Austrália

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Comunidade da Austrália
Hino:  Advance Australia Fair [N 1]
A map of the eastern hemisphere centred on Australia, using an orthographic projection.
Comunidade da Austrália, incluindo a reivindicação territorial australiana na Antártica
CapitalCanberra
35 ° 18′29 ″ S 149 ° 07′28 ″ E / 35.30806°S 149.12444°E / -35.30806; 149.12444
A maior cidadeSydney
Línguas oficiaisNenhum em nível federal
Língua nacionalInglês [N 2]
Religião
(2016) [3]
Demônimo (s)
Governo Monarquia constitucional parlamentar federal
•  Monarca
Elizabeth segunda
David Hurley
Scott Morrison
LegislaturaParlamento
Senado
Câmara dos Representantes
Independência 
1 de janeiro de 1901
9 de outubro de 1942 (com efeito a
partir de 3 de setembro de 1939)
3 de março de 1986
Área
• Total
7.692.024 km 2 (2.969.907 sq mi) ( )
• Água (%)
1,79 (a partir de 2015) [6]
População
• estimativa de 2021
Neutral increase25.866.200 [7] ( 53º )
• censo de 2016
23.401.892 [8]
• Densidade
3,4 / km 2 (8,8 / sq mi) ( 192º )
PIB  ( PPP )Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase $ 1,416 trilhão [9] ( 18º )
• per capita
Increase$ 54.891 [9] ( 17º )
PIB  (nominal)Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase $ 1,61 trilhão [9] ( 12º )
• per capita
Increase$ 62.728 [9] ( )
Gini  (2018)Positive decrease 32,5 [10]
médio  ·  16º
HDI  (2019)Increase 0,944 [11]
muito alto  · 
MoedaDólar australiano ($) ( AUD )
Fuso horárioUTC +8; +9,5; +10 ( Vários [N 4] )
• Verão ( DST )
UTC +8; +9,5; +10;
+10,5; +11
( Vários [N 4] )
Formato de datadd / mm / aaaa
aaaa-mm-dd [12]
Lado de conduçãodeixou
Código de chamada+61
Código ISO 3166AU
Internet TLD.au

A Austrália , oficialmente a Comunidade da Austrália , é um país soberano que compreende o continente australiano , a ilha da Tasmânia e várias ilhas menores . [13] É o maior país em área da Oceania e o sexto maior país do mundo . A população da Austrália de quase 26 milhões, [7] em uma área de 7.617.930 quilômetros quadrados (2.941.300 sq mi), [14] é altamente urbanizada e fortemente concentrada na costa leste. [15] Canberra é a capital da nação, enquanto oA maior cidade é Sydney , e outras grandes áreas metropolitanas são Melbourne , Brisbane , Perth e Adelaide .

Os australianos indígenas habitaram o continente por cerca de 65.000 anos , [16] antes da primeira chegada dos exploradores holandeses no início do século 17, que o batizaram de Nova Holanda . Em 1770, a metade oriental da Austrália foi reivindicada pela Grã-Bretanha e inicialmente colonizada por meio de transporte penal para a colônia de New South Wales a partir de 26 de janeiro de 1788, data que se tornou o dia nacional da Austrália . A população cresceu de forma constante nas décadas subsequentes e na época da corrida do ouro de 1850, a maior parte do continente havia sido explorada por colonos europeus e cinco colônias da coroa autônomas adicionais estabelecidas. Em 1 de janeiro de 1901, as seis colônias se federaram , formando a Comunidade da Austrália. Desde então, a Austrália manteve um sistema político democrático liberal estável que funciona como uma monarquia constitucional parlamentar federal , compreendendo seis estados e dez territórios .

A Austrália é o continente habitado mais antigo, [17] mais plano [18] e mais seco, [19] [20] com os solos menos férteis . [21] [22] É um país megadiverso e seu tamanho lhe dá uma grande variedade de paisagens e climas, com desertos no centro, florestas tropicais no nordeste e cadeias de montanhas no sudeste. A Austrália gera sua receita de várias fontes, incluindo exportações relacionadas à mineração , telecomunicações , bancos , manufatura eeducação internacional . [23] [24] [25]

A Austrália é um país altamente desenvolvido , com a décima segunda maior economia do mundo . Tem uma economia de alta renda , com a décima maior renda per capita do mundo . [26] A Austrália é uma potência regional e tem o décimo terceiro maior gasto militar do mundo . [27] Os imigrantes representam 30% da população do país, [28] a maior proporção entre as principais nações ocidentais . [29] Tendo o oitavo maior Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano e a nona democracia com a melhor classificaçãoglobalmente a partir de 2020, a Austrália ocupa um lugar destacado na qualidade de vida, saúde, educação, liberdade econômica , as liberdades civis e os direitos políticos, [30] com todas as suas grandes cidades se saindo excepcionalmente em comparativos globais habitabilidade pesquisas. [31] É membro das Nações Unidas , do G20 , da Comunidade das Nações , do ANZUS , do AUKUS , da OCDE , da OMC , da APEC , do Fórum das Ilhas do Pacífico , da Comunidade do Pacífico e doMecanismo ASEAN + 6.

Etimologia

O nome Austrália (pronunciado / ə s t r l i ə / em Inglês australiano [32] ) é derivado do latim Terra Australis ( "terra do sul"), um nome usado para um continente hipotético no Hemisfério Sul desde a antiguidade vezes. [33] Quando os europeus começaram a visitar e mapear a Austrália no século 17, o nome Terra Australis foi naturalmente aplicado aos novos territórios. [N 5]

Até o início do século 19, a Austrália era mais conhecida como " New Holland ", um nome aplicado pela primeira vez pelo explorador holandês Abel Tasman em 1644 (como Nieuw-Holland ) e posteriormente anglicizado. Terra Australis ainda viu uso ocasional, como em textos científicos. [N 6] O nome Austrália foi popularizado pelo explorador Matthew Flinders , que disse ser "mais agradável ao ouvido e uma assimilação aos nomes das outras grandes porções da Terra". [39] Vários cartógrafos famosos também fizeram uso da palavra Austrália em mapas. Gerardus Mercator usou a frase climata austráliaem seu mapa cordiforme duplo do mundo de 1538, assim como Gemma Frisius , que foi professora e colaboradora de Mercator, em seu próprio mapa cordiforme de parede em 1540. A Austrália aparece em um livro de astronomia de Cyriaco Jacob zum Barth publicado em Frankfurt am Main em 1545. [40]

A primeira vez que a Austrália parece ter sido usada oficialmente foi em abril de 1817, quando o governador Lachlan Macquarie acusou o recebimento das cartas de Flinders da Austrália de Lord Bathurst . [41] Em dezembro de 1817, Macquarie recomendou ao Colonial Office que fosse formalmente adotado. [42] Em 1824, o Almirantado concordou que o continente deveria ser conhecido oficialmente por esse nome. [43] O primeiro uso oficial publicado do novo nome veio com a publicação em 1830 do The Australia Directory pelo Hydrographic Office . [44]

Os nomes coloquiais da Austrália incluem " Oz " e "The Land Down Under" (geralmente abreviado para apenas " Down Under "). Outros epítetos incluem "a Grande Terra do Sul", " o País da Sorte ", "o País Queimado pelo Sol" e "a Grande Terra Marrom". Os dois últimos derivam do poema de 1908 de Dorothea Mackellar , " Meu país ". [45]

