Western Australia

Western Australia[a] (abbreviated as WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, and the Southern Ocean to the south,[b] the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state, with a total land area of 2,529,875 square kilometres (976,790 sq mi), and the second-largest country subdivision in the world, surpassed only by Russia's Sakha Republic. The state has about 2.6 million inhabitants – around 11 percent of the national total – of whom the vast majority (92 per cent) live in the south-west corner, 79 per cent of the population living in the Perth area,[3] leaving the remainder of the state sparsely populated.

The first European visitor to Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The first European settlement of Western Australia occurred following the landing by Major Edmund Lockyer on 26 December 1826 of an expedition on behalf of the New South Wales colonial government.[4] He established a convict-supported military garrison at King George III Sound, at present-day Albany, and on 21 January 1827[4] formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown. This was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth.

York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia. Situated 97 kilometres (60 miles) east of Perth, it was settled on 16 September 1831.[5]

Western Australia achieved responsible government in 1890, and federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today its economy mainly relies on mining, agriculture, exports and tourism. The state produces 46 per cent of Australia's exports.[6] Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world.[7]

Western Australia
Flag of Western Australia Coat of arms of Western Australia
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nicknameThe Wildflower State; The Golden State
Map of Australia with Western Australia highlighted

Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates26°S 121°E / 26°S 121°ECoordinates: 26°S 121°E / 26°S 121°E
Capital cityPerth
DemonymWestern Australian, West Australian, Sandgroper (colloquial)
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
 • GovernorKim Beazley
 • PremierMark McGowan (Labor)
Australian state 
 • Established (as the Swan River Colony)2 May 1829
 • Responsible government21 October 1890
 • Federation1 January 1901
 • Australia Act3 March 1986
Area 
 • Total2,645,615 km² (1st)
1,021,478 sq mi
 • Land2,529,875 km²
976,790 sq mi
 • Water115,740 km² (4.37%)
44,687 sq mi
Population
(March 2018)[1]
 
 • Population2,591,900 (4th)
 • Density1.02/km² (7th)
2.6 /sq mi
Elevation 
 • Highest pointMount Meharry
1,249 m (4,098 ft)
Gross state product
(2014-15)
 
 • Product ($m)$214,230[2] (4th)
 • Product per capita$82,140 (1st)
Time zone(s)UTC+8 (AWST)
(most of state)
UTC+8:45 (ACWST)
(around Eucla)
Federal representation 
 • House seats16/150
 • Senate seats12/76
Abbreviations 
 • PostalWA
 • ISO 3166-2AU-WA
Emblems 
 • FloralRed-and-green or Mangles kangaroo paw
(Anigozanthos manglesii)
 • AnimalNumbat
(Myrmecobius fasciatus)
 • BirdBlack swan
(Cygnus atratus)
 • FishWhale shark
 • FossilGogo fish
(Mcnamaraspis kaprios)
 • ColoursBlack and gold
Websitewww.wa.gov.au

Geography

Western Australia is bounded to the east by longitude 129°E, the meridian 129 degrees east of Greenwich, which defines the border with South Australia and the Northern Territory, and bounded by the Indian Ocean to the west and north. The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean; in Australia it is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean.[b][8][9]

The total length of the state's eastern border is 1,862 km (1,157 mi).[10] There are 20,781 km (12,913 mi) of coastline, including 7,892 km (4,904 mi) of island coastline.[11] The total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2 (970 thousand sq mi).[12]

Natural history

Geology

The bulk of Western Australia consists of the extremely old Yilgarn craton and Pilbara craton which merged with the Deccan Plateau of India, Madagascar and the Karoo and Zimbabwe cratons of Southern Africa, in the Archean Eon to form Ur, one of the oldest supercontinents on Earth (3 – 3.2  billion years ago). In May 2017, evidence of the earliest known life on land may have been found in 3.48-billion-year-old geyserite and other related mineral deposits (often found around hot springs and geysers) uncovered in the Pilbara craton.[13][14]

Because the only mountain-building since then has been of the Stirling Range with the rifting from Antarctica, the land is extremely eroded and ancient, with no part of the state above 1,245 metres (4,085 ft) AHD (at Mount Meharry in the Hamersley Range of the Pilbara region). Most of the state is a low plateau with an average elevation of about 400 metres (1,200 ft), very low relief, and no surface runoff. This descends relatively sharply to the coastal plains, in some cases forming a sharp escarpment (as with the Darling Range/Darling Scarp near Perth).

WAHighways
Western Australian cities, towns, settlements and road network.

The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils are remarkably infertile and frequently laterised. Even soils derived from granitic bedrock contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus and only half as much nitrogen as soils in comparable climates in other continents. Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone are even less fertile, nearly devoid of soluble phosphate and deficient in zinc, copper, molybdenum and sometimes potassium and calcium.

The infertility of most of the soils has required heavy application by farmers of fertilizers. These have resulted in damage to invertebrate and bacterial populations. The grazing and use of hoofed mammals and, later, heavy machinery through the years have resulted in compaction of soils and great damage to the fragile soils.

Large-scale land clearing for agriculture has damaged habitats for native flora and fauna. As a result, the South West region of the state has a higher concentration of rare, threatened or endangered flora and fauna than many areas of Australia, making it one of the world's biodiversity "hot spots". Large areas of the state's wheatbelt region have problems with dryland salinity and the loss of fresh water.

