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Queensland is a state of Australia that occupies the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territorymarker to the west, South Australiamarker to the south-west and New South Walesmarker to the south. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Seamarker and Pacific Oceanmarker. The state is Australia's second largest by area, following Western Australiamarker, and the country's third most populous after New South Wales and Victoriamarker.

The area was first occupied by Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived between 40,000 and 65,000 years ago, according to various dating methods. Later, Queensland was made a British Crown Colony that was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859, a date now celebrated annually as Queensland Day.

The area that currently forms Brisbanemarker was originally the Moreton Baymarker penal colony, intended as a place for recidivist convicts who had offended while serving out their sentences in New South Wales. The state later encouraged free settlement, and today Queensland's economy is dominated by the agricultural, tourist and natural resource sectors.

The state's population is concentrated in South East Queensland, which includes the capital Brisbane, Logan Citymarker, Redland City, Ipswichmarker, Toowoombamarker, and the Gold and Sunshinemarker Coasts. Other major regional centres include Cairnsmarker, Townsvillemarker, Mackaymarker, Rockhamptonmarker, Bundabergmarker, Hervey Baymarker, Inghammarker and Mount Isamarker.

Queensland is often nicknamed the Sunshine State, since it enjoys warm weather and a sizeable portion of the state is in the tropics.

Etymology

The state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed a proclamation separating the state from New South Wales. At the time, Victoria was a generally popular monarch, and she preferred an eponymous name for the new colony over Cooksland, which had been suggested by the influential local Presbyterian minister John Dunmore Lang in honour of English navigator James Cook. The southern Australian state of Victoriamarker is also named after her.

History

The history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. Estimated to have been settled by Indigenous Australians approximately 40,000 years ago, the north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch, Portuguese and French navigators before being encountered by Captain James Cook in 1770. June 2009 marked the 150 anniversary of its creation as a separate colony from New South Wales. The state has witnessed frontier warfare between European settlers and Indigenous inhabitants, as well as the employment of cheap Kanaka labour sourced from the South Pacific.

Geography

is bordered to the north by the Torres Straitmarker with Boigu Islandmarker off the coast of New Guineamarker representing the absolute northern extreme of the territory. The triangular Cape York Peninsulamarker, which points toward New Guinea is the northernmost part of the state's mainland. The western side of the peninsula is washed by the Gulf of Carpentariamarker, while its eastern side borders the Coral Seamarker, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. The eastern border is the Pacific Ocean. To the west, Queensland is bordered by the Northern Territory, at the 138°E longitude, and to the south-west by the north-eastern corner of South Australia.

In the south, there are three sections that comprise its border: the watershed from Point Dangermarker to the Dumaresq Rivermarker; the river section involving the Dumaresq, the MacIntyremarker and the Barwon; and 29°S latitude (including some minor historical encroachments below the 29th parallel) over to the South Australian border.

The state capital is Brisbane, located on the coast 100 kilometres (60 mi]]) by road north of the New South Wales border. The fifth-largest city by area in the world, Mount Isamarker, is located in Queensland. The city area is in excess of 40,000 square kilometres (15,400 sq mi). The state is divided into several officially recognised regions. Other smaller geographical regions of note include the Atherton Tablelands, the Granite Belt, and the Channel Country in the far south-west.

Queensland has many places of natural beauty, including: the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast having some of the state's most popular beaches; the Bunya Mountains and the Great Dividing Rangemarker with numerous lookouts, waterfalls and picnic areas; Carnarvon Gorgemarker; Whitsunday Islandsmarker and Hinchinbrook Islandmarker.

The state contains five World Heritage listed preservation areas: Australian Fossil Mammal Sites at Riversleighmarker in the Gulf Country, Central Eastern Rainforest Reservesmarker, Fraser Islandmarker, Great Barrier Reefmarker, and the Wet Tropics of Queenslandmarker.