História

Pré-história

Arte rupestre aborígine na região de Kimberley , na Austrália Ocidental

Sabe-se que a habitação humana no continente australiano começou há pelo menos 65.000 anos, [46] [47] com a migração de pessoas por pontes terrestres e pequenas travessias marítimas do que hoje é o Sudeste Asiático . [48] O abrigo de rocha Madjedbebe em Arnhem Land é reconhecido como o local mais antigo que mostra a presença de humanos na Austrália. [49] Os vestígios humanos mais antigos encontrados são os vestígios do Lago Mungo , que foram datados de cerca de 41.000 anos atrás. [50] [51] Essas pessoas foram os ancestrais dos modernos indígenas australianos. [52] Aborígene australianoa cultura é uma das mais antigas culturas contínuas da Terra . [53]

Na época do primeiro contato europeu, a maioria dos indígenas australianos eram caçadores-coletores com economias e sociedades complexas. [54] [55] Recentes achados arqueológicos sugerem que uma população de 750.000 poderia ter sido mantida. [56] [57] Os australianos indígenas têm uma cultura oral com valores espirituais baseados na reverência pela terra e na crença no Tempo do Sonho . [58] Os habitantes das ilhas do Estreito de Torres , etnicamente melanésios , obtinham seu sustento da horticultura sazonal e dos recursos de seus recifes e mares. [59] As costas e águas do norte da Austrália foramvisitada esporadicamente para comércio por pescadores de Makassan do que hoje é a Indonésia . [60]

Chegada europeia

A painting of Captain James Cook landing at Botany Bay, New South Wales
Capitão Cook pousando em Botany Bay, 1770

O primeiro avistamento europeu registrado do continente australiano e o primeiro desembarque europeu registrado no continente australiano são atribuídos aos holandeses . [61] O primeiro navio e tripulação a mapear a costa australiana e se encontrar com o povo aborígine foi o Duyfken capitaneado pelo navegador holandês Willem Janszoon . [62] Ele avistou a costa da Península do Cabo York no início de 1606 e atingiu a costa em 26 de fevereiro de 1606 no Rio Pennefather, perto da moderna cidade de Weipa, no Cabo York. [63] Mais tarde naquele ano, o explorador espanhol Luís Vaz de Torres navegou e navegou,Ilhas do Estreito de Torres . [64] Os holandeses mapearam todo o litoral oeste e norte e chamaram o continente insular de "Nova Holanda" durante o século 17, e embora nenhuma tentativa de assentamento tenha sido feita, [63] vários naufrágios deixaram os homens presos ou, como no caso da Batávia em 1629, abandonada para motins e assassinatos, tornando-se assim os primeiros europeus a habitar definitivamente o continente. [65] William Dampier , um explorador e corsário inglês, desembarcou na costa noroeste da Nova Holanda em 1688 (enquanto servia como tripulante do capitão pirata John Read [66] ) e novamente em 1699 em uma viagem de volta. [67]Em 1770, James Cook navegou e mapeou a costa leste, que ele chamou de Nova Gales do Sul e reivindicou para a Grã-Bretanha. [68]

Com a perda de suas colônias americanas em 1783, o governo britânico enviou uma frota de navios, a " Primeira Frota ", sob o comando do Capitão Arthur Phillip , para estabelecer uma nova colônia penal em New South Wales. Um acampamento foi montado e a bandeira da União hasteada em Sydney Cove , Port Jackson , em 26 de janeiro de 1788, [69] [70] uma data que mais tarde se tornou o dia nacional da Austrália , o Dia da Austrália . A maioria dos primeiros condenados foram transportados para crimes menores e designados como trabalhadores ou servos na chegada. Enquanto a maioria se estabeleceu na sociedade colonial uma vez emancipada, rebeliões e levantes de condenados também foram encenados, mas invariavelmente suprimidos pela lei marcial. A Rebelião de Rum de 1808 , a única tomada armada bem-sucedida do governo na Austrália, instigou um período de governo militar de dois anos. [71]

A população indígena diminuiu por 150 anos após o assentamento, principalmente devido a doenças infecciosas. [72] Outros milhares morreram como resultado do conflito de fronteira com colonos. [73] Uma política governamental de "assimilação" começando com a Lei de Proteção Aborígene de 1869 resultou na remoção de muitas crianças aborígenes de suas famílias e comunidades - chamadas de Gerações Roubadas - uma prática que também contribuiu para o declínio da população indígena . [74] Como resultado do referendo de 1967, the Federal government's power to enact special laws with respect to a particular race was extended to enable the making of laws with respect to Aboriginals.[75] Traditional ownership of land ("native title") was not recognised in law until 1992, when the High Court of Australia held in Mabo v Queensland (No 2) that the legal doctrine that Australia had been terra nullius ("land belonging to no one") did not apply to Australia at the time of British settlement.[76]

Colonial expansion

A calm body of water is in the foreground. The shoreline is about 200 metres away. To the left, close to the shore, are three tall gum trees; behind them on an incline are ruins, including walls and watchtowers of light-coloured stone and brick, what appear to be the foundations of walls, and grassed areas. To the right lie the outer walls of a large rectangular four-storey building dotted with regularly spaced windows. Forested land rises gently to a peak several kilometres back from the shore.
Tasmania's Port Arthur penal settlement is one of eleven UNESCO World Heritage-listed Australian Convict Sites.

A expansão do controle britânico sobre outras áreas do continente começou no início do século 19, inicialmente confinada às regiões costeiras. Um assentamento foi estabelecido na Terra de Van Diemen (atual Tasmânia ) em 1803, e tornou-se uma colônia separada em 1825. [77] Em 1813, Gregory Blaxland , William Lawson e William Wentworth cruzaram as Montanhas Azuis a oeste de Sydney , abrindo o interior ao assentamento europeu. [78] A reivindicação britânica foi estendida a todo o continente australiano em 1827, quando o major Edmund Lockyer estabeleceu um assentamento em King George Sound(moderna Albany ). [79] A colônia do rio Swan (atual Perth ) foi estabelecida em 1829, evoluindo para a maior colônia australiana em área, a Austrália Ocidental . [80] De acordo com o crescimento populacional, colônias separadas foram escavadas em partes de Nova Gales do Sul: Austrália do Sul em 1836, Nova Zelândia em 1841, Victoria em 1851 e Queensland em 1859. [81] O Território do Norte foi extirpado do Sul da Austrália em 1911. [82] South Australia foi fundada como uma "província livre" - nunca foi uma colônia penal.[83] A Austrália Ocidental também foi fundada "livre", mas mais tarde aceitou condenados transportados , o último dos quais chegou em 1868, décadas após o transporte ter cessado para as outras colônias. [84] Em meados do século 19, exploradores como Burke e Wills foram mais para o interior para determinar seu potencial agrícola e responder a questões científicas. [85]

Uma série de corridas do ouro começando no início da década de 1850 levou a um influxo de novos migrantes da China , América do Norte e Europa continental , [86] e também estimulou surtos de bushranging e agitação civil; o último atingiu o pico em 1854, quando os mineiros de Ballarat lançaram a Rebelião Eureka contra as taxas de licença de ouro. [87] Entre 1855 e 1890, as seis colônias ganharam individualmente um governo responsável , administrando a maior parte de seus próprios assuntos enquanto permaneciam parte do Império Britânico . [88]O Colonial Office em Londres reteve o controle de alguns assuntos, notadamente relações exteriores [89] e defesa. [90]

Nacionalidade

Photo of an ANZAC memorial with an elderly man playing the bugle. Rows of people are seated behind the memorial. Many small white crosses with red poppies have been stuck into the lawn in rows on either side of the memorial.
The Last Post é tocado em uma cerimônia do Anzac Day em Port Melbourne , Victoria. Cerimônias semelhantes são realizadas em muitos subúrbios e cidades.

