Western Australia

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Western Australia
Flag of Western Australia.svg Western Australian Coat of Arms.svg
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Wildflower State; The Golden State
Western Australia in Australia.svg
Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates 26°S121°E / 26°S 121°E / -26; 121 Coordinates: 26°S121°E / 26°S 121°E / -26; 121
Capital city Perth
Demonym Western Australian, West Australian, Sandgroper (colloquial)
Government Constitutional monarchy
 Governor Kim Beazley
 Premier Mark McGowan  (Labor)
Australian state  
 • Established (as the Swan River Colony)2 May 1829
 • Responsible government21 October 1890
 Federation 1 January 1901
  Australia Act 3 March 1986
Area 
 • Total2,645,615 km² (1st)
1,021,478 sq mi
 • Land2,529,875 km²
976,790 sq mi
 • Water115,740 km² (4.37%)
44,687 sq mi
Population
(December 2018) [1]
 
 • Population2,606,338 (4th)
 • Density1.03/km² (7th)
2.7 /sq mi
Elevation 
 • Highest point Mount Meharry
1,249 m (4,098 ft)
Gross state product
(2017–18)
 
 • Product ($m)$255,883 [2] (4th)
 • Product per capita$98,997 (2nd)
Time zone(s) UTC+8 (AWST)
(most of state)
UTC+8:45 (ACWST)
(around Eucla)
Federal representation  
 House seats 16/151
 Senate seats 12/76
Abbreviations 
 • PostalWA
 ISO 3166-2 AU-WA
Emblems 
 Floral Red-and-green or Mangles kangaroo paw
(Anigozanthos manglesii)
 Animal Numbat
(Myrmecobius fasciatus)
 Bird Black swan
(Cygnus atratus)
 • Fish Whale shark
 • Fossil Gogo fish
(Mcnamaraspis kaprios)
 Colours Black and gold
Website www.wa.gov.au

Western Australia [a] (abbreviated as WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south, [b] the Northern Territory to the north-east, and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres (976,790 sq mi), and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants  around 11 percent of the national total  of whom the vast majority (92 per cent) live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area, [3] leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

States and territories of Australia first-level subdivision of Australia

The states and territories are the first-level administrative divisions of the Commonwealth of Australia. They are the second level of government in Australia, located between the federal and local government tiers.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

Contents

The first European visitor to Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The first European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government. [4] He established a convict-supported military garrison at King George III Sound, at present-day Albany, and on 21 January 1827 [4] formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth.

Dirk Hartog Dutch explorer

Dirk Hartog was a 17th-century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the second European group to land in Australia and the first to leave behind an artefact to record his visit, the Hartog plate. His name is sometimes alternatively spelled Dirck Hartog or Dierick Hartochszch. Ernest Giles referred to him as Theodoric Hartog.

Edmund Lockyer British soldier and explorer of Australia

Edmund Lockyer, was a British soldier and explorer of Australia.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In December 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. Situated 97 kilometres (60 miles) east of Perth, it was settled on 16 September 1831. [5]

York, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia, situated on the Avon River, 97 kilometres (60 mi) east of Perth in the Wheatbelt, on Ballardong Nyoongar land, and is the seat of the Shire of York.

Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890 and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today, its economy mainly relies on mining, agriculture, exports, and tourism. The state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports. [6] Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world. [7]

Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. Governments in Westminster democracies are responsible to parliament rather than to the monarch, or, in a colonial context, to the imperial government, and in a republican context, to the president, either in full or in part. If the parliament is bicameral, then the government is responsible first to the parliament's lower house, which is more representative than the upper house, as it usually has more members and they are always directly elected.

Federation of Australia process by which six separate British self-governing colonies became the country of Australia

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Economy of Western Australia

The Western Australian economy is a state economy dominated by its resources and services sector and largely driven by the export of iron-ore, gold, liquefied natural gas and agricultural commodities such as wheat. Covering an area of 2.5 million km2, the state is Australia's largest, accounting for almost one-third of the continent. Western Australia is the nation's fourth most populous state, with 2.6 million inhabitants.

