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3 definitions found
 for Australia
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a nation occupying the whole of the Australian continent;
           Aboriginal tribes are thought to have migrated from
           southeastern Asia 20,000 years ago; first Europeans were
           British convicts sent there as a penal colony [syn:
           Australia, Commonwealth of Australia]
      2: the smallest continent; between the South Pacific and the
         Indian Ocean

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  AUSTRALIA, n.  A country lying in the South Sea, whose industrial and
  commercial development has been unspeakably retarded by an unfortunate
  dispute among geographers as to whether it is a continent or an

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     Introduction Australia
                              Background: Australia became a commonwealth of
                                          the British Empire in 1901. It was
                                          able to take advantage of its
                                          natural resources to rapidly develop
                                          its agricultural and manufacturing
                                          industries and to make a major
                                          contribution to the British effort
                                          in World Wars I and II. Long-term
                                          concerns include pollution,
                                          particularly depletion of the ozone
                                          layer, and management and
                                          conservation of coastal areas,
                                          especially the Great Barrier Reef. A
                                          referendum to change Australia's
                                          status, from a commonwealth headed
                                          by the British monarch to an
                                          independent republic, was defeated
                                          in 1999.
     Geography Australia
                                Location: Oceania, continent between the
                                          Indian Ocean and the South Pacific
                  Geographic coordinates: 27 00 S, 133 00 E
                          Map references: Oceania
                                    Area: total: 7,686,850 sq km
                                          water: 68,920 sq km
                                          note: includes Lord Howe Island and
                                          Macquarie Island
                                          land: 7,617,930 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly smaller than the US
                                          contiguous 48 states
                         Land boundaries: 0 km
                               Coastline: 25,760 km
                         Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM
                                          territorial sea: 12 NM
                                          exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
                                          continental shelf: 200 NM or to the
                                          edge of the continental margin
                                 Climate: generally arid to semiarid;
                                          temperate in south and east;
                                          tropical in north
                                 Terrain: mostly low plateau with deserts;
                                          fertile plain in southeast
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lake Eyre -15 m
                                          highest point: Mount Kosciuszko
                                          2,229 m
                       Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper,
                                          tin, silver, uranium, nickel,
                                          tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc,
                                          diamonds, natural gas, petroleum
                                Land use: arable land: 6.88%
                                          permanent crops: 0.03%
                                          other: 93.09% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 24,000 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: cyclones along the coast; severe
                                          droughts; forest fires
            Environment - current issues: soil erosion from overgrazing,
                                          industrial development,
                                          urbanization, and poor farming
                                          practices; soil salinity rising due
                                          to the use of poor quality water;
                                          desertification; clearing for
                                          agricultural purposes threatens the
                                          natural habitat of many unique
                                          animal and plant species; the Great
                                          Barrier Reef off the northeast
                                          coast, the largest coral reef in the
                                          world, is threatened by increased
                                          shipping and its popularity as a
                                          tourist site; limited natural fresh
                                          water resources
              Environment - international party to: Antarctic-Environmental
                              agreements: Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living
                                          Resources, Antarctic Seals,
                                          Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity,
                                          Climate Change, Desertification,
                                          Endangered Species, Environmental
                                          Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law
                                          of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine
                                          Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban,
                                          Ozone Layer Protection, Ship
                                          Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
                                          Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands,
                                          signed, but not ratified: Climate
                                          Change-Kyoto Protocol
                        Geography - note: world's smallest continent but
                                          sixth-largest country; population
                                          concentrated along the eastern and
                                          southeastern coasts; regular,
                                          tropical, invigorating, sea breeze
                                          known as "the Doctor" occurs along
                                          the west coast in the summer
     People Australia
                              Population: 19,546,792 (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 20.4% (male 2,046,052;
                                          female 1,949,725)
                                          15-64 years: 67% (male 6,610,840;
                                          female 6,480,354)
                                          65 years and over: 12.6% (male
                                          1,078,506; female 1,381,315) (2002
                  Population growth rate: 0.96% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 12.71 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 7.25 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: 4.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/
                                          total population: 0.99 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 4.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80 years
                                          female: 83 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 77.15 years
                    Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.15% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 14,000 (1999 est.)
