Western Australia

Western Australia

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Western Australia is a state
States and territories of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a union of six states and various territories. The Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth state of Tasmania being made up of islands. In addition there are six island territories, known as external territories, and a...

 of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent
Australia (continent)
Australia is the world's smallest continent, comprising the mainland of Australia and proximate islands including Tasmania, New Guinea, the Aru Islands and Raja Ampat Islands...

. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight
Great Australian Bight
The Great Australian Bight is a large bight, or open bay, off the central and western portions of the southern coastline of mainland Australia.-Extent:...

 and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

 to the north-east and South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

 to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state and the second largest subnational entity
Administrative division
An administrative division, subnational entity, or country subdivision is a portion of a country or other political division, established for the purpose of government. Administrative divisions are each granted a certain degree of autonomy, and are required to manage themselves through their own...

 in the world. It has 2.3 million inhabitants (10% of the national total), 85% of whom live in the south-west corner of the state.

The first European to visit Western Australia was the Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 explorer
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 Dirk Hartog
Dirk Hartog
Dirk Hartog was a 17th century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the third European group to land on Australian soil. He was the first to leave behind an artifact to record his visit, the Hartog plate. His name is sometimes alternatively spelled Dirck Hartog or Dierick...

, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The British established a military outpost at King George Sound
King George Sound
King George Sound is the name of a sound on the south coast of Western Australia. Located at , it is the site of the city of Albany.The sound covers an area of and varies in depth from to ....

, near present-day Albany
Albany, Western Australia
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. As of 2009, Albany's population was estimated at 33,600, making it the 6th-largest city in the state....

, in 1826, which was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony
Swan River Colony
The Swan River Colony was a British settlement established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia. The name was a pars pro toto for Western Australia. In 1832, the colony was officially renamed Western Australia, when the colony's founding Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling,...

 in 1829, including the townsite of the present-day capital, Perth.

Western Australia achieved self-government in 1890, and later federated
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

 with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today Western Australia's economy
Economy of Western Australia
The Western Australian economy is a state economy dominated by its resources and services sector and largely driven by the export of iron-ore, gold, liquefied natural gas and agricultural commodities such as wheat. Covering an area of 2.5 million km2, the state is Australia's largest, accounting...

 mainly relies on mining, agriculture and tourism. WA supplies 36% of Australia's overseas exports and is the third largest iron-ore producer in the world.

Geography



Western Australia is bounded by South Australia and the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

 to the east, and the Indian Ocean to the west and north. The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 (IHO) designates the body of water south of the continent as part of the Indian Ocean, although it is officially gazetted as the Southern Ocean
Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60°S latitude and encircling Antarctica. It is usually regarded as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions...

 in Australia.

The total distance of the state's eastern borders is 1862 km (1,157 mi), and there is 12889 km (8,009 mi) of coastline. The total land area occupied by the state is 2.5 million km2.

Geology


The bulk of Western Australia consists of the extremely old Yilgarn craton
Yilgarn craton
The Yilgarn Craton is a large craton which constitutes the bulk of the Western Australian land mass. It is bounded by a mixture of sedimentary basins and Proterozoic fold and thrust belts...

 and Pilbara craton
Pilbara craton
The Pilbara craton , along with the Kaapvaal craton are the only remaining areas of pristine Archaean 3.6-2.7 Ga crust on Earth...

 which merged with the Deccan Plateau
Deccan Plateau
The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau in India, making up the majority of the southern part of the country. It rises a hundred meters high in the north, rising further to more than a kilometers high in the south, forming a raised triangle nested within the familiar downward-pointing triangle of...

 of India, Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 and the Karoo
Karoo
The Karoo is a semi-desert region of South Africa. It has two main sub-regions - the Great Karoo in the north and the Little Karoo in the south. The 'High' Karoo is one of the distinct physiographic provinces of the larger South African Platform division.-Great Karoo:The Great Karoo has an area of...

 and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 cratons of Southern Africa, in the Archean
Archean
The Archean , also spelled Archeozoic or Archæozoic) is a geologic eon before the Paleoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon, before 2.5 Ga ago. Instead of being based on stratigraphy, this date is defined chronometrically...

 Eon to form Ur
Ur (continent)
Ur was a supercontinent that formed in the early Archean eon; the oldest continent on Earth, half a billion years older than Arctica. Ur joined with the continents Nena and Atlantica about to form the supercontinent Rodinia...

, one of the oldest supercontinent
Supercontinent
In geology, a supercontinent is a landmass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. The assembly of cratons and accreted terranes that form Eurasia qualifies as a supercontinent today.-History:...

s on Earth (3 – 3.2  billion years ago).

Because the only mountain-building
Orogeny
Orogeny refers to forces and events leading to a severe structural deformation of the Earth's crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. Response to such engagement results in the formation of long tracts of highly deformed rock called orogens or orogenic belts...

 since then has been of the Stirling Range
Stirling Range
The Stirling Range or Koikyennuruff is a range of mountains and hills in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 337 km south-east of Perth. It is located at approximately and is over 60 km wide from west to east, stretching from the highway between Mount Barker and Cranbrook...

 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
Australian Height Datum
The Australian Height Datum is a geodetic datum for altitude measurement in Australia. According to Geoscience Australia, "In 1971 the mean sea level for 1966-1968 was assigned the value of zero on the Australian Height Datum at thirty tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent...

 (at Mount Meharry
Mount Meharry
Mount Meharry is the highest mountain in Western Australia. It is located in the Hamersley Range within the southeastern part of Karijini National Park in the Pilbara region, approximately from Wittenoom, and from Tom Price....

 in the Hamersley Range
Hamersley Range
The Hamersley Ranges is a mountainous region of the Pilbara, Western Australia. The range runs from the Fortescue River in the northeast, 460 km south. The range contains Western Australia's highest point, Mount Meharry, which reaches approximately AHD. There are many extensively-eroded...

 of the Pilbara region). Most parts of the state form a low plateau with an average elevation of about 400 metres (1,200 ft), very low relief, and no surface runoff
Surface runoff
Surface runoff is the water flow that occurs when soil is infiltrated to full capacity and excess water from rain, meltwater, or other sources flows over the land. This is a major component of the water cycle. Runoff that occurs on surfaces before reaching a channel is also called a nonpoint source...

. This descends relatively sharply to the coastal plains, in some cases forming a sharp escarpment (as with the Darling Range/Darling Scarp
Darling Scarp
The Darling Scarp, also referred to as the Darling Range or Darling Ranges, is a low escarpment running north-south to the east of the Swan Coastal Plain and Perth, Western Australia...

 near Perth).


The extreme age of the landscape has meant that the soils are remarkably infertile and frequently laterised
Laterite
Laterites are soil types rich in iron and aluminium, formed in hot and wet tropical areas. Nearly all laterites are rusty-red because of iron oxides. They develop by intensive and long-lasting weathering of the underlying parent rock...