Climate

Western Australia Köppen
Köppen climate types in Western Australia

The southwest coastal area has a Mediterranean climate. It was originally heavily forested, including large stands of karri, one of the tallest trees in the world.[15] This agricultural region is one of the nine most bio-diverse terrestrial habitats, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current, the area is one of the top six regions for marine biodiversity and contains the most southerly coral reefs in the world.

Average annual rainfall varies from 300 millimetres (12 in) at the edge of the Wheatbelt region to 1,400 millimetres (55 in) in the wettest areas near Northcliffe, but from November to March, evaporation exceeds rainfall, and it is generally very dry. Plants are adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils.

The central two-thirds of the state is arid and sparsely inhabited. The only significant economic activity is mining. Annual rainfall averages less than 300 millimetres (8–10 in), most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer.[16]

An exception to this is the northern tropical regions. The Kimberley has an extremely hot monsoonal climate with average annual rainfall ranging from 500 to 1,500 millimetres (20–60 in), but there is a very long almost rainless season from April to November. Eighty-five percent of the state's runoff occurs in the Kimberley, but because it occurs in violent floods and because of the insurmountable poverty of the generally shallow soils, the only development has taken place along the Ord River.

Black Swans
The black swan is the state bird of Western Australia
Anigozanthos manglesii gnangarra-1008
The red and green kangaroo paw is the floral emblem of Western Australia

Snow is rare in the state and typically occurs only in the Stirling Range near Albany, as it is the only mountain range far enough south and sufficiently elevated. More rarely, snow can fall on the nearby Porongurup Range. Snow outside these areas is a major event; it usually occurs in hilly areas of southwestern Australia. The most widespread low-level snow occurred on 26 June 1956 when snow was reported in the Perth Hills, as far north as Wongan Hills and as far east as Salmon Gums. However, even in the Stirling Range, snowfalls rarely exceed 5 cm (2 in) and rarely settle for more than one day.[17]

The highest observed maximum temperature of 50.5 °C (122.9 °F) was recorded at Mardie Station on 19 February 1998. The lowest minimum temperature recorded was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) at Eyre Bird Observatory on 17 August 2008.[18]

Climate data

Climate data for Western Australia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.8
(121.6)
50.5
(122.9)
47.8
(118.0)
45.0
(113.0)
40.6
(105.1)
37.8
(100.0)
38.3
(100.9)
40.0
(104.0)
43.1
(109.6)
46.9
(116.4)
48.0
(118.4)
49.4
(120.9)
50.5
(122.9)
Record low °C (°F) 0.9
(33.6)
0.5
(32.9)
−0.8
(30.6)
−2.2
(28.0)
−5.6
(21.9)
−6.0
(21.2)
−6.7
(19.9)
−7.2
(19.0)
−4.6
(23.7)
−5.0
(23.0)
−2.1
(28.2)
0.0
(32.0)
−7.2
(19.0)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[19]

Flora and fauna

Freshwater crocodile at Lake Argyle, Western Australia
Crocodile at Lake Argyle

Western Australia is home to around 540 species of birds (depending on the taxonomy used). Of these around 15 are endemic to the state. The best areas for birds are the southwestern corner of the state and the area around Broome and the Kimberley.

The Flora of Western Australia comprises 10,162 published native vascular plant species, along with a further 1,196 species currently recognised but unpublished. They occur within 1,543 genera from 211 families; there are also 1,276 naturalised alien or invasive plant species, more commonly known as weeds.[20][21] In the southwest region are some of the largest numbers of plant species for its area in the world. Specific ecoregions of Western Australia include: the sandstone gorges of The Kimberley on the northern coast and below that areas of dry grassland (Ord Victoria Plain) or semi-desert (Western Australian Mulga shrublands), with Tanami Desert inland from there. Following the coast south there is the Southwest Australia savanna and the Swan Coastal Plain around Perth, and then farther south the Warren on the southwest corner of the coast around the wine-growing area of Margaret River. Going east along the Southern Ocean coast is the Goldfields-Esperance region, including the Esperance grasslands and the Coolgardie grasslands inland around town of Coolgardie.

History

John Forrest 1898
John Forrest was the first Premier of Western Australia.
Ngaanyatjarra kids
Ngaanyatjarra children, from the desert regions of Western Australia

The first inhabitants of Australia arrived from the north about 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Over thousands of years they eventually spread across the whole landmass. These Indigenous Australians were long established throughout Western Australia by the time European explorers began to arrive in the early 17th century.

The first European to visit Western Australia was a Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog, who on 25 October 1616 landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription, Dirk Hartog Island. For the rest of the 17th century, other Dutch and British navigators encountered the coast, usually unintentionally, as demonstrated by the many shipwrecks along the coast of ships that deviated from the Brouwer Route (because of poor navigation and storms).[22] Two hundred years passed before Europeans believed that the great southern continent actually existed. By the late 18th century, British and French sailors had begun to explore the Western Australian coast.

The origins of the present state began with the establishment by Lockyer[4] of a convict-supported settlement from New South Wales at King George III Sound. The settlement was formally annexed on 21 January 1827 by Lockyer when he commanded the Union Jack be raised and a feu de joie fired by the troops. The settlement was founded in response to British concerns about the possibility of a French colony being established on the coast of Western Australia.[4] On 7 March 1831 it was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony,[5] and named Albany in 1832.