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (1999 est.)
                             Nationality: noun: Australian(s)
                                          adjective: Australian
                           Ethnic groups: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal
                                          and other 1%
                               Religions: Anglican 26.1%, Roman Catholic 26%,
                                          other Christian 24.3%, non-Christian
                                          11%, other 12.6%
                               Languages: English, native languages
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 100%
                                          male: 100%
                                          female: 100% (1980 est.)
     Government Australia
                            Country name: conventional long form: Commonwealth
                                          of Australia
                                          conventional short form: Australia
                         Government type: democratic, federal-state system
                                          recognizing the British monarch as
                                 Capital: Canberra
                Administrative divisions: 6 states and 2 territories*;
                                          Australian Capital Territory*, New
                                          South Wales, Northern Territory*,
                                          Queensland, South Australia,
                                          Tasmania, Victoria, Western
                         Dependent areas: Ashmore and Cartier Islands,
                                          Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling)
                                          Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard
                                          Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk
                            Independence: 1 January 1901 (federation of UK
                        National holiday: Australia Day, 26 January (1788)
                            Constitution: 9 July 1900, effective 1 January
                            Legal system: based on English common law; accepts
                                          compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with
                                Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and
                        Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II
                                          (since 6 February 1952), represented
                                          by Governor General Rt. Rev. Dr.
                                          Peter HOLLINGWORTH (since 29 June
                                          head of government: Prime Minister
                                          John Winston HOWARD (since 11 March
                                          1996); Deputy Prime Minister John
                                          ANDERSON (since 20 July 1999)
                                          cabinet: Cabinet Parliament
                                          nominates, from among its members, a
                                          list of candidates to serve as
                                          government ministers; from this
                                          list, the governor general makes the
                                          final selections for the Cabinet
                                          elections: none; the monarch is
                                          hereditary; governor general
                                          appointed by the monarch; following
                                          legislative elections, the leader of
                                          the majority party or leader of a
                                          majority coalition is usually
                                          appointed prime minister by the
                                          governor general for a three-year
                                          note: government coalition - Liberal
                                          Party and National Party
                      Legislative branch: bicameral Federal Parliament
                                          consists of the Senate (76 seats -
                                          12 from each of the six states and
                                          two from each of the two mainland
                                          territories; one-half of the members
                                          elected every three years by popular
                                          vote to serve six-year terms) and
                                          the House of Representatives (150
                                          seats - this is up from 148 seats in
                                          2001 election; members elected by
                                          popular vote on the basis of
                                          preferential representation to serve
                                          three-year terms; no state can have
                                          fewer than five representatives)
                                          elections: Senate - last held 10
                                          November 2001 (next to be held by
                                          November 2004); House of
                                          Representatives - last held 10
                                          November 2001 (next to be held by
                                          November 2004)
                                          election results: Senate - percent
                                          of vote by party - NA%; seats by
                                          party - Liberal Party-National Party
                                          coalition 35, Australian Labor Party
                                          28, Australian Democrats 8, Green
                                          Party 2, One Nation Party 1, Country
                                          Labor Party 1, independent 1; House
                                          of Representatives - percent of vote
                                          by party - NA%; seats by party -
                                          Liberal Party-National Party
                                          coalition 82, Australian Labor Party
                                          65, independent and other 3
                         Judicial branch: High Court (the chief justice and
                                          six other justices are appointed by
                                          the governor general)
           Political parties and leaders: Australian Democrats [Natasha STOTT-
                                          DESPOJA]; Australian Labor Party
                                          [Simon CREAN]; Country Labor Party
                                          [leader NA]; Green Party [Bob
                                          BROWN]; Liberal Party [John Winston
                                          HOWARD]; National Party [John
                                          ANDERSON]; One Nation Party [leader
            Political pressure groups and Australian Democratic Labor Party
                                 leaders: (anti-Communist Labor Party splinter
                                          group); Australian Monarchist League
                                          [leader NA]; Australian Republican
                                          Movement [leader NA]
               International organization ANZUS, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner),
                           participation: AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner),
                                          Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CP,
                                          EBRD, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO,
                                          ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD,
                                          IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO,
                                          Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM
                                          (guest), NEA, NSG, OECD, OPCW, PCA,
                                          Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD,
                                          UNESCO, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNTAET, UNTSO,
                                          UNU, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
                                          WTrO, ZC
     Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Michael
                                          J. THAWLEY
                                          consulate(s) general: Atlanta,
                                          Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New
                                          York, and San Francisco
                                          FAX: [1] (202) 797-3168
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 797-3000
                                          chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue
                                          NW, Washington, DC 20036
       Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador J.
