Portal:Australia

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The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the world's smallest continent and a number of islands in the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia's neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.

The continent of Australia has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. After sporadic visits by European explorers and merchants from the 17th century onwards, the eastern half of the continent was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as the penal colony of New South Wales on 26 January 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, another five largely self-governing Crown colonies were successively established over the course of the 19th century.

On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system and remains a Commonwealth realm. The current population of around 21 million is concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

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Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, retained government in the 2006 South Australian election

The general election for the 51st Parliament of South Australia was held in the state of South Australia on 18 March 2006, and was conducted by the independent State Electoral Office. The centre-left Australian Labor Party, in government since 2002 under Premier Mike Rann (pictured), gained six Liberal-held seats and a 7.7 percent statewide two-party preferred swing, resulting in the first Labor majority government since the 1985 election with 28 of the 47 House of Assembly (lower house) seats, a net gain of five seats. The centre-right Liberal Party of Australia, led by Rob Kerin, regained a former independent seat while losing seats - the net result of 15 seats was the lowest Liberal result in any South Australian election. Independent members Bob Such and Rory McEwen retained their seats, with Kris Hanna successfully changing from Labor to an independent member. The sitting Nationals SA member Karlene Maywald retained her seat.

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An Eastern Banjo Frog, found in eastern Australia.

The Eastern Banjo Frog, Limnodynastes dumerilli, is a frog species from the family Myobatrachidae. It is native to eastern Australia and has been introduced to New Zealand. The frog is also commonly called the "pobblebonk" after its distinctive "bonk" call, which is likened to a banjo string being plucked.

Photo credit: Fir0002

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