In 1829 the Swan River Colony was established on the Swan River by Captain James Stirling. By 1832, the British settler population of the colony had reached around 1,500, and the official name of the colony was changed to Western Australia. The two separate townsites of the colony developed slowly into the port city of Fremantle and the state's capital, Perth. York was the first inland settlement in Western Australia, situated 97 kilometres (60 mi) east of Perth and settled on 16 September 1831. York was the staging point for early explorers who discovered the rich gold reserves of Kalgoorlie.

Population growth was very slow until significant discoveries of gold were made in the 1890s around Kalgoorlie.

In 1887, a new constitution was drafted, providing for the right of self-governance of European Australians and in 1890, the act granting self-government to the colony was passed by the British Parliament. John Forrest became the first Premier of Western Australia.

In 1896, the Western Australian Parliament authorised the raising of a loan to construct a pipeline to transport 23 megalitres (5 million imperial gallons) of water per day to the Goldfields of Western Australia. The pipeline, known as the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, was completed in 1903. C.Y. O'Connor, Western Australia's first engineer-in-chief, designed and oversaw the construction of the pipeline. It carries water 530 km (330 mi) from Perth to Kalgoorlie, and is attributed by historians as an important factor driving the state's population and economic growth.[23]

Following a campaign led by Forrest, residents of the colony of Western Australia (still informally called the Swan River Colony) voted in favour of federation, resulting in Western Australia officially becoming a state on 1 January 1901.

Demographics

Perth Skyline from Kings Park
Western Australia's capital and largest city, Perth, from Kings Park. Its metropolitan area is home to 75% of the state's population.
Western Australia population T
WA population growth 1829–2010
WApopDist2006
Distribution of the Western Australian population

Europeans began to settle permanently in 1826 when Albany was claimed by Britain to forestall French claims to the western third of the continent. Perth was founded as the Swan River Colony in 1829 by British and Irish settlers, though the outpost languished. Its officials eventually requested convict labour to augment its population. In the 1890s, interstate immigration, resulting from a mining boom in the Goldfields region, resulted in a sharp population increase.

Western Australia did not receive significant flows of immigrants from Britain, Ireland or elsewhere in the British Empire until the early 20th century. At that time, its local projects—such as the Group Settlement Scheme of the 1920s, which encouraged farmers to settle the southwest—increased awareness of Australia's western third as a destination for colonists.

Led by immigrants from the British Isles, Western Australia's population developed at a faster rate during the twentieth century than it had previously. After World War II, both the eastern states and Western Australia received large numbers of Italians, Croatians and Macedonians. Despite this, Britain has contributed the greatest number of immigrants to this day. Western Australia—particularly Perth—has the highest proportion of British-born of any state: 10.3% in 2011, compared to a national average of 5.1%. This group is heavily concentrated in certain parts, where they account for a quarter of the population.[24]

In terms of ethnicity, the 2001 census data revealed that 77.5% of Western Australia's population was of European descent: the largest single group was those reporting English ethnicity, accounting for 733,783 responses (32.7%), followed by Australian with 624,259 (27.8%), Irish with 171,667 (7.6%), Italian with 96,721 (4.3%), Scottish with 62,781 (2.8%), German with 51,672 (2.3%), and Chinese with 48,894 responses (2.2%). There were 58,496 Indigenous Australians in Western Australia in 2001, forming 3.1% of the population.

According to the 2011 census data, the most common ancestries in Western Australia were English 29.0% (848,230), Australian 24.8% (724,360), Irish 6.4% (187,038), Scottish 6.4% (186,475) and Italian 3.8% (111,894).[25] There were 69,664 (3.1%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians living in Western Australia in the 2011 census.[25]

Ethnicity Population Percentage
English 848,230 29%
Australian 724,360 24.8%
Irish 187,038 6.4%
Scottish 186,475 6.4%
Italian 111,894 3.8%
Indigenous 69,664 3.1%

In terms of birthplace, in the 2011 census 33.2% of the population were born overseas – the highest proportion of any state or territory. People born in the United Kingdom (230,410), New Zealand (70,736) and South Africa (35,326) were the largest groups of immigrants, accounting for 45% of the state's overseas-born population.[24]

Perth's metropolitan area (including Mandurah) had an estimated population of 2,043,138[3] in June 2017 (79% of the state). Other significant population centres include Bunbury (73,989),[26] Geraldton (37,961),[26] Kalgoorlie-Boulder (30,420),[26] Albany (33,998),[26] Karratha (16,446),[26] Broome (14,501)[26] and Port Hedland (14,285).[26]

Economy

Aerial view of Fremantle
Aerial view of Fremantle Harbour, a major port in WA
2007 Resource production WA-svg
Western Australia's resource commodity mix, 2007
Major West Australian Commodities 2008-2009 ($ million)
Major commodity mix, 2008–2009

Western Australia's economy is largely driven by extraction and processing of a diverse range of mineral and petroleum commodities. The structure of the economy is closely linked to these natural resources, providing a comparative advantage in resource extraction and processing. As a consequence:

  • Western Australia contributes an estimated 58% of Australia's Mineral and Energy Exports,[27] potentially earning up to 4.64% of Australia's total GDP.[28]
  • Gross state product per person ($102,232) is higher than any other state and well above the national average ($66,549).[2]
  • Diversification (i.e. a greater range of commodities) over the past 15 years has provided a more balanced production base and less reliance on just a few major export markets, insulating the economy from fluctuations in world prices to some extent.
  • Finance, insurance and property services and construction have grown steadily and have increased their share of economic output.[29]
  • Recent growth in global demand for minerals and petroleum, especially in China (iron-ore) and Japan (for LNG), has ensured economic growth above the national average.

