Introduction ::AustraliaBackground:Prehistoric settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia at least 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession of the east coast in the name of Great Britain (all of Australia was claimed as British territory in 1829 with the creation of the colony of Western Australia). Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the Allied effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has become an internationally competitive, advanced market economy due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980s and its location in one of the fastest growing regions of the world economy. Long-term concerns include aging of the population, pressure on infrastructure, and environmental issues such as floods, droughts, and bushfires. Australia is the driest inhabited continent on earth, making it particularly vulnerable to the challenges of climate change. Australia is home to 10 per cent of the world's biodiversity, and a great number of its flora and fauna exist nowhere else in the world. In January 2013, Australia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.Geography ::AustraliaLocation:Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific OceanGeographic coordinates:27 00 S, 133 00 EArea:total: 7,741,220 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 6land: 7,682,300 sq kmwater: 58,920 sq kmnote: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie IslandArea - comparative:slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 statesLand boundaries:0 kmCoastline:25,760 kmMaritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nmcontiguous zone: 24 nmexclusive economic zone: 200 nmcontinental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental marginClimate:generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in northTerrain:mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeastElevation extremes:lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 mhighest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 mNatural resources:bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, rare earth elements, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleumnote: Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exportsLand use:arable land: 6.16% (includes about 27 million hectares of cultivated grassland)permanent crops: 0.05%other: 93.79% (2011)Irrigated land:25,460 sq km (2006)Total renewable water resources:492 cu km (2011)Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 22.58 cu km/yr (27%/18%/55%)per capita: 1,152 cu m/yr (2010)Natural hazards:cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest firesvolcanism: volcanic activity on Heard and McDonald IslandsEnvironment - 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 freshwater resourcesEnvironment - international agreements:party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whalingsigned, but not ratified: none of the selected agreementsGeography - note:world's smallest continent but sixth-largest country; the only continent without glaciers; population concentrated along the eastern and southeastern coasts; the invigorating sea breeze known as the ""Fremantle Doctor"" affects the city of Perth on the west coast and is one of the most consistent winds in the worldPeople and Society ::AustraliaNationality:noun: Australian(s)adjective: AustralianEthnic groups:white 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%Languages:English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7% (2006 Census)Religions:Protestant 27.4% (Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%), Catholic 25.8%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7% (2006 Census)Population:22,262,501 (July 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 55Age structure:0-14 years: 18.1% (male 2,061,973/female 1,957,558)15-24 years: 13.4% (male 1,531,325/female 1,453,940)25-54 years: 42% (male 4,748,667/female 4,598,259)55-64 years: 11.8% (male 1,308,660/female 1,326,220)65 years and over: 14.7% (male 1,509,460/female 1,766,439) (2013 est.)Dependency ratios:total dependency ratio: 50.2 %youth dependency ratio: 28.6 %elderly dependency ratio: 21.5 %potential support ratio: 4.6 (2013)Median age:total: 38.1 yearsmale: 37.3 yearsfemale: 38.8 years (2013 est.)Population growth rate:1.11% (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 107Birth rate:12.23 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 163Death rate:7.01 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 133Net migration rate:5.83 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 21Urbanization:urban population: 89% of total population (2010)rate of urbanization: 1.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)Major urban areas - population:Sydney 4.429 million; Melbourne 3.853 million; Brisbane 1.97 million; Perth 1.599 million; CANBERRA (capital) 399,000 (2011)Sex ratio:at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/femaletotal population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2013 est.)Mother's mean age at first birth:30.5 (2006 est.)Maternal mortality rate:7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)country comparison to the world: 165Infant mortality rate:total: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live birthscountry comparison to the world: 190male: 4.8 deaths/1,000 live birthsfemale: 4.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)Life expectancy at birth:total population: 81.98 yearscountry comparison to the world: 10male: 79.55 yearsfemale: 84.54 years (2013 est.)Total fertility rate:1.77 children born/woman (2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 162Contraceptive prevalence rate:72.3%note: percent of women aged 18-44 (2005)Health expenditures:8.7% of GDP (2010)country comparison to the world: 48Physicians density:2.99 physicians/1,000 population (2009)Hospital bed density:3.82 beds/1,000 population (2009)Drinking water source:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2010 est.)Sanitation facility access:improved:urban: 100% of populationrural: 100% of populationtotal: 100% of population (2010 est.)HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:0.1% (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 110HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:20,000 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 76HIV/AIDS - deaths:fewer than 100 (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 123Obesity - adult prevalence rate:26.8% (2008)country comparison to the world: 44Education expenditures:5.1% of GDP (2009)country comparison to the world: 71Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and writetotal population: 99%male: 99%female: 99% (2003 est.)School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):total: 