Australia Real Estate
Information about Australia
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania, and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia has six states and two major mainland territories. There are also lesser territories that are under the administration of the federal government. The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional democr...acy based on a federal division of powers. The form of government used in Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government.
Because of the continent's great age, its extremely variable weather patterns, and its long-term geographic isolation, much of Australia's biota is unique and diverse. Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country. Most Australian woody plant species are evergreen and many are adapted to fire and drought, including many eucalyptus and acacias.
Australia is one of the most laissez-faire capitalist economies, according to indices of economic freedom. Australia's per capita GDP is slightly higher than that of the UK, Germany, and France in terms of purchasing power parity. The country was ranked third in the United Nations 2007 Human Development Index, first in Legatum's 2008 Prosperity Index, and sixth in The Economist worldwide Quality-of-Life Index for 2005.
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest Australian city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II. As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the National Library of Australia. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra.
Sydney is the largest city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of approximately 4.34 million (2008 estimate). It is the state capital of New South Wales, and was the site of the first British colony in Australia. Situated on an inlet of the Tasman Sea, Sydney is built on low hills surrounding Port Jackson. It was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet from Britain. A resident of the city is referred to colloquially as a Sydneysider. Sydney is situated on Australia's south-east coast. The city is built around Port Jackson, which includes Sydney Harbour, leading to the city's nickname, "the Harbour City". The city is home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and its beaches. The metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and contains many bays, rivers and inlets. Sydney is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the Loughborough University group's 2008 inventory and ranked 16th among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2008 Global Cities Index. The main airport serving Sydney is Kingsford Smith International Airport, commonly referred to as Sydney Airport. Sydney is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, which reflects its role as a major destination for immigrants to Australia. Sydney ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting and The Economist.
Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the State of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne city centre is the anchor of the larger geographic region and statistical division known as the Greater Melbourne metropolitan area—of which Melbourne is the common name. In 2008, it had a population of approximately 3.9 million. Melbourne was named after the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, William Lamb in 1837; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the reigns of both King William IV and Queen Victoria. It is located on the lower reaches of the Yarra River and on the northern and eastern shorelines of Port Phillip, extending into their hinterland. Upon the Federation of Australia in 1901, Melbourne served as the seat of government of the newly founded Commonwealth of Australia until 1927 while the new nation's capital of Canberra was being built. Melbourne is a centre for arts, commerce, education, industry, sports and tourism. Since 2002, it has been consistently ranked among the World's Most Livable Cities by The Economist. In 2008, it was also recognised as a beta world city+ in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University. The city is notable for its distinct blend of Victorian and contemporary architecture, expansive parks and gardens and multicultural society. It is also home to the World’s largest tram network. It is recognised as Australia's 'cultural and sporting capital' and is home to some of the nation’s most significant cultural and sporting institutions.[ In 2007, it was also ranked in the top five university cities in the Global University Cities Index by RMIT, and was classified as a City of Literature by UNESCO in 2008.
Brisbane is the state capital of the Australian state of Queensland and is the largest city in that state. With an estimated population of approximately 2 million, it is also the third most populous city in Australia. The city is situated on the Brisbane River on a low-lying floodplain between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Queensland. The local indigenous people knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning 'place shaped as a spike'. Brisbane is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. Brisbane's demonym is a Brisbanite. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the Brisbane central business district, in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859. At a municipal level, the city is governed by the Brisbane City Council. In 1925, the City of Brisbane Act was passed by the Queensland Government, abolishing 20 local government authorities in the city and forming the largest local authority in Australia, with a population of over a million. The city played a central role in the Allied campaign during World War II as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur. More recently, Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo '88 and the 2001 Goodwill Games. In 2008, Brisbane was classified as a gamma world city+ in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University.
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. With a population of 1,650,000 (2009), Perth ranks fourth amongst the nation's cities, with a growth rate consistently above the national average. Perth was founded on 12 June 1829 by Captain James Stirling as the political centre of the free settler Swan River Colony. It has continued to serve as the seat of Government for Western Australia to the present day. Its port, Fremantle is a city in its own right and slightly older than Perth. The metropolitan area is located in the south west of the continent between the Indian Ocean and a low coastal escarpment known as the Darling Range. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated on the Swan River. Perth is tied for 5th place in The Economist's 2009 list of the World's Most Livable Cities. Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Lights" as city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated its feat as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998.
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