Western Australia's overseas exports accounted for 46% of the nation's total.[6][30] The state's major export commodities include iron-ore, alumina, nickel, gold, ammonia, wheat, wool, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Western Australia is a major extractor of bauxite, which is also processed into alumina at four refineries providing more than 20% of total world production. It is the world's third-largest iron-ore producer (15% of the world's total) and extracts 75% of Australia's 240 tonnes of gold. Diamonds are extracted at Argyle diamond mine in far north of the Kimberley region. Coal mined at Collie is the main fuel for baseload electricity generation in the state's south-west.

Agricultural production in WA is a major contributor to the state and national economy. Although tending to be highly seasonal, 2006–07 wheat production in WA was nearly 10 million tonnes, accounting for almost half the nation's total.[31] and providing $1.7 billion in export income.[32]

Other significant farm output includes barley, peas,[31] wool, lamb and beef. There is a high level of overseas demand for live animals from WA, driven mainly by southeast Asia's feedlots and Middle Eastern countries, where cultural and religious traditions and a lack of storage and refrigeration facilities favour live animals over imports of processed meat. About half of Australia's live cattle exports come from Western Australia.[33]

Resource sector growth in recent years has resulted in significant labour and skills shortages, leading to recent efforts by the state government to encourage interstate and overseas immigration.[34] According to the 2006 census,[35] the median individual income was A$500 per week in Western Australia (compared to A$466 in Australia as a whole). The median family income was A$1246 per week (compared to A$1171 for Australia). Recent growth has also contributed to significant rises in average property values in 2006, although values plateaued in 2007. Perth property prices are still the second highest in Australia behind Sydney, and high rental prices continue to be a problem.

Located south of Perth, the heavy industrial area of Kwinana has the nation's largest oil refinery with a capacity of 146,000 barrels of oil per day, producing most of the state's petrol and diesel.[36][37][38] Kwinana also hosts alumina and nickel processing plants, port facilities for grain and other bulk exports, and support industries for mining and petroleum such as heavy and light engineering, and metal fabrication. Shipbuilding (e.g. Austal Ships) and associated support industries are found at nearby Henderson, just north of Kwinana. Significant secondary industries include cement and building product manufacturing, flour milling, food processing, animal feed production, automotive body building and printing.

In recent years, tourism has grown in importance, with significant numbers of visitors to the state coming from the UK and Ireland (28%), other European countries (14%) Singapore (16%), Japan (10%) and Malaysia (8%).[32] Revenue from tourism is a strong economic driver in many of the smaller population centres outside of Perth, especially in coastal locations.

Western Australia has a significant fishing industry. Products for local consumption and export include western rock lobsters, prawns, crabs, shark and tuna, as well as pearl fishing in the Kimberley region of the state. Processing is conducted along the west coast. Whaling was a key marine industry but ceased at Albany in 1978.

Tourism

Tourism forms a major part of the Western Australian economy with 833,100 international visitors making up 12.8% of the total international tourism to Australia in the year ending March 2015. The top three source markets include the United Kingdom (17%), Singapore (10%) and New Zealand (10%) with the majority of purpose for visitation being holiday/vacation reasons.[39] The tourism industry contributes $9.3 billion to the Western Australian economy and supports 94,000 jobs within the state. Both directly and indirectly, the industry makes up 3.2% of the state's economy whilst comparatively, WA's largest revenue source, the mining sector, brings in 31%.[40]

Tourism WA is the government agency responsible for promoting Western Australia as a holiday destination.[41]

Government

Western Australia was granted self-government in 1890[42] with a bicameral Parliament located in Perth, consisting of the Legislative Assembly (or lower house), which has 59 members; and the Legislative Council (or upper house), which has 36 members. Suffrage is universal and compulsory for citizens over 18 years of age.

With the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901, Western Australia became a state within Australia's federal structure; this involved ceding certain powers to the Commonwealth (or Federal) government in accordance with the Constitution; all powers not specifically granted to the Commonwealth remained solely with the State, however over time the Commonwealth has effectively expanded its powers through increasing control of taxation and financial distribution.

Whilst the sovereign of Western Australia is the Queen of Australia (Elizabeth II), and executive power nominally vested in her State representative the Governor (currently Kim Beazley), executive power rests with the premier and ministers drawn from the party or coalition of parties holding a majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly. Mark McGowan is the Premier, having defeated Colin Barnett at the state election on 11 March 2017.

Secession

Secessionism has been a recurring feature of Western Australia's political landscape since shortly after European settlement in 1826. Western Australia was the most reluctant participant in the Commonwealth of Australia.[43] Western Australia did not participate in the earliest federation conference. Longer-term residents of Western Australia were generally opposed to federation; however, the discovery of gold brought many immigrants from other parts of Australia. It was these residents, primarily in Kalgoorlie but also in Albany who voted to join the Commonwealth, and the proposal of these areas being admitted separately under the name Auralia was considered.