Geography

Western Australia is bounded to the east by longitude 129°E, the meridian 129 degrees east of Greenwich, which defines the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory, and bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and north. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean; in Australia it is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean. [b] [8] [9]

Northern Territory federal territory of Australia

The Northern Territory is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south, and Queensland to the east. To the north, the territory looks out to the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria, including Western New Guinea and other Indonesian islands. The NT covers 1,349,129 square kilometres (520,902 sq mi), making it the third-largest Australian federal division, and the 11th-largest country subdivision in the world. It is sparsely populated, with a population of only 245,800, making it the least-populous of Australia's six states and two territories, with fewer than half as many people as Tasmania.

International Hydrographic Organization Intergovernmental organization

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an inter-governmental organisation representing hydrography.

Southern Ocean The ocean around Antarctica

The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean or the Austral Ocean, and the "Southern Icy Ocean".</ref> comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the fourth largest of the five principal oceanic divisions: smaller than the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans but larger than the Arctic Ocean. This oceanic zone is where cold, northward flowing waters from the Antarctic mix with warmer subantarctic waters.

The total length of the state's eastern border is 1,862 km (1,157 mi). [10] There are 20,781 km (12,913 mi) of coastline, including 7,892 km (4,904 mi) of island coastline. [11] The total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2 (970 thousand sq mi). [12]

Natural history

Geology

The bulk of Western Australia consists of the extremely old Yilgarn craton and Pilbara craton which merged with the Deccan Plateau of India, Madagascar and the Karoo and Zimbabwe cratons of Southern Africa, in the Archean Eon to form Ur, one of the oldest supercontinents on Earth (3 – 3.2  billion years ago). In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara craton. [13] [14]

Because the only mountain-building since then has been of the Stirling Range with the rifting from Antarctica, the land is extremely eroded and ancient, with no part of the state above 1,245 metres (4,085 ft) AHD (at Mount Meharry in the Hamersley Range of the Pilbara region). Most of the state is a low plateau with an average elevation of about 400 metres (1,200 ft), very low relief, and no surface runoff. This descends relatively sharply to the coastal plains, in some cases forming a sharp escarpment (as with the Darling Range/Darling Scarp near Perth).

Western Australian cities, towns, settlements and road network. WAHighways.png
Western Australian cities, towns, settlements and road network.

The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils are remarkably infertile and frequently laterised. Even soils derived from granitic bedrock contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus and only half as much nitrogen as soils in comparable climates in other continents. Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone are even less fertile, nearly devoid of soluble phosphate and deficient in zinc, copper, molybdenum and sometimes potassium and calcium.

The infertility of most of the soils has required heavy application by farmers of fertilisers. These have resulted in damage to invertebrate and bacterial populations.[ citation needed ] The grazing and use of hoofed mammals and, later, heavy machinery through the years have resulted in compaction of soils and great damage to the fragile soils.

Large-scale land clearing for agriculture has damaged habitats for native flora and fauna. As a result, the South West region of the state has a higher concentration of rare, threatened or endangered flora and fauna than many areas of Australia, making it one of the world's biodiversity "hot spots". Large areas of the state's wheatbelt region have problems with dryland salinity and the loss of fresh water.

Climate

Koppen climate types in Western Australia Western Australia Koppen.svg
Köppen climate types in Western Australia

The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. It was originally heavily forested, including large stands of karri, one of the tallest trees in the world. [15] This agricultural region is one of the nine most bio-diverse terrestrial habitats, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current, the area is one of the top six regions for marine biodiversity and contains the most southerly coral reefs in the world.

Average annual rainfall varies from 300 millimetres (12 in) at the edge of the Wheatbelt region to 1,400 millimetres (55 in) in the wettest areas near Northcliffe, but from November to March, evaporation exceeds rainfall, and it is generally very dry. Plants are adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils.

The central two-thirds of the state is arid and sparsely inhabited. The only significant economic activity is mining. Annual rainfall averages less than 300 millimetres (8–10 in), most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer. [16]

An exception to this is the northern tropical regions. The Kimberley has an extremely hot monsoonal climate with average annual rainfall ranging from 500 to 1,500 millimetres (20–60 in), but there is a very long almost rainless season from April to November. Eighty-five percent of the state's runoff occurs in the Kimberley, but because it occurs in violent floods and because of the insurmountable poverty of the generally shallow soils, the only development has taken place along the Ord River.

