Western Australia

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Western Australia,

state (1991 pop. 1,409,965), 975,920 sq mi (2,527,633 sq km), Australia, comprising the entire western part of the continent. It is bounded on the N, W, and S by the Indian Ocean. PerthPerth,
city (1991 pop. 1,018,702), capital of Western Australia, SW Australia, on the Swan River estuary. Fremantle is Perth's port. Perth is a communications and transportation center and the state's financial, commercial, and cultural hub.
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 is the capital. Other important cities are KalgoorlieKalgoorlie
, town (1991 pop. 25,016), Western Australia, SW Australia. It is the chief mining town of the state and the center of the East Coolgardie Goldfield. Gold was found at nearby Coolgardie in 1892; nickel is also mined.
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, a gold-mining center; FremantleFremantle
, city (1996 pop. 24,276), Western Australia, SW Australia, a suburb of Perth, on the Indian Ocean at the mouth of the Swan River. It is the terminus of the Trans-Australian RR and the chief commercial port of the state.
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, the chief port; and Bunbury, a port S of Perth. Western Australia is the largest state of the commonwealth, but only its southwest corner is fertile and substantially settled; the rest is arid and scarcely habitable. Half the population lives in the Perth metropolitan area. Western Australia's population of Australian aboriginesAustralian aborigines,
native people of Australia who probably first came from somewhere in Asia more than 40,000 years ago. Genetic evidence also suggests that c.4,000 years there was an additional migration of people who were related to the inhabitants of modern India.
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 numbers about 25,000. State-owned goldfields cover much of Western Australia, and there is a vast central desert. The King Leopold, Hamersley, and Stirling ranges are actually high plateaus. The large lakes in the interior are usually dry, and the northern rivers (the Fortescue, Fitzroy, and Ashburton) are intermittent; the only important river is the Swan in the southwest. The climate is tropical in the north and temperate in the southwest.

Agriculture is confined primarily to the southwest and around Perth. About one half of the cultivated land is in wheat. Sheep graze in the north and southwest, and wool is a major product. Meat, dairy products, and timber are also important. The mining of iron, gold, and bauxite has played a major role in the state's economy for many years. Industry expanded significantly during the 1960s; industrial metals, machinery, and transportation equipment are the main manufactures.

Dirck Hartog, a Dutchman who arrived in 1616, was the first European known to have visited the coast. A penal colony was founded at Albany in 1826, and the first free settlement was established in the Perth-Fremantle area in 1829. During the 1850s, Britain sent some 10,000 convicts to aid the settlers, most of whom had migrated from E Australia. In the 1860s the first livestock farmers arrived in the northwest. Gold was discovered in the 1880s. Governed at first by New South Wales, Western Australia received its own governor in 1831 and a full constitution as a separate colony in 1890. In 1901 it became a state of the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia. The state government consists of a premier, a cabinet, and a bicameral parliament. The nominal chief executive is the governor, appointed by the British crown on advice of the cabinet.

Western Australia

 

a state in the western part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Area, 2,527,600 sq km. Population, 1,144,400 (1969). Administrative center, Perth.

Most of the surface consists of a plateau 400-500 m in elevation, a considerable part of which is occupied by deserts (the Gibson, Great Sandy, and Great Victoria deserts) with scrub growth and numerous salt lakes; the north is a savanna. In the west and northwest there are mountain ranges and massifs with elevations of up to 1,226 m (the Hamersley Range).

The principal branch of the economy is sheep raising for wool. In 1969, Western Australia had 33.4 million head of sheep (18 percent of the country’s total) which yielded 136,300 tons of shorn wool (17 percent of the shorn wool in Australia for 1967-68), and 1.6 million head of cattle. Some 3.6 million hectares of land are under cultivation, primarily in the southwestern region. The principal agricultural crops are wheat, barley, and oats. Vineyards, orchards, and gardens have been developed in the southwest. In the northwestern part of the state, in the Ord River valley, there is a new region of irrigated agriculture (cotton, rice, and sugarcane); the Ord Diversion Weir was built near Kununurra (capacity, 98.6 billion cu m). Near the port of Derby a hydroelectric power plant is under construction (1972) with a capacity of 150,000-200,000 kilowatts; it will utilize the energy of the tides.

The most developed branch of industry is mining. There is large-scale mining of gold (Kalgoorlie, Wiluna) and especially iron ore (the Pilbara deposits, as well as those on Cockatoo Island and Koolan Island in Yampi Sound). American and Japanese capital played an important role in the development of iron-ore mining. The ore is processed at metallurgical plants in the southeastern area, but most of it is exported to Japan. Nickel (at Kambalda) and bauxite (in the Darling Range) are mined. Petroleum is extracted on Barrow Island, and brown coal and anthracite are mined near the city of Collie.

The processing industry, which began to develop rapidly during World War II and especially in the postwar period, is represented by ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy; machine building; petroleum refining; chemical, food, and wood processing; and sawmilling.

Western Australia’s principal industrial centers are Perth, Fremantle, Kwinana, and Kalgoorlie. The chief seaport is Fremantle-Kwinana.

V. M. ANDREEVA

Western Australia

a state of W Australia: mostly an arid undulating plateau, with the Great Sandy Desert, Gibson Desert, and Great Victoria Desert in the interior; settlement concentrated in the southwest; rich mineral resources. Capital: Perth. Pop.: 1 969 046 (2003 est.). Area: 2 527 636 sq. km (975 920 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
Other organisations presenting subject matter include the Western Australian Department of Health, the Western Australian Department of Environmental Regulation, Edith Cowan University, the Western Australian Department of Environmental Regulation, Cancer Council, Curtin University and WorkSafe along with many more.
With two thirds of its reserves located in three basins off the Western Australian coast, Perth, Western Australia's capital city is the ideal host of the most prestigious triennial LNG conference the 18th 'International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas' (LNG18).
Those of us who had the privilege to work with him will best remember him as a fierce, passionate and untiring advocate for history--in particular, Western Australian history--and an inspiring, kind and encouraging teacher and colleague.
Since the Western Australian Government's decision, Toro was advised by the Minister's office and Department on more than one occasion that it required no further information from Toro.
Outside of medicine he was a keen sailor, campaigning his yacht Corsair in offshore races in Western Australian waters before having Ben Lexcen design him the Sydney Hobart winner Rampage.
Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) rules dictate a player cannot appear for the Warriors while serving a grade suspension but Swart is hopeful Cricket Australia will give him clearance to play for an international side, even if he is found guilty and suspended.
The dive surveys, conducted by CSIRO in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the Western Australian Marine Science Institution, have so far documented 47 species of sharks and rays.
Australian airline Qantas reported today that it is increasing capacity on services between Perth and the Western Australian destinations of Karratha, Paraburdoo and Port Hedland later this month.
The author pinpoints isolation as having 'fed a number of Western Australian attitudes and stereotypes'.
Griffin Energy, a Western Australian diversified energy supplier, is partnering with OPT to further expand its balanced generation portfolio, which currently includes plans for coal, gas and wind power.
The High Court of Australia struck down the anti-betting exchange laws enacted by the Western Australian government in late 2006.

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