                                      US: Thomas SCHIEFFER
                                          embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla,
                                          Canberra, Australian Capital
                                          Territory 2600
                                          mailing address: APO AP 96549
                                          telephone: [61] (02) 6214-5600
                                          FAX: [61] (02) 6214-5970
                                          consulate(s) general: Melbourne,
                                          Perth, Sydney
                        Flag description: blue with the flag of the UK in the
                                          upper hoist-side quadrant and a
                                          large seven-pointed star in the
                                          lower hoist-side quadrant; the
                                          remaining half is a representation
                                          of the Southern Cross constellation
                                          in white with one small five-pointed
                                          star and four, larger, seven-pointed
     Economy Australia
                      Economy - overview: Australia has a prosperous Western-
                                          style capitalist economy, with a per
                                          capita GDP on par with the four
                                          dominant West European economies.
                                          The Australian economy has been
                                          resilient in the face of the global
                                          economic downturn in 2001 chalking
                                          up 2.3% GDP growth, as the domestic
                                          economy is offsetting the external
                                          slump and business and consumer
                                          confidence remains robust.
                                          Canberra's emphasis on reforms is a
                                          key factor behind the economy's
                                          strength, and Australia is expected
                                          to outperform its trading partners
                                          in 2002, with GDP growth projected
                                          to be 3% or better. Australia
                                          probably will experience some
                                          weakness in mid-2002 as its business
                                          cycle tends to lag the US by about
                                          six months, and larger problems
                                          could emerge if Australia's trade
                                          position worsens.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $465.9
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 2.3% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $24,000
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 3%
                                          industry: 25%
                                          services: 72% (2000 est.)
           Population below poverty line: NA%
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 2%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: 25.4% (1994)
     Distribution of family income - Gini 35.2 (1994)
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.3% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 9.2 million (December 2001)
             Labor force - by occupation: services 73%, industry 22%,
                                          agriculture 5% (1997 est.)
                       Unemployment rate: 6.7% (2001)
                                  Budget: revenues: $86.8 billion
                                          expenditures: $84.1 billion,
                                          including capital expenditures of
                                          $NA (FY00/01 est.)
                              Industries: mining, industrial and
                                          transportation equipment, food
                                          processing, chemicals, steel
       Industrial production growth rate: 0.4% (2001 est.)
                Electricity - production: 202.676 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 89.79%
                                          hydro: 8.47%
                                          other: 1.74% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 0%
               Electricity - consumption: 188.489 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits;
                                          cattle, sheep, poultry
                                 Exports: $68.8 billion (2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina,
                                          iron ore, wheat, machinery and
                                          transport equipment
                      Exports - partners: Japan 19%, US 9%, South Korea 7%,
                                          China 6%, New Zealand 5.8%,
                                          Singapore 4% (2001 est.)
                                 Imports: $70.2 billion (2001 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment,
                                          computers and office machines,
                                          telecommunication equipment and
                                          parts; crude oil and petroleum
                      Imports - partners: US 20%, Japan 13%, China 7.7%, UK
                                          6%, Germany 5%, South Korea 4%, NZ
                                          4%, Malaysia 3.6% (2001 est.)