In a referendum in April 1933, 68% of voters voted for the state to leave the Commonwealth of Australia with the aim of returning to the British Empire as an autonomous territory. The State Government sent a delegation to Westminster, but the British Government refused to intervene and therefore no action was taken to implement this decision.[44]

Local government

Western Australia is divided into 139 Local Government Areas, including Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Their mandate and operations are governed by the Local Government Act 1995.[45]

Education

Education in Western Australia consists of one year of pre-school at age 4 or 5, followed by six years of primary education for all students as of 2015.[46] At age 12 or 13, students begin six years of secondary education. Students are required to attend school up until they are 16 years old. Sixteen and 17 year olds are required to enrolled in school or a training organisation, be employed or be in a combination of school/training/employment.[47] Students have the option to study at a TAFE college after Year 10,[48] or continue through to Year 12 with vocational courses or a university entrance courses.[49]

There are five universities in Western Australia. They consist of four Perth-based public universities; the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University; and one Fremantle-based private Roman Catholic university, the University of Notre Dame. The University of Notre Dame is also one of only two private universities in Australia, along with Bond University, a not-for-profit private education provider based in Gold Coast, Queensland.

Media

Print

Western Australia has two daily newspapers: the independent tabloid The West Australian and The Kalgoorlie Miner. Also published is one weekend paper The Weekend West and one Sunday tabloid newspaper, News Corporation's The Sunday Times. There are also 17 weekly Community Newspapers with distribution from Yanchep in the north to Mandurah in the south. There are two major weekly rural papers in the state, Countryman and the Rural Press-owned Farm Weekly. The interstate broadsheet publication The Australian is also available, although with sales per capita lagging far behind those in other states. With the advent of the Internet, local news websites like WAtoday, which provide free access to their content, are becoming a popular alternative source of news. Other online publications from around the world like the New South Wales based The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian are also available.

There is also a major business specific newspaper, Business News.[50]

Television

ABC Perth gnangarra
ABC studios in East Perth

Metropolitan Perth has six broadcast television stations;

  • ABC TV WA. (Callsign: ABW – Channel 12 Digital)
  • SBS WA (Callsign: SBS – Channel 29 Digital)
  • Seven Network Perth. (Callsign: TVW – Channel 6 Digital)
  • Nine Network Perth. (Callsign: STW – Channel 8 Digital)
  • Network Ten Perth. (Callsign: NEW – Channel 11 Digital)
  • West TV. A free-to-air digital only community television channel that began broadcasting in April 2010. It replaced Access 31, which ceased broadcasting in August 2008.

Regional WA has a similar availability of stations, with the exception of West TV. Geographically, it is one of the largest television markets in the world, including almost one-third of the continent.

  • Golden West Network (GWN7). Affiliated with Seven. (Callsigns: SSW South West, VEW Goldfields/Esperance, GTW Central West, WAW remote areas)
  • WIN Television WA. Affiliated with Ten (Callsign: WOW)
  • West Digital Television. Affiliated with Nine. (Callsigns: SDW South West, VDW Goldfields/Esperance, GDW Central West, WDW remote areas)
  • Westlink. An open-narrowcast community-based television channel. (Satellite only)

In addition, broadcasters operate digital multichannels:

Pay TV services are provided by Foxtel, which acquired many of the assets and all the remaining subscribers of the insolvent Galaxy Television satellite service in 1998. Some metropolitan suburbs are serviced by Pay TV via cable; however, most of the metropolitan and rural areas can only access Pay TV via satellite.

Radio

Perth has many radio stations on both AM and FM frequencies. ABC stations include ABC NewsRadio (6PB 585 am), 720 ABC Perth (6WF 720 am), ABC Radio National (6RN 810 am), ABC Classic FM (6ABC 97.7FM) and Triple J (6JJJ 99.3FM). The six commercial stations are: FM 92.9 (6PPM), Nova 93.7 (6PER), Mix 94.5 (6MIX), 96fm (6NOW), and AM 882 (6PR), AM 1080 (6IX) and AM 1116 (6MM)

The leading community radio stations are Curtin FM 100.1, 6RTR FM 92.1, Sonshine FM 98.5 (6SON) and 91.3 SportFM (6WSM).

Culture

Wine

Winemaking regions are concentrated in the cooler climate of the south-western portion of the state. Western Australia produces less than 5% of the country's wine output, but in quality terms is considered to be very much near the top.[51][52][53][54] Major wine producing regions include: Margaret River, The Great Southern, Swan Valley as well as smaller districts including Blackwood Valley, Manjimup, Pemberton, Peel, Chittering Valley, Perth Hills, and Geographe.[55]

Sport

AFL WCE VS COLLINGWOOD
2014 AFL premiership match between West Coast Eagles and Collingwood being played at Patersons Stadium, Subiaco

A number of national or international sporting teams and events are based in the state, including:

International sporting events hosted in the past in Western Australia include the Tom Hoad Cup (water polo), the Perth International (golf), the 2006 Gravity Games (extreme sports), the 2002 Women's Hockey World Cup, the 1991 FINA World Aquatics Championships and the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

The arts

Western Australia is home to one of the country's leading performance training institutions, the acclaimed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), as well as a burgeoning theatrical and musical scene. Notable musicians and bands to have been born in or lived in Western Australia include Adam Brand, Karnivool, Birds of Tokyo, Bon Scott, Eskimo Joe, Johnny Young, Gyroscope, the John Butler Trio, Tame Impala, Troye Sivan, Kevin Mitchell, Tim Minchin, The Kill Devil Hills, Pendulum, The Pigram Brothers, Rolf Harris and The Triffids. The West Australian Music Industry Awards (WAMis) have been awarded every year to the leading musicians and performers in WA since 2001.