. Even soils derived from granitic
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 bedrock
Bedrock
In stratigraphy, bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet, usually the Earth. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil...

 contain an order of magnitude less available phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

 and only half as much nitrogen
Nitrogen
Nitrogen is a chemical element that has the symbol N, atomic number of 7 and atomic mass 14.00674 u. Elemental nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and mostly inert diatomic gas at standard conditions, constituting 78.08% by volume of Earth's atmosphere...

 as soils in comparable climates in other continents. Soils derived from extensive sandplains or ironstone
Ironstone
Ironstone is a sedimentary rock, either deposited directly as a ferruginous sediment or created by chemical repacement, that contains a substantial proportion of an iron compound from which iron either can be or once was smelted commercially. This term is customarily restricted to hard coarsely...

 are even less fertile, being even more devoid of soluble phosphate and also deficient in zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

, copper, molybdenum
Molybdenum
Molybdenum , is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek , meaning lead, itself proposed as a loanword from Anatolian Luvian and Lydian languages, since its ores were confused with lead ores...

 and sometimes potassium
Potassium
Potassium is the chemical element with the symbol K and atomic number 19. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and is very reactive with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite the hydrogen emitted in the reaction.Potassium and sodium are...

 and calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

.

The infertility of most of the soils has required heavy inputs of chemical fertilisers, particularly superphosphate, insecticides and herbicides, which—with the ensuing damage to invertebrate
Invertebrate
An invertebrate is an animal without a backbone. The group includes 97% of all animal species – all animals except those in the chordate subphylum Vertebrata .Invertebrates form a paraphyletic group...

 and bacterial populations, and compaction of soils
Soil compaction
In Geotechnical engineering, soil compaction is the process in which a stress applied to a soil causes densification as air is displaced from the pores between the soil grains. When stress is applied that causes densification due to water being displaced from between the soil grains then...

 through heavy machinery and hoofed mammals—has done 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
Southwest Australia
Southwest Australia is a biodiversity hotspot that includes the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions of Western Australia. The region has a wet-winter, dry-summer Mediterranean climate, one of five such regions in the world...

 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


The southwest coastal area
Southwest corner of Western Australia
The south-west corner drainage region of Western Australia is one of only two temperate and relatively fertile parts of mainland Australia. It covers about 140,000 square kilometres, or a little less than 2% of the continent...

 has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 and was originally heavily forested, including large stands of the karri
Karri
Eucalyptus diversicolor, commonly known as the Karri, is a eucalypt which is native to the wetter regions of south west of Western Australia.-Description:...

, one of the tallest trees in the world. This agricultural region of Western Australia is in the top nine terrestrial habitats for terrestrial biodiversity, with a higher proportion of endemic species than most other equivalent regions. Thanks to the offshore Leeuwin Current
Leeuwin Current
The Leeuwin Current is a warm ocean current which flows southwards near the western coast of Australia. It rounds Cape Leeuwin to enter the waters south of Australia where its influence extends as far as Tasmania...

 the area numbers in the top six regions for marine biodiversity, containing the most southerly coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s 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
Northcliffe, Western Australia
Northcliffe is a town located in the lower South West region of Western Australia, about south of the town of Pemberton. At the 2006 census, Northcliffe had a population of 412....

, but in the months of November to March evaporation exceeds rainfall, and it is generally very dry. Plants must be adapted to this as well as the extreme poverty of all soils. A major reduction in winter rainfall has been observed since the mid-1970s, with a greater number of extreme rainfall events in the summer months.

The central four-fifths of the state is semiarid or desert and is lightly inhabited with the only significant activity being mining. Annual rainfall averages 200–250 millimetres (8–10 in), most of which occurs in sporadic torrential falls related to cyclone events in summer months.

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
Ord River
The Ord River is a 320-kilometre-long river in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It was named in honour of Harry Ord, Governor of Western Australia from 1877 to 1880....

.



Occurrence of snow in the state is rare, and typically only in the Stirling Range
Stirling Range
The Stirling Range or Koikyennuruff is a range of mountains and hills in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 337 km south-east of Perth. It is located at approximately and is over 60 km wide from west to east, stretching from the highway between Mount Barker and Cranbrook...

 near Albany
Albany, Western Australia
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. As of 2009, Albany's population was estimated at 33,600, making it the 6th-largest city in the state....

, as it is the only mountain range far enough south and with sufficient elevation. More rarely, snow can fall on the nearby Porongurup Range
Porongurup National Park
Porongurup National Park is a national park in the Great Southern region of Western Australia , 360 km southeast of Perth and 40 km from Albany....

. 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
Wongan Hills, Western Australia
Wongan Hills is a town in the Shire of Wongan-Ballidu, in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. The town is approximately 182 km north of the State capital Perth, at an altitude of 286 metres....

 and as far east as Salmon Gums
Salmon Gums, Western Australia
Salmon Gums is a small town in Western Australia located 106 km north of Esperance on the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway. The name is derived from a prominent stretch of Eucalyptus salmonophloia trees which formed a landmark in the town's early days. The town is part of the Shire of Esperance...

. However, even in the Stirling Range, snowfalls rarely exceed 5 cm (2 in) and rarely settle for more than one day.

The highest observed maximum temperature of 50.5 °C (122.9 °F) was recorded at Mardie, Pilbara, 61.6 kilometres (38.3 mi) from Barrow Island on 19 February 1998. The lowest minimum temperature recorded was −7.2 °C (19.0 °F) at Eyre Bird Observatory
Eyre Bird Observatory
Eyre Bird Observatory is an educational, scientific and recreational facility in the Nuytsland Nature Reserve, Western Australia.Cocklebiddy is the nearest locality on the Eyre Highway 49 km to the north....

 on 17 August 2008.

Flora and fauna


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
Flora of Western Australia
The flora of Western Australia comprises 9,437 published native vascular plant species of 1,543 genera within 226 families; there are also 1,171 naturalised alien or invasive plant species more commonly known as weeds...

 comprises 9437 published native vascular plant
Vascular plant
Vascular plants are those plants that have lignified tissues for conducting water, minerals, and photosynthetic products through the plant. Vascular plants include the clubmosses, Equisetum, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms...

 species of 1543 genera
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 within 226 families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

, there are also 1171 naturalised alien or invasive plant species more commonly known as weeds. In the southwest region are some of the largest numbers of plant species for its area in the world.

Specific ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s of Western Australia include: the sandstone gorges of The Kimberley on the northern coast and below that areas of dry grassland (Ord Victoria Plain
Ord Victoria Plain
Ord Victoria Plain is an Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia region in Western Australia. and Northern Territory.-Location and description:...

) or semi-desert (Western Australian Mulga shrublands
Western Australian Mulga shrublands
The Western Australian Mulga shrublands is a large dry World Wildlife Fund ecoregion of inland Western Australia .-Location and description:This is a hot, dry area with little rainfall....