Climate

Because of its size, there is significant variation in climate across the state. Low rainfall and hot summers are typical for the inland west, a monsoonal 'wet' season in the far north, and warm temperate conditions along the coastal strip. Inland and in southern ranges low minimum temperatures are experienced.The climate of the coastal strip is influenced by warm ocean waters, keeping the region free from extremes of temperature and providing moisture for rainfall.
State capital and most populous city, Brisbane


There are five predominate climatic zones in Queensland, based on temperature and humidity:
  • hot humid summer (far north and coastal)
  • warm humid summer (coastal elevated hinterlands and coastal south-east)
  • hot dry summer, mild winter (central west)
  • hot dry summer, cold winter (southern west)
  • temperate - warm summer, cold winter (inland south-east, e.g. Granite Belt)


However, most of the Queensland populace experience two weather seasons: a "winter" period of rather warm temperatures and minimal rainfall and a sultry summer period of hot, sticky temperatures and higher levels of rainfall.

The annual mean statistics for some Queensland centres is shown below:

City Min. Temp oC Max. Temp oC No. Clear days Rainfall (mm)
Brisbanemarker 14 26 123 1061
Mackaymarker 18 27 113 1667
Cairnsmarker 20 29 86 2223
Townsvillemarker 18 29 n/a 1144


The highest maximum temperature observed in the state is 49.5 °C (121.1 °F) at Birdsvillemarker on 24 December 1972 (The temperature of 53.1 °C (127.5 °F) at Cloncurrymarker on 16 January 1889 is not considered official; the figure quoted from Birdsville is the next highest, so that record is considered as being official).

The lowest minimum temperature is −10.6 °C (12.9 °F) at Stanthorpemarker on 23 June 1961 and at The Hermitage on 12 July 1965.

Demographics

A smaller proportion of Queensland's population lives in the capital city than any other mainland state. As of June 2004 the capital city represented 45.7% of the population; for the whole country, capital cities represented 63.8% of the total population.





On 9 December 2005, the population of Queensland officially reached 4 million. Queensland is the fastest growing state in Australia, with over 1,500 people moving to the state per week; 1,000 in the southern part of the state alone. Predictions show that Queensland will become Australia's second most populous state by the late 2020s. According to Queensland's Office of Economic and Statistical Research the estimated population of the state at the end of 2007 was 4,228,290 which is almost 20% of Australia's total.

In 2007, Queensland recorded a TFR of 2.09, the highest after 1977. [9337]

Economy



Queensland's economy has enjoyed a boom in the tourism and mining industries over the past 20 years. A sizeable influx of interstate and overseas migrants, large amounts of federal government investment, increased mining of vast mineral deposits and an ever expanding aerospace sector ensure that the state will remain Australia's fastest growing economy in the foreseeable future.

Between 1992 and 2002, the growth in the Gross State Product of Queensland outperformed that of all the other states and territories. In that period Queensland's GSP grew 5.0% each year, while growth in Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose on average 3.9% each year. Queensland's contribution to the Australian GDP increased by 10.4% in that period, one of only three states to do so. [9338]

In 2003 Brisbane had the lowest cost of living of all Australia's capital cities. As of late 2005 Brisbane is the third most expensive capital for housing after Sydney and Canberra and just ahead of Melbourne by $15,000.

Primary industries include: bananas, pineapples, peanuts, a wide variety of other tropical and temperate fruit and vegetables, grain crops, wineries, cattle raising, cotton, sugar cane, wool and a mining industry including bauxite, coal, silver, lead, zinc, gold, and copper.

Secondary industries are mostly further processing of the above-mentioned primary produce: bauxite from Weipamarker is converted to alumina at Gladstonemarker. There are also copper refining and the refining of sugar cane to sugar.

Major tertiary industries are the retail trade and tourism.

Tourism

Tourism is Queensland's leading tertiary industry with millions of interstate and overseas visitors flocking to the Sunshine State each year. Queensland is a state of many contrasts that range from sunny tropical coastal areas, lush rainforests to dry inland areas.