The black swan is the state bird of Western Australia Black Swans.jpg
The black swan is the state bird of Western Australia
The red and green kangaroo paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia Anigozanthos manglesii gnangarra-1008.jpg
The red and green kangaroo paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia

Snow is rare in the state and typically occurs only in the Stirling Range near Albany, as it is the only mountain range far enough south and sufficiently elevated. More rarely, snow can fall on the nearby Porongurup Range. Snow outside these areas is a major event; it usually occurs in hilly areas of southwestern Australia. The most widespread low-level snow occurred on 26 June 1956 when snow was reported in the Perth Hills, as far north as Wongan Hills and as far east as Salmon Gums. However, even in the Stirling Range, snowfalls rarely exceed 5 cm (2 in) and rarely settle for more than one day. [17]

The highest observed maximum temperature of 50.5 °C (122.9 °F) was recorded at Mardie Station on 19 February 1998. The lowest minimum temperature recorded was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) at Eyre Bird Observatory on 17 August 2008. [18]

Climate data for Western Australia
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)49.8
(121.6)
50.5
(122.9)
48.1
(118.6)
45.0
(113.0)
40.6
(105.1)
37.8
(100.0)
38.3
(100.9)
40.0
(104.0)
43.1
(109.6)
46.9
(116.4)
48.0
(118.4)
49.4
(120.9)
50.5
(122.9)
Record low °C (°F)0.9
(33.6)
0.5
(32.9)
−0.8
(30.6)
−2.2
(28.0)
−5.6
(21.9)
−6.0
(21.2)
−6.7
(19.9)
−7.2
(19.0)
−4.6
(23.7)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.0
(32.0)
−7.2
(19.0)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [19]

Flora and fauna

Crocodile at Lake Argyle Freshwater crocodile at Lake Argyle, Western Australia.jpg
Crocodile at Lake Argyle

Western Australia is home to around 540 species of birds (depending on the taxonomy used). Of these around 15 are endemic to the state. The best areas for birds are the southwestern corner of the state and the area around Broome and the Kimberley.

The Flora of Western Australia comprises 10,162 published native vascular plant species, along with a further 1,196 species currently recognised but unpublished. They occur within 1,543 genera from 211 families; there are also 1,276 naturalised alien or invasive plant species, more commonly known as weeds. [20] [21] In the southwest region are some of the largest numbers of plant species for its area in the world. Specific ecoregions of Western Australia include: the sandstone gorges of The Kimberley on the northern coast and below that areas of dry grassland (Ord Victoria Plain) or semi-desert (Western Australian Mulga shrublands), with Tanami Desert inland from there. Following the coast south there is the Southwest Australia savanna and the Swan Coastal Plain around Perth, and then farther south the Warren on the southwest corner of the coast around the wine-growing area of Margaret River. Going east along the Southern Ocean coast is the Goldfields-Esperance region, including the Esperance grasslands and the Coolgardie grasslands inland around town of Coolgardie.

In 1831 Scottish botanist Robert Brown produced a scientific paper, General view of the botany of the vicinity of Swan River . It discusses the vegetation of the Swan River Colony. [22]

History

John Forrest was the first Premier of Western Australia. John Forrest 1898.jpg
John Forrest was the first Premier of Western Australia.
Ngaanyatjarra children, from the desert regions of Western Australia Ngaanyatjarra kids.jpg
Ngaanyatjarra children, from the desert regions of Western Australia

The first inhabitants of Australia arrived from the north about 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Over thousands of years they eventually spread across the whole landmass. These Indigenous Australians were long established throughout Western Australia by the time European explorers began to arrive in the early 17th century.

The first European to visit Western Australia was a Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, who on 25 October 1616 landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription, Dirk Hartog Island. For the rest of the 17th century, other Dutch and British navigators encountered the coast, usually unintentionally, as demonstrated by the many shipwrecks along the coast of ships that deviated from the Brouwer Route (because of poor navigation and storms). [23] Two hundred years passed before Europeans believed that the great southern continent actually existed. By the late 18th century, British and French sailors had begun to explore the Western Australian coast.

The origins of the present state began with the establishment by Lockyer [4] of a convict-supported settlement from New South Wales at King George III Sound. The settlement was formally annexed on 21 January 1827 by Lockyer when he commanded the Union Jack be raised and a feu de joie fired by the troops. The settlement was founded in response to British concerns about the possibility of a French colony being established on the coast of Western Australia. [4] On 7 March 1831 it was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony, [5] and named Albany in 1832.