), with Tanami Desert
Tanami Desert
The Tanami Desert is a desert in northern Australia situated in the Northern Territory. It has a rocky terrain with small hills. The Tanami was the Northern Territory's final frontier and was not fully explored until well into the twentieth century...

 inland from there. Following the coast south there is the Southwest Australia savanna
Southwest Australia savanna
Southwest Australia savanna is an ecoregion in Western Australia.-Location and description:This dry region is a belt between the Mediterranean climate of the southwest corner and the semi-arid sandplains inland and to the north...

 and the Swan Coastal Plain
Swan Coastal Plain
The Swan Coastal Plain in Western Australia is the geographic feature which contains the Swan River as it travels west to the Indian Ocean. The coastal plain continues well beyond the boundaries of the Swan River and its tributaries, as a geological and biological zone, one of Western Australia's...

 around Perth, and then farther south the Warren
Warren (biogeographic region)
Warren, also known as Karri Forest Region and the Jarrah-Karri forest and shrublands ecoregion, is a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia. Located in the southwest corner of Western Australia between Cape Naturaliste and Albany, it is bordered to the north and east by the Jarrah...

 on the southwest corner of the coast around the wine-growing area of Margaret River
Margaret River
Margaret River is a river in southwest Western Australia. Although small and unremarkable, it is the eponym of the iconic town and tourist region of Margaret River, famous for its surfing, caves and wine....

.

Going east along the Southern Ocean coast is the Goldfields-Esperance, Western Australia
Esperance, Western Australia
Esperance is a large town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately east-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The shire of Esperance is home to 9,536 people as of the 2006 census, its major industries are tourism, agriculture,...

 region including the Esperance grasslands
Esperance mallee
Esperance Mallee is a World Wide Fund for Nature ecoregion on the south coast of Western Australia, a coastal strip where the predominant vegetation consists of short eucalyptus trees and shrubs.-Location and description:...

 and the Coolgardie grasslands
Coolgardie (biogeographic region)
Coolgardie is an Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia region and a World Wildlife Fund ecoregion consisting of an area of low hills and plains of infertile sandy soil in Western Australia. -Location and description:...

 inland around town of Coolgardie.

History



The first inhabitants of Australia arrived from the north approximately 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Over thousands of years they eventually spread across the whole landmass. These Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 were well established throughout Western Australia by the time of European explorers began to arrive in the early seventeenth century.

The first European to visit Western Australia was a Dutch explorer, Dirk Hartog
Dirk Hartog
Dirk Hartog was a 17th century Dutch sailor and explorer. Dirk Hartog's expedition was the third European group to land on Australian soil. He was the first to leave behind an artifact to record his visit, the Hartog plate. His name is sometimes alternatively spelled Dirck Hartog or Dierick...

 who on the 25th October 1616 landed at what is now known as Cape Inscription, Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island
Dirk Hartog Island is an island off the Gascoyne coast of Western Australia, within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. It is about 80 kilometres long and between 3 and 15 kilometres wide and is Western Australia's largest and most western island. It covers an area of 620 square kilometres and is...

. For the rest of the 17th century, other Dutch (and other nationalities) travellers encountered the coast, usually unintentionally, as many shipwrecks along the coast of ships that deviated (because of poor navigation and storms) from the Brouwer Route
Brouwer Route
The Brouwer Route was a route for sailing from the Cape of Good Hope to Java. The Route took ships south from the Cape into the Roaring Forties, then east across the Indian Ocean, before turning northwest for Java...

 illustrate.. It was a further 200 years before it was proven 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 of a British settlement at King George Sound
King George Sound
King George Sound is the name of a sound on the south coast of Western Australia. Located at , it is the site of the city of Albany.The sound covers an area of and varies in depth from to ....

 in 1826 (later named Albany
Albany, Western Australia
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. As of 2009, Albany's population was estimated at 33,600, making it the 6th-largest city in the state....

 from 1832). The settlement was founded in response to British concerns about the possibility of a French colony being established on the coast of Western Australia.

In 1829, the Swan River Colony
Swan River Colony
The Swan River Colony was a British settlement established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia. The name was a pars pro toto for Western Australia. In 1832, the colony was officially renamed Western Australia, when the colony's founding Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling,...

 was established on the Swan River by Captain James Stirling
James Stirling (Australian governor)
Admiral Sir James Stirling RN was a British naval officer and colonial administrator. His enthusiasm and persistence persuaded the British Government to establish the Swan River Colony and he became the first Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Western Australia...

. 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
Fremantle, Western Australia
Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan River. Fremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829...

 and the state's capital, Perth.

Population growth was very slow until significant discoveries of gold were made in the 1890s around Kalgoorlie
Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Kalgoorlie, known as Kalgoorlie-Boulder, is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, and is located east-northeast of state capital Perth at the end of the Great Eastern Highway...

.

In 1887, a new constitution was drafted, providing for the right of self-governance and in 1890, the act granting self-government
Self-governing colony
A self-governing colony is a colony with an elected legislature, in which politicians are able to make most decisions without reference to the colonial power with formal or nominal control of the colony...

 to the colony was passed by the British House of Commons. John Forrest
John Forrest
Sir John Forrest GCMG was an Australian explorer, the first Premier of Western Australia and a cabinet minister in Australia's first federal parliament....

 became the first Premier of Western Australia
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive government in the Australian State of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions...

.

In 1896, the Western Australian Parliament authorised the raising of a loan to construct a pipeline to transport five million gallons of water per day to the Goldfields of Western Australia. The pipeline, known as the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme is a pipeline and dam project which delivers potable water to communities in Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields, particularly Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie...

, 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 (329.3 mi) from Perth to Kalgoorlie, and is attributed by historians as an important factor driving the state's population and economic growth.

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
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

, resulting in Western Australia officially becoming a state on 1 January 1901.

Demographics



Europeans began to settle permanently in 1826 when Albany
Albany, Western Australia
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. As of 2009, Albany's population was estimated at 33,600, making it the 6th-largest city in the state....

 was claimed by Britain to forestall French claims to the western third of the continent. Perth was founded as the Swan River Colony
Swan River Colony
The Swan River Colony was a British settlement established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia. The name was a pars pro toto for Western Australia. In 1832, the colony was officially renamed Western Australia, when the colony's founding Lieutenant-Governor, Captain James Stirling,...

 in 1829 by British and Irish settlers, though the outpost languished, eventually requesting convict
Convictism in Australia
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government. One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their...

 labour to augment its population. In the 1890s, interstate migration resulting from a mining boom in the Goldfields region resulted in a sharp population increase.

Western Australia did not receive significant flows of migrants
Immigration to Australia
Immigration to Australia is estimated to have begun around 51,000 years ago when the ancestors of Australian Aborigines arrived on the continent via the islands of the Malay Archipelago and New Guinea. Europeans first landed in the 17th and 18th Centuries, but colonisation only started in 1788. The...

 from Britain, Ireland or elsewhere in the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 until the early 20th century when local projects—such as the Group Settlement Scheme
Group Settlement Scheme
The Group Settlement Scheme was an assisted migration scheme which operated in Western Australia from the early 1920s. It was engineered by Premier James Mitchell and followed on from the Soldier Settlement Scheme immediately after World War I...

 of the 1920s which encouraged farmers to settle the southwest—increased awareness of Australia's western third as a destination for colonists.

