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ssci 104

SSCI 104

World Economic Geography

Please Turn on Your Sound



Jeff Lawrence

SSCI 104 – World Economic Geography

May 17, 2010


Australia is located in the Oceania continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. Australia is sometimes called the land “Down Under” because it is located in the southern hemisphere. It is approximately the size of the US contiguous 48 states with a total land area of 7,741,220 square km and a total coastline of 25,760 square km.



The capital of Australia is Canberra with about 325,000 people living in the city. The city is built on a plain at the foot of the Australian Alps at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory. The first people to live in the area were the Aboriginal people. They had occupied the land for thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the 1820’s.

Lake Burley Griffin in the foreground, Commonwealth Place and Old Parliament House in the middle, and Parliament House in the background.


Australia has six states:

  • New South Wales
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria
  • Western Australia
  • and two major mainland territories:
  • Northern Territory
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Western Australia

Flag of Western Australia

Government House,

Western Australia

Western Australia's capital and largest city, Perth, from Kings Park. Its metropolitan area is home to 75% of the state's population.



The history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. Estimated to have been settled by Indigenous Australians approximately 40,000 years ago, the north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch, Portuguese and French navigators before being encountered by Captain James Cook in 1770.

Flag of Queensland

Queensland capital and most populous city, Brisbane with 4,406,800 people


Northern Territory

The history of the Northern Territory began over 40,000 years ago when Indigenous Australians settled the region. Makassan traders began trading with the indigenous people of the Northern Territory for trepang from at least the 18th century onwards, and very likely for 300 years prior to that.

Flag of the Northern Territory

Uluru (Ayers Rock) one of the best known images of the Northern Territory

The Capital city of the Northern territory is Darwin with a population of 227,025

The legislative assembly building in Darwin


South Australia

South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of 983,482 square kilometers (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.

Flag of South Australia

Parliament House, Adelaide


New South Wales

New South Wales is Australia's most populous state with a population of over 7 million people. Sydney is the capital city with 4.3 million people

Flag of New South Wales

The Sydney Opera House was complete in 1973 and has become a World Heritage Site



Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, and Tasmania to the south, across the Bass Strait. Victoria is the most densely populated state, and has a highly centralized population, with over 70% of Victorians living in Melbourne, the state capital and largest city pictured in the background.

Flag of Victoria



Tasmania is an Australian island and state. It is located 150 miles south of the eastern side of the continent, from which it is separated by Bass Strait. The state includes the island of Tasmania – the 26th largest island in the world – and the surrounding islands. The state has a population of 500,000 , of whom almost half reside in the state capital and largest city, Hobart

Flag of Tasmania

The Port Arthur massacre of 28 April 1996 was a killing spree which claimed the lives of 35 people and wounded 21 others mainly at the historic Port Arthur prison colony pictured in the background, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia.


Major Landforms in Australia

  • The Australian Alps, where Australia's ten highest mountains are all within six kilometers of each other
  • various deserts, e.g. Simpson Desert, Great Victoria Desert, Great Sandy Desert, etc
  • Unusual mountain formations like the Bungle-Bungles (Western Australia) and the Warrumbungles
  • The Grampians (mountain range in western Victoria)
  • Blue Lake (volcanic crater lake in Mt Gambier, South Australia)
  • Limestone cliffs of the Great Australian Bight
  • Uluru/Ayers Rock, the world's second largest monolith
  • Mt Augustus, the world's largest monolith
  • The Devil's Marbles, large tumbled rocks near Tennant Creek in central Australia
  • Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island
  • The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef and the only living organism visible from space
  • Kata-tjuta/the Olgas - bald rock domes in central Australia
  • The Pinnacles - a vast desert of upright sandstone formations, weathered over time into weird shapes
  • The Three Sisters, a famous landmark in the Blue Mountains
  • The Twelve Apostles, off the southern Victorian coastline, a series of sandstone cliffs and rock
  • formations that are gradually eroding away (three have collapsed in the last few years)
  • Wave Rock, a 14m high granite rock cliff face near Hyden, Western Australia, weathered into a perfect
  • wave formation
  • Lake Eyre, 15m below sea level in the South Australian outback, and the other many, vast saltpans
  • Nullarbor Plain, a huge, treeless plain crossing South Australia and western Australia


Ethnic Groups

White 92%, Asian 7%, Aboriginal and Other 1%


English 78.5%, Chinese 2.5%, Italian 1.6%, Greek 1.3%, Arabic 1.2%, Vietnamese 1%, other 8.2%, unspecified 5.7%


Catholic 25.8%, Anglican 18.7%, Uniting Church 5.7%, Presbyterian and Reformed 3%, Eastern Orthodox 2.7%, other Christian 7.9%, Buddhist 2.1%, Muslim 1.7%, other 2.4%, unspecified 11.3%, none 18.7%



The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy under a parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901 as a result of an agreement among six self-governing British colonies, which became the six states.

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 3 December 2007

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard

since 3 December 2007

The Monarchy is hereditary; the Governor General is 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 General.

The Prime Minister nominates, from among members of Parliament, candidates who are subsequently sworn in by the Governor General to serve as government ministers in the cabinet.



Major Resources

Australia is the world's largest net exporter of coal accounting for 29% of global coal exports.

Other natural resources in Australia:

bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum

Environmental Issues

  • Soil erosion from overgrazing,
  • Industrial development, urbanization, and poor farming practices;
  • Soil salinity rising due to the use of poor quality water;
  • 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


Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita:

$38,800 World Ranking 23(2009 estimate)

Labor Force:

11.44 million World Ranking 44 (2009 estimate)

Labor Force by occupation:

Agriculture: 3.6%

Industry: 21.1%

Services: 75% (2009 estimate)

Major Industries:

mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel



Population Growth Rate: 1.195% (2009 est.) world rank: 112

Life Expectancy: male: 79.25 years … female: 84.14 years (2009 est.)

Literacy Rate: male: 99% … female: 99% (2003 est.)

Current Events

TROY Buswell has resigned as Western Australian treasurer following revelations of his affair with Greens MP Adele Carles.

Australian Dollar Soars on Jobs Gain

The Australian Dollar soared following a report showing the economy added a greater-than-expected 33.7k jobs in April

Australian embassy in Bangkok closes due to violence

Australia's embassy in Thailand has been closed to visitors from Monday, due to three days of violent clashes in Bangkok that have killed 33 people.

Victorian bushfires a tragedy beyond belief: Gillard

Round-the-world teenage sailor Jessica Watson gets hero's welcome in Australia

"The seventh of February 2009 will now be remembered as one of the darkest days in Australia's peacetime history," she said.

After seven months at sea, and a tumultuous welcome home, 16-year-old Jessica Watson now has to complete a book and a television documentary.

Liberal Troy Buswell admits sniffing woman's chair

One of the Liberal Party's most senior figures yesterday broke down and wept as he admitted sniffing the chair of a female party staffer.



My personal Development Rank for Australia is 8 out of a possible 10 for the following 4 reasons:

Economy Activity

Education System

Health Care

Quality of Life.

The Human Development Index ranked Australia 2nd and Canada 4th in the world. I believe the 2 well developed countries can help one another in certain fields that the other is lower in comparison and the two countries can be the most envious economical, educational, and healthiest countries on this planet.