In 1829 the Swan River Colony was established on the Swan River by Captain James Stirling. By 1832, the British settler population of the colony had reached around 1,500, and the official name of the colony was changed to Western Australia. The two separate townsites of the colony developed slowly into the port city of Fremantle and the state's capital, Perth. York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia, situated 97 kilometres (60 mi) east of Perth and settled on 16 September 1831. York was the staging point for early explorers who discovered the rich gold reserves of Kalgoorlie.

Population growth was very slow until significant discoveries of gold were made in the 1890s around Kalgoorlie.

In 1887, a new constitution was drafted, providing for the right of self-governance of European Australians and in 1890, the act granting self-government to the colony was passed by the British Parliament. John Forrest became the first Premier of Western Australia.

In 1896, the Western Australian Parliament authorised the raising of a loan to construct a pipeline to transport 23 megalitres (5 million imperial gallons) of water per day to the Goldfields of Western Australia. The pipeline, known as the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, was completed in 1903. C.Y. O'Connor, Western Australia's first engineer-in-chief, designed and oversaw the construction of the pipeline. It carries water 530 km (330 mi) from Perth to Kalgoorlie, and is attributed by historians as an important factor driving the state's population and economic growth. [24]

Following a campaign led by Forrest, residents of the colony of Western Australia (still informally called the Swan River Colony) voted in favour of federation, resulting in Western Australia officially becoming a state on 1 January 1901.

Demographics

Western Australia's capital and largest city, Perth, from Kings Park. Its metropolitan area is home to 75% of the state's population. Perth Skyline from Kings Park.jpg
Western Australia's capital and largest city, Perth, from Kings Park. Its metropolitan area is home to 75% of the state's population.
WA population growth 1829-2010 Western Australia population T.svg
WA population growth 1829–2010
Distribution of the Western Australian population WApopDist2006.png
Distribution of the Western Australian population

Europeans began to settle permanently in 1826 when Albany was claimed by Britain to forestall French claims to the western third of the continent. Perth was founded as the Swan River Colony in 1829 by British and Irish settlers, though the outpost languished. Its officials eventually requested convict labour to augment its population. In the 1890s, interstate immigration, resulting from a mining boom in the Goldfields region, resulted in a sharp population increase.

Western Australia did not receive significant flows of immigrants from Britain, Ireland or elsewhere in the British Empire until the early 20th century. At that time, its local projects—such as the Group Settlement Scheme of the 1920s, which encouraged farmers to settle the southwest—increased awareness of Australia's western third as a destination for colonists.

Led by immigrants from the British Isles, Western Australia's population developed at a faster rate during the twentieth century than it had previously. After World War II, both the eastern states and Western Australia received large numbers of Italians, Croatians and Macedonians. Despite this, Britain has contributed the greatest number of immigrants to this day. Western Australia—particularly Perth—has the highest proportion of British-born of any state: 10.3% in 2011, compared to a national average of 5.1%. This group is heavily concentrated in certain parts, where they account for a quarter of the population. [25]

Perth's metropolitan area (including Mandurah) had an estimated population of 2,043,138 [3] in June 2017 (79% of the state). Other significant population centres include Bunbury (73,989), [26] Geraldton (37,961), [26] Kalgoorlie-Boulder (30,420), [26] Albany (33,998), [26] Karratha (16,446), [26] Broome (14,501) [26] and Port Hedland (14,285). [26]

Ancestry and immigration

Country of Birth (2016) [27] [28]
Birthplace [N 1] Population
Australia 1,492,842
England 194,163
New Zealand 79,221
India 49,385
South Africa 41,008
Philippines 30,835
Malaysia 29,126
Mainland China 27,126
Italy 19,210
Ireland 18,036
Vietnam 15,845

At the 2016 census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were: [N 2] [27] [28]

3.1% of the population, or 75,978 people, identified as Indigenous Australians (Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders) in 2016. [N 5] [27] [28]

Language

At the 2016 census, 75.2% of inhabitants spoke only English at home, with the next most common languages being Mandarin (1.9%), Italian (1.2%), Vietnamese (0.8%), Cantonese (0.8%) and Tagalog (0.6%). [27] [28]