Led by migrants from the British Isles, Western Australia's population developed at a faster rate during the twentieth century than it had previously. Along with the eastern states, Western Australia received large numbers of Italians, Croatians
Croatian Australian
Croatia has been a source of migrants to Australia, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2006, 128,051 persons resident in Australia identified themselves as having Croatian ancestry.- History :...

 and Greeks
Greek Australian
Greeks are the seventh-largest ethnic group in Australia, after those declaring their ancestry simply as "Australian". In the 2006 census, 365,147 persons declared having Greek ancestry, either alone or in conjunction with another ethnicity....

 after World War II. Despite this, Britain has contributed the greatest number of migrants to this day, and Western Australia—particularly Perth—has the highest proportion of British-born of any state: 10.6% in 2006, compared to a national average of 5.3%. This group is heavily concentrated in certain parts where they account for a quarter of the population.

In terms of ethnicity, the 2001 census data reveals that 77.5% of Western Australia's population is of European descent
European Australian
A European Australian is a citizen or resident of Australia who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

: the largest single group was those reporting English ethnicity
English Australian
English Australians, also known as Anglo-Australians are Australians of English descent, are the single largest ethnic group in Australia and the largest 'ancestry' identity in the Australia Census after "Australian"...

, accounting for 733,783 responses (32.7%), followed by Australian with 624,259 (27.8%), Irish
Irish Australian
Irish Australians have played a long and enduring part in Australia's history. Many came to Australia in the eighteenth century as settlers or as convicts, and contributed to Australia's development in many different areas....

 with 171,667 (7.6%), Italian with 96,721 (4.3%), Scottish
Scottish Australian
Scottish Australians are residents of Australia who are of Scottish ancestry.According to the 2006 Australian census 130,204 Australian residents were born in Scotland, while 1,501,204 claimed Scottish ancestry, either alone or in combination with another ancestry.- History :The links between...

 with 62,781 (2.8%), German
German Australian
German religious refugees represented the first major wave of German settlement in Australia, arriving in South Australia in 1838. Some were active as missionaries and explorers in Australia from early in the 19th century, and German prospectors were well-represented in the 1850s gold rushes...

 with 51,672 (2.3%) and Chinese
Chinese Australian
Chinese Australian is an Australian of Chinese heritage. In the 2006 Australian Census, 669,890 Australian residents identified themselves as having Chinese ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry....

 with 48,894 responses (2.2%). There were 58,496 Indigenous Australians in Western Australia in 2001, forming 3.1% of the population.

In terms of birthplace, according to the 2006 census 27.1% of the population were born overseas—higher than the Australian average of 22.2%. 8.9% of West Australians were born in England, 2.4% in New Zealand, 1.2% in Scotland, 1.1% in South Africa, and 1.1% in Italy.

Perth's metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.55 million in 2007 (75% of the state). Other significant population centres include Mandurah (78,612), Bunbury
Bunbury, Western Australia
The port city of Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia after the State Capital Perth and Mandurah. It is situated south of Perth's central business district...

 (32,499), Geraldton (31,553), Kalgoorlie (28,242), Albany
Albany, Western Australia
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, some 418 km SE of Perth, the state capital. As of 2009, Albany's population was estimated at 33,600, making it the 6th-largest city in the state....

 (25,196), Broome
Broome, Western Australia
Broome is a pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, north of Perth. The year round population is approximately 14,436, growing to more than 45,000 per month during the tourist season...

 (14,436), and Port Hedland
Port Hedland, Western Australia
Port Hedland is the highest tonnage port in Australia and largest town in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, with a population of approximately 14,000 ....

 (14,000).

Economy



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 the abundance of natural resources found in the State, 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. Potentially earning up to 4.64% of Australia's total GDP.
  • Gross state product
    Gross state product
    Gross state product is a measurement of the economic output of a state or province...

     per person ($70,009) is higher than any other state and well above the national average ($54,606).
  • 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.
  • There has been strong growth in the services (finance, insurance and property) and construction sector, which have increased their share of economic output.
  • 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 36% of the nation's total. The state's major export commodities include iron-ore, alumina, nickel, gold, ammonia, wheat, wool, live sheep and cattle, and 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
Argyle diamond mine
The Argyle Diamond Mine is a diamond mine located in the East Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia. Argyle is the largest diamond producer in the world by volume, although due to the low proportion of gem-quality diamonds, is not the leader by value. It is the only known...

 in far north of the Kimberley region. Coal mined at Collie
Collie, Western Australia
-External links:*...

 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. and providing $1.7 billion in export income.

Other significant farm output includes barley, peas, wool, lamb and beef. There is a high level of overseas demand for imports of live animals from WA, driven mainly by South East 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. Approximately 50% of Australia's live cattle exports come from Western Australia.

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 migration. According to the 2006 census, 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 which produces petrol and diesel for local consumption, along with iron, alumina, and nickel processing plants, port facilities for grain 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
Henderson, Western Australia
Henderson is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn.-History:The suburb of Henderson comprises land resumed by the Commonwealth Government in 1915 for defence purposes. A large naval base was planned by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson, and the was area sometimes...

, just south of Fremantle. 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%). 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 Lobster
Western rock lobster
Panulirus cygnus is a species of spiny lobster , found off the west coast of Australia. Panulirus cygnus is the basis of Australia's most valuable fishery, making up 20% of value of Australia's total fishing industry, and is identified as the western rock lobster.-Description:The species has five...

s, 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.

Government


Western Australia was granted self-government in 1889 with a bicameral Parliament
Parliament of Western Australia
The Parliament of Western Australia consists of the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly . The Parliament sits at Parliament House in Harvest Terrace, Perth....

 located in Perth, consisting of the Legislative Assembly
Western Australian Legislative Assembly
The Legislative Assembly, or lower house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. It sits in Parliament House in the state capital, Perth....

 (or lower house), which has 59 members; and the Legislative Council
Western Australian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the Legislative Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state...

 (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
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 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 (Queen Elizabeth II), and executive power nominally vested in her State representative the Governor
Governor of Western Australia
The Governor of Western Australia is the representative in Western Australia of Australia's Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor performs important constitutional, ceremonial and community functions, including:* presiding over the Executive Council;...

 (currently Malcolm McCusker
Malcolm McCusker
Malcolm James McCusker, AO, CVO, QC is an Australian philanthropist and barrister who is the current Governor of Western Australia.-Life and career:...

), 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. The current Premier is Colin Barnett
Colin Barnett
Colin James Barnett , Australian politician, is the leader of the Western Australian Liberal Party, the 29th and current Premier of Western Australia since the 2008 election and served as the Treasurer of Western Australia in 2010. He was sworn into office by Governor Ken Michael on 23 September 2008...

.

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
Federation of Australia
The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia formed one nation...

. 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
Auralia
Auralia was a proposed state that would have been formed out of the south-eastern portion of the colony of Western Australia in the early twentieth century , and would have joined the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia...