20 yearsmale: 19 yearsfemale: 20 years (2010)Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:total: 11.3%country comparison to the world: 101male: 11.9%female: 10.8% (2011)Government ::AustraliaCountry name:conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australiaconventional short form: AustraliaGovernment type:federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realmCapital:name: Canberrageographic coordinates: 35 16 S, 149 08 Etime difference: UTC+10 (15 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends first Sunday in Aprilnote: Australia is divided into three time zonesAdministrative divisions:6 states and 2 territories*; Australian Capital Territory*, New South Wales, Northern Territory*, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western AustraliaDependent areas:Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Macquarie Island, Norfolk IslandIndependence:1 January 1901 (from the federation of UK colonies)National holiday:Australia Day (commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of Australian settlers), 26 January (1788); ANZAC Day (commemorates the anniversary of the landing of troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I at Gallipoli, Turkey), 25 April (1915)Constitution:9 July 1900; effective 1 January 1901Legal system:common law system based on the English modelInternational law organization participation:accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdictionSuffrage:18 years of age; universal and compulsoryExecutive branch:chief of state: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by Governor General Quentin BRYCE (since 5 September 2008)head of government: Prime Minister Kevin RUDD (since 27 June 2013); Deputy Prime Minister Anthony N. ALBANESE (since 27 June 2013)cabinet: prime minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the governor general to serve as government ministers(For more information visit the World Leaders website )elections: the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is sworn in as prime minister by the governor generalLegislative branch:bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats; 12 members from each of the six states and 2 from each of the two mainland territories; one-half of state members are elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms while all territory members are elected every three years) and the House of Representatives (150 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve terms of up to three-years; no state can have fewer than 5 representatives)elections: Senate - last held on 7 September 2013; House of Representatives - last held on 7 September 2013 (the latest a simultaneous half-Senate and House of Representative elections can be held is 30 November 2016)election results: Senate NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Liberal/National Coalition 53.18%, Australian Labor Party 46.82%; seats by party - Liberal/National Coalition 90, Australian Labor Party 55, Australian Greens Party 1, Katter's Australian Party 1, Palmer United Party 1, independents 2Judicial branch:highest court(s): High Court of Australia (consists of 7 justices, including the chief justice); note - each of the 6 states, 2 territories, and Norfolk Island has a Supreme Court; the High Court is the final appellate court beyond the state and territory supreme courtsjudge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the governor-general in council for life with mandatory retirement at age 70subordinate courts: subordinate courts at the federal level: Federal Court; Federal Magistrates' Courts of Australia; Family Court; subordinate courts at the state and territory level: Local Court - New South Wales; Magistrates' Courts – Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory; District Courts – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia; County Court – Victoria; Family Court – Western Australia; Court of Petty Sessions – Norfolk IslandPolitical parties and leaders:Australian Greens Party [Christine MILNE]Australian Labor Party [Kevin RUDD]Country Liberal Party [Terry MILLS]Family First Party [Steve FIELDING]Liberal National Party of Queensland [Campbell NEWMAN]Liberal Party [Tony ABBOTT]National Party of Australia [Warren TRUSS]Political pressure groups and leaders:other: business groups, environmental groups, social groups, trade unionsInternational organization participation:ADB, ANZUS, APEC, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CD, CP, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Paris Club, PCA, PIF, SAARC (observer), SICA (observer), Sparteca, SPC, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMISS, UNMIT, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCDiplomatic representation in the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Kim Christian BEAZLEYchancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036telephone:  (202) 797-3000FAX:  (202) 797-3168consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San FranciscoDiplomatic representation from the US:chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey L. BLEICHembassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600mailing address: APO AP 96549telephone:  (02) 6214-5600FAX:  (02) 6214-5970consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, SydneyFlag description: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 known as the Commonwealth or Federation Star, representing the federation of the colonies of Australia in 1901; the star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia's internal and external territories; on the fly half is a representation of the Southern Cross constellation in white with one small, five-pointed star and four larger, seven-pointed starsNational symbol(s):Southern Cross constellation (five, seven-pointed stars); kangaroo; emuNational anthem:name: ""Advance Australia Fair""lyrics/music: Peter Dodds McCORMICKnote: adopted 1984; although originally written in the late 19th century, the anthem did not become used for all official occasions until 1984; as a Commonwealth country, in addition to the national anthem, ""God Save the Queen"" is also played at Royal functions (see United Kingdom)Economy ::AustraliaEconomy - overview:The Australian economy has experienced continuous growth and features low unemployment, contained inflation, very low public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. By 2012, Australia had experienced more than 20 years of continued economic growth, averaging 3.5% a year. Demand for resources and energy from Asia and especially China has grown rapidly, creating a channel for resources investments and growth in commodity exports. The high Australian dollar has hurt the manufacturing