                         Debt - external: $168.7 billion (2001 est.)
                    Economic aid - donor: ODA, $894 million (FY99/00)
                                Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)
                           Currency code: AUD
                          Exchange rates: Australian dollars per US dollar -
                                          1.9354 (January 2002), 1.9320
                                          (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497
                                          (1999), 1.5888 (1998), 1.3439 (1997)
                             Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June
     Communications Australia
          Telephones - main lines in use: 10.05 million (2000)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 8.6 million (2000)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: excellent
                                          domestic and international service
                                          domestic: domestic satellite system;
                                          much use of radiotelephone in areas
                                          of low population density; rapid
                                          growth of mobile cellular telephones
                                          international: submarine cables to
                                          New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and
                                          Indonesia; satellite earth stations
                                          - 10 Intelsat (4 Indian Ocean and 6
                                          Pacific Ocean), 2 Inmarsat (Indian
                                          and Pacific Ocean regions) (1998)
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 262, FM 345, shortwave 1 (1998)
                                  Radios: 25.5 million (1997)
           Television broadcast stations: 104 (1997)
                             Televisions: 10.15 million (1997)
                   Internet country code: .au
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 603 (2001)
                          Internet users: 10.06 million (2001)
     Transportation Australia
                                Railways: total: 33,819 km (2,540 km
                                          broad gauge: 3,719 km 1.600-m gauge
                                          narrow gauge: 14,506 km 1.067-
                                          m gauge
                                          standard gauge: 15,422 km 1.435-
                                          m gauge
                                          dual gauge: 172 km NA gauges (1999
                                Highways: total: 913,000 km
                                          paved: 353,331 km (including 1,363
                                          km of expressways)
                                          unpaved: 559,669 km (1996)
                               Waterways: 8,368 km (mainly used by small,
                                          shallow-draft craft)
                               Pipelines: crude oil 2,500 km; petroleum
                                          products 500 km; natural gas 5,600
                       Ports and harbors: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin,
                                          Devonport (Tasmania), Fremantle,
                                          Geelong, Hobart (Tasmania),
                                          Launceston (Tasmania), Mackay,
                                          Melbourne, Sydney, Townsville
                         Merchant marine: total: 55 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 1,469,362 GRT/1,869,262 DWT
                                          ships by type: bulk 26, cargo 5,
                                          chemical tanker 4, container 1,
                                          liquefied gas 4, passenger 2,
                                          petroleum tanker 7, roll on/roll off
                                          6, includes some foreign-owned ships
                                          registered here as a flag of
                                          convenience: France 2, United
                                          Kingdom 2, United States 14 (2002
                                Airports: 421 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 282
                                          over 3,047 m: 10
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 128
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 124
                                          under 914 m: 9 (2001)
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 139
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 111
                                          under 914 m: 12 (2001)
     Military Australia
                        Military branches: Royal Australian Army, Royal
                                           Australian Navy, Royal Australian
                                           Air Force
         Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age (2002 est.)
         Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 5,013,406 (2002
      Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 4,321,387 (2002
                                  service: est.)
              Military manpower - reaching males: 142,686 (2002 est.)
                    military age annually:
            Military expenditures - dollar $9.3 billion (FY01/02 est.)
        Military expenditures - percent of 2% (FY01/02)
     Transnational Issues Australia
                Disputes - international: Australia-East Timor-Indonesia are
                                          working to resolve maritime boundary
                                          and sharing of seabed resources in
                                          "Timor Gap"; Australia asserts a
                                          territorial claim to Antarctica and
                                          to its continental shelf
                           Illicit drugs: Tasmania is one of the world's major
                                          suppliers of licit opiate products;
                                          government maintains strict controls
                                          over areas of opium poppy
                                          cultivation and output of poppy
                                          straw concentrate

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