Em 1 de janeiro de 1901, a federação das colônias foi alcançada após uma década de planejamento, consulta e votação. [91] Após a Conferência Imperial de 1907 , a Austrália e as outras colônias britânicas autônomas receberam o status de " domínio " dentro do Império Britânico. [92] [93] O Território da Capital Federal (mais tarde renomeado para Território da Capital da Austrália ) foi formado em 1911 como o local para a futura capital federal de Canberra. Melbourne foi a sede temporária do governo de 1901 a 1927 enquanto Canberra estava sendo construída. [94] The Northern Territory was transferred from the control of the South Australian government to the federal parliament in 1911.[95] Australia became the colonial ruler of the Territory of Papua (which had initially been annexed by Queensland in 1883[96]) in 1902 and of the Territory of New Guinea (formerly German New Guinea) in 1920. The two were unified as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1949 and gained independence from Australia in 1975.[97][98][99]

Em 1914, a Austrália se juntou a Grã-Bretanha na luta contra a Primeira Guerra Mundial, com o apoio de ambos a saída do Partido Liberal Commonwealth ea entrada Partido Trabalhista Australiano . [100] [101] Os australianos participaram de muitas das principais batalhas travadas na Frente Ocidental . [102] Dos cerca de 416.000 que serviram, cerca de 60.000 foram mortos e outros 152.000 ficaram feridos. [103] Muitos australianos consideram a derrota do Corpo do Exército da Austrália e da Nova Zelândia (ANZACs) em Gallipoli como o nascimento da nação - sua primeira grande ação militar. [104] [105] A campanha Kokoda Tracké considerado por muitos como um evento análogo de definição de nação durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. [106]

O Estatuto de Westminster de 1931 da Grã-Bretanha encerrou formalmente a maioria dos vínculos constitucionais entre a Austrália e o Reino Unido . A Austrália o adotou em 1942, [107] mas foi datado de 1939 para confirmar a validade da legislação aprovada pelo Parlamento australiano durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial . [108] [109] O choque da derrota da Grã-Bretanha na Ásia em 1942, seguido logo depois pelo bombardeio de Darwin e outros ataques japoneses , levou a uma crença generalizada na Austrália de que uma invasão era iminente e uma mudança em direção aos Estados Unidos como um novo aliadoe protetor. [110] Desde 1951, a Austrália tem sido um aliado militar formal dos Estados Unidos , sob o tratado ANZUS . [111]

Após a Segunda Guerra Mundial, a Austrália incentivou a imigração da Europa continental . Desde a década de 1970 e após a abolição da política da Austrália Branca , a imigração da Ásia e de outros lugares também foi promovida. [112] Como resultado, a demografia, cultura e autoimagem da Austrália foram transformadas. [113] O Australia Act 1986 cortou os laços constitucionais restantes entre a Austrália e o Reino Unido. [114] Em um referendo de 1999 , 55% dos eleitores e uma maioria em todos os estados rejeitaram a proposta de se tornar uma repúblicacom um presidente nomeado por uma votação de dois terços em ambas as Casas do Parlamento australiano. Tem havido um foco cada vez maior na política externa nos laços com outras nações da Orla do Pacífico , ao mesmo tempo em que mantém laços estreitos com os aliados e parceiros comerciais tradicionais da Austrália. [115]

Geografia e meio ambiente

Características gerais

Map showing the topography of Australia, showing some elevation in the west and very high elevation in mountains in the southeast
Mapa topográfico da Austrália. Verde escuro representa a elevação mais baixa e marrom escuro a mais alta

Surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans,[N 7] Australia is separated from Asia by the Arafura and Timor seas, with the Coral Sea lying off the Queensland coast, and the Tasman Sea lying between Australia and New Zealand. The world's smallest continent[117] and sixth largest country by total area,[118] Australia—owing to its size and isolation—is often dubbed the "island continent"[119] and is sometimes considered the world's largest island.[120]A Austrália tem 34.218 km (21.262 milhas) de costa (excluindo todas as ilhas offshore), [121] e reivindica uma extensa Zona Econômica Exclusiva de 8.148.250 quilômetros quadrados (3.146.060 milhas quadradas). Esta zona econômica exclusiva não inclui o Território Antártico Australiano . [122]

A Austrália continental fica entre as latitudes 9 ° e 44 ° sul e as longitudes 112 ° e 154 ° leste . [123] O tamanho da Austrália oferece uma grande variedade de paisagens, com florestas tropicais no nordeste, cadeias de montanhas no sudeste, sudoeste e leste, e deserto no centro. [124] O deserto ou terreno semi-árido comumente conhecido como outback constitui de longe a maior porção de terra. [125] A Austrália é o continente habitado mais seco; sua precipitação anual média sobre a área continental é inferior a 500 mm. [126] A densidade populacionaltem 3,2 habitantes por quilômetro quadrado, embora uma grande proporção da população viva ao longo da costa temperada do sudeste. [127]

Ilha Heron , uma ilhota de coral no sul da Grande Barreira de Corais

A Grande Barreira de Corais , o maior recife de coral do mundo, [128] fica a uma curta distância da costa nordeste e se estende por mais de 2.000 km (1.200 milhas). O Monte Augusto , considerado o maior monólito do mundo, [129] está localizado na Austrália Ocidental. Com 2.228 m (7.310 pés), o Monte Kosciuszko é a montanha mais alta do continente australiano. Ainda mais altos são Mawson Peak (em 2.745 m (9.006 pés)), no remoto território externo australiano da Ilha Heard e, no Território Antártico Australiano, Monte McClintock e Monte Menzies, a 3.492 m (11.457 pés) e 3.355 m (11.007 pés), respectivamente. [130]

A Austrália oriental é marcada pela Great Dividing Range , que corre paralela à costa de Queensland , New South Wales e grande parte de Victoria . O nome não é estritamente preciso, porque partes da cordilheira consistem em colinas baixas e as terras altas normalmente não têm mais de 1.600 m (5.200 pés) de altura. [131] As terras altas costeiras e um cinturão de pastagens Brigalow situam-se entre a costa e as montanhas, enquanto no interior da faixa de divisão estão grandes áreas de pastagens e arbustos. [131] [132] Estes incluem as planícies ocidentais de Nova Gales do Sul e Mitchell Grass Downse Terras Mulga do interior de Queensland. [133] [134] [135] [136] O ponto mais ao norte do continente é a tropical Península do Cabo York . [123]

Uluru na região semi-árida da Austrália Central

As paisagens do Top End e do Golfo Country - com seu clima tropical - incluem florestas, bosques , pântanos , pastagens , florestas tropicais e desertos . [137] [138] [139] No canto noroeste do continente estão os penhascos de arenito e desfiladeiros de Kimberley , e abaixo dele o Pilbara . A savana tropical de Victoria Plains fica ao sul das savanas Kimberly e Arnhem Land , formando uma transição entre as savanas costeiras e os desertos do interior. [140][141] [142] No coração do país estão as terras altas da Austrália central . As características proeminentes do centro e do sul incluem Uluru (também conhecido como Ayers Rock), o famoso monólito de arenito e os desertos interiores Simpson , Tirari e Sturt Stony , Gibson , Great Sandy, Tanami e Great Victoria , com a famosa planície de Nullarbor em a costa sul. [143] [144] [145] [146] Os arbustos de mulga da Austrália Ocidental situam-se entre os desertos do interior e o sudoeste da Austrália de clima mediterrâneo.[145] [147]

Geologia

Regiões geológicas básicas da Austrália, por idade.