 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
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

, but the British Government refused to intervene and therefore no action was taken to implement this decision.

Education


Education in Western Australia consists of one year of pre-school at age 5, followed by seven years of primary school education. At age 13, students begin five years of secondary education. The final two years of secondary education are currently changing to compulsory. All students who completed Year 10 in 2005 are now required to undertake further studies in Year 11. Students are required to complete the year in which they turn 16 (usually Year 11).

Since 2008, all students are required to complete 12 years of study before leaving school. Students have the option to study at a TAFE
Technical and Further Education
In Australia, training and further education or TAFE institutions provide a wide range of predominantly vocational tertiary education courses, mostly qualifying courses under the National Training System/Australian Qualifications Framework/Australian Quality Training Framework...

 college in their eleventh year or continue through high school with a vocational course or a specific University entrance course.

The universities in Western Australia are Curtin University, Murdoch University
Murdoch University
Murdoch University is a public university based in Perth, Australia. It began operations as the state's second university in 1973, and accepted its first students in 1975...

, Edith Cowan University
Edith Cowan University
Edith Cowan University is located in Perth, Western Australia. It was named after the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament, Edith Cowan, and is the only Australian university named after a woman....

, University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame Australia
The University of Notre Dame Australia is a private Roman Catholic university established in 1989 in the Western Australian port city of Fremantle, . While the University of Notre Dame Australia has "strong collegial links" with the American University of Notre Dame located in Notre Dame, Indiana,...

 and the University of Western Australia
University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia was established by an Act of the Western Australian Parliament in February 1911, and began teaching students for the first time in 1913. It is the oldest university in the state of Western Australia and the only university in the state to be a member of the...

.

Print


For more information visit the page Western Australian Papers

Western Australia has two daily newspapers: the independent tabloid The West Australian
The West Australian
The West Australian is the only locally-edited daily newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by ASX-listed Seven West Media . The West is published in tabloid format, as is the state's other major newspaper, The Sunday Times, a News Limited publication...

, Countryman and The Kalgoorlie Miner. Also published is one Sunday tabloid newspaper, News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

's The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
The Sunday Times, owned by News Limited, is a tabloid Sunday newspaper printed in Perth and distributed throughout Western Australia.-History:...

. There are also 17 weekly Community Newspapers
Community paper
Community paper is a term used by publishers, advertisers and readers to describe a range of publications that share a common service to their local community and commerce...

with distribution from Yanchep in the North to Mandurah in the South. The interstate broadsheet publication The Australian
The Australian
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964. The editor in chief is Chris Mitchell, the editor is Clive Mathieson and the 'editor-at-large' is Paul Kelly....

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
WAtoday
WAtoday is an online newspaper, focusing its coverage on Perth and Western Australia. It was established on 10 June 2008, and is owned and run by Fairfax Digital, a subsidiary of the Fairfax Media group....

, 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
The Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald is a daily broadsheet newspaper published by Fairfax Media in Sydney, Australia. Founded in 1831 as the Sydney Herald, the SMH is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia. The newspaper is published six days a week. The newspaper's Sunday counterpart, The...

and The Australian are also available.

Television



Metropolitan Perth has six broadcast television stations;
  • ABC
    Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly referred to as "the ABC" , is Australia's national public broadcaster...

     WA. Produces nightly local news at 7 pm and weeknightly national current affairs from 7:30 pm to 8 pm. (digital and analogue) (callsign: ABW – Channel 2 Analogue, Channel 12 Digital)
  • SBS
    Special Broadcasting Service
    The Special Broadcasting Service is a hybrid-funded Australian public broadcasting radio and television network. The stated purpose of SBS is "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect...

     WA (digital and analogue) (callsign: SBS – Channel 28 Analogue, Channel 29 Digital)
  • Seven Network
    Seven Network
    The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

     Perth. Produces weeknightly local news and current affairs from 6 pm to 7 pm. (digital and analogue) (callsign: TVW
    TVW
    TVW can mean:*TVW, a Seven Network owned station in Perth, Western Australia*TVW, a public affairs network in the state of Washington*"tvw", the false branding callsign of WISC-TV's digital subchannel and Madison, Wisconsin's MyNetworkTV affiliate...

     – Channel 7 Analogue, Channel 6 Digital)
  • Nine Network
    Nine Network
    The Nine Network , is an Australian television network with headquarters based in Willoughby, a suburb located on the North Shore of Sydney. For 50 years since television's inception in Australia, between 1956 and 2006, it was the most watched television network in Australia...

     Perth. Produces nightly local news from 6 pm to 6.30 pm and weeknightly national current affairs from 6:30 pm to 7 pm. (digital and analogue) (callsign: STW
    STW
    -Mathematics:*The Shimura-Taniyama-Weil conjecture, a generalization of Fermat's last theorem.-Music:*Stop the War Coalition, an anti-war group in the United Kingdom*Salt the Wound, a deathcore band-Other:...

     – Channel 9 Analogue, Channel 8 Digital)
  • Network Ten
    Network Ten
    Network Ten , is one of Australia's three major commercial television networks. Owned-and-operated stations can be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, while affiliates extend the network to cover most of the country...

     Perth. Produces weeknightly local news from 5 pm – 6.30 pm, weeknightly new national current affairs from 6:30pm to 7pm. (digital and analogue) (callsign: NEW – Channel 10 Analogue, Channel 11 Digital)
  • West TV
    West TV
    West TV or WTV, previously New Visions 31, is a free-to-air community television station that began broadcasting in standard definition digital format on logical channel 44 in Perth on 10 April 2010 at 10 am.-History:...

    . A free-to-air digital only community television channel that began broadcasting in April 2010. (digital channel 44)

  • Access 31
    Access 31
    Access 31 was a free-to-air Community television station based in Perth, Australia which operated between 1999 and 2008 before closing due to insolvency. The station had broadcast on UHF 31 from the ABC's television mast at Bickley in the Perth Hills...

    . Was a community service channel. (analogue-only) (callsign: ATW
    Access 31
    Access 31 was a free-to-air Community television station based in Perth, Australia which operated between 1999 and 2008 before closing due to insolvency. The station had broadcast on UHF 31 from the ABC's television mast at Bickley in the Perth Hills...

     – Channel 31 Analogue)
    – ceased transmission in August 2008, with assets liquidated.


In addition, broadcasters operate digital multichannels:
  • ABC2
    ABC2
    ABC2 is a national public television channel in Australia. Launched on 7 March 2005, it is the responsibility of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's television division, and is available nationally to digital television viewers in Australia...

     (carried by ABW)
  • ABC3
    ABC3
    -Future shows:Programming confirmed for future broadcast will include:* After School Care * Bindi's Boot Camp * Bushwacked! * Dance Academy * Dancing Down Under...

     (carried by ABW)
  • ABC News 24
    ABC News 24
    ABC News 24 is an Australian 24-hour news channel launched and owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The channel replaced the former ABC High Definition simulcast of ABC1 and commenced broadcasting at 7:30pm 5:30 on Thursday, 22 July 2010.-Pre-launch:The ABC announced in January 2010...

