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Australia Web Directory

Australia also commonly known as the Commonwealth of Australia is located towards the southern hemisphere. It consists of the Australian mainland, Tasmania which is an island and several small islands located both in the Indian and Pacific Ocean.

Australia is the 6th largest country globally. It shares boundaries with East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Zealand and New Caledonia.Australia has an estimated population of 22,712,253 according to 2012 estimates and covers a landmass of 7,617,390 square kilometers on the Indo-Australian plate.

It is the smallest continent in the world and owing to its isolation and size is dubbed the "island continent". Mount Kosciuzko located on the Great Dividing Range is the highest mountain on the Australian mainland.

The Mawson Peak at 2,745 meters located on the remote Australian territory of Heard Island is among the highest mountains in Australia.

Australia is made up of grassland, woodland and desert. Australian climate is highly influenced by ocean currents including the Indian Ocean and El Nino Southern Oscillation. These factors influence the amount of rainfall each year.

Northern Australia is dominated by tropical climate while the southern region has a Mediterranean climate.Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for close to 40,000 years ago before Europeans came to settle on the land.

After being discovered by Dutch in 1606 a sizable chunk of the country was claimed by Great Britain in 1770. As the explorers continued to explore the continent five additional Crown colonies were founded. In January 1901all the 6 colonies merged to form the commonwealth of Australia.

The federation consists of 6 states and a number of territories. It is a highly developed country being the 13th among the large economies in the world apart from being 6th globally per capita income. The country ranks highly in many international aspects such as health, economic freedom, quality of life, political and civil rights.

The Statue of Westminster 1931 officially ended many of the constitutional links between the UK and Australia. After the humiliating defeat of the United Kingdom in Asia by 1942, Australia turned to the US for protection fearing Japanese invasion. Since 1951 the country has been a close military ally of the US under the ANZU treaty.

Once the White Australian policy was abolished in the 1970s immigration from Asia and other countries were encouraged which radically changed the culture, demography and image of the country.

Australia is run by a constitutional monarch with federal division of powers. It has a parliamentary system of government headed by Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia. Her role in the country is distinct from her position as the Commonwealth realms monarch. The Queen is represented by viceroys since she resides in the United Kingdom acting on the advice of her ministers.

The Constitution of Australia reigns supreme but the power to exercise it is conferred to the Governor-General.

Australia's federal government has 3 main branches: The executive (this Consists of Federal Council, in practice the Governor-General who is advised by the Prime Minister and Minister of State), Judiciary (Consists of the High Court of Australia as well as lower federal courts) Legislature Parliament defined by the constitution in section 1 as comprising of Queen who is represented by Governor General, senate and House of Representatives.