Situada na placa indo-australiana , a Austrália continental é a massa de terra mais baixa e primordial da Terra, com uma história geológica relativamente estável. [148] [149] A massa de terra inclui virtualmente todos os tipos de rocha conhecidos e de todos os períodos geológicos abrangendo mais de 3,8 bilhões de anos da história da Terra . O Cráton Pilbara é uma das duas crostas arqueanas prístinas de 3,6–2,7 Ga (bilhões de anos atrás) identificadas na Terra. [150]

Tendo feito parte de todos os principais supercontinentes , o continente australiano começou a se formar após a divisão do Gondwana no Permiano , com a separação da massa continental do continente africano e do subcontinente indiano . Separou-se da Antártica por um período prolongado, começando no Permiano e continuando até o Cretáceo . [151] Quando o último período glacial terminou por volta de 10.000 aC, o aumento do nível do mar formou o estreito de Bass , separando a Tasmâniado continente. Então, entre cerca de 8.000 e 6.500 aC, as planícies do norte foram inundadas pelo mar, separando a Nova Guiné , as Ilhas Aru e o continente da Austrália. [152] O continente australiano está se movendo em direção à Eurásia a uma taxa de 6 a 7 centímetros por ano. [153]

A crosta continental do continente australiano , excluindo as margens estreitas, tem uma espessura média de 38  km, com uma faixa de espessura de 24 km a 59 km. [154] A geologia da Austrália pode ser dividida em várias seções principais, mostrando que o continente cresceu de oeste para leste: os escudos cratônicos arqueanos encontrados principalmente no oeste, cinturões de dobras proterozóicas no centro e bacias sedimentares fanerozóicas , rochas metamórficas e ígneas no leste. [155]

O continente australiano e a Tasmânia estão situados no meio da placa tectônica e não têm vulcões ativos, [156] mas devido à passagem sobre o hotspot da Austrália Oriental , vulcanismo recente ocorreu durante o Holoceno , na Província Vulcânica Mais Nova do oeste de Victoria e sudeste da Austrália do Sul. O vulcanismo também ocorre na ilha da Nova Guiné (considerada geologicamente como parte do continente australiano) e no território externo australiano da Ilha Heard e Ilhas McDonald . [157] A atividade sísmica no continente australiano e na Tasmânia também é baixa, com o maior número de fatalidades ocorrendo noTerremoto de 1989 em Newcastle . [158]

Clima

Tipos de clima Köppen da Austrália. [159]

O clima da Austrália é significativamente influenciado pelas correntes oceânicas, incluindo o Dipolo do Oceano Índico e o El Niño-Oscilação Sul , que está relacionado com secas periódicas , e o sistema de baixa pressão tropical sazonal que produz ciclones no norte da Austrália. [160] [161] Esses fatores fazem com que as chuvas variem acentuadamente de ano para ano. Grande parte da parte norte do país tem chuvas tropicais, predominantemente de verão ( monções ). [126] O canto sudoeste do país tem um clima mediterrâneo . [162] O sudeste varia deoceanic (Tasmania and coastal Victoria) to humid subtropical (upper half of New South Wales), with the highlands featuring alpine and subpolar oceanic climates. The interior is arid to semi-arid.[126]

Driven by climate change, average temperatures have risen more than 1°C since 1960. Associated changes in rainfall patterns and climate extremes exacerbate existing issues such as drought and bushfires. 2019 was Australia's warmest recorded year,[163] and the 2019–2020 bushfire season was the country's worst on record.[164] Australia's greenhouse gas emissions per capita are among the highest in the world.[165]

As restrições de água são freqüentemente aplicadas em muitas regiões e cidades da Austrália em resposta à escassez crônica devido ao aumento da população urbana e secas localizadas. [166] [167] Em grande parte do continente, grandes inundações ocorrem regularmente após longos períodos de seca, liberando sistemas fluviais internos, transbordando represas e inundando grandes planícies de inundação no interior, como ocorreu em todo o leste da Austrália no início de 2010 após a seca australiana de 2000 . [168]

Biodiversidade

A koala holding onto a eucalyptus tree with its head turned so both eyes are visible
O coala e o eucalipto formam um icônico par australiano.

Embora a maior parte da Austrália seja semi-árida ou desértica, o continente inclui uma grande variedade de habitats, desde charnecas alpinas a florestas tropicais . Os fungos tipificam essa diversidade - cerca de 250.000 espécies - das quais apenas 5% foram descritas - ocorrem na Austrália. [169] Devido à grande idade do continente, aos padrões climáticos extremamente variáveis ​​e ao isolamento geográfico de longo prazo, grande parte da biota da Austrália é única. Cerca de 85% das plantas com flores, 84% dos mamíferos, mais de 45% das aves e 89% dos peixes costeiros de zonas temperadas são endêmicas . [170] A Austrália tem pelo menos 755 espécies de répteis, mais do que qualquer outro país do mundo. [171] Besides Antarctica, Australia is the only continent that developed without feline species. Feral cats may have been introduced in the 17th century by Dutch shipwrecks, and later in the 18th century by European settlers. They are now considered a major factor in the decline and extinction of many vulnerable and endangered native species.[172] Australia is also one of 17 megadiverse countries.[173]

As florestas australianas são compostas principalmente por espécies perenes, particularmente árvores de eucalipto nas regiões menos áridas; wattles os substituem como espécies dominantes em regiões mais secas e desertos. [174] Entre os animais australianos bem conhecidos estão os monotremados (o ornitorrinco e a equidna ); uma hoste de marsupiais , incluindo o canguru , o coala e o wombat , e pássaros como o emu e o kookaburra . [174] A Austrália é o lar de muitos animais perigosos including some of the most venomous snakes in the world.[175] The dingo was introduced by Austronesian people who traded with Indigenous Australians around 3000 BCE.[176] Many animal and plant species became extinct soon after first human settlement,[177] including the Australian megafauna; others have disappeared since European settlement, among them the thylacine.[178][179]

Many of Australia's ecoregions, and the species within those regions, are threatened by human activities and introduced animal, chromistan, fungal and plant species.[180] All these factors have led to Australia's having the highest mammal extinction rate of any country in the world.[181] The federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the legal framework for the protection of threatened species.[182] Numerous protected areas have been created under the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity to protect and preserve unique ecosystems;[183][184] 65 wetlands are listed under the Ramsar Convention,[185] and 16 natural World Heritage Sites have been established.[186] Australia was ranked 21st out of 178 countries in the world on the 2018 Environmental Performance Index.[187] There are more than 1,800 animals and plants on Australia's threatened species list, including more than 500 animals.[188]

Government and politics

Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia
David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia
Scott Morrison , Primeiro Ministro da Austrália

A Austrália é uma monarquia constitucional parlamentar federal . [189] O país manteve um sistema político democrático liberal estável sob sua constituição , que é uma das mais antigas do mundo , desde a Federação em 1901. É também uma das federações mais antigas do mundo , na qual o poder é dividido entre o federal e o estadual e governos territoriais . O sistema de governo australiano combina elementos derivados dos sistemas políticos do Reino Unido (um executivo fundido , monarquia constitucional and strong party discipline) and the United States (federalism, a written constitution and strong bicameralism with an elected upper house), along with distinctive indigenous features.[190][191]

The federal government is separated into three branches:[192]

Elizabeth II reigns as Queen of Australia and is represented in Australia by the governor-general at the federal level and by the governors at the state level, who by convention act on the advice of her ministers.[194][195] Thus, in practice the governor-general acts as a legal figurehead for the actions of the prime minister and the Federal Executive Council. The governor-general does have extraordinary reserve powers which may be exercised outside the prime minister's request in rare and limited circumstances, the most notable exercise of which was the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in the crise constitucional de 1975 . [196]

No Senado (câmara alta), há 76 senadores: doze de cada um dos estados e dois de cada um dos territórios do continente (o Território da Capital da Austrália e o Território do Norte). [197] A Câmara dos Representantes (a câmara baixa) tem 151 membros eleitos em divisões eleitorais de um único membro , comumente conhecidas como "eleitorados" ou "cadeiras", alocadas aos estados com base na população, [198] com cada estado original garantido um mínimo de cinco lugares. [199] Elections for both chambers are normally held every three years simultaneously; senators have overlapping six-year terms except for those from the territories, whose terms are not fixed but are tied to the electoral cycle for the lower house; thus only 40 of the 76 places in the Senate are put to each election unless the cycle is interrupted by a double dissolution.[197]

