Portal:Victoria

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The VICTORIA PORTAL

Introduction

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Victoria is a state located in the south-eastern corner of Australia. It is the smallest mainland state in area, but the most densely populated and urbanised. Victoria shares borders with New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, over the Tasman Sea towards the east, New Zealand, and across Bass Strait to the south, Tasmania

Victoria began in the 1830s as a farming community when the Hentys settled at Portland, Melbourne being founded soon after. With the discovery of gold in 1851 and Victorian independence from New South Wales, it was transformed into a leading industrial and commercial centre of the nation. In 1901, it became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Melbourne became the economic centre of both Australia and neighbour New Zealand at the time.

The Victorian economy is the second largest in Australia, accounting for a quarter of the nation's gross domestic product. The total gross state product at current prices for Victoria was at just over A$222 billion, with a GSP per capita of A$44,443. The economy grew by 3.4% in 2004, less than the Australian average of 5.2%. Finance, insurance and property services form Victoria's largest income producing sector, while the community, social and personal services sector is the state's biggest employer. Despite the shift towards service industries, the troubled manufacturing sector remains Victoria's single largest employer and income producer.

Selected article

V/Line A class, and Pacific National XR class diesel locomotives.
Rail transport in Victoria, Australia, is provided by a number of railway operators who operate over the government owned railway lines. Victorian lines use 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge, with the exception of a number of standard gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) freight and interstate lines, a few experimental 30 narrow gauge lines, and various private logging, mining and industrial railways.

Railways were privately owned and operated, until the State Government established the vertically integrated Victorian Railways in 1883. This remained until corporatisation occurred in the 1980s, followed by privatisation in the 1990s. Passenger services today are operated by Connex Melbourne in suburban Melbourne with electric multiple units, and V/Line in regional Victoria with diesel trains. Freight services are operated by Pacific National and other private operators such as El Zorro, Specialised Container Transport and QRNational. The rail network radiates from the state capital, Melbourne, with two main interstate links to Sydney and Adelaide, as well as major lines running to regional centres, upgraded as part of the Regional Fast Rail project. The rail network reached a peak in 1942 but steadily declined, as branch and cross country lines were closed up to the 1980s.

Selected picture

Hopetoun Falls in Beech Forest
Credit: David Iliff

Beech Forest is a town in Victoria, Australia. The area of Beech Forest is largely used for potato farming. The town was named after the many Beech (myrtle) trees of the area.

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Selected biography

Sir Samuel Gilliot portrait
Sir Samuel Gillott (October 29, 1838 – June 29, 1913) was an Australian lawyer and politician, commonly known as a former Lord Mayor of Melbourne. Gillott was born in the city of Sheffield, in the county of South Yorkshire, England, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Gillott. Educated in Sheffield Grammar School, Gillott moved to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 18, in 1856. Gillott was elected as mayor of Melbourne in 1896, but lost his mayorship in 1899 by one vote. In November 1899, Gillott was elected to the seat of East Melbourne, in the Legislative Assembly.

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The Swanston Street façade of the Capitol Theatre.

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