Notable actors and television personalities from Western Australia include Heath Ledger, Sam Worthington, Ernie Dingo, Jessica Marais, Megan Gale, Rove McManus, Isla Fisher, and Melissa George. Films and television series filmed or partly filmed in Western Australia include These Final Hours, Cloudstreet, Australia, Bran Nu Dae, ABBA: the Movie and Last Train to Freo.

Noted Western Australian indigenous painters and artisans include Jack Dale Mengenen, Paddy Bedford, Queenie McKenzie, and siblings Nyuju Stumpy Brown and Rover Thomas.[56]

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) is based at the Perth Concert Hall. Other concert, performance and indoor sporting venues in Western Australia include His Majesty's Theatre, the now demolished Perth Entertainment Centre, the Burswood Dome and Theatre and the Perth Arena, which opened in 2012.

Sister states

Western Australia has four sister states:[57]

In 1981, a sister state agreement was drawn up between Western Australia and Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan that was aimed at improving cultural ties between the two states.[58][59] To commemorate the 10th anniversary of this agreement, the Hyōgo Prefectural Government Cultural Centre was established in Perth in 1992.[60] Prior to that, the Western Australian government opened an office in Kobe, the largest city in Hyōgo, to facilitate maintenance of the relationship in 1989.[59][61]

Following the Great Hanshin earthquake that devastated southern Hyōgo in January 1995, Western Australian groups and businesses raised funds and provided materials, whilst individuals travelled to Hyōgo to help with emergency relief and the subsequent reconstruction process.[62][63][64] The two governments signed a memorandum of understanding on the 20th anniversary in 2001 that aimed to improve the economic relationship between the two states.[59]

Further to the sister state relationship, the City of Rockingham in Western Australia and the City of Akō in Hyōgo signed a sister city agreement in 1997. It is one of nine sister city relationships between Western Australian and Japanese cities.[65]

See also

Lists:

Notes

2shillingsWestAustralia
"West Australia" on a 1902 stamp

a "West Australia" and its related demonym "West Australian" are occasionally used, including in the names of the main daily newspaper, The West Australian, and the state-based West Australian Football League, but are rarely used in an official sense. The terms "Westralia" and "Westralian" were regularly used in the 19th and 20th century.[66][67] The terms are still found in the names of certain companies and buildings, e.g. Westralia House in Perth and Westralia Airports Corporation, which operates Perth Airport, as well as in the names of several ships.[68][69]
b In Australia, the body of water south of the continent is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean, whereas the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) designates it as part of the Indian Ocean.[70][71]

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External links

Albany, Western Australia

Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.

The city centre is at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, which is a part of King George Sound. The central business district is bounded by Mount Clarence to the east and Mount Melville to the west. The city is in the local government area of the City of Albany.

The Albany settlement was founded on 26 December 1826, as a military outpost of New South Wales as part of a plan to forestall French ambitions in the region. To that end, on 21 January 1827, the commander of the outpost, Major Edmund Lockyer, formally took possession of the western third of the continent for the British Crown.The settlement was initially named Frederick Town in honour of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. In 1831, the settlement was transferred to the control of the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling.During the last decade of the 19th century the town served as a gateway to the Eastern Goldfields. For many years, it was the colony's only deep-water port, having a place of eminence on shipping services between Britain and its Australian colonies. The opening of the Fremantle Inner Harbour in 1897, however, saw its importance as a port decline, after which the town's industries turned primarily to agriculture, timber and later, whaling.

Today as a city it is the southern terminus for tourism in the region, and the state's South West, which is known for its natural environment and preservation of heritage. The town has a role in the ANZAC legend, being the last port of call for troopships departing Australia in the First World War. Also an auxiliary submarine base for the US Navy's 7th Fleet was developed during the Second World War in the event the submarine base at Fremantle was lost. Also in the harbour was an RAN Naval Installation which provided for alongside refuelling from four 5000 ton fuel tanks.

Curtin University

Curtin University (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. It is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. It had a Sydney campus from 2005 to 2016; on 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

Department of Parks and Wildlife (Western Australia)

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) was the department of the Government of Western Australia responsible for managing lands described in the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 and implementing the state's conservation and environment legislation and regulations. The minister responsible for the department was the Minister for the Environment.

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was separated on 30 June 2013, forming the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) and the Department of Environment Regulation (DER), both of which commenced operations on 1 July 2013.DPaW focused on managing multiple use state forests, national parks, marine parks and reserves.

DER focused on environmental regulation, approvals and appeals processes, and pollution prevention.

It was announced on 28 April 2017 that the Department of Parks and Wildlife would merge with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, the Zoological Parks Authority, and the Rottnest Island Authority on 1 July 2017 to form the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Electorates of the Australian states and territories

A State Electoral District is an electorate within the Lower House or Legislative Assembly of Australian states and territories. Most state electoral districts (except the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, which have multi-member electorates using a proportional voting method) send a single member to a state or territory's parliament using the preferential method of voting. The area of a state electoral district is dependent upon the Electoral Acts in the various states and vary in area between them. At present, there are 409 state electoral districts in Australia.

State electoral districts do not apply to the Upper House, or Legislative Council, in those states that have one (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia). In New South Wales and South Australia, MLCs represent the entire state, in Tasmania they represent single-member districts, and in Victoria and Western Australia they represent a region formed by grouping electoral districts together.