O sistema eleitoral australiano usa o voto preferencial para todas as eleições da câmara baixa, com exceção da Tasmânia e do ACT, que, junto com o Senado e a maioria das câmaras altas estaduais, combina-o com a representação proporcional em um sistema conhecido como voto único transferível . A votação é obrigatória para todos os cidadãos inscritos com 18 anos ou mais em todas as jurisdições, [200] assim como a inscrição. [201] The party with majority support in the House of Representatives forms the government and its leader becomes Prime Minister. In cases where no party has majority support, the Governor-General has the constitutional power to appoint the Prime Minister and, if necessary, dismiss one that has lost the confidence of Parliament.[202] Due to the relatively unique position of Australia operating as a Westminster Parliamentary democracy with an elected upper house, the system has sometimes been referred to as having a "Washminster mutation",[203] or as a Semi-parliamentary system.[204]

Existem dois grupos políticos principais que geralmente formam o governo, federal e nos estados: o Partido Trabalhista Australiano e a Coalizão, que é um agrupamento formal do Partido Liberal e seu parceiro menor, o Partido Nacional . [205] [206] O Partido Liberal Nacional e o Partido Liberal do país são ramos estaduais fundidos em Queensland e no Território do Norte que funcionam como partidos separados em nível federal. [207] Dentro da cultura política australiana, a Coalizão é considerada centro-direita e o Partido Trabalhista é considerado centro-esquerda . [208]Membros independentes e vários partidos menores conseguiram representação nos parlamentos australianos, principalmente nas câmaras altas. Os verdes australianos são frequentemente considerados a "terceira força" na política, sendo o terceiro maior partido em votos e membros. [209] [210]

A eleição federal mais recente foi realizada em 18 de maio de 2019 e resultou na coalizão, liderada pelo primeiro-ministro Scott Morrison , mantendo o governo . [211]

Estados e territórios

Um mapa dos estados e territórios da Austrália

A Austrália tem seis estados - Nova Gales do Sul (NSW), Queensland (QLD), Austrália do Sul (SA), Tasmânia (TAS), Victoria (VIC) e Austrália Ocidental (WA) - e dois territórios principais do continente - o Território da Capital da Austrália ( ACT) e o Território do Norte (NT). Na maioria dos aspectos, esses dois territórios funcionam como estados, exceto que o Parlamento da Commonwealth tem o poder de modificar ou revogar qualquer legislação aprovada pelos parlamentos do território. [212]

De acordo com a constituição, os estados têm essencialmente poder legislativo plenário para legislar sobre qualquer assunto, enquanto o Parlamento da Commonwealth (federal) pode legislar apenas dentro das áreas temáticas enumeradas na seção 51 . Por exemplo, os parlamentos estaduais têm o poder de legislar com respeito à educação, direito penal e polícia estadual, saúde, transporte e governo local, mas o Parlamento da Commonwealth não tem nenhum poder específico para legislar nessas áreas. [213] No entanto, as leis da Commonwealth prevalecem sobre as leis estaduais na medida da inconsistência. [214]

Each state and major mainland territory has its own parliamentunicameral in the Northern Territory, the ACT and Queensland, and bicameral in the other states. The states are sovereign entities, although subject to certain powers of the Commonwealth as defined by the Constitution. The lower houses are known as the Legislative Assembly (the House of Assembly in South Australia and Tasmania); the upper houses are known as the Legislative Council. The head of the government in each state is the Premier and in each territory the Chief Minister. The Queen is represented in each state by a governor; and in the Northern Territory, the administrator.[215] In the Commonwealth, the Queen's representative is the governor-general.[216]

The Commonwealth Parliament also directly administers the external territories of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, and the claimed region of Australian Antarctic Territory, as well as the internal Jervis Bay Territory, a naval base and sea port for the national capital in land that was formerly part of New South Wales.[193] The external territory of Norfolk Island previously exercised considerable autonomy under the Norfolk Island Act 1979 through its own legislative assembly and an Administrator to represent the Queen.[217] In 2015, the Commonwealth Parliament abolished self-government, integrating Norfolk Island into the Australian tax and welfare systems and replacing its legislative assembly with a council.[218] Macquarie Island is part of Tasmania,[219] and Lord Howe Island of New South Wales.[220]

Foreign relations

Over recent decades, Australia's foreign relations have been driven by a close association with the United States through the ANZUS pact, and by a desire to develop relationships with Asia and the Pacific, particularly through Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Pacific Islands Forum and the Pacific Community, of which Australia is a founding member. In 2005, Australia secured an inaugural seat at the East Asia Summit following its accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and in 2011 attended the Sixth East Asia Summit in Indonesia. Australia is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, in which the Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings provide the main forum for co-operation.[221] Australia has pursued the cause of international trade liberalisation.[222] It led the formation of the Cairns Group and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.[223][224]

Australia is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO),[225][226] and has pursued several major bilateral free trade agreements, most recently the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement[227] and Closer Economic Relations with New Zealand,[228] with another free trade agreement being negotiated with China — the Australia–China Free Trade Agreement — and Japan,[229] South Korea in 2011,[230][231] Australia–Chile Free Trade Agreement, and as of November 2015 has put the Trans-Pacific Partnership before parliament for ratification.[232]

Australia maintains a deeply integrated relationship with neighbouring New Zealand, with free mobility of citizens between the two countries under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement and free trade under the Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement.[233] New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom are the most favourably viewed countries in the world by Australian people.[234][235]

Along with New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore, Australia is party to the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a regional defence agreement. A founding member country of the United Nations, Australia is strongly committed to multilateralism[236] and maintains an international aid program under which some 60 countries receive assistance. The 2005–2006 budget provides AU$2.5 billion for development assistance.[237] Australia ranks fifteenth overall in the Center for Global Development's 2012 Commitment to Development Index.[238]

Military

Colour photograph of people wearing military uniforms standing in lines during a formal parade
Australian soldiers deployed to Iraq in 2017.

Australia's armed forces—the Australian Defence Force (ADF) — comprise the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), the Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), in total numbering 81,214 personnel (including 57,982 regulars and 23,232 reservists) as of November 2015. The titular role of Commander-in-Chief is vested in the Governor-General, who appoints a Chief of the Defence Force from one of the armed services on the advice of the government.[239] In a diarchy, the CDF serves as co-chairman of the Defence Committee, conjointly with the Secretary of Defence, in the command and control of the Australian Defence Organisation.[240]

In the 2016–2017 budget, defence spending comprised 2% of GDP, representing the world's 12th largest defence budget.[241] Australia has been involved in United Nations and regional peacekeeping, disaster relief and armed conflict, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq; Australia currently has deployed about 2,241 personnel in varying capacities to 12 international operations in areas including Iraq and Afghanistan.[242]

Economy

A wealthy country, Australia has a market economy, a high GDP per capita, and a relatively low rate of poverty. In terms of average wealth, Australia ranked second in the world after Switzerland from 2013 until 2018.[243] In 2018, Australia overtook Switzerland and became the country with the highest average wealth.[243] Australia's relative poverty rate is 13.6%.[244] It was identified by the Credit Suisse Research Institute as the nation with the highest median wealth in the world and the second-highest average wealth per adult in 2013.[245]

The Australian dollar is the currency for the nation, including Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. With the 2006 merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange, the Australian Securities Exchange became the ninth largest in the world.[246]

