Queensland

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Queensland,

state (1991 pop. 2,477,152), 667,000 sq mi (1,727,200 sq km), NE Australia. BrisbaneBrisbane
, city (1991 pop. 1,145,537), capital of Queensland, E Australia, on the Brisbane River above its mouth on Moreton Bay. Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and an administrative, commercial, industrial, and cultural center.
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 is the capital; other important cities are Gold CoastGold Coast,
city (1991 pop. 256,275), Queensland, E Australia, on the Pacific Ocean. The city, a major resort, stretches for many miles along the coast and extends into New South Wales.
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, ToowoombaToowoomba
, city (1991 pop. 75,990), Queensland, E Australia, in the Eastern Highlands, at the edge of the Darling Downs, c.2000 ft (610 m) above sea level. The city is an agricultural market center with food-processing and farm-machinery industries in addition to engineering
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, TownsvilleTownsville,
city (1991 pop. 101,398), NE Queensland, Australia, on Cleveland Bay. It is a major port. Wool, hides, meat, copper, and sugar are the chief exports. Copper and sugar refining, meat and fish packing and freezing, and cement making are other industries.
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, RockhamptonRockhampton,
city (1991 pop. 55,768), Queensland, E Australia, on the Fitzroy River. It is a rail center and, with its port at Port Alma, the principal trade center for the pastoral and mining regions of central Queensland.
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, CairnsCairns,
city (1991 pop. 64,463), Queensland, NE Australia, on Trinity Bay. It is a principal sugar port of Australia; lumber and other agricultural products are also exported. The city's proximity to the Great Barrier Reef has made it a tourist center.
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, and Ipswich. Queensland is bounded on the NE and E by the Coral Sea and the Pacific Ocean and on the NW by the Gulf of Carpentaria and Torres Strait. The state comprises the entire northeastern part of the Australian continent, with the major part of its coastline sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef. Roughly half the state is in the tropical zone, with rain forests on Cape York Peninsula in the extreme north. Annual rainfall ranges from 5 in. (13 cm) in the southwestern desert area to 160 in. (406 cm) in parts of the northeast coast.

The Great Dividing Range separates the fertile coastal strip from vast interior plains. The Great Artesian Basin (376,000 sq mi/973,840 sq km) in the interior provides water for a large livestock-raising area. Queensland produces sugarcane (the chief crop), cotton, wheat (grown mostly on the Darling Downs), and tropical fruits. In addition, the state is Australia's leading producer of beef.

Mining is also important, especially copper, coal, lead, zinc, and bauxite. Oil and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s and are being exploited. Manufacturing has gained importance in the last 30 years, as has tourism. The Great Barrier Reef, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast are extremely popular attractions.

Almost half of Queensland's people live in the Brisbane metropolitan area. In 1994 the state decided to amalgamate three cities with their shires; Gold Coast, Cairns, and Ipswich were merged with Albert Shire, Mulgrave Shire, and Moreton Shire, respectively, making Gold Coast Australia's second largest municipality after Brisbane.

In 1770, Capt. James Cook explored the coast of Queensland (then called Moreton Bay). Originally under the authority of New South Wales, Queensland served as a penal colony from 1824 to 1843. The area was separated from New South Wales and made a British colony in 1859. Queensland was federated as a state of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The state government consists of a governor (the nominal chief executive), who is appointed by the British crown on advice of the cabinet; a premier and a cabinet; and a unicameral legislature (the upper house voted itself out of existence in 1922).

Queensland

 

a state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Queensland occupies the northeastern section of the continent and adjacent islands in the Pacific Ocean, in the Torres Strait, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Area, 1,727,500 sq km; population, 1,848,600 (1972), with approximately 80 percent in urban areas. The capital is the city of Brisbane.

The eastern half of Queensland is occupied by the northern part of the Great Dividing Range (with elevations to 1,611 m) and the western half by a low-lying plain. Northern Queensland has a subequatorial climate and the southern part, a tropical climate. Average monthly temperatures descend from north to south, from 25° to 20°C in summer (January) and from 25° to 15°C in winter (July). On the eastern mountain slopes and the coastal lowland, precipitation measures 2,000 mm per year and up to 2,500 mm in some places. The tropical and subtropical forests that once covered the mountains have in some places been cut down and burned to make way for pasture. Savannas and deserts are typical of the western section of Queensland.

Somewhat more than 2 percent of the land in the state is cultivated. Most of the land, especially the pasture, belongs to large capitalist farms. Livestock raising is the main agricultural branch of industry. Queensland has 32.4 percent of Australia’s population of meat and dairy cattle (7.9 million head in 1971), 8.3 percent of the sheep (14.8 million), and 19.2 percent of the swine (500,000); it produces approximately 8.6 percent of the wool clip (unwashed), 19 percent of the meat, 9.2 percent of the butter, and 9.9 percent of the cheese. On the coastal plains and seaward mountain slopes are plantings of sugarcane (95 percent of all Australia’s sugarcane) and tropical fruit (pineapple, bananas, papayas, mangoes, and others). On the western mountain slopes and in the Darling River valley are crops of wheat and corn, often in combination with dairy farms.

The mining industry has been developed in Queensland; in 1971 the state was first in the country in copper mining (approximately three-fourths of all copper mining; Mount Isa and Mount Morgan) and bauxite mining (approximately two-thirds of all bauxite mining; Cape York Peninsula); second in zinc and lead (Mount Isa), rutile and zircon (coastal sands), coal (Bowen, Blaff, and elsewhere), and tungsten mining; and third in gold mining and petroleum and natural gas extraction (near Roma, from where they are transported by pipeline to Brisbane). Uranium (Mary Kathleen), tin (Herberton), and iron ore are also mined. The machine-building, chemical, food, and other industries are located in Queensland. The key industrial centers are Brisbane, Gladstone, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, and Cairns. In the town of Mount Isa is a blister copper smelting plant.

V. W. ANDREEVA

Queensland

a state of NE Australia: fringed on the Pacific side by the Great Barrier Reef; the Great Dividing Range lies in the east, separating the coastal lowlands from the dry Great Artesian Basin in the south. Capital: Brisbane. Pop.: 3 840 111 (2003 est.). Area: 1 727 500 sq. km (667 000 sq. miles)
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