Religion

At the 2016 census, 55.5% of respondents identified as Christian and 32.5% as 'No Religion'. 10.3% chose not to state a religion. The most commonly nominated responses were Catholicism (21.4%) and Anglicanism (14.3%). [30] [28]

Economy

Aerial view of Fremantle Harbour, a major port in WA Aerial view of Fremantle.JPG
Aerial view of Fremantle Harbour, a major port in WA
Western Australia's resource commodity mix, 2007 2007 Resource production WA-svg.svg
Western Australia's resource commodity mix, 2007
Major commodity mix, 2008-2009 Major West Australian Commodities 2008-2009 ($ million).png
Major commodity mix, 2008–2009

Western Australia's economy is largely driven by extraction and processing of a diverse range of mineral and petroleum commodities. The structure of the economy is closely linked to these natural resources, providing a comparative advantage in resource extraction and processing. As a consequence:

Western Australia's overseas exports accounted for 46% of the nation's total. [6] [35] The state's major export commodities include iron-ore, alumina, nickel, gold, ammonia, wheat, wool, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Western Australia is a major extractor of bauxite, which is also processed into alumina at four refineries providing more than 20% of total world production. It is the world's third-largest iron-ore producer (15% of the world's total) and extracts 75% of Australia's 240 tonnes of gold. Diamonds are extracted at Argyle diamond mine in far north of the Kimberley region. Coal mined at Collie is the main fuel for baseload electricity generation in the state's south-west.

Agricultural production in WA is a major contributor to the state and national economy. Although tending to be highly seasonal, 2006–07 wheat production in WA was nearly 10 million tonnes, accounting for almost half the nation's total. [36] and providing $1.7 billion in export income. [37]

Other significant farm output includes barley, peas, [36] wool, lamb and beef. There is a high level of overseas demand for live animals from WA, driven mainly by southeast Asia's feedlots and Middle Eastern countries, where cultural and religious traditions and a lack of storage and refrigeration facilities favour live animals over imports of processed meat. About half of Australia's live cattle exports come from Western Australia. [38]

Resource sector growth in recent years has resulted in significant labour and skills shortages, leading to recent efforts by the state government to encourage interstate and overseas immigration. [39] According to the 2006 census, [40] the median individual income was A$500 per week in Western Australia (compared to A$466 in Australia as a whole). The median family income was A$1246 per week (compared to A$1171 for Australia). Recent growth has also contributed to significant rises in average property values in 2006, although values plateaued in 2007. Perth property prices are still the second highest in Australia behind Sydney, and high rental prices continue to be a problem.

Located south of Perth, the heavy industrial area of Kwinana has the nation's largest oil refinery with a capacity of 146,000 barrels of oil per day, producing most of the state's petrol and diesel. [41] [42] [43] Kwinana also hosts alumina and nickel processing plants, port facilities for grain and other bulk exports, and support industries for mining and petroleum such as heavy and light engineering, and metal fabrication. Shipbuilding (e.g. Austal Ships) and associated support industries are found at nearby Henderson, just north of Kwinana. Significant secondary industries include cement and building product manufacturing, flour milling, food processing, animal feed production, automotive body building and printing.

In recent years, tourism has grown in importance, with significant numbers of visitors to the state coming from the UK and Ireland (28%), other European countries (14%) Singapore (16%), Japan (10%) and Malaysia (8%). [37] Revenue from tourism is a strong economic driver in many of the smaller population centres outside of Perth, especially in coastal locations.

Western Australia has a significant fishing industry. Products for local consumption and export include western rock lobsters, prawns, crabs, shark and tuna, as well as pearl fishing in the Kimberley region of the state. Processing is conducted along the west coast. Whaling was a key marine industry but ceased at Albany in 1978.

Tourism

Tourism forms a major part of the Western Australian economy with 833,100 international visitors making up 12.8% of the total international tourism to Australia in the year ending March 2015. The top three source markets include the United Kingdom (17%), Singapore (10%) and New Zealand (10%) with the majority of purpose for visitation being holiday/vacation reasons. [44] The tourism industry contributes $9.3 billion to the Western Australian economy and supports 94,000 jobs within the state. Both directly and indirectly, the industry makes up 3.2% of the state's economy whilst comparatively, WA's largest revenue source, the mining sector, brings in 31%. [45]

Tourism WA is the government agency responsible for promoting Western Australia as a holiday destination. [46]

Government

Government House, Western Australia WAGovernmentHouse1crop gobeirne.JPG
Government House, Western Australia

Western Australia was granted self-government in 1890 [47] with a bicameral Parliament located in Perth, consisting of the Legislative Assembly (or lower house), which has 59 members; and the Legislative Council (or upper house), which has 36 members. Suffrage is universal and compulsory for citizens over 18 years of age.