sector, while the services sector is the largest part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs. Australia was comparatively unaffected by the global financial crisis as the banking system has remained strong and inflation is under control. Australia has benefited from a dramatic surge in its terms of trade in recent years, stemming from rising global commodity prices. Australia is a significant exporter of natural resources, energy, and food. Australia's abundant and diverse natural resources attract high levels of foreign investment and include extensive reserves of coal, iron, copper, gold, natural gas, uranium, and renewable energy sources. A series of major investments, such as the US$40 billion Gorgon Liquid Natural Gas project, will significantly expand the resources sector. Australia is an open market with minimal restrictions on imports of goods and services. The process of opening up has increased productivity, stimulated growth, and made the economy more flexible and dynamic. Australia plays an active role in the World Trade Organization, APEC, the G20, and other trade forums. Australia has bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and the US, has a regional FTA with ASEAN and New Zealand, is negotiating agreements with China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, as well as with its Pacific neighbors and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and is also working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam.GDP (purchasing power parity):$986.7 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 19$952.6 billion (2011 est.)$930 billion (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGDP (official exchange rate):$1.542 trillion (2012 est.)GDP - real growth rate:3.6% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 942.4% (2011 est.)2.6% (2010 est.)GDP - per capita (PPP):$43,300 (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 20$42,400 (2011 est.)$41,900 (2010 est.)note: data are in 2012 US dollarsGross national saving:25.2% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 4225.1% of GDP (2011 est.)24% of GDP (2010 est.)GDP - composition, by end use:household consumption: 54.9%government consumption: 18.2%investment in fixed capital: 28.5%investment in inventories: 0.4%exports of goods and services: 20.2%imports of goods and services: -21.3%(2012 est.)GDP - composition, by sector of origin:agriculture: 4%industry: 27.3%services: 68.8% (2012 est.)Agriculture - products:wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultryIndustries:mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steelIndustrial production growth rate:3.6% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 78Labor force:12.15 million (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 44Labor force - by occupation:agriculture: 3.6%industry: 21.1%services: 75% (2009 est.)Unemployment rate:5.2% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 485.1% (2011 est.)Population below poverty line:NA%Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2%highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)Distribution of family income - Gini index:30.3 (2008)country comparison to the world: 11435.2 (1994)Budget:revenues: $498.1 billionexpenditures: $541 billion (2012 est.)Taxes and other revenues:32.3% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 79Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):-2.8% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 110Public debt:29.3% of GDP (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 11726.6% of GDP (2011 est.)Fiscal year:1 July - 30 JuneInflation rate (consumer prices):1.8% (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 373.3% (2011 est.)Central bank discount rate:3% (February 2013 est.)country comparison to the world: 824.35% (31 December 2010 est.)note: this is the Reserve Bank of Australia's ""cash rate target,"" or policy rateCommercial bank prime lending rate:6.98% (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 1187.74% (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of narrow money:$534.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 10$475.9 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of broad money:$1.708 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 11$1.501 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of domestic credit:$2.255 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 12$2.061 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)Market value of publicly traded shares:$1.4 trillion (31 January 2013)country comparison to the world: 13$1.198 trillion (31 December 2011)$1.455 trillion (31 December 2010)Current account balance:-$47.1 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 186-$29.5 billion (2011 est.)Exports:$258.8 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 23$271.6 billion (2011 est.)Exports - commodities:coal, iron ore, gold, meat, wool, alumina, wheat, machinery and transport equipmentExports - partners:China 29.5%, Japan 19.3%, South Korea 8%, India 4.9% (2012)Imports:$239.7 billion (2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 21$242.3 billion (2011 est.)Imports - commodities:machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum productsImports - partners:China 18.2%, US 11.6%, Japan 7.8%, Singapore 5.9%, Germany 4.6%, Thailand 4.2%, South Korea 4% (2012)Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$49.22 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 39$46.83 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Debt - external:$1.497 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 13$1.383 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:$618.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 11$552.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:$426.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 15$378.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.)Exchange rates:Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -0.9658 (2012 est.)0.9695 (2011 est.)1.0902 (2010)1.2822 (2009)1.2059 (2008)Energy ::AustraliaElectricity - production:241.5 billion kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 18Electricity - consumption:228.8 billion kWh (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 17Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 157Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 156Electricity - installed generating capacity:56.94 million kW (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 15Electricity - from fossil fuels:79% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 95Electricity - from nuclear fuels:0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 41Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:13.