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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (2)

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;

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

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
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

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.
CIA World Factbook 2002:

Australia Introduction Australia ---------------------- Background: Australia became a commonwealth of the British Empire in 1901. It was able to take advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef. A referendum to change Australia's status, from a commonwealth headed by the British monarch to an independent republic, was defeated in 1999. Geography Australia ------------------- Location: Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean Geographic coordinates: 27 00 S, 133 00 E Map references: Oceania Area: total: 7,686,850 sq km water: 68,920 sq km note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island land: 7,617,930 sq km Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US contiguous 48 states Land boundaries: 0 km Coastline: 25,760 km Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM exclusive economic zone: 200 NM continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin Climate: generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m highest point: Mount Kosciuszko 2,229 m Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum Land use: arable land: 6.88% permanent crops: 0.03% other: 93.09% (1998 est.) Irrigated land: 24,000 sq km (1998 est.) Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe droughts; forest fires 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 Environment - international party to: Antarctic-Environmental agreements: Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, 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, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Geography - 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 People Australia ---------------- Population: 19,546,792 (July 2002 est.) Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.4% (male 2,046,052; female 1,949,725) 15-64 years: 67% (male 6,610,840; female 6,480,354) 65 years and over: 12.6% (male 1,078,506; female 1,381,315) (2002 est.) Population growth rate: 0.96% (2002 est.) Birth rate: 12.71 births/1,000 population (2002 est.) Death rate: 7.25 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.) Net migration rate: 4.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.) Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/ female total population: 0.99 male(s)/ female (2002 est.) Infant mortality rate: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80 years female: 83 years (2002 est.) male: 77.15 years Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.15% (1999 est.) HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 14,000 (1999 est.) AIDS: HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (1999 est.) Nationality: noun: Australian(s) adjective: Australian Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1% Religions: Anglican 26.1%, Roman Catholic 26%, other Christian 24.3%, non-Christian 11%, other 12.6% Languages: English, native languages Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 100% male: 100% female: 100% (1980 est.) Government Australia -------------------- Country name: conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia conventional short form: Australia Government type: democratic, federal-state system recognizing the British monarch as sovereign 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 Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter HOLLINGWORTH (since 29 June 2001) head of government: Prime Minister John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March 1996); Deputy Prime Minister John ANDERSON (since 20 July 1999) cabinet: Cabinet Parliament nominates, from among its members, a list of candidates to serve as government ministers; from this list, the governor general makes the final selections for the Cabinet elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the governor general for a three-year term note: government coalition - Liberal Party and National Party Legislative branch: bicameral Federal Parliament consists of the Senate (76 seats - 12 from each of the six states and two from each of the two mainland territories; one-half of the members elected every three years by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (150 seats - this is up from 148 seats in 2001 election; members elected by popular vote on the basis of preferential representation to serve three-year terms; no state can have fewer than five representatives) elections: Senate - last held 10 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2004); House of Representatives - last held 10 November 2001 (next to be held by November 2004) election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 35, Australian Labor Party 28, Australian Democrats 8, Green Party 2, One Nation Party 1, Country Labor Party 1, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - Liberal Party-National Party coalition 82, Australian Labor Party 65, independent and other 3 Judicial branch: High Court (the chief justice and six other justices are appointed by the governor general) Political parties and leaders: Australian Democrats [Natasha STOTT- DESPOJA]; Australian Labor Party [Simon CREAN]; Country Labor Party [leader NA]; Green Party [Bob BROWN]; Liberal Party [John Winston HOWARD]; National Party [John ANDERSON]; One Nation Party [leader NA] Political pressure groups and Australian Democratic Labor Party leaders: (anti-Communist Labor Party splinter group); Australian Monarchist League [leader NA]; Australian Republican Movement [leader NA] International organization ANZUS, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), participation: AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CP, EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNTAET, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael J. THAWLEY consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168 telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000 chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador J. US: Thomas SCHIEFFER embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600 mailing address: APO AP 96549 telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600 FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970 consulate(s) general: Melbourne, Perth, Sydney Flag 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; 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 Australia ----------------- Economy - overview: Australia has a prosperous Western- style capitalist economy, with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant West European economies. The Australian economy has been resilient in the face of the global economic downturn in 2001 chalking up 2.3% GDP growth, as the domestic economy is offsetting the external slump and business and consumer confidence remains robust. Canberra's emphasis on reforms is a key factor behind the economy's strength, and Australia is expected to outperform its trading partners in 2002, with GDP growth projected to be 3% or better. Australia probably will experience some weakness in mid-2002 as its business cycle tends to lag the US by about six months, and larger problems could emerge if Australia's trade position worsens. GDP: purchasing power parity - $465.9 billion (2001 est.) GDP - real growth rate: 2.3% (2001 est.) GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,000 (2001 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3% industry: 25% services: 72% (2000 est.) Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2% percentage share: highest 10%: 25.4% (1994) Distribution of family income - Gini 35.2 (1994) index: Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (2001 est.) Labor force: 9.2 million (December 2001) Labor force - by occupation: services 73%, industry 22%, agriculture 5% (1997 est.) Unemployment rate: 6.7% (2001) Budget: revenues: $86.8 billion expenditures: $84.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.) Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel Industrial production growth rate: 0.4% (2001 est.) Electricity - production: 202.676 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 89.79% hydro: 8.47% other: 1.74% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 188.489 billion kWh (2000) Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000) Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000) Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry Exports: $68.8 billion (2001 est.) Exports - commodities: coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment Exports - partners: Japan 19%, US 9%, South Korea 7%, China 6%, New Zealand 5.8%, Singapore 4% (2001 est.) Imports: $70.2 billion (2001 est.) Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products Imports - partners: US 20%, Japan 13%, China 7.7%, UK 6%, Germany 5%, South Korea 4%, NZ 4%, Malaysia 3.6% (2001 est.) Debt - external: $168.7 billion (2001 est.) Economic aid - donor: ODA, $894 million (FY99/00) Currency: Australian dollar (AUD) Currency code: AUD Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997) Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June Communications Australia ------------------------ Telephones - main lines in use: 10.05 million (2000) Telephones - mobile cellular: 8.6 million (2000) Telephone system: general assessment: excellent domestic and international service domestic: domestic satellite system; much use of radiotelephone in areas of low population density; rapid growth of mobile cellular telephones international: submarine cables to New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia; satellite earth stations - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6 Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat (Indian and Pacific Ocean regions) (1998) Radio broadcast stations: AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998) Radios: 25.5 million (1997) Television broadcast stations: 104 (1997) Televisions: 10.15 million (1997) Internet country code: .au Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 603 (2001) Internet users: 10.06 million (2001) Transportation Australia ------------------------ Railways: total: 33,819 km (2,540 km electrified) broad gauge: 3,719 km 1.600-m gauge narrow gauge: 14,506 km 1.067- m gauge standard gauge: 15,422 km 1.435- m gauge dual gauge: 172 km NA gauges (1999 est.) Highways: total: 913,000 km paved: 353,331 km (including 1,363 km of expressways) unpaved: 559,669 km (1996) Waterways: 8,368 km (mainly used by small, shallow-draft craft) Pipelines: crude oil 2,500 km; petroleum products 500 km; natural gas 5,600 km Ports and harbors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Devonport (Tasmania), Fremantle, Geelong, Hobart (Tasmania), Launceston (Tasmania), Mackay, Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville Merchant marine: total: 55 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,469,362 GRT/1,869,262 DWT ships by type: bulk 26, cargo 5, chemical tanker 4, container 1, liquefied gas 4, passenger 2, petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off 6, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: France 2, United Kingdom 2, United States 14 (2002 est.) Airports: 421 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 282 over 3,047 m: 10 2,438 to 3,047 m: 11 1,524 to 2,437 m: 128 914 to 1,523 m: 124 under 914 m: 9 (2001) Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 139 1,524 to 2,437 m: 16 914 to 1,523 m: 111 under 914 m: 12 (2001) Military Australia ------------------ Military branches: Royal Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age (2002 est.) Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 5,013,406 (2002 est.) Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 4,321,387 (2002 service: est.) Military manpower - reaching males: 142,686 (2002 est.) military age annually: Military expenditures - dollar $9.3 billion (FY01/02 est.) figure: Military expenditures - percent of 2% (FY01/02) GDP: Transnational Issues Australia ------------------------------ Disputes - international: Australia-East Timor-Indonesia are working to resolve maritime boundary and sharing of seabed resources in "Timor Gap"; Australia asserts a territorial claim to Antarctica and to its continental shelf 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