Australian Administrative division
Australia is divided into six states and two territories. The six states have far-reaching internal self-government with their own legislative assemblies and governments, but with some historically contested differences. The two territories are directly governed by the federal government, but the Northern Territory has gradually gained self-government.
|Area (km 2)||Population||Capital|
|New South Wales||801 600||7 617 700||Sydney|
|Queensland||1 700 000||4 778 800||Brisbane|
|South Australia||984 400||1 698 700||Adelaide|
|Tasmania||67 800||516 600||Hobart|
|Western Australia||2 500 000||2 590 300||Perth|
|Victoria||227 600||5 937 500||Melbourne|
|Australian Capital Territory||2 432||390 700||Canberra|
|Jervis Bay Territory||5.6||400|
|Northern Territory||1 300 000||244 300||Darwin|
|Australian Antarctic Territory||6 200 000||–|
|Christmas Island||135||2 200|
|Heard and McDonald Islands||860||–|
|Norfolk Island||36||2 200||Kingston|
Australia is the world’s sixth largest country and has a population that is almost exclusively on the outskirts of the country. See a full list of Australian countries from Countryaah. Long traffic routes are required to link the different parts of the country. It is also a country that has a large export of heavy raw materials, and therefore transport routes that can withstand heavy loads and large and deep ports are needed.
When the transport networks were built during the 19th century, the continent consisted of a number of independent colonies. Each colony was given its road and rail network, which was centered on its capital and lacked connection to the neighboring colonies. Railways connected agricultural areas and ore fields in the immediate hinterland with the port of each capital, and the railways in different colonies had different gauge.
Only in recent decades has the federal government allocated funds for a coherent rail network and now all million cities are connected to normal railways. The transcontinental railways also delayed. It was not until 1970 that the 435-mile Indian Pacific line was opened from Sydney via Adelaide to Perth. In 2004, the nearly 300-mile connection from Adelaide in the south via Alice Springs to Darwin in the north was completely clear. On both lines, two passenger trains a week go in each direction. These two railways are of the utmost importance for freight transport. In the densely populated metropolitan regions, there are well-developed commuter train networks. In some cities, parts of it go underground, but nowhere are separate subway systems.
Throughout the 20th century, the railways were disregarded while the road network was favored when the state and state funds were distributed. The settlement pattern in the inland means that there is no traveling documentation for public transport, and long car journeys are necessary in daily life. Even in the country’s densely populated parts, communities are planned for car traffic. Australia is the second most densely populated country in the United States (some small states not included) with 730 registered motor vehicles per 1,000 residents in 2011. The biggest is the car ownership in Western Australia.
Highway 1, a total of 14,500 km, is a continuous network of roads along the entire continent’s coast. It ties together all the state capitals except Hobart. The quality varies from high motorway standards in the metropolitan regions to a simple carriageway in the most remote areas. Australia has left traffic.
The very sparse and poor rail network in Australia led early on to trucks becoming the obvious means of transport for moving goods. For long-distance transport, giant heavy trucks with several trailers have become an effective solution. Particularly in the Northern Territories and in inner Queensland, a relatively dense network of roads has been constructed for these. In the metropolitan areas, such huge trucks cannot be used.
Ship transport is required for most of Australia’s foreign trade, and the rapidly growing trade has put a great deal of pressure on the ports and their capacity and efficiency. Between 1990 and 2010, the volume of goods handled there more than doubled, mainly as a result of increased exports of coal and ores and increased foreign trade in oil and oil products. Port Hedland near the iron ore fields in the Pilbar region in northwestern Australia is the world’s largest iron ore shipping port, and Port of Newcastle on the east coast is one of the world’s largest coal export ports. Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest port for other commodity categories and over it passed more than a third of the country’s entire container freight in 2011. Only a few percent of foreign trade goods are shipped on Australia-flagged vessels.
Quantas Airways has flights to some 40 countries and in particular intercontinental connections to North America, Asia, Europe and Africa. The subsidiary Jetstar Airways has low cost flights to countries in East and Southeast Asia and also domestic connections. Virgin Australia Airlines is the largest privately owned domestic airline. Such companies can now be wholly foreign-owned and examples of it are Singapore-owned low-cost carrier Tiger Airways. Regional airline companies include Regional Express (Rex) in the country’s southeast quarter and Skywest Airlines in the western half. Since the largest cities are far apart, the airline has hardly any competition from other means of travel between them in daily life. The number of domestic flights almost doubled during the decade up to 2008 and the increase has continued since then. The figures reflect that the contacts are gradually increasing between the different states.
The area consists of several small islands east of Queensland in eastern Australia. It was established as a separate administrative area in 1969. The main islands are Cato and Chilcott in the Coringa archipelago, as well as the Willis archipelago. The islands are uninhabited except for a meteorological station on the Willis Islands.
The area’s constitutional law does not give Australia administrative rights over the islands, but only control over the activities of those visiting the area. However, this situation may change as soon as possible oil deposits in the islands’ waters begin to be mined.
In 1997, the constitution was amended so that the Coral Islands now include the reefs of Elizabeth and Middletown, 160 km from the island of Lord Howe. The foxes are now considered part of the Australian Continental Shelf.
In 2004, Australia maintained a meteorological station on the island and claimed a 200 km fishing zone around it. There is no permanent population, but a team of 4 people working at the meteorological station.