Australian energy resources and major export ports map

Ranked fifth in the Index of Economic Freedom (2017),[247] Australia is the world's 13th largest economy and has the tenth highest per capita GDP (nominal) at US$55,692.[248] The country was ranked third in the United Nations 2017 Human Development Index.[249] Melbourne reached top spot for the fourth year in a row on The Economist's 2014 list of the world's most liveable cities,[250] followed by Adelaide, Sydney, and Perth in the fifth, seventh, and ninth places respectively. Total government debt in Australia is about A$190 billion[251]—20% of GDP in 2010.[252] Australia has among the highest house prices and some of the highest household debt levels in the world.[253]

An emphasis on exporting commodities rather than manufactured goods has underpinned a significant increase in Australia's terms of trade since the start of the 21st century, due to rising commodity prices. Australia has a balance of payments that is more than 7% of GDP negative, and has had persistently large current account deficits for more than 50 years.[254] Australia has grown at an average annual rate of 3.6% for over 15 years, in comparison to the OECD annual average of 2.5%.[254]

Australia was the only advanced economy not to experience a recession due to the global financial downturn in 2008–2009.[255] However, the economies of six of Australia's major trading partners were in recession, which in turn affected Australia, significantly hampering its economic growth.[256][257] From 2012 to early 2013, Australia's national economy grew, but some non-mining states and Australia's non-mining economy experienced a recession.[258][259][260]

Buildings and equipment of a large mining operation
The Boddington Gold Mine in Western Australia is the nation's largest open cut mine.[261]

The Hawke Government floated the Australian dollar in 1983 and partially deregulated the financial system.[262] The Howard Government followed with a partial deregulation of the labour market and the further privatisation of state-owned businesses, most notably in the telecommunications industry.[263] The indirect tax system was substantially changed in July 2000 with the introduction of a 10% Goods and Services Tax (GST).[264] In Australia's tax system, personal and company income tax are the main sources of government revenue.[265]

As of June 2021, there were 13,154,200 people employed (either full-time or part-time), with an unemployment rate of 4.9%.[266] Data released in mid-November 2013 showed that the number of welfare recipients had grown by 55%. In 2007 228,621 Newstart unemployment allowance recipients were registered, a total that increased to 646,414 in March 2013.[267] According to the Graduate Careers Survey, full-time employment for newly qualified professionals from various occupations has declined since 2011 but it increases for graduates three years after graduation.[268][269]

As of 2020 interest rates in Australia were set at a record low of 0.1%, targeting an inflation rate of 2 to 3%.[270] The service sector of the economy, including tourism, education, and financial services, accounts for about 70% of GDP.[271] Rich in natural resources, Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, particularly wheat and wool, minerals such as iron-ore and gold, and energy in the forms of liquified natural gas and coal. Although agriculture and natural resources account for only 3% and 5% of GDP respectively, they contribute substantially to export performance. Australia's largest export markets are Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and New Zealand.[272] Australia is the world's fourth largest exporter of wine, and the wine industry contributes A$5.5 billion per year to the nation's economy.[273]

Access to biocapacity in Australia is much higher than world average. In 2016, Australia had 12.3 global hectares[274] of biocapacity per person within its territory, much more than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person.[275] In 2016 Australia used 6.6 global hectares of biocapacity per person – their ecological footprint of consumption. This means they use half as much biocapacity as Australia contains. As a result, Australia is running a biocapacity reserve.[274]

In 2020 the Australian Council of Social Service released a report stating that relative poverty was growing in Australia, with an estimated 3.2 million people, or 13.6% of the population, living below an internationally accepted relative poverty threshold of 50% of a country's median income. It also estimated that there were 774,000 (17.7%) children under the age of 15 in relative poverty.[276][277]

Demographics

A beach populated by people; a city can be seen in the horizon
Australia has one of the world's most highly urbanised populations with the majority living in metropolitan cities on the coast, such as Gold Coast, Queensland.

Australia has an average population density of 3.4 persons per square kilometre of total land area, which makes it one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The population is heavily concentrated on the east coast, and in particular in the south-eastern region between South East Queensland to the north-east and Adelaide to the south-west.[278]

Australia is highly urbanised, with 67% of the population living in the Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (metropolitan areas of the state and mainland territorial capital cities) in 2018.[279] Metropolitan areas with more than one million inhabitants are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.[280]

In common with many other developed countries, Australia is experiencing a demographic shift towards an older population, with more retirees and fewer people of working age. In 2018 the average age of the Australian population was 38.8 years.[281] In 2015, 2.15% of the Australian population lived overseas, one of the lowest proportions worldwide.[282]

Ancestry and immigration

Country of birth (2020)[284]
Birthplace[N 8] Population
England 980,360
India 721,050
Mainland China 650,640
New Zealand 564,840
Philippines 310,050
Vietnam 270,340
South Africa 200,240
Italy 177,840
Malaysia 177,460
Sri Lanka 146,950
Scotland 132,590
Nepal 131,830
South Korea 111,530
Germany 111,030
United States 110,160
Hong Kong 104,760
Greece 103,710
Total Australian-born 18,043,310
Total foreign-born 7,653,990

Between 1788 and the Second World War, the vast majority of settlers and immigrants came from the British Isles (principally England, Ireland and Scotland), although there was significant immigration from China and Germany during the 19th century. In the decades immediately following the Second World War, Australia received a large wave of immigration from across Europe, with many more immigrants arriving from Southern and Eastern Europe than in previous decades. Since the end of the White Australia policy in 1973, Australia has pursued an official policy of multiculturalism,[285] and there has been a large and continuing wave of immigration from across the world, with Asia being the largest source of immigrants in the 21st century.[286]

Today, Australia has the world's eighth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 30% of the population, the highest proportion among major Western nations.[28][287] 160,323 permanent immigrants were admitted to Australia in 2018–2019 (excluding refugees),[286] whilst there was a net population gain of 239,600 people from all permanent and temporary immigration in that year.[288] The majority of immigrants are skilled,[286] but the immigration program includes categories for family members and refugees.[288] In 2020, the largest foreign-born populations were those born in England (3.8%), India (2.8%), Mainland China (2.5%), New Zealand (2.2%), the Philippines (1.2%) and Vietnam (1.1%).[289]

In the 2016 Australian census, the most commonly nominated ancestries were:[N 9][290][291]

At the 2016 census, 649,171 people (2.8% of the total population) identified as being IndigenousAboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders.[N 12][293] Indigenous Australians experience higher than average rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education, and life expectancies for males and females that are, respectively, 11 and 17 years lower than those of non-indigenous Australians.[272][294][295] Some remote Indigenous communities have been described as having "failed state"-like conditions.[296]

Language

Although Australia has no official language, English is the de facto national language.[2] Australian English is a major variety of the language with a distinctive accent and lexicon,[297] and differs slightly from other varieties of English in grammar and spelling.[298] General Australian serves as the standard dialect.[299]

According to the 2016 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for 72.7% of the population. The next most common languages spoken at home are Mandarin (2.5%), Arabic (1.4%), Cantonese (1.2%), Vietnamese (1.2%) and Italian (1.2%).[290] Over 250 Indigenous Australian languages are thought to have existed at the time of first European contact,[300] of which fewer than twenty are still in daily use by all age groups.[301][302] About 110 others are spoken exclusively by older people.[302] At the time of the 2006 census, 52,000 Indigenous Australians, representing 12% of the Indigenous population, reported that they spoke an Indigenous language at home.[303] Australia has a sign language known as Auslan, which is the main language of about 10,112 deaf people who reported that they spoke Auslan language at home in the 2016 census.[304]

Religion

Religion in Australia (2016)[305]
Religion Percent
Christianity (total)
52.1%
Catholic
22.6%
—Other Christian
16.3%
Anglican
13.3%
Islam
2.6%
Buddhism
2.4%
Hinduism
1.9%
Sikhism
0.5%
Judaism
0.4%
Other
0.4%
No religion
30.1%
Undefined or not stated
9.7%