With the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901, Western Australia became a state within Australia's federal structure; this involved ceding certain powers to the Commonwealth (or Federal) government in accordance with the Constitution; all powers not specifically granted to the Commonwealth remained solely with the State, however over time the Commonwealth has effectively expanded its powers through increasing control of taxation and financial distribution.

Whilst the sovereign of Western Australia is the Queen of Australia (Elizabeth II), and executive power nominally vested in her State representative the Governor (currently Kim Beazley), executive power rests with the premier and ministers drawn from the party or coalition of parties holding a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly. Mark McGowan is the Premier, having defeated Colin Barnett at the state election on 11 March 2017.

Secession

Secessionism has been a recurring feature of Western Australia's political landscape since shortly after European settlement in 1826. Western Australia was the most reluctant participant in the Commonwealth of Australia. [48] Western Australia did not participate in the earliest federation conference. Longer-term residents of Western Australia were generally opposed to federation; however, the discovery of gold brought many immigrants from other parts of Australia. It was these residents, primarily in Kalgoorlie but also in Albany who voted to join the Commonwealth, and the proposal of these areas being admitted separately under the name Auralia was considered.[ citation needed ]

In a referendum in April 1933, 68% of voters voted for the state to leave the Commonwealth of Australia with the aim of returning to the British Empire as an autonomous territory. The State Government sent a delegation to Westminster, but the British Government refused to intervene and therefore no action was taken to implement this decision. [49]

Local government

Western Australia is divided into 139 Local Government Areas, including Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Their mandate and operations are governed by the Local Government Act 1995. [50]

Education

Education in Western Australia consists of one year of pre-school at age 4 or 5, followed by six years of primary education for all students as of 2015. [51] At age 12 or 13, students begin six years of secondary education. Students are required to attend school up until they are 16 years old. Sixteen and 17 year olds are required to enrolled in school or a training organisation, be employed or be in a combination of school/training/employment. [52] Students have the option to study at a TAFE college after Year 10, [53] or continue through to Year 12 with vocational courses or a university entrance courses. [54]

There are five universities in Western Australia. They consist of four Perth-based public universities; the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University; and one Fremantle-based private Roman Catholic university, the University of Notre Dame. The University of Notre Dame is also one of only two private universities in Australia, along with Bond University, a not-for-profit private education provider based in Gold Coast, Queensland.

Media

Print

Western Australia has two daily newspapers: the independent tabloid The West Australian and The Kalgoorlie Miner . Also published is one weekend paper The Weekend West and one Sunday tabloid newspaper, News Corporation's The Sunday Times . There are also 17 weekly Community Newspapers with distribution from Yanchep in the north to Mandurah in the south. There are two major weekly rural papers in the state, Countryman and the Rural Press-owned Farm Weekly. The interstate broadsheet publication The Australian is also available, although with sales per capita lagging far behind those in other states. With the advent of the Internet, local news websites like WAtoday , which provide free access to their content, are becoming a popular alternative source of news. Other online publications from around the world like the New South Wales based The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian are also available.

Television

ABC studios in East Perth ABC Perth gnangarra.JPG
ABC studios in East Perth

Metropolitan Perth has six broadcast television stations;

Regional WA has a similar availability of stations, with the exception of West TV. Geographically, it is one of the largest television markets in the world, including almost one-third of the continent.

In addition, broadcasters operate digital multichannels:

Pay TV services are provided by Foxtel, which acquired many of the assets and all the remaining subscribers of the insolvent Galaxy Television satellite service in 1998. Some metropolitan suburbs are serviced by Pay TV via cable; however, most of the metropolitan and rural areas can only access Pay TV via satellite.

