The VICTORIA PORTAL
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.
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
) broad gauge
, with the exception of a number of standard gauge 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in
) freight and interstate lines, a few experimental 2 ft 6 in
) 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.
Sir Wilfrid Selwyn Kent Hughes KBE
(12 June 1895 – 31 July 1970) was an Australian soldier, Olympian and Olympic Games
organiser, author and federal and state government minister.
Kent Hughes was born in Melbourne to an upper middle-class family. He was set to attend the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship when he enlisted in the army on the outbreak of World War I. After his discharge from the army, Kent Hughes attended Oxford and represented Australia in athletics as a hurdler at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. Upon the completion of his degree at Oxford, Kent Hughes returned to Australia, seeking a career in politics. Elected to the Victorian state parliament in 1927, Kent Hughes sat with the conservative Nationalist Party of Australia, rising to the position of Deputy Premier of Victoria. Kent Hughes proved to be a controversial figure in politics, and was never afraid to publicly espouse his personal beliefs, such as an admiration for fascism, of which he had a poor understanding.