Australia and Oceania

Australia and Oceania

State organization of Australia

Australia is a federal parliamentary monarchy within the Commonwealth. The head of state is the Queen of England. The state of Australia comprises 6 states and two territories, each with its own administration.

Population distribution and development

With a population density of around 2.5 residents / km², Australia is one of the countries with the lowest population density. The population is very unevenly distributed across the continent. 85% of all residents live in cities, especially in those in the east and south-east, which are part of the country’s largest metropolitan area (Fig. 8).

A total of nine tenths of Australians live on just 3% of the area. The largest city is Sydney according to oxfordastronomy.

Almost all of the western and central parts of the continent are very sparsely populated or not at all. Between 1990 and 1996 the population grew by around 1.2% per year. The natural growth was much lower, however, since a not inconsiderable number of immigrants, especially from Great Britain and New Zealand, had a clearly positive effect on the growth rate. The Australians are 95% of European origin or are their descendants. Three quarters of all Australians have British or Irish ancestors. Since the termination of the “White Australia Policy” in 1973, Australia has again been a stronger immigration country. The proportion of immigrants from Asian countries has increased in recent decades, particularly from China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The indigenous people – Aborigines

The native people of Australia are the Aborigines. With the occupation and settlement of the continent by Great Britain, a history of suffering that lasted over 200 years began for the Aborigines. The British settlers declared Australia “terra nullius”, “land that does not belong to anyone”, despite the fact that the Australian Aborigines had lived here for at least 50,000 years. In search of agriculturally usable areas, the Europeans ruthlessly destroyed the traditional way of life of the indigenous people. Many tribes were either wiped out with weapons or introduced epidemics , or they were forcibly placed on reservations and committed to work on farms. Children were separated from their mothers as early as infancy in order to raise them “white” in white families or reform homes. Even today, many tribes are critically endangered: it was not until the 1960’s that the Australian aborigines won their recognition as Australian citizens and the right to vote.

The almost 466,000 Australian natives are today, with a population of around 1.5%, the minority and “underclass” in the affluent state of Australia. Despite formal legal equality, they still have little say in the matter, and in court they are still subject to separate jurisdiction. In addition, unemployment, a low level of education, low life expectancy and alcoholism often determine their everyday lives.

Nevertheless, after many Aborigines have denied their origins for fear of discrimination, more and more Australian natives are beginning to acknowledge their origins and to revive their traditions and their language.

Agriculture

The settlement of Australia began with the establishment of a penal colony in 1788. The aim and idea of ​​the Europeans was to create an agricultural state based on the English model, which was largely independent of the mother country. However, the country’s unfavorable climatic conditions soon set clear limits to agriculture. Nevertheless, agriculture was and is the country’s most important industry. Today it is highly mechanized and uses around 65% of the country’s area.

The main branch is sheep and cattle breeding, as the lack of water and, above all, the irregularity of rainfall, place narrow limits on agriculture.

Only 4% of the area can be used for intensive irrigation farming. Cultivated products are wheat, sugar cane, cotton, barley and rye. A quarter of export income is still covered by agricultural products such as wheat, sheep’s wool (around a quarter of world production), beef, sugar and dairy products. Overall, however, agriculture is losing its economic importance.

Mining and industry

Australia is extraordinarily rich in natural resources. The mining sector is therefore becoming increasingly important in economic terms.

Australia is a leading producer and exporter of coal, petroleum, natural gas, uranium, nickel, iron ore, bauxite, gold, copper, nickel and tin. Mining accounts for a third of exports with its products. Around half of Australian raw material exports go to the Japanese market.

Australia has a diverse industry which includes almost all traditional branches of industry: including iron and steel production, vehicle and mechanical engineering, the food industry, as well as the chemical and electrical industry. The country realizes a large part of its export revenues with their products. The main trading partners are Japan, the EU countries, the USA and New Zealand (Fig. 10).

History

1770: JAMES COOK takes possession of the east coast of Australia for Great Britain.

1788: Establishment of the first British penal colony in what is now Sydney.

until 1890: founding of further British colonies.

1901: All colonies are amalgamated into one state, the British Empire Commonwealth of Australia.

1914–1918: Support of England in the First World War.

1939–1945: Australia fights on the side of the Allies mainly against Japan.

1967: Aboriginal civil rights

1986: “Australian Act” – The British Queen loses the last legal ties between the Australian Federation and Great Britain.

1993: “Native Title” – Aborigines receive limited rights to their land.

1999: The referendum on the abolition of the monarchy in favor of a republic fails.

Australia and Oceania