     (carried by ABW)
  • SBS Two (carried by SBS)
  • SBS HD (carried by SBS)
  • 7mate
    7mate
    7mate is an Australian free-to-air high definition digital television channel, which was launched by the Seven Network on 25 September 2010.The network stated that 7mate would contain sport and regular programs aimed primarily at a male audience, with programming drawn from a combination of new...

     (carried by TVW
    TVW
    TVW can mean:*TVW, a Seven Network owned station in Perth, Western Australia*TVW, a public affairs network in the state of Washington*"tvw", the false branding callsign of WISC-TV's digital subchannel and Madison, Wisconsin's MyNetworkTV affiliate...

    )
  • 7Two
    7Two
    7TWO is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel which was launched by the Seven Network on Sunday 1 November 2009 at 12pm....

     (carried by TVW
    TVW
    TVW can mean:*TVW, a Seven Network owned station in Perth, Western Australia*TVW, a public affairs network in the state of Washington*"tvw", the false branding callsign of WISC-TV's digital subchannel and Madison, Wisconsin's MyNetworkTV affiliate...

    )
  • GEM
    GEM (Australian TV channel)
    GEM is an Australian free-to-air high definition digital television channel, launched by the Nine Network on Sunday 26 September 2010 at 6am...

     (carried by STW
    STW
    -Mathematics:*The Shimura-Taniyama-Weil conjecture, a generalization of Fermat's last theorem.-Music:*Stop the War Coalition, an anti-war group in the United Kingdom*Salt the Wound, a deathcore band-Other:...

    )
  • GO!
    Go! (Australian TV channel)
    GO! is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel launched by the Nine Network on Sunday 9 August 2009.-Origins:...

     (carried by STW
    STW
    -Mathematics:*The Shimura-Taniyama-Weil conjecture, a generalization of Fermat's last theorem.-Music:*Stop the War Coalition, an anti-war group in the United Kingdom*Salt the Wound, a deathcore band-Other:...

    )
  • Eleven
    Eleven (TV channel)
    Eleven is an Australian free-to-air standard definition digital television channel, which was launched by ElevenCo, on 11 January 2011.-Joint venture:...

     (carried by NEW)
  • One HD (carried by NEW)


Regional WA has a similar availability of stations, with the exception of West TV in all areas but Bunbury
Bunbury, Western Australia
The port city of Bunbury is the third largest city in Western Australia after the State Capital Perth and Mandurah. It is situated south of Perth's central business district...

 and Albany. The metropolitans commercial stations are affiliated with:
  • Golden West Network (GWN7)
    Golden West Network
    GWN7 is an Australian television network owned by the Prime Media Group that is based in Bunbury, Western Australia. The Golden West Network launched on 10 March 1967 as BTW-3 in Bunbury, and has since expanded to cover regional and remote Western Australia, servicing all areas except metropolitan...

    . Produces weeknightly local news from 5.30 pm to 6 pm, also airs Seven Perth news until 7 pm) (analogue only) (callsign: SSW South West, VEW Goldfields/Esperance, GTW Central West, WAW Statewide)
  • WIN Television WA. Produces weeknightly local news from 5:30 pm – 6 pm, live from Perth. Also airs Nine Perth news from 6 pm – 6:30 pm. (analogue only) (callsign: WOW)
  • Ten West
    Ten West
    Ten West is the official name for a digital television station broadcasting in rural Western Australia. It is jointly owned by the WIN Corporation and Prime Television Limited and is an affiliate of Network Ten, broadcasting a direct feed of NEW-10 from Perth....

    . A joint venture between GWN and WIN to provide Ten to regional WA. It is a direct feed of NEW-10
    NEW-10
    NEW is a television station broadcasting in Perth, Australia, and is a member of Network Ten. Out of the three commercial stations, NEW generally rates the lowest overall, but usually rates highest in its target demographic ....

     with local ads inserted. Since it is a digital only channel it is being progressively rolled out statewide which hopes to see most of the population covered by 31 December 2010.


Pay TV services are provided by Foxtel
Foxtel
Foxtel is an Australian pay television company, operating cable, direct broadcast satellite television and IPTV services. It was formed in 1995 through a joint venture established between Telstra and News Corporation....

, which acquired many of the assets and all the remaining subscribers of the insolvent Galaxy Television
Galaxy (Australian TV)
Galaxy is a former provider of pay television programming in Australia via satellite and wireless cable delivery methods.Galaxy was founded in 1993, and begin test broadcasting on 1 January 1995 via microwave, making it the first provider of pay-TV services in the country...

 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
ABC NewsRadio
ABC NewsRadio is an Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio service devoted to delivering live and 24-hour news updates and information. The service is available on a number of broadcasts right around Australia, including AM/FM radio, some pay-TV platforms and online via the Internet.Originally...

 (6PB 585 am), 720 ABC Perth
720 ABC Perth
720 ABC Perth is a radio station located in Perth, Western Australia broadcasting on 720 kHz on the AM band. The station is a member of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Local Radio network.-History:...

 (6WF 720 am), ABC Radio National (6RN 810 am), ABC Classic FM
ABC Classic FM
ABC Classic FM is a classical music radio station available in Australia, and internationally online. It is operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation . It was established in 1976 as "ABC-FM", and later for a short time was known as "ABC Fine Music" , before adopting its current name...

 (6ABC 97.7FM) and Triple J
Triple J
triple j is a nationally networked Australian radio station intended to appeal to listeners between the ages of 18 and 30. The government-funded station is a division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation...

 (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
6PR
6PR, known as 882 6PR, is a commercial radio station based in Perth, Australia. Its focus is on news, talk and sport, and is Perth's only commercial talkback radio station. 6PR is owned by Fairfax Media, an Australian media company that owns television and radio businesses throughout Australia and...

), and AM 1080 (6IX).

The leading community stations are 6RTR FM 92.1 and Sonshine FM 98.5 (6SON).

Wine



Australia’s biggest state extends the western third of the continent, although the winemaking regions are almost entirely concentrated in the cooler climate south-western portion of the State. Western Australia produces less than 5% of the country's wine output, however in quality terms it is very much near the top. Major wine producing regions include: Margaret River
Margaret River (wine region)
Margaret River is the foremost Geographical Indication wine region in the South West Australia Zone, with nearly 5,500 hectares under vine and over 138 wineries as at 2008. Margaret River wine region is made up predominately of boutique size wine producers; although winery operations range from the...

, The Great Southern
Great Southern Wine Region
The Great Southern Wine Region in Western Australia's South West is Australia's largest wine region a rectangle 200 kilometres from east to west and over 100 kilometers from north to south...

, Swan Valley as well as several smaller districts including Blackwood Valley
Blackwood Valley
Blackwood Valley is a region in the south-west of Western Australia, approximately 260 km south-south-east of Perth. The region was named after the Blackwood River, the longest continually flowing river in Western Australia...

