Autor: Petr Vostrý
Australia is situated in south-east Asia. The Indian Ocean is west and south, the Pacific (Coral and Tasman Seas) is east. Tasmania lies 240 km south. Nearest is Indonesia, Papua New Guinea on North, Solomons, Fiji and New Zealand are on east. It's area is about 7 mil sq. Km. Australia is a island continent.
The Great dividing Range along eastern coast has the highest Australian mountain Mt. Kosciusko. The western plateau rises to 607 m with arid areas in the great Sandy and Great Victoria Deserts. The North-western part of Australia and Northern Territories are arid and hot. The North-East has heavy rainfalls and Cape York has jungles.
The Australian climate varies from warm to subtropical. The continent is in the southern hemisphere which means that Australia has summer when we have winter and vice versa. The tropical forests in the north-east are displaced by savanna. The south-east is covered with forests of eucalyptus and other evergreen trees. The animals of Australia are numerous and some of them, like kangaroo, koala or bear.
The population of Australia is about 15 mil. The density is one of the lowest in the world - only two people to sq. km. Around 85 percent people live in urban areas mainly along the south-east coast. Deserts and the tropical northern part are practically uninhabited. 95 percent of inhabitants are of British origin, 3 percent are made by other European ethnic groups and 1.5 percent are aborigines. Australian English and aboriginal languages are spoken here.
Australia was discovered by captain James Cook in 1770. Britain created here a convict colony. Aborigines and part-aborigines are mostly detribalised but there are several preserves.
Main Australian's industries are iron, steel, textiles, electrical equipment, chemical, car, ship and machinery. Australia belongs to the top exporters beef, lamb, wool and copper. Only 7 percent of the population work in agriculture, 30 percent in industry and trade. Among the main the main trading partners belong Japan, the USA or United kingdom.
The official title of Australia is The Commonwealth of Australia and it is a British dominion. It has a democratic, federal system and the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II represented by the Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister Paul Keating. Australia consists of 6 states and 2 territories such as New south Wales or Tasmania. The federal Parliament has its seat in Canberra and is divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. Australia is a member of the United Nations too. The Australian national flag consists of the British flag symbol and a larger blue field in which is arranged 5 stars. The large white star under the British Union Jack symbolizes 6 Australian states and 1 territory.