Radio

Perth has many radio stations on both AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include ABC NewsRadio (6PB 585 am), 720 ABC Perth (6WF 720 am), ABC Radio National (6RN 810 am), ABC Classic FM (6ABC 97.7FM) and Triple J (6JJJ 99.3FM). The six commercial stations are: FM 92.9 (6PPM), Nova 93.7 (6PER), Mix 94.5 (6MIX), 96fm (6NOW), and AM 882 (6PR), AM 1080 (6IX) and AM 1116 (6MM)

The leading community radio stations are Curtin FM 100.1, 6RTR FM 92.1, Sonshine FM 98.5 (6SON) and 91.3 SportFM (6WSM).

Culture

Wine

Winemaking regions are concentrated in the cooler climate of the south-western portion of the state. Western Australia produces less than 5% of the country's wine output, but in quality terms is considered to be very much near the top. [55] [56] [57] [58] Major wine producing regions include: Margaret River, The Great Southern, Swan Valley as well as smaller districts including Blackwood Valley, Manjimup, Pemberton, Peel, Chittering Valley, Perth Hills, and Geographe. [59]

Sport

2014 AFL premiership match between West Coast Eagles and Collingwood being played at Patersons Stadium, Subiaco AFL WCE VS COLLINGWOOD.JPG
2014 AFL premiership match between West Coast Eagles and Collingwood being played at Patersons Stadium, Subiaco

A number of national or international sporting teams and events are based in the state, including:

International sporting events hosted in the past in Western Australia include the Tom Hoad Cup (water polo), the Perth International (golf), the 2006 Gravity Games (extreme sports), the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup, the 1991 FINA World Aquatics Championships and the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

The arts

Western Australia is home to one of the country's leading performance training institutions, the acclaimed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), as well as a burgeoning theatrical and musical scene. Notable musicians and bands to have been born in or lived in Western Australia include Adam Brand, Karnivool, Birds of Tokyo, Bon Scott, Eskimo Joe, Johnny Young, Gyroscope, the John Butler Trio, Tame Impala, Troye Sivan, Kevin Mitchell, Tim Minchin, The Kill Devil Hills, Pendulum, The Pigram Brothers, Rolf Harris and The Triffids. The West Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMis) have been awarded every year to the leading musicians and performers in WA since 2001.

Notable actors and television personalities from Western Australia include Heath Ledger, Sam Worthington, Ernie Dingo, Jessica Marais, Megan Gale, Rove McManus, Isla Fisher, and Melissa George. Films and television series filmed or partly filmed in Western Australia include These Final Hours , Cloudstreet , Australia , Bran Nu Dae , ABBA: the Movie and Last Train to Freo .

Noted Western Australian indigenous painters and artisans include Jack Dale Mengenen, Paddy Bedford, Queenie McKenzie, and siblings Nyuju Stumpy Brown and Rover Thomas. [60]

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) is based at the Perth Concert Hall. Other concert, performance and indoor sporting venues in Western Australia include His Majesty's Theatre, the now demolished Perth Entertainment Centre, the Burswood Dome and Theatre and the Perth Arena, which opened in 2012.

Sister states

Western Australia has four sister states: [61]

In 1981, a sister state agreement was drawn up between Western Australia and Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan that was aimed at improving cultural ties between the two states. [62] [63] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this agreement, the Hyōgo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in Perth in 1992. [64] Prior to that, the Western Australian government opened an office in Kobe, the largest city in Hyōgo, to facilitate maintenance of the relationship in 1989. [63] [65]

Following the Great Hanshin earthquake that devastated southern Hyōgo in January 1995, Western Australian groups and businesses raised funds and provided materials, whilst individuals travelled to Hyōgo to help with emergency relief and the subsequent reconstruction process. [66] [67] [68] The two governments signed a memorandum of understanding on the 20th anniversary in 2001 that aimed to improve the economic relationship between the two states. [63]

Further to the sister state relationship, the City of Rockingham in Western Australia and the City of Akō in Hyōgo signed a sister city agreement in 1997. It is one of nine sister city relationships between Western Australian and Japanese cities. [69]

See also

Lists:

