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Central Australia, also sometimes referred to as the Red Centre, is an inexactly defined region associated with the geographic centre of Australia. In its narrowest sense it describes a region that is limited to the town of Alice Springs and its immediate surrounds including the MacDonnell Ranges. In its broadest use it can include almost any region in inland Australia that has remained relatively undeveloped, and in this sense is synonymous with the term Outback. Centralia is another term associated with the area, most commonly used by locals.
As described by Charles Sturt in one of the earlier uses of the term "A veil hung over Central Australia that could neither be pierced or raised. Girt round about by deserts, it almost appeared as if Nature had intentionally closed it upon civilized man, that she might have one domain on the earth's wide field over which the savage might roam in freedom."
In a modern, more formal sense it can refer to the administrative region used by the Northern Territory government, as of 2022.
There are six regions in the Northern Territory for the purposes of economic planning, as defined by the Northern Territory Government:
- Central Australia
- Darwin, Palmerston & Litchfield
- East Arnhem (also an LGA)
- Barkly Region (also an LGA)
- Big Rivers Region
- Top End
This region has an estimated population of total regional population of 41,000, serviced by Alice Springs (population 28,000). The town also services parts of South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. Local Government Areas (LGAs) make up the region:
- Town of Alice Springs (town)
- Central Desert Region (region)
- MacDonnell Region (region)
- Yulara (unincorporated town)
The region has a desert environment, meaning it is very dry, receiving on average just 150 millimetres (6 in) of rainfall annually. Most of the annual rainfall falls during extreme rainfall events in the summer months. Moderate dry winters persist between May and October with hot, long summers from November to April.
Colloquial or general use
In more general usage, or when referring to the flora and fauna of Australia, the term "central Australia" may refer to a large area in the interior of the continent, including the Lake Eyre Basin, which stretches across three states and the NT. For many, the term "outback" is almost synonymous with central Australia.
- Central Australia (territory), Australian federal territory 1927–1931
- Regions of the Northern Territory
- Centre points of Australia
- ^ "NT regional economic profiles". Department of Trade, Business and Innovation. Northern Territory Government. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
- ^ Sturt, Charles (1849). Expedition into Central Australia. London.
- ^ "Strengthening the regions". Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet. 26 September 2022. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
- ^ "Central Australia". Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
- ^ Laity, Julie J. (2009). Deserts and Desert Environments. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 43, 45. ISBN 978-1444300741. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- ^ Boas, T.; Mallants, D. (April 2022). "Episodic extreme rainfall events drive groundwater recharge in arid zone environments of central Australia". Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. 40: 101005. Bibcode:2022JHyRS..4001005B. doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2022.101005.
- ^ Willis, Carli (8 November 2022). "Traditional owners, advocates say federal Threatened Species Action Plan will not stop central Australia extinctions - ABC News". ABC. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
- ^ "Where is the Outback?". Travel Outback Australia. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2022.