Australia has no state religion; Section 116 of the Australian Constitution prohibits the federal government from making any law to establish any religion, impose any religious observance, or prohibit the free exercise of any religion.[306] In the 2016 census, 52.1% of Australians were counted as Christian, including 22.6% as Catholic and 13.3% as Anglican; 30.1% of the population reported having "no religion"; 8.2% identify with non-Christian religions, the largest of these being Islam (2.6%), followed by Buddhism (2.4%), Hinduism (1.9%), Sikhism (0.5%) and Judaism (0.4%). The remaining 9.7% of the population did not provide an adequate answer. Those who reported having no religion increased conspicuously from 19% in 2006 to 22% in 2011 to 30.1% in 2016.[305]

Before European settlement, the animist beliefs of Australia's indigenous people had been practised for many thousands of years. Mainland Aboriginal Australians' spirituality is known as the Dreaming and it places a heavy emphasis on belonging to the land. The collection of stories that it contains shaped Aboriginal law and customs. Aboriginal art, story and dance continue to draw on these spiritual traditions. The spirituality and customs of Torres Strait Islanders, who inhabit the islands between Australia and New Guinea, reflected their Melanesian origins and dependence on the sea. The 1996 Australian census counted more than 7000 respondents as followers of a traditional Aboriginal religion.[307]

Since the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in 1788, Christianity has become the major religion practised in Australia. Christian churches have played an integral role in the development of education, health and welfare services in Australia. For much of Australian history, the Church of England (now known as the Anglican Church of Australia) was the largest religious denomination, with a large Roman Catholic minority. However, multicultural immigration has contributed to a steep decline in its relative position since the Second World War. Similarly, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism have all grown in Australia over the past half-century.[308]

Australia has one of the lowest levels of religious adherence in the world.[309] In 2018, 13% of women and 10% of men reported attending church at least weekly.[310]

Health

Australia's life expectancy is the fourth highest in the world for males and the third highest for females.[311] Life expectancy in Australia in 2014–2016 was 80.4 years for males and 84.6 years for females.[312] Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world,[313] while cigarette smoking is the largest preventable cause of death and disease, responsible for 7.8% of the total mortality and disease. Ranked second in preventable causes is hypertension at 7.6%, with obesity third at 7.5%.[314][315] Australia ranks 35th in the world[316] and near the top of developed nations for its proportion of obese adults[317] and nearly two thirds (63%) of its adult population is either overweight or obese.[318]

Total expenditure on health (including private sector spending) is around 9.8% of GDP.[319] Australia introduced universal health care in 1975.[320] Known as Medicare, it is now nominally funded by an income tax surcharge known as the Medicare levy, currently at 2%.[321] The states manage hospitals and attached outpatient services, while the Commonwealth funds the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (subsidising the costs of medicines) and general practice.[320]

Education

Five Australian universities rank in the top 50 of the QS World University Rankings, including the Australian National University (19th).[322]

School attendance, or registration for home schooling,[323] is compulsory throughout Australia. Education is the responsibility of the individual states and territories[324] so the rules vary between states, but in general children are required to attend school from the age of about 5 until about 16.[325][326] In some states (e.g., Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales), children aged 16–17 are required to either attend school or participate in vocational training, such as an apprenticeship.[327][328][329][330]

Australia has an adult literacy rate that was estimated to be 99% in 2003.[331] However, a 2011–2012 report for the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that Tasmania has a literacy and numeracy rate of only 50%.[332]

Australia has 37 government-funded universities and three private universities, as well as a number of other specialist institutions that provide approved courses at the higher education level.[333] The OECD places Australia among the most expensive nations to attend university.[334] There is a state-based system of vocational training, known as TAFE, and many trades conduct apprenticeships for training new tradespeople.[335] About 58% of Australians aged from 25 to 64 have vocational or tertiary qualifications,[272] and the tertiary graduation rate of 49% is the highest among OECD countries. 30.9% of Australia's population has attained a higher education qualification, which is among the highest percentages in the world.[336][337][338]

Australia has the highest ratio of international students per head of population in the world by a large margin, with 812,000 international students enrolled in the nation's universities and vocational institutions in 2019.[339][340] Accordingly, in 2019, international students represented on average 26.7% of the student bodies of Australian universities. International education therefore represents one of the country's largest exports and has a pronounced influence on the country's demographics, with a significant proportion of international students remaining in Australia after graduation on various skill and employment visas.[341]

Infrastructure

Energy

In 2003, Australia's energy sources were coal (58.4%), hydropower (19.1%), natural gas (13.5%), liquid/gas fossil fuel-switching plants (5.4%), oil (2.9%), and other renewable resources like wind power, solar energy, and bioenergy (0.7%).[342] During the 21st century, Australia has been trending to generate more energy using renewable resources and less energy using fossil fuels. In 2020, Australia used coal for 62% of all energy (3.6% increase compared to 2013), wind power for 9.9% (9.5% increase), natural gas for 9.9% (3.6% decrease), solar power for 9.9% (9.8% increase), hydropower for 6.4% (12.7% decrease), bioenergy for 1.4% (1.2% increase), and other sources like oil and waste coal mine gas for 0.5%.[343][344]

In August 2009, Australia's government set a goal to achieve 20% of all energy in the country from renewable sources by 2020.[345] They achieved this goal, as renewable resources accounted for 27.7% of Australia's energy in 2020.[343]

Culture

Ornate white building with an elevated dome in the middle, fronted by a golden fountain and orange flowers
The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne was the first building in Australia to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.[346]

Since 1788, the primary influence behind Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture, with some Indigenous influences.[347][348] The divergence and evolution that has occurred in the ensuing centuries has resulted in a distinctive Australian culture.[349][350] The culture of the United States has served as a significant influence, particularly through television and cinema. Other cultural influences come from neighbouring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking nations.[351]

Arts

Australia has over 100,000 Aboriginal rock art sites,[352] and traditional designs, patterns and stories infuse contemporary Indigenous Australian art, "the last great art movement of the 20th century" according to critic Robert Hughes;[353] its exponents include Emily Kame Kngwarreye.[354] Early colonial artists showed a fascination with the unfamiliar land.[355] The impressionistic works of Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and other members of the 19th-century Heidelberg School—the first "distinctively Australian" movement in Western art—gave expression to nationalist sentiments in the lead-up to Federation.[355] While the school remained influential into the 1900s, modernists such as Margaret Preston, and, later, Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd, explored new artistic trends.[355] The landscape remained a central subject matter for Fred Williams, Brett Whiteley and other post-war artists whose works, eclectic in style yet uniquely Australian, moved between the figurative and the abstract.[355][356] The national and state galleries maintain collections of local and international art.[357] Australia has one of the world's highest attendances of art galleries and museums per head of population.[358]

Sidney Nolan's Snake mural (1970), held at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, is inspired by the Aboriginal creation myth of the Rainbow Serpent, as well as desert flowers in bloom after a drought.[359]

Australian literature grew slowly in the decades following European settlement though Indigenous oral traditions, many of which have since been recorded in writing, are much older.[360] In the 1870s, Adam Lindsay Gordon posthumously became the first Australian poet to attain a wide readership. Following in his footsteps, Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson captured the experience of the bush using a distinctive Australian vocabulary.[361] Their works are still popular; Paterson's bush poem "Waltzing Matilda" (1895) is regarded as Australia's unofficial national anthem.[362] Miles Franklin is the namesake of Australia's most prestigious literary prize, awarded annually to the best novel about Australian life.[363] Its first recipient, Patrick White, went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973.[364] Australian Booker Prize winners include Peter Carey, Thomas Keneally and Richard Flanagan.[365] Authors David Malouf, Germaine Greer, Helen Garner, playwright David Williamson and poet Les Murray are also renowned.[366][367]