Notes

  1. In accordance with the Australian Bureau of Statistics source, England, Scotland, Mainland China and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau are listed separately
  2. As a percentage of 2,286,107 persons who nominated their ancestry at the 2016 census.
  3. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has stated that most who nominate "Australian" as their ancestry are part of the Anglo-Celtic group. [29]
  4. Of any ancestry. Includes those identifying as Aboriginal Australians or Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous identification is separate to the ancestry question on the Australian Census and persons identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander may identify any ancestry.
  5. Of any ancestry. Includes those identifying as Aboriginal Australians or Torres Strait Islanders. Indigenous identification is separate to the ancestry question on the Australian Census and persons identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander may identify any ancestry.
"West Australia" on a 1902 stamp 2shillingsWestAustralia.jpg
"West Australia" on a 1902 stamp

a "West Australia" and its related demonym "West Australian" are occasionally used, including in the names of the main daily newspaper, The West Australian , and the state-based West Australian Football League, but are rarely used in an official sense. The terms "Westralia" and "Westralian" were regularly used in the 19th and 20th century. [70] [71] The terms are still found in the names of certain companies and buildings, e.g. Westralia House in Perth and Westralia Airports Corporation, which operates Perth Airport, as well as in the names of several ships. [72] [73]
b In Australia, the body of water south of the continent is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean, whereas the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designates it as part of the Indian Ocean. [74] [75]

Related Research Articles

Margaret River, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.

Perth City in Western Australia

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is named after the city of Perth, Scotland and is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.06 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both later founded downriver.

Bunbury, Western Australia City in Western Australia

Bunbury is a coastal city in the Australian state of Western Australia, approximately 175 kilometres (109 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It is the state's third-largest city, with a population just behind that of Mandurah.

Albany, Western Australia City in Western Australia

Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 km southeast of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.

Western Australian Legislative Assembly legislature of the State of Western Australia

The Western Australian Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Western Australia, an Australian state. The Parliament sits in Parliament House in the Western Australian capital, Perth.

Bassendean, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Bassendean, originally named West Guildford, is a northeastern suburb of Perth, Western Australia. Its local government area is the Town of Bassendean.

TVW is a television station broadcasting in Perth, Western Australia, wholly owned by the Seven Network, whose principal owner is Perth-born Kerry Stokes. It was the first television station in Western Australia, commencing service on 16 October 1959. It broadcasts a modulated 64-QAM signal of four DVB channels on VHF channel 6 at 177.5 MHz from Bickley in the Perth Hills. The primary channel was available as a PAL-B modulated simulcast on VHF channel 7 at 182.25 MHz before being discontinued in the first half of 2013, which was the station's primary signal since its inception. The TVW callsign stands for Television Western Australia.

Western Australia is divided into regions according to a number of systems.

NEW is a television station broadcasting in Perth, Australia, and is a member of Network 10. Out of the three commercial stations, NEW generally rates the lowest overall, but usually rates highest in its target demographic.

Augusta, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109.

Manjimup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Manjimup is a town in Western Australia, 307 kilometres (191 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. The town of Manjimup is a regional centre for the largest shire in the South West region of Western Australia. At the 2016 census, Manjimup had a population of 4,349.

Eastern states of Australia

The eastern states of Australia are the states adjoining the east coast of Australia. These are the mainland states of Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales; the Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory, while not states, are also included. The term usually includes the island state of Tasmania. On some occasions, the state of South Australia is included in this grouping.

Yanchep Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Yanchep is an outer coastal suburb of Perth, Western Australia, 56 kilometres (35 mi) north of Perth's central business district. It is part of the City of Wanneroo local government area. Originally a small crayfishing settlement, it was developed by entrepreneur Alan Bond in the 1970s for the 1977 America's Cup. The area covers the urban centre of Yanchep as well as Yanchep National Park in its entirety.

Jurien Bay, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Jurien Bay is a coastal town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of Perth facing the Indian Ocean.

The Channel Seven Perth Telethon, known simply as Telethon, is an annual telethon established in 1968 by philanthropist Sir James Cruthers and produced by TVW, a Seven Network-owned television station in Perth, Western Australia for two main beneficiaries—Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and the Telethon Kids Instituteplus many other beneficiaries including the Telethon Speech & Hearing Centre. Telethon's CEO, Steve Mummery, has called it "the highest donating Telethon in the world", with it surpassing A$100 million in total donations in 2010, $200 million in 2015, and $300 million in 2018.

Yallingup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Yallingup is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, 266 kilometres (165 mi) south of Perth. Yallingup is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches and limestone caves, and proximity to Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

Petroleum industry in Western Australia

The petroleum industry in Western Australia is the largest contributor to Australia's production of most petroleum products.

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