Talk:Australia

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Featured article Australia is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Australia
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6th or 5th largest country?[edit]

The source and link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_area list Antarctica as the seconds largest area but not country. This article should correctly label Australia as the 5th largest COUNTRY

Huh? Why would Antarctica be listed at all? It is a continent. By that logic, maybe Australia should be listed as the 11th largest because Eurasia, Africa, South America and North America are also larger. But no, that would be stupid, because they are all continents.--Saruman-the-white (talk) 00:30, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Except for the fact that Australia is the 6th largest country by area, after Russia, Canada, China, US and Brazil. The list you refer to does not give Antarctica a rank, just adds it to list where it would be if it was a country.Joebenson9 (talk) 09:20, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

I suggest to change "After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770" for "After European arrival to the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia's eastern half was annexed by Great Britain in 1770".

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.244.9.16 (talk) 22:31, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

No. Mabuska (talk) 00:05, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

My recent revert[edit]

I just reverted a series of edits by User:Ashton 29 in which they'd made substantive changes to the article marked falsely as being minor, and without any edit summaries explaining what they were doing - this is poor conduct for any article, and especially for a high profile featured article. Moreover, the material wasn't very good. The paragraph on alcohol-related health problems in Australia was entirely wrong headed - it argued that there's some kind of health crisis based on news reports, but the official data actually shows that Australians are drinking less than at any time in the last 50 years [1]. Nick-D (talk) 05:45, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

I'll add that, if his edits to the cuisine section were to stand, a meringue-based dessert for which "formal research indicates New Zealand as the source" would receive more coverage than the gold rushes, the Eureka Rebellion, and Federation combined. - HappyWaldo (talk) 08:00, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Independence or Establishment?[edit]

Should the date of Australia's formation be listed as "independence" as is current, or "establishment"? Australia never explicitly declared independence from the United Kingdom. The process was a gradual transfer of governance from the United Kingdom to the parliament of Australia over a number of years. This is more a matter of consistency since the article for Canada, which went through a very similar process in terms of transfer of governance, lists the formation of the country as "establishment" rather than "independence". Technically both terms are correct, since independence was the result of the parliamentary acts, but I would like to raise the question as to whether the more appropriate term is "independence" or "establishment" in the case of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada that never made a formal declaration of independence from the United Kingdom. For example, the United States and the Republic of Ireland have distinct dates of the declaration and recognition of independence, whereas the countries in question made no such declaration and the dates are more fuzzy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.150.25.235 (talk) 23:26, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

You ask a good question but I'd say there is a more convincing reason still to use 'establishment'. 'Australia' did not gain independence from Britain on 1 January 1901, because Australia did not exist as an entity before that date. What existed before then was six self-governing colonies under the British empire. As such, for a unitary country like New Zealand, you could say that a similar event constituted 'independence' but clearly for Australia it was a formation. Indeed, 'Australia' was never a British colony. New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, et al were. Australia is the federal entity that was created by them, whereby they agreed to transfer some of their powers to a federal government under a constitution. By the same logic, strictly speaking the article for Ireland should say independence but the article for the United States should not as there was no such entity as the United States which existed prior to its formation that could have gained independence. There were instead 13 crown colonies. If say Delaware had fought its own war of independence and won, you would say 'Delaware became independent on xxxx day'. You can't say 'the United States became independent on 4 July 1776, because on the 3rd of July, there existed no 'United States' to become independent. The 'United States' was an entity which was created by the pre-existing colonies. Thus it is indeed an 'establishment' or 'formation' rather than 'independence'.--Saruman-the-white (talk) 09:59, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
"Independence" in the infobox does not refer to a single date which is why three documents with four dates are listed. "Australia" was established on 1 January 1901 and independence was gained in stages with the process starting on that day. It was followed by the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942, which was signed into effect on 9 October 1942. It formally adopted the Statute of Westminster 1931, backdating it to be effective 3 September 1939 (the start of WWII). The third stage of independence was adoption of the Australia Act on 3 March 1986. Independence wasn't gained gradually so stating "Independence (1 January 1901 - 3 March 1986)" is misleading and incorrect but stating "(1 January 1901, 3 September 1939, 9 October 1942 and 3 March 1986)" would be confusing. While it's true that Australia wasn't a British colony before 1901, it wasn't independent of British rule on 1 January 1901, so it wasn't simply an establisment. More correctly it was "establisment and the beginning of independence". Regarding the US, the United States Declaration of Independence uses the capitalisation and emphasis "the thirteen united States of America". --AussieLegend () 11:13, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
^ Actually this is a very good summary and looking at it that way, you have certainly brought me around to the point of view that that is the way to do it.--Saruman-the-white (talk) 10:28, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
There seems to be some consensus that there should be a distinction between when Australia was established and when it became independent. I would move to list 1st January 1901 as the date of establishment from the United Kingdom, and 9th October 1942 as the date of independence from the United Kingdom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.150.25.235 (talk) 00:25, 5 June 2015 (UTC)
That's not correct though. "Australia" was established on 1 January 1901 but the country was also given some independence on that date. During WWII there were things for which Australia was not independent from the UK, but which we became independent from on on 9 October 1942. However, the independence was backdated to 3 September 1939. Even after 9 October 1942 there were still things for which Australia was not fully independent. We became fully independent on 3 March 1986 but it would be incorrect to state that as the date of independence because we had various levels of independence before then. There is no single date on which you can say Australia gained independence. All you can do is mark the major milestones, as is already the case. --12:48, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

Etymology section[edit]

Does anyone else think it needs some pruning? It's WP:TOOMUCH, verging on WP:FANCRUFT. The addition of the three scans doesn't help. Maybe it can be moved to and further expanded in Australia (word) or something. - HappyWaldo (talk) 03:56, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. The quotes from primary sources are particularly out of place in this high level article. Nick-D (talk) 04:21, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Removing the quotes would be a start. I tried it months earlier but was reverted. - HappyWaldo (talk) 01:14, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

The straightforward solution is WP:SS, export to Name of Australia. There was quite enough content for a substantial standalone article. --dab (𒁳) 09:56, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Geography and climate[edit]

In the section Australia#Geography and climate there is a topographic map of Australia. I'm wondering why the map contains no legend to explain the colors on the map. CorinneSD (talk) 01:38, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

I tried to find a legend on another page with no luck, but see see Hypsometric tints: "A typical scheme progresses from dark greens for lower elevations up through yellows/browns, and on to grays and white at the highest elevations. Hypsometric tinting of maps and globes is often accompanied by a similar method of bathymetric tinting to convey depth of oceans; lighter shades of blue represent shallower water such as the continental shelf and darker shades deeper regions". Rwood128 (talk) 10:13, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Rwood128. I know, the colors on this topographic map are typical. I just thought a legend would be helpful. Perhaps a legend could be added to this map by the map experts at Wikipedia:Graphics Lab/Map workshop. CorinneSD (talk) 16:32, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

CorinneSD Do you not think that my addition is sufficient (it could be expanded)? But I see that you put in a request to the Lab and that is a great idea. Rwood128 (talk) 18:12, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Rwood128 I hope you didn't interpret my request at the map lab as criticism of your edit. I think it's fine. I just think a legend with the actual altitudes would be more informative. CorinneSD (talk) 23:07, 16 July 2015 (UTC)
Not at all, initially I just wondered if you had seen it. Then I realised that you had contacted the experts! I was surprised not to find a legend anywhere. Rwood128 (talk) 23:49, 16 July 2015 (UTC)