, Manjimup
Manjimup, Western Australia
Manjimup is a town in Western Australia, south of the state capital, Perth. The town of Manjimup is a regional centre for the largest shire in the South West of Western Australia. At the 2006 census, Manjimup had a population of 4,239.-History:...

, Pemberton
Pemberton, Western Australia
Pemberton is a town located in the South West region of Western Australia, named after the early settler Pemberton Walcott. It is the home of the karri tree, the largest tree in Western Australia and the third largest hardwood tree in the world...

, Peel, Chittering Valley, Perth Hills, and Geographe
Geographe Bay
Geographe Bay is located in the South West of Western Australia around 220 km southwest of Perth.The bay was named in May 1801 by French explorer Nicolas Baudin; Baudin named the bay after his ship, Géographe. The bay is a wide curve of coastline extending from Cape Naturaliste past the towns...

.

Sport


A number of national or international sporting teams and events are based in the state, including:
  • Australian rules football
    Australian rules football
    Australian rules football, officially known as Australian football, also called football, Aussie rules or footy is a sport played between two teams of 22 players on either...

    : The West Coast Eagles
    West Coast Eagles
    The West Coast Eagles are an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League. The club is based in Perth, Western Australia. The club was founded in 1986 and played its first games in the 1987 season. Its current home ground is Subiaco Oval...

     and the Fremantle Dockers in the AFL
    Australian Football League
    The Australian Football League is both the governing body and the major professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football...

    . The WAFL
    West Australian Football League
    The West Australian Football League is an Australian rules football league based in Perth, Western Australia. The WAFL is the second-most popular in the state, behind the nation-wide Australian Football League...

     is the main local football competition, but other local and district football leagues
    Australian rules football in Western Australia
    Australian rules football in Western Australia is the most popular sport in the state.-Early Beginnings:Organised football in the Perth/Fremantle region of Western Australia dates back to 1881. Back then though rugby union was the dominant football code...

     are exist across the state.
  • Baseball: Perth Heat
    Perth Heat
    The baseball team Perth Heat is a team in the current Australian Baseball League and a foundation member of the now-defunct Australian Baseball League...

     (men)
  • Basketball: Perth Wildcats
    Perth Wildcats
    The Perth Wildcats are an Australian professional basketball team competing in the National Basketball League. The Wildcats are the only team in the league representing the state of Western Australia and are based in the state capital, Perth...

     (men) and West Coast Waves
    West Coast Waves
    The West Coast Waves are an Australian women's professional basketball team in the Women's National Basketball League . Based in Perth, Western Australia, Australia, the Waves are the only team representing WA and one of ten teams competing in the WNBL...

     (women)
  • Cricket
    Cricket
    Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

    : Western Warriors
    Western Warriors
    The Western Australia cricket team are an Australian first class cricket team representing the state of Western Australia...

     (men) and Western Fury
    Western Fury
    The Western Fury is the representative women's cricket team of Western Australia and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Their home ground is the WACA Ground, although from 2011/2012 they will also play games at Murdoch University....

     (women)
  • Field hockey
    Field hockey
    Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

    : WA Thundersticks
    SmokeFree WA Thundersticks
    The SmokeFree WA Thundersticks are a men's Australian field hockey team, representing Western Australia in the Australian Hockey League.The Thundersticks have been the most successful team since the inception of the National Hockey League in 1991...

     (men) and Smokefree WA Diamonds (women)
  • Netball
    Netball
    Netball is a ball sport played between two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball, began in England in the 1890s. By 1960 international playing rules had been standardised for the game, and the International Federation of Netball and Women's Basketball ...

    : West Coast Fever
    West Coast Fever
    The West Coast Fever are an Australian netball team based in Perth that currently compete in the trans-Tasman ANZ Championship. The franchise was one of the foundation teams of the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, formerly the premier domestic league in Australia. They contested every year of the...

     (women)
  • Rugby league
    Rugby league
    Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

    : Western Reds (men)
  • Rugby union
    Rugby union
    Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

    : Western Force
    Western Force
    Western Force is a rugby union team based in Perth, Western Australia playing in the international Super Rugby competition. They first competed in the 2006 season and finished with the wooden spoon in that year, however their performances greatly improved in 2007. In 2008 they finished in 8th...

     (men)
  • Soccer: Perth Glory (men) and Perth Glory (W-League)
    Perth Glory FC W-League
    The Perth Glory FC W-League team, also known as the Perth Glory Women, represents the Perth Glory in the Australian Women's National football League, the W-League.-Standings:-W-League Squad:...



International events hosted by Western Australia include the Hopman Cup
Hopman Cup
The Hopman Cup is an annual international team tennis tournament held in Perth, Western Australia in early January each year, which plays mixed teams on a country by country basis...

, the Tom Hoad Cup
Tom Hoad Cup
The Tom Hoad Cup is an annual four-day international water polo event, staged in Perth, Western Australia since 2003. The event is named for Tom Hoad, a former coach and long-time player for the Australia national water polo team and senior administrator in the international governing body .The...

, the Perth Cup
Perth Cup
The Perth Cup is Western Australia's premier Thoroughbred horse race and is held at Ascot Racecourse on New Year's Day each year. It has been run since 1887....

, Red Bull Air Race and the Gravity Games
Gravity Games
The Gravity Games were a multi-sport competition originating from Providence, Rhode Island that is broken down into Winter and Summer adaptations...

.

The Arts


Western Australia is home to one of the country's leading performance training institutions, the acclaimed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts , Edith Cowan University was established in 1980 to provide performing arts tuition comparable to the highest calibre of national and international training benchmarks to be able to meet industry needs around the globe.The school is located in the...

 (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
Adam Brand
Adam Brand is an Australian musician who sings country music. Active since 1997, he has released seven studio albums and thirteen singles. His first three albums are all certified platinum in Australia...

, Karnivool
Karnivool
Karnivool are an Australian progressive rock band formed in Perth in 1997. The group currently consists of Ian Kenny on vocals, Drew Goddard and Mark Hosking on guitar, Jon Stockman on bass guitar, and Steve Judd on drums. Karnivool emerged from a band Kenny and Goddard formed during high school...

, Birds of Tokyo
Birds of Tokyo
Birds of Tokyo is a four-piece alternative rock band from Perth, Western Australia. Their debut album Day One, gained them domestic success with it reaching No. 3 on the AIR Independent Album charts, spending a total of 36 consecutive weeks in the top 10.In 2008, the band released Universes,...

, Bon Scott
Bon Scott
Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was a Scottish-born Australian rock musician, best known for being the lead singer and lyricist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980...

, Eskimo Joe
Eskimo Joe
Eskimo Joe is an Australian alternative rock band formed by Stuart MacLeod on guitars, Joel Quartermain on drums and guitar and Kavyen Temperley on bass guitar and vocals, in East Fremantle, Western Australia in 1997....

, Johnny Young
Johnny Young
Johnny Young is an Australian singer, composer, record producer, disc jockey, television producer and host. Originally from Netherlands, his family settled in Perth, Western Australia in the early 1950s...

