New South Wales

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New South Wales,

state (2016 pop. 7,480,228), 309,443 sq mi (801,457 sq km), SE Australia. It is bounded on the E by the Pacific Ocean. SydneySydney,
city (2016 pop. 208,374, Greater Sydney 2016 pop. 4,823,991), capital of New South Wales, SE Australia, surrounding Port Jackson inlet on the Pacific Ocean. Sydney is Australia's largest metropolitan area, chief port, and main cultural and industrial center; roughly one
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 is the capital. The other principal urban centers are NewcastleNewcastle,
city (2016 pop. 155,411), New South Wales, SE Australia, on the Pacific Ocean. It is the center of one of the country's largest coal-mining areas and is a large port. Coal, wool, iron and steel, and wheat are exported.
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, Wagga WaggaWagga Wagga
, city (2016 pop. 62,385), New South Wales, SE Australia, on the Murrumbidgee River. It is the center of an agricultural district with food-processing and rubber-goods plants and foundries. Wagga Wagga is also the site of the main campus of Charles Sturt Univ.
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, LismoreLismore
, city (2016 pop. 43,135), New South Wales, E Australia, on the North Arm of the Richmond River. An important industrial city, Lismore is a leading producer of butter. Its port is Ballina.
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, WollongongWollongong
, city (2016 pop. 203,630), New South Wales, SE Australia. It is an important iron and steel center. There are other industries, including copper refining and textile and chemical manufacturing. Port Kembla, which was absorbed by Wollongong in 1947, is a major port.
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, and Broken HillBroken Hill,
city (2016 pop. 17,708), New South Wales, SE Australia, near the South Australia border. Since 1883 it has been a principal center of zinc and silver mining in Australia.
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. More than half the population live in the Sydney metropolitan area. New South Wales has a large aboriginal population; over 50% of the Australian aboriginesAustralian aborigines,
indigenous peoples of Australia. The first modern humans in Australia probably came from somewhere in Asia more than 40,000 years ago, most likely sometime between 55,000 and 100,000 years ago. Genetic evidence also suggests that c.
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 live in New South Wales and Queensland.

Located in the temperate zone, the state has a generally favorable climate. There are four main geographic regions: the coastal lowlands; the eastern highlands, culminating in Mt. Kosciuszko (7,310 ft/2,228 m), the highest peak of the Australian AlpsAustralian Alps,
chain of mountain ranges, SE Australia, in the state of Victoria and New South Wales, making up the southern part of the Eastern Highlands and forming the watershed between the Murray River system and streams flowing into the Tasman Sea.
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 and of the continent; the western slopes; and the western plains, which cover about two thirds of the state. The MurrayMurray,
principal and second-longest river of Australia, 1,609 mi (2,589 km) long, rising in the Australian Alps, SE New South Wales, and flowing westward to form the New South Wales–Victoria boundary.
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 River, which forms the greater part of the southern border, and its principal tributaries are important for the state's extensive irrigation systems.

New South Wales is economically the most important state in Australia. The Sydney-Newcastle-Wollongong area is Australia's greatest industrial region, with steel the principal product. Financial services and tourism are important, as is agriculture: wheat, wool, and meat are produced, and there is considerable dairy farming. Tropical fruits and sugarcane are grown in the northeast. The state's rich mineral resources include coal, gold, iron, copper, silver, lead, and zinc.

The coast of Queensland was explored in 1770 by Capt. James CookCook, James,
1728–79, English explorer and navigator. The son of a Yorkshire agricultural laborer, he had little formal education. After an apprenticeship to a firm of shipowners at Whitby, he joined (1755) the royal navy and surveyed the St.
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, who proclaimed British sovereignty over the east coast of Australia. Sydney, the first Australian settlement, was founded in 1788 as a prison farm. During the 1820s and 30s the character of New South Wales changed as the wool industry grew and the importation of convicts ceased. In the early 19th cent. the colony included TasmaniaTasmania
, island state (2016 pop. 509,965), 26,383 sq mi (68,332 sq km), SE Commonwealth of Australia. It is separated from Australia by the Bass Strait and lies 150 mi (240 km) south of the state of Victoria.
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, South AustraliaSouth Australia,
state (2016 pop. 1,676,653), 380,070 sq mi (984,381 sq km), S central Australia. It is bounded on the S by the Indian Ocean. Kangaroo Island and many smaller islands off the south coast are included in the state.
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, VictoriaVictoria
, state (2016 pop. 5,926,624), 87,884 sq mi (227,620 sq km), SE Australia. It is bounded on the S and E by the Indian Ocean, Bass Strait, and the Tasman Sea. Melbourne is the capital. Other important cities are Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo.
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, QueenslandQueensland,
state (2016 pop. 4,703,193), 667,000 sq mi (1,727,200 sq km), NE Australia. Brisbane is the capital; other important cities are Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns, and Ipswich.
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, the Northern TerritoryNorthern Territory,
territory (2016 pop. 228,833), 520,280 sq mi (1,347,525 sq km), N central Australia. It is bounded on the N by the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Darwin is the territorial capital.
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, and New ZealandNew Zealand
, island country (2015 est. pop. 4,615,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland.
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. These territories were separated and made colonies in their own right between 1825 and 1863.