The main tourist destinations of Queensland include:

The Gold Coast of Queensland is also sometimes referred to as "Australia's Theme Park Capital", with five major amusement parks:

There are also wildlife parks in Queensland, including:

Gold Coast
:* Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at Currumbin
:* David Fleay Wildlife Park at Burleigh Heads


Sunshine Coastmarker
:* UnderWater World at Mooloolabamarker
:* Australia Zoomarker near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains
:::(home of Steve Irwin until his death on 4 September 2006)


Brisbane
:* Lone Pine Koala Sanctuarymarker at Fig Tree Pocketmarker
:* Brisbane Forest Park at The Gapmarker
:* Alma Park Zoomarker at Dakabinmarker


North of Brisbane
:* Kumbartcho Wildlife Sanctuary (originally Bunya Park Wildlife Sanctuary)


Accommodation in Queensland caters for nearly 22% of the total expenditure, followed by restaurants/meals (15%), airfares (11%), fuel (11%) and shopping/gifts (11%).

Transport

Queensland is served by a number of National Highways and, particularly in South East Queensland, high quality motorways such as the M1.

Principal rail services are provided by Queensland Rail and Pacific National, predominantly along the coamajor ports including the Port of Brisbane and subsidiary ports at Gladstone and Townsville.

Brisbane Airportmarker is the main international and domestic gateway serving the state. Gold Coast Airportmarker and Cairns International Airportmarker are the two next most prominent airports, both with scheduled international flights. Other regional airports, with scheduled domestic flights, include Great Barrier Reef Airportmarker, Hervey Bay Airportmarker, Mackay Airportmarker, Mount Isa Airportmarker, Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airportmarker, Rockhampton Airportmarker, Sunshine Coast Airportmarker and Townsville Airportmarker.

South East Queensland is governed by an integrated public transport system, TransLink, which provides bus, rail and ferry services. Regional bus andlong-distance rail services are also provided throughout the State. Local bus services are also available in most regional centres.

Government



Executive authority is vested in the Governor, who represents and is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the Premier. The current governor is Ms. Penelope Wensley, AO. The head of government is the Premier, who is appointed by the Governor but must have the support of the Legislative Assembly. The current Premier is Anna Bligh, of the Australian Labor Party. Other ministers, forming the Executive Council, are appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Assembly on the Premier's recommendation.

The Queensland Parliament or the Legislative Assembly, is unicameral. It is the only Australian state with a unicameral legislature. A bicameral system existed until 1922, when the Legislative Council was abolished by the Labor members' "suicide squad," so called because they were appointed for the purpose of voting to abolish their own offices.

The judicial system of Queensland consists of the Supreme Court and the District Court, established by the Queensland Constitution, and various other courts and tribunals established by ordinary Acts of the Queensland Parliament.

In 2001 Queensland adopted a new codified constitution, repealing most of the assorted Acts of Parliament that had previously made up the constitution. The new constitution took effect on 6 June 2002, the anniversary of the formation of the colony of Queensland by the signing of Letters Patent by Queen Victoria in 1859!

Universities



Sports



The state of Queensland is represented in all of Australia's national sporting competitions and is also host to a number of domestic and international sporting events. The most popular summer and winter team sports are cricket and rugby league, respectively. The annual rugby league State of Origin series is a major event in the Queensland sporting calender.

Swimming is also a popular sport in Queensland, with a majority of Australian team members and international medalists hailing from the state. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Queensland swimmers won all six of Australia's gold medals, all swimmers on Australia's three female (finals) relays teams were from Queensland, two of which won gold. This on top of Queensland's State of Origin dominance in which they won the third of four Origin series in succession.

Major professional teams include:

Events include:

See also



Lists:

References

  1. Dreaming Online: Indigenous Australian Timeline
  2. Place Names
  3. Dictionary of Australian Biography
  4. Queensland Government - Q150
  5. Queensland's History
  6. Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology - Climate of Queensland
  7. Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology - Australian climatic zones
  8. Australian Government, Bureau of Meteorology - Climate statistics for Australian locations
  9. ABS Statistics
  10. Tourism related information and statistics


External links




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