, Gyroscope
Gyroscope (band)
Gyroscope is an Australian rock band from Perth, Western Australia, formed in 1997. The band comprises vocalist and guitarist Daniel Sanders, guitarist and back up vocalist Zoran Trivic, bassist and back up vocalist Brad Campbell and drummer Rob Nassif....

, the John Butler Trio
John Butler Trio
The John Butler Trio are an eclectic roots and jam band from Australia led by guitarist and vocalist John Butler. They formed in Fremantle in 1998 with Jason McGann on drums and Gavin Shoesmith on bass guitar...

, Tame Impala
Tame Impala
Tame Impala are a psychedelic rock band from Perth, Australia. They are signed to Modular Records. The band came to prominence in 2010 with the release of their first debut album, Innerspeaker. Their name refers to the impala, a medium sized antelope...

, Kevin Mitchell
Kevin Mitchell (musician)
Kevin Edward Mitchell , is an Australian musician, known for his role as the vocalist and guitarist of the alternative rock band Jebediah and also his solo work under the stage name of Bob Evans....

, The Kill Devil Hills
The Kill Devil Hills
The Kill Devil Hills were formed in 2003 in Fremantle, Western Australia as an acoustic, country-tinged 3-piece, which slowly swelled its ranks to become a rambling 6-piece outfit....

, Pendulum
Pendulum (band)
Pendulum is an Australian drum and bass and electronic rock band founded in 2002 in Perth by Rob Swire, Gareth McGrillen, and Paul Harding.Swire and McGrillen were members of the rock band known as Xygen. After hearing Konflict's "Messiah" at a club, they were inspired to enter into the drum and...

, The Pigram Brothers
The Pigram Brothers
The Pigram Brothers are a 7 piece Indigenous Australian band from the pearling town of Broome, Western Australia formed in 1996.They were heavily involved in Broome's musical and theatrical exports - forming the original backing band for Jimmy Chi's Bran Nue Dae in 1990 – a musical that received...

, Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris, CBE, AM is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, composer, painter and television personality.Born in Perth, Western Australia, Harris was a champion swimmer before studying art. He moved to England in 1952, where he started to appear on television programmes on which he drew the...

 and The Triffids
The Triffids
The Triffids were a seminal Australian alternative rock and pop band formed in Perth, Western Australia, in May 1978 with charismatic, David McComb as singer-songwriter, guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboardist. They achieved negligible success in Australia, but greater success in the U.K...

. The West Australian Music Industry Awards
West Australian Music Industry Awards
The Western Australian Music Industry Awards are annual awards presented to the local contemporary music industry, put on by the Western Australian Music Industry Association Inc...

 (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
Heath Ledger
Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian television and film actor. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his film career...

, Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor and producer who is involved in film, musical theatre, and television.Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as action/superhero, period and romance characters...

, Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington
Samuel Henry J. "Sam" Worthington is an English born, Australian actor. After almost a decade of roles in Australian TV shows and films, Worthington gained Hollywood's attention by playing Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation and the lead role, Jake Sully, in James Cameron's science...

, Ernie Dingo
Ernie Dingo
Ernie Dingo AM is an Indigenous Australian actor and television presenter originating from the Yamatji people of the Murchison region of Western Australia.-Background:...

, Jessica Marais
Jessica Marais
Jessica Dominique Marais is an Australian actress who hails from Perth, Western Australia. She is best known for her role as Rachel Rafter in the television series Packed to the Rafters.-Early Life:...

, Megan Gale
Megan Gale
Megan Kate Gale is an Australian model and actress.- Career :Born in Perth, Western Australia, Megan Gale's father is English and mother is part Maori and is the youngest of three children with two older brothers.-Modeling:...

, Rove McManus
Rove McManus
John Henry Michael "Rove" McManus is an Australian comedian, television presenter, producer and media personality. He was the host of the self-titled variety show Rove, and is the owner of the production company Roving Enterprises...

, Isla Fisher
Isla Fisher
Isla Lang Fisher is an actress and author. She began acting on Australian television, on the short-lived soap opera Paradise Beach before playing Shannon Reed on the soap opera Home and Away...

, and Melissa George
Melissa George
Melissa Suzanne George is an Australian film and television actress who has worked in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Melissa is perhaps best known for her role as Angel Parrish on the Australian soap opera Home and Away...

. Films and television series filmed or partly filmed in Western Australia include Cloudstreet
Cloudstreet
Cloudstreet is a novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. It chronicles the lives of two working class Australian families who come to live together at One Cloud Street, in a suburb of Perth, over a period of twenty years, 1943 - 1963...

, Australia, Bran Nu Dae, ABBA: the Movie
ABBA: The Movie
ABBA: The Movie is a 1977 film about the pop group ABBA's Australian tour. It was directed by Lasse Hallström, who directed most of the group's videos. The film has become a cult film among ABBA fans...

and Last Train to Freo
Last Train to Freo
Last Train to Freo is a 2006 Australian film based on Reg Cribb's play The Return, and directed by Jeremy Sims.-Synopsis:Two thugs from the Perth suburb of Midland catch the last train to Fremantle. When a young woman, unaware that the train guards are on strike, boards the train several stops...

.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra
West Australian Symphony Orchestra
The West Australian Symphony Orchestra , often known as the "Orchestra of the West", is the premier professional orchestra of the state of Western Australia.-History:...

 (WASO) is based at the Perth Concert Hall. Other concert and performance venues in Western Australia include His Majesty's Theatre
His Majesty's Theatre, Western Australia
His Majesty's Theatre is an Edwardian Baroque theatre in Perth, Western Australia. Constructed from 1902 to 1904 during a period of great growth for the town, the theatre is located on the corner of Hay Street and King Street in Perth's central business district. At the time the theatre was opened,...

 and the defunct Perth Entertainment Centre
Perth Entertainment Centre
Perth Entertainment Centre is a former indoor arena and cinema complex, located in Wellington Street, in the city centre of Perth, Western Australia.-History:...

. Perth Arena
Perth Arena
Perth Arena will be a new indoor sporting and entertainment arena located on Wellington Street in the city centre of Perth, Western Australia. It is currently being built on the site of the former carpark for the now defunct Perth Entertainment Centre...

, set to open in 2012, will host concerts and indoor sporting events.

See also


  • Government of Western Australia
    Government of Western Australia
    The formation of the Government of Western Australia is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1890, although it has been amended many times since then...

  • Petroleum in Western Australia
    Petroleum in Western Australia
    The petroleum industry in Western Australia is the largest contributor to Australia's production of most petroleum products. Based largely on development of the reserves of the North West Shelf and other onshore hydrocarbon basins, the industry extracts crude oil, condensate and natural gas from...

  • Mining in Western Australia
    Mining in Western Australia
    Mining in Western Australia, together with the petroleum industry in the state, accountedfor almost 90 per cent of the State’s income from total merchandise exports in 2008-09...



Lists:

External links