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 105Electricity - from other renewable sources:4.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 40Crude oil - production:482,500 bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 31Crude oil - exports:250,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 28Crude oil - imports:380,900 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 22Crude oil - proved reserves:1.426 billion bbl (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 37Refined petroleum products - production:674,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 26Refined petroleum products - consumption:1.023 million bbl/day (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 20Refined petroleum products - exports:64,730 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 52Refined petroleum products - imports:332,900 bbl/day (2009 est.)country comparison to the world: 19Natural gas - production:44.99 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 22Natural gas - consumption:27.56 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 30Natural gas - exports:25.53 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 13Natural gas - imports:8.102 billion cu m (2011 est.)country comparison to the world: 29Natural gas - proved reserves:788.6 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)country comparison to the world: 28Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:405.3 million Mt (2010 est.)country comparison to the world: 16Communications ::AustraliaTelephones - main lines in use:10.57 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 20Telephones - mobile cellular:24.49 million (2011)country comparison to the world: 43Telephone system:general assessment: excellent domestic and international servicedomestic: domestic satellite system; significant use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile telephonesinternational: country code - 61; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable with links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; the Southern Cross fiber optic submarine cable provides links to New Zealand and the United States; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat, 2 Globalstar, 5 other) (2007)Broadcast media:the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) runs multiple national and local radio networks and TV stations, as well as Australia Network, a TV service that broadcasts throughout the Asia-Pacific region and is the main public broadcaster; Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), a second large public broadcaster, operates radio and TV networks broadcasting in multiple languages; several large national commercial TV networks, a large number of local commercial TV stations, and hundreds of commercial radio stations are accessible; cable and satellite systems are available (2008)Internet country code:.auInternet hosts:17.081 million (2012)country comparison to the world: 8Internet users:15.81 million (2009)country comparison to the world: 25Transportation ::AustraliaAirports:480 (2013)country comparison to the world: 16Airports - with paved runways:total: 349over 3,047 m: 112,438 to 3,047 m: 141,524 to 2,437 m: 155914 to 1,523 m: 155under 914 m: 14 (2013)Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 1311,524 to 2,437 m: 16914 to 1,523 m: 101under 914 m:14 (2013)Heliports:1 (2013)Pipelines:condensate/gas 637 km; gas 30,054 km; liquid petroleum gas 240 km; oil 3,609 km; oil/gas/water 110 km; refined products 72 km (2013)Railways:total: 38,445 kmcountry comparison to the world: 7broad gauge: 3,355 km 1.600-m gaugestandard gauge: 21,674 km 1.435-m gauge (650 km electrified)narrow gauge: 9,539 km 1.067-m gauge (2,067 km electrified); 3,877 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)Roadways:total: 823,217 kmcountry comparison to the world: 9paved: 356,343 kmunpaved: 466,874 km (2011)Waterways:2,000 km (mainly used for recreation on Murray and Murray-Darling river systems) (2011)country comparison to the world: 43Merchant marine:total: 41country comparison to the world: 75by type: bulk carrier 8, cargo 7, liquefied gas 4, passenger 6, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 5foreign-owned: 17 (Canada 5, Germany 2, Singapore 2, South Africa 1, UK 5, US 2)registered in other countries: 25 (Bahamas 1, Dominica 1, Fiji 2, Liberia 1, Netherlands 1, Panama 4, Singapore 12, Tonga 1, UK 1, US 1) (2010)Ports and terminals:major seaport(s): Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle, Geelong, Gladstone, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Port Adelaide, Port Kembla, Sydneydry bulk cargo port(s): Dampier (iron ore), Dalrymple Bay (coal), Hay Point (coal), Port Hedland (iron ore), Port Walcott (iron ore)container port(s) (TEUs): Brisbane (1,004,983), Melbourne (2,467,967), Sydney (2,028,074)(2011)Military ::AustraliaMilitary branches:Australian Defense Force (ADF): Australian Army (includes Special Operations Command), Royal Australian Navy (includes Naval Aviation Force), Royal Australian Air Force, Joint Operations Command (JOC) (2013)Military service age and obligation:17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in most combat roles, except the Army special forces (2013)Manpower available for military service:males age 16-49: 5,316,464females age 16-49: 5,116,722 (2010 est.)Manpower fit for military service:males age 16-49: 4,411,958females age 16-49: 4,239,985 (2010 est.)Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:male: 143,565female: 135,800 (2010 est.)Military expenditures:3% of GDP (2012)country comparison to the world: 41Transnational Issues ::AustraliaDisputes - international:In 2007, Australia and Timor-Leste agreed to a 50-year development zone and revenue sharing arrangement and deferred a maritime boundary; Australia asserts land and maritime claims to Antarctica; Australia's 2004 submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) extends its continental margins over 3.37 million square kilometers, expanding its seabed roughly 30 percent beyond its claimed exclusive economic zone; all borders between Indonesia and Australia have been agreed upon bilaterally, but a 1997 treaty that would settle the last of their maritime and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary has yet to be ratified by Indonesia's legislature; Indonesian groups challenge Australia's claim to Ashmore Reef; Australia closed parts of the Ashmore and Cartier reserve to Indonesian traditional fishingRefugees and internally displaced persons:refugees (country of origin): 7,192 (Afghanistan) (2012)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; major consumer of cocaine and amphetamines"
The World Factbook. 2014.
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