Many of Australia's performing arts companies receive funding through the federal government's Australia Council.[368] There is a symphony orchestra in each state,[369] and a national opera company, Opera Australia,[370] well known for its famous soprano Joan Sutherland.[371] At the beginning of the 20th century, Nellie Melba was one of the world's leading opera singers.[372] Ballet and dance are represented by The Australian Ballet and various state companies. Each state has a publicly funded theatre company.[373]

Media

Actor playing the bushranger Ned Kelly in The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world's first feature-length narrative film

The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), the world's first feature-length narrative film, spurred a boom in Australian cinema during the silent film era.[374] After World War I, Hollywood monopolised the industry,[375] and by the 1960s Australian film production had effectively ceased.[376] With the benefit of government support, the Australian New Wave of the 1970s brought provocative and successful films, many exploring themes of national identity, such as Wake in Fright and Gallipoli,[377] while Crocodile Dundee and the Ozploitation movement's Mad Max series became international blockbusters.[378] In a film market flooded with foreign content, Australian films delivered a 7.7% share of the local box office in 2015.[379] The AACTAs are Australia's premier film and television awards, and notable Academy Award winners from Australia include Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett and Heath Ledger.[380]

Australia has two public broadcasters (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the multicultural Special Broadcasting Service), three commercial television networks, several pay-TV services,[381] and numerous public, non-profit television and radio stations. Each major city has at least one daily newspaper,[381] and there are two national daily newspapers, The Australian and The Australian Financial Review.[381] In 2020, Reporters Without Borders placed Australia 25th on a list of 180 countries ranked by press freedom, behind New Zealand (8th) but ahead of the United Kingdom (33rd) and United States (44th).[382] This relatively low ranking is primarily because of the limited diversity of commercial media ownership in Australia;[383] most print media are under the control of News Corporation and Nine Entertainment Co.[384]

Cuisine

The meringue-based pavlova is generally eaten at Christmas time.

Most Indigenous Australian groups subsisted on a simple hunter-gatherer diet of native fauna and flora, otherwise called bush tucker.[385] The first settlers introduced British food to the continent, much of which is now considered typical Australian food, such as the Sunday roast.[386][387] Multicultural immigration transformed Australian cuisine; post-World War II European migrants, particularly from the Mediterranean, helped to build a thriving Australian coffee culture, and the influence of Asian cultures has led to Australian variants of their staple foods, such as the Chinese-inspired dim sim and Chiko Roll.[388] Vegemite, pavlova, lamingtons and meat pies are regarded as iconic Australian foods.[389]

Australian wine is produced mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country.[390] Australia is also known for its cafe and coffee culture in urban centres, which has influenced coffee culture abroad, including New York City.[391] Australia was responsible for the flat white coffee–purported to have originated in a Sydney cafe in the mid-1980s.[392]

Sport and recreation

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is strongly associated with the history and development of cricket and Australian rules football, Australia's two most popular spectator sports.[393]

Cricket and football are the predominate sports in Australia during the summer and winter months, respectively. Australia is unique in that it has professional leagues for four football codes. Originating in Melbourne in the 1850s, Australian rules football is the most popular code in all states except New South Wales and Queensland, where rugby league holds sway, followed by rugby union; the imaginary border separating areas where Australian rules football dominates from those were the two rugby codes prevail is known as the Barassi Line.[394] Soccer, while ranked fourth in popularity and resources, has the highest overall participation rates.[395] Cricket is popular across all borders and has been regarded by many Australians as the national sport. The Australian national cricket team competed against England in the first Test match (1877) and the first One Day International (1971), and against New Zealand in the first Twenty20 International (2004), winning all three games. It has also participated in every edition of the Cricket World Cup, winning the tournament a record five times.[396]

Australia is also notable for water-based sports, such as swimming and surfing.[397] The surf lifesaving movement originated in Australia, and the volunteer lifesaver is one of the country's icons.[398] Nationally, other popular sports include horse racing, basketball, and motor racing. The annual Melbourne Cup horse race and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race attract intense interest.[399] In 2016, the Australian Sports Commission revealed that swimming, cycling and soccer are the three most popular participation sports.[400][401]

Australia is one of five nations to have participated in every Summer Olympics of the modern era,[402] and has hosted the Games twice: 1956 in Melbourne and 2000 in Sydney.[403] It is also set to host the 2032 Games in Brisbane.[404] Australia has also participated in every Commonwealth Games,[405] hosting the event in 1938, 1962, 1982, 2006 and 2018.[406] Australia made its inaugural appearance at the Pacific Games in 2015. As well as being a regular FIFA World Cup participant, Australia has won the OFC Nations Cup four times and the AFC Asian Cup once—the only country to have won championships in two different FIFA confederations.[407] In June 2020, Australia won its bid to co-host the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup with New Zealand.[408][409] The country regularly competes among the world elite basketball teams as it is among the global top three teams in terms of qualifications to the Basketball Tournament at the Summer Olympics. Other major international events held in Australia include the Australian Open tennis grand slam tournament, international cricket matches, and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. The highest-rating television programs include sports telecasts such as the Summer Olympics, FIFA World Cup, The Ashes, Rugby League State of Origin, and the grand finals of the National Rugby League and Australian Football League.[410] Skiing in Australia began in the 1860s and snow sports take place in the Australian Alps and parts of Tasmania.[411]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Australia's royal anthem is "God Save the Queen", played in the presence of a member of the Royal family when they are in Australia. In other contexts, the national anthem of Australia, "Advance Australia Fair", is played.[1]
  2. ^ English does not have de jure status.[2]
  3. ^ Religion was an optional question on the Census, so percentages for individual religions do not add up to 100%[3]
  4. ^ a b There are minor variations from three basic time zones; see Time in Australia.
  5. ^ The earliest recorded use of the word Australia in English was in 1625 in "A note of Australia del Espíritu Santo, written by Sir Richard Hakluyt", published by Samuel Purchas in Hakluytus Posthumus, a corruption of the original Spanish name "Austrialia del Espíritu Santo" (Southern Land of the Holy Spirit)[34][35][36] for an island in Vanuatu.[37] The Dutch adjectival form australische was used in a Dutch book in Batavia (Jakarta) in 1638, to refer to the newly discovered lands to the south.[38]
  6. ^ For instance, the 1814 work A Voyage to Terra Australis
  7. ^ Australia describes the body of water south of its mainland as the Southern Ocean, rather than the Indian Ocean as defined by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). In 2000, a vote of IHO member nations defined the term "Southern Ocean" as applying only to the waters between Antarctica and 60° south latitude.[116]
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ As a percentage of 21,769,209 persons who nominated their ancestry at the 2016 census. The Australian Census collects information on ancestry, but not on race or ethnicity.
  10. ^ The Australian Bureau of Statistics has stated that most who nominate "Australian" as their ancestry are part of the Anglo-Celtic group.[292]
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.

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Bibliography

Further reading

  • Denoon, Donald, et al. (2000). A History of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-17962-3.
  • Goad, Philip and Julie Willis (eds.) (2011). The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture. Port Melbourne, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-88857-8.
  • Hughes, Robert (1986). The Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia's Founding. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-50668-5.
  • Powell, J.M. (1988). An Historical Geography of Modern Australia: The Restive Fringe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-25619-4
  • Robinson, G.M., Loughran, R.J., and Tranter, P.J. (2000). Australia and New Zealand: Economy, Society and Environment. London: Arnold; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-340-72033-6 paperback, ISBN 0-340-72032-8 hardback.
  • Brett, Judith (2019). From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting. Text Publishing Co. ISBN 978-1-925603-84-2.

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