FloraBase

FloraBase is a public access web-based database of the flora of Western Australia. It provides authoritative scientific information on 12,978 taxa, including descriptions, maps, images, conservation status and nomenclatural details. 1,272 alien taxa (naturalised weeds) are also recorded.The system takes data from datasets including the Census of Western Australian Plants and the Western Australian Herbarium specimen database of nearly 725,000 vouchered plant collections. It is operated by the Western Australian Herbarium within the Department of Parks and Wildlife. It was established in November 1998.In its distribution guide it uses a combination of IBRA version 5.1 and John Stanley Beard's botanical provinces.

Goldfields-Esperance

The Goldfields-Esperance region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is located in the south eastern corner of Western Australia, and comprises the local government areas of Coolgardie, Dundas, Esperance, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Laverton, Leonora, Menzies, Ngaanyatjarraku and Ravensthorpe.It also incorporates the area along the Great Australian Bight to the South Australian border known as the Nullarbor.

Government of Western Australia

The Government of Western Australia, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government of Western Australia, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Western Australia. It is also commonly referred to as the WA Government or the Western Australian Government. The Government of Western Australia, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1890 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Western Australia has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Western Australia ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth.

Kalgoorlie

Kalgoorlie-Boulder, known colloquially as just Kalgoorlie, is a city in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 595 km (370 mi) east-northeast of Perth at the end of the Great Eastern Highway. The city was founded in 1889 by the amalgamation of the towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder, which developed in 1893 during the Coolgardie gold rush, on Western Australia's "Golden Mile". It is also the ultimate destination of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme and the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail.

At June 2015, Kalgoorlie-Boulder had an estimated urban population of 32,797.The name Kalgoorlie is derived from the Wangai word Karlkurla or Kulgooluh, meaning "place of the silky pears".

Kimberley (Western Australia)

The Kimberley is the northernmost of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts in the region of Pilbara, and on the east by the Northern Territory.

The region was named after John Wodehouse, 1st Earl of Kimberley who served as Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1870 to 1874 and 1880 to 1882.

Local government areas of Western Australia

The local government areas (LGAs) in the Australian state of Western Australia describes the 139 institutions and processes by which towns and districts can manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1995. The Local Government Act 1995 also makes provision for regional local governments, established by two or more local governments for a particular purpose.There are three classifications of local government in Western Australia:

City – predominantly urban, some larger regional centres

Town – predominantly inner urban, plus Port Hedland

Shire – predominantly rural or outer suburban areasThe Shire of Christmas Island and the Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Federal external territories and covered by the Indian Ocean Territories Administration of Laws Act which allows the Western Australian Local Government Act to apply "on-Island" as though it were a Commonwealth act. Nonetheless, Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are not part of Western Australia.

Historically, two types of local government existed – municipalities, which represented towns or condensed urban areas, and road districts, which represented all other regions. For instance, the Perth Road District was the precursor to the City of Stirling. Only a few cities – Perth, Fremantle, Subiaco, South Perth and Nedlands – existed prior to 1961. On 1 July 1961, all road districts became shires, and all municipalities became towns.

Mid West (Western Australia)

The Mid West region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is a sparsely populated region extending from the west coast of Western Australia, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north and south of its administrative centre of Geraldton and inland to 450 kilometres (280 mi) east of Wiluna in the Gibson Desert.It has a total area of 472,336 square kilometres (182,370 sq mi), and a permanent population of about 52,000 people, more than half of those in Geraldton.

Perth

Perth ( (listen) PURTH) is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth-most populous city in Australia, with a population of 2.04 million living in Greater Perth. Perth is part of the South West Land Division of Western Australia, with the majority of the metropolitan area located on the Swan Coastal Plain, a narrow strip between the Indian Ocean and the Darling Scarp. The first areas settled were on the Swan River at Guildford, with the city's central business district and port (Fremantle) both later founded downriver.

Perth was founded by Captain James Stirling in 1829 as the administrative centre of the Swan River Colony. It gained city status (currently vested in the smaller City of Perth) in 1856, and was promoted to the status of a Lord Mayorality in 1929. The city is named after Perth, Scotland, due to the influence of Sir George Murray, then Member of Parliament for Perthshire and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The city's population increased substantially as a result of the Western Australian gold rushes in the late 19th century. During Australia's involvement in World War II, Fremantle served as a base for submarines operating in the Pacific Theatre, and a US Navy Catalina flying boat fleet was based at Matilda Bay. An influx of immigrants after the war, predominantly from Britain, Greece, Italy and Yugoslavia, led to rapid population growth. This was followed by a surge in economic activity flowing from several mining booms in the late 20th and early 21st centuries that saw Perth become the regional headquarters for several large mining operations located around the state.

As part of Perth's role as the capital of Western Australia, the state's Parliament and Supreme Court are located within the city, as is Government House, the residence of the Governor of Western Australia. Perth came seventh in the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2016 list of the world's most liveable cities, and was classified by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2010 as a Beta world city. The city hosted the 1962 Commonwealth Games.

Perth is divided into 30 local government areas and 250 suburbs, stretching from Two Rocks in the north to Singleton in the south, and east inland to The Lakes. Outside of the main CBD, important urban centres within Perth include Fremantle and Joondalup. Most of those were originally established as separate settlements and retained a distinct identity after being subsumed into the wider metropolitan area. Mandurah, Western Australia's second-largest city, has in recent years formed a conurbation with Perth along the coast, though for most purposes it is still considered a separate city.

