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The Queensland Portal

Flag of Queensland
Coat of Arms of Queensland
Location within Australia

Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern corner of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory to the west, South Australia to the south-west and New South Wales to the south. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. The state is Australia's second largest by area, following Western Australia, and the country's third most populous after New South Wales and Victoria.

The area was first colonised by Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived between 40,000 and 65,000 years ago, according to various dating methods. Later, Queensland was made a British Crown Colony that was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859, a date now celebrated annually as Queensland Day. The area that currently forms Brisbane was originally the Moreton Bay penal colony, intended as a place for recidivist convicts who had offended while serving out their sentences in New South Wales. The state later encouraged free settlement, and today Queensland's economy is dominated by the agricultural, tourist and natural resource sectors.

The population is concentrated in the south-east corner, which includes the capital Brisbane, Logan City, Redland City, Ipswich, Toowoomba, and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Other major regional centres include Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, and Mount Isa. Queensland is often nicknamed the Sunshine State, since it enjoys warm weather and a sizable portion of the state is in the tropics.

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Small Mercies is an alternative rock band from Brisbane, Australia. The band formed in 1997 (see 1997 in music), and its current lineup is Steve Blaik, Danny Procopis, Marty O'Brien, and Jeff Reeves. Small Mercies have released two EPs (Is This Life? and Off The Record), and are soon to release their first studio album, Beautiful Hum. "Innocent", a song from Beautiful Hum, was nominated for the 2007 ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist - Single, the band's first and only award nomination.

Small Mercies was first established when the band members were teenagers since Blaik, Procopis and O'Brien all attended high school together. The band also contained Simon O'Connor (guitar) and Shaun Spooner (bass guitar, vocals). In 2001, they made it to the finals of the Brisbane Rock Award (under the name "Seventh Avenue"), earning them the rights to play at Queen Street Mall Basement. This performance attracted the attention of Shawthing Entertainment, as well as industry veterans including John Woodruff.

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The Brisbane skyline, spanned by the Story Bridge.
Credit: Stuart Edwards

The Story Bridge is a cantilever bridge and the second crossing of the Brisbane River. It connects Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point. Before the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932 the Government of Queensland asked John Bradfield to design a new Brisbane bridge.

It carries three lanes of traffic in either direction as well as a shared pedestrian and cycle way flanking each side. The road on the bridge is called the Bradfield Highway, and is the shortest highway in Australia. The Story Bridge features prominently in the annual Riverfire display and is illuminated at night. Bridge climbs began in 2005 and are becoming a major tourist attraction.

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Billabong hat.JPG
(Pictured left: A Billabong brand hat)

Billabong International is a clothing company traded on the Australian Securities Exchange since 11 August 2000. Billabong was founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant. The name came from the same word billabong, which is a stagnant body of water attached to a waterway.

As well as the Billabong brand-name, the company sells surfwear and accessories under the Palmers Surf, Honolua Surf, Swell.com, Von Zipper, Kustom (footwear), Nixon, Xcel Wetsuits and Tigerlily brands, and also Element skate clothing and hardware. The brands are available at various surf and skateboard stores locations.

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