  Guinea,  and 
  Indonesia;  10  INTELSAT  (4  Indian  Ocean  and  6  Pacific  Ocean)  earth 
  stations 
 
  Radio: 
  broadcast  stations:  AM  258,  FM  67,  shortwave  0 
  radios:  NA 
 
  Television: 
  broadcast  stations:  134 
  televisions:  NA 
 
  Australia:Defense  Forces 
 
  Branches:  Australian  Army,  Royal  Australian  Navy,  Royal  Australian  Air 
  Force 
 
  Manpower  availability:  males  age  15-49  4,934,175;  males  fit  for 
  military  service  4,274,900;  males  reach  military  age  (17)  annually 
  131,852  (1995  est.) 
 
  Defense  expenditures:  exchange  rate  conversion  -  $7.2  billion,  2.2%  of 
  GDP  (FY94/95) 
 
 
 




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