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris (born 30 March 1930) is an Australian entertainer whose career has encompassed work as a musician, singer-songwriter, composer, comedian, actor, painter and television personality.Harris is widely known for his musical compositions "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport", a Top 10 hit in Australia, the UK, and the United States, and "Jake the Peg"; his recording of "Two Little Boys" reached number 1 in the UK. He often used unusual instruments in his performances: he played the didgeridoo; is credited with the invention of the wobble board; and is associated with the Stylophone. During the 1960s and 1970s, Harris became a popular television personality in the UK, later presenting shows such as Rolf's Cartoon Club and Animal Hospital. In 2005, he painted an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. He lived in Bray, Berkshire, England, for more than six decades.Harris's career as a popular entertainer ended when he was convicted and imprisoned for sexual offences. In 2014, at the age of 84, he was sentenced to five years, nine months in prison on twelve counts of indecent assault on four teenage female victims during the 1970s and 1980s. He was released from prison in 2017 after serving nearly three years. Following his conviction, he was stripped of many of the honours he had been awarded during his career, including the AO and CBE.

Sheffield Shield

The Sheffield Shield is the domestic first-class cricket competition of Australia. The tournament is contested between teams from the six states of Australia. Prior to the Shield being established, a number of intercolonial matches were played. The Shield, donated by Lord Sheffield, was first contested during the 1892–93 season, between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. Queensland was admitted for the 1926–27 season, Western Australia for the 1947–48 season and Tasmania for the 1977–78 season.

The competition is contested in a double-round robin format, with each team playing every other team twice, i.e. home and away. Points are awarded based on wins, losses, draws and ties, with the top two teams playing a final at the end of the season. Regular matches last for four days; the final lasts for five days.

South West, Western Australia

Names such as the South West or "South West corner", in Western Australian contexts, refer to a region that has been defined in several different ways.

While styles like South-West and Southwest have sometimes been used, most media outlets and official sources in Western Australia now use Australian English spelling conventions, under which the names of intercardinal points are two separate and unhyphenated words, i.e. "South West".

Such names now usually refer to areas immediately south of the Perth metropolitan area and west of the Wheatbelt. Its narrowest and most specific usage is in reference to the official, government-designated South West region. However, broader usages may include the entire south-western quarter of Australia.

In regard to Western Australia, "South West" may refer to:

Electoral region of South West – a multi-member electorate of the Western Australian Legislative Council

South West drainage division – a drainage region

South West Land Division – a cadastral (land administration) region

South West Seismic Zone – a seismic region

Southwest Australia (ecoregion) – a biodiversity hotspot and botanical region

The Sunday Times (Western Australia)

The Sunday Times, owned by Seven West Media, is a tabloid Sunday newspaper printed in Perth and distributed throughout Western Australia. Formerly owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Australia and corporate predecessors since 1955, the paper was sold to SWM in 2016. Finalisation of the deal, which included the website PerthNow, was announced by The West on 8 November 2016.

University of Western Australia

The University of Western Australia (UWA) is a public research university in the Australian state of Western Australia. The university's main campus is in Perth, the state capital, with a secondary campus in Albany and various other facilities elsewhere.

UWA was established in 1911 by an act of the Parliament of Western Australia, and began teaching students two years later. It is the sixth-oldest university in Australia, and was Western Australia's only university until the establishment of Murdoch University in 1973. Because of its age and reputation, UWA is classed one of the "sandstone universities", an informal designation given to the oldest university in each state. The university also belongs to several more formal groupings, including the Group of Eight and the Matariki Network of Universities. In recent years, UWA has generally been ranked either in the bottom half or just outside the world's top 100 universities, depending on the system used.

Alumni of UWA include one Prime Minister of Australia (Bob Hawke), five Justices of the High Court of Australia (including one Chief Justice, Robert French, now Chancellor), one Governor of the Reserve Bank (H. C. Coombs), various federal cabinet ministers, and seven of Western Australia's eight most recent premiers. In 2018 alumnus mathematician Akshay Venkatesh was a recipient of the Fields Medal. In 2014, the university produced its 100th Rhodes Scholar. Two members of the UWA faculty, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, won Nobel Prizes as a result of research at the university.

Western Australia cricket team

The Western Australia cricket team, nicknamed the Western Warriors, represent the Australian state of Western Australia in Australian domestic cricket. The team is selected and supported by the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA), and plays its home games at the WACA Ground and Perth Stadium in Perth. The team mainly plays matches against other Australian states in the first-class Sheffield Shield competition and the limited-overs JLT One-Day Cup, but occasionally plays matches against touring international sides. Western Australia previously also fielded sides at Twenty20 level, but was replaced by the Perth Scorchers for the inaugural 2011–12 season of the Big Bash League. Western Australia's current captain is Mitchell Marsh, and the current coach is Adam Voges.

Wheatbelt (Western Australia)

The Wheatbelt is one of nine regions of Western Australia defined as administrative areas for the state's regional development, and a vernacular term for the area converted to agriculture during colonisation. It partially surrounds the Perth metropolitan area, extending north from Perth to the Mid West region, and east to the Goldfields-Esperance region. It is bordered to the south by the South West and Great Southern regions, and to the west by the Indian Ocean, the Perth metropolitan area, and the Peel region. Altogether, it has an area of 154,862 square kilometres (59,793 sq mi) (including islands).

The region has 43 local government authorities, with an estimated population of 75,000 residents. The Wheatbelt accounts for approximately three per cent of Western Australia's population.

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