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The term Southern Australia is generally considered to include the states and territories of Australia of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia. The part of Western Australia south of latitude 26° south — a definition widely used in law and state government policy — is also usually included.
Although it comprises about half of the total area of Australia, Southern Australia includes about three quarters of the Australian population, the two largest cities (Sydney and Melbourne), the political capital (Canberra), the main food growing areas and the main industrial centres. The area is also notable for its primarily temperate, mediterranean, alpine or arid environmental and climatic conditions which contrasts to the mainly tropical climate of Northern Australia.
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