In 1901, New South Wales was federated as a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Australian Capital TerritoryAustralian Capital Territory
(2016 pop. 396,857), 939 sq mi (2,432 sq km), SE Australia, an enclave within New South Wales, containing Canberra, capital of Australia. It was called the Federal Capital Territory until 1938.
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 (site of CanberraCanberra
, city (2016 pop. 395,790), capital of Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory, SE Australia. The Canberra urban agglomeration includes a small area in New South Wales.
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, the federal capital), an enclave in New South Wales, was ceded to the commonwealth in 1911. Jervis Bay, S of Sydney, became commonwealth territory in 1915 as a potential port for Canberra; it is no longer part of the capital territory. The nominal head of the state government is the governor; actual executive functions are exercised by the premier and cabinet, who are responsible to a bicameral state parliament.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

New South Wales


a state in the Australian Commonwealth, in the southeastern part of the country. It has an area of 801,400 sq km and a population of 4.6 million (1971), about 90 percent of which is urban. The capital is Sydney. Canberra, Australia’s capital, is also located in New South Wales.

Most of New South Wales occupies a plain drained by the Murray River and two of its tributaries, the Darling and the Murrumbidgee. In the east lie the Great Dividing Range and a narrow strip (20–40 km) of coastal lowland. In the northwest are the Main Barrier and Grey ranges. The coastal lowland has a moist, subtropical climate, with 1,200–1,500 mm of precipitation annually; the climate on the plain is drier and more continental, with up to 250 mm of precipitation a year. Average monthly temperatures range from 10°12°C to 22°–26°C. There is dry open woodland and semidesert shrub savanna on the plain in the northwestern part of the state. The coast and the eastern slopes of the mountains are covered by eucalyptus rain forests, and the western slopes by dry eucalyptus forests.

New South Wales is the most populous and economically developed state in Australia. It accounts for more than 56 percent of the country’s coal reserves and 73 percent of the coal production, primarily near the cities of Lithgow, Bulli, and Newcastle. In the west, in the Broken Hill area, there are large deposits of complex ores—lead, zinc, silver, and copper. In 1970 the state accounted for about 70 percent of Australia’s zinc production, more than 50 percent of the lead, more than 40 percent of the silver, and more than 60 percent of the rutile concentrates. Ferrous metallurgy (about 74 percent of the country’s pig iron production and 83 percent of the steel production), nonferrous metallurgy, machine building, chemical industry, and shipbuilding (the last concentrated mainly in the large coastal cities) are well developed.

Agriculture plays an important part in the economy. About 44 percent of the total planted area (5 million hectares) is under wheat, which is grown in the eastern part; the state accounts for 38 percent of Australia’s wheat yield. Oats, barley, and corn are also planted. Fruit and vegetable growing is common. Sugarcane is grown in the northeast, and cotton in the Namoi River basin. Pastures occupy a considerable area. Livestock is raised for milk and meat. New South Wales accounts for (1970) about 40 percent of the country’s total number of sheep, about 27 percent of the cattle (including 19 percent of the dairy cattle), and about 36 percent of the grease wool.

There is navigation on the Murray River. The chief seaports are Sydney, Newcastle, and Port Kembla.


New South Wales


one of the main coal basins of Australia, located in the eastern part of the state of New South Wales. The basin has an area of about 43,000 sq km.

The coal is associated with the Permian beds that make up the Newcastle geosyncline; these beds contain the Greta, Tomago, and Newcastle coal measures, which are composed of conglomerates, sandstones, aleurolites, argillites, and coal seams. The Greta coal measures in the Hunter Valley have two seams of the best coal in Australia, with thicknesses of 10 m and 4–7 m, respectively. The Tomago coal measures contain between five and seven seams of varying thickness; the Newcastle coal measures have at least 14 seams, one of which is 1.2–6 m thick and yields more than 75 percent of the annual coal production of the entire basin.

The coal contains an average of 2.5–3.3 percent moisture, 2–2.2 percent ash, less than 1 percent sulfur, 33.8 percent volatile substances, and 74 percent carbon (in dry coal). The heat of combustion is 25.1–30.6 megajoules/kg (6,000–7,300 kilocalories/kg). The coal in the basin is of high quality and is used to obtain coke and as an energy-producing fuel. The coal seams occur at the surface or at shallow depths, with the exception of those in the vicinity of Sydney, where the coal measures are found at depths of 500–850 m. The total geological coal reserves of the basin are 13.9 billion tons, and annual coal production is 35 million tons (1971).


Matveev, A. K. Ugol’nye mestorozhdeniia zarubezhnykh stran, vol. 2: Avstraliia; Okeaniia. Moscow, 1968.
Brown, D., K. Campbell, and C. Crook. Geologicheskoe razvitie Avstralii i Novoi Zelandii. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

New South Wales

a state of SE Australia: originally contained over half the continent, but was reduced by the formation of other states (1825--1911); consists of a narrow coastal plain, separated from extensive inland plains by the Great Dividing Range; the most populous state; mineral resources. Capital: Sydney. Pop.: 6 716 277 (2003 est.). Area: 801 428 sq. km (309 433 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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CHN, BA, MA, DN, University of Technology, Sydney, New South Wales

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