Talk:Australia/Archive 9

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Archive 5 Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 15

"Worlds Best City"

melbourne has been listed as the worlds best city i would try and add it but i am not touching a featured artical

"Church Attendence"

Currently the article puts 7.5% of the Australian public as weekly church goers - however another page from the same cited website puts 9 ( I'm new to wikipedia and wouldn't know how to add this webpage as a citation - so if you think it is worth changing someone can think about it. U R A GR8 M8 02:57, 19 November 2006 (UTC)


christal is Argentinian and I'm learning English as a second language. Could you tell me what "overturne" means? -- 23:58, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

I think in this article "overturn"(correct spelling) is used in a legal context. WIktionary's legal definition says "Overturn" is
to reverse a decision; to overrule or rescind
Hope that helps - even if this is perhaps not the correct forum for this. Remember for future reference that Wiktionary is a dictionary and thesaurus. The Reference desk is the place to ask generall questions of inquiry here on Wikipedia. Cheers, Jpe|ob 01:41, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Voting turnout

The sentence about voter turnout has been removed by blatant reverts to previous versions from days ago (19th October) for no other reason than it is "irrelevant" and can be stated in other places. What do other editors thing? Ansell 01:25, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Completely agree. I removed it. If it has a place, it is in a more detailed artcle. The statement that it is compulsory is enough. --Merbabu 01:34, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Have you seen what the voter turnouts are like in most countries? The information is actually unusual. I think this requires more discussion. As two editors against and three for the information (so far) shows it is disputed. Ansell 01:38, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
I can't help but feel you're being unusually agressive. You have pursued this minor issue across a number of pages and misrepresented the facts – I have never used the word "irrelevant", and to state I have "consistently removed statements" (paraphrase) is disingenuous. Moreover, you have equally performed "blatant reverts" (your term), returning an inappropriate addition to the introduction twice now. My actual argument was that the statement was inconsistent with the article's summary style. Per that standard, it is sufficient to note that voting is compulsory in Australia; discussion about fines and turnout is something that is more appropriate to the section's subarticles.--cj | talk 02:05, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if this seems like I am pursuing things too vigourously, I am a little annoyed (in general) at the idea that FA's should not be expanded on, but mostly, it is my thinking that there genuinely is a place for a fact of that magnitude, on this page, and that the "compulsory voting" statement does not fit on its own. How many other countries have voter turnouts that high?
Also, sorry for misquoting you. I just do not see why it is the end of the world to delete something I, and another editor, actually went to the trouble of researching, and that is a unique fact. The article is full of facts like that already. Ansell 02:29, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think FA's shouldn't be expanded upon; however, I do think that whatever additions take place should be in accordance with the style that attainment of FA status was contingent on. I disagree with the idea that, because a fact is unique (or referenced, as you initially proposed), it merits inclusion. To mention that voting is compulsory is a reflection on the system; to mention turnout and fines is more in-depth and opens up the issue of elections and procedure. It should be noted that the edit you wish included makes the unsuported (and potentially contentious) assertion that high turnout is because of expiations. I do not support that text.
The only thing that I could see mising from the statement about voting in Australia is age of franchise. I have thusly changed it to "Voting is compulsory for all enroled citizens 18 years and over in each state and territory, and at the federal level." (the "enroled" part is there because enrolment is voluntary in SA). --cj | talk 03:17, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps there is a case for including the high turnout figures, but it must be brief. It is indeed high compared to other countries. But listing fines, etc, is just not important for this article. How about "Voting is compulsory for all enroled citizens 18 years and over in each state and territory and at the federal level, and turn out rates exceed 90 per cent."????????? --Merbabu 03:23, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
That's better, it's really all we need to say on this main page. We can link to pages with more detailed explanation. --bainer (talk) 04:13, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

(Moved from WP:AWNB). The page already specifies that voting is compulsory - of course the turnout would be high. I think adding such a comment would just be redundant. From looking at the actual edits they are far too detailed for the general Australia article. -- Chuq 01:48, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Inserting material like this into Australia when it is not yet in Politics of Australia or even Elections in Australia is bound to meet resistance. We just don't work that way. Here's how you can get information on compulsory voting into article Australia:

  1. Insert it into article Elections in Australia. It really is terrible that Elections in Australia doesn't mention this important fact. There is room in that article for a thorough discussion of the implications of compulsory voting in Australia, if you're so inclined.
  2. Create a section entitled "Elections" in Politics of Australia, to be a summary of Elections in Australia. As a summary, it should briefly mention the fact that voting is compulsory in Australia, without going into all the details. It probably only needs a sentence or two, as Politics of Australia has an awful lot of material to cover.
  3. Go to Talk:Australia. Advise that Politics of Australia has recently seen the addition of material on compulsory voting, remind us that Australia#Politics is supposed to be a summary of Politics of Australia, and propose the inclusion of a sentence on the material.

Hesperian 05:32, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it is actually quite interesting that the number of valid votes cast is exceptionally high, as voting is not actually compulsory, only attendance at a voting booth. It is therefore interesting that 96% of people that turn up to tick their name off go on to cast a valid vote - which is high even under compulsory attendance. It is also one of the most interesting facets of Australian politics and society, so I think it should be included. Sad mouse 18:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Lively debate about to occur at Alan Jones (broadcaster). Tony 13:34, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

self-governing ACT?

Bit rich to call it that in the lead, when the feds come along and overrule ACT legislation whenever they like. Tony 13:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

head of state

Tony1 apparently has problems distinguishing between the head of state of two nations being the same person, as is currently the situation between Ausralia and the UK, and constitutional ties between the two countries which were severed in 1986. Please explain --Michael Johnson 13:04, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

How do you mean? The House of Representatives can in fact overrule any laws sanctioned by the states or territories. They did so recently when the NT legalised Euthanasia. SolitaryWolf 13:11, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually the federal government can do nothing about the laws of state government, They can reverse the laws of territories, as these are established by act of the federal parliament. --Michael Johnson 13:32, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
The constitution divides powers between the state and federal governments. If something is not specificly mentioned then either the federal or states governments can legislate on it, however, federal government legislation takes precidence over state government legislation. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:45, 9 January 2007 (UTC).
Michael, can you explain your position a bit clearer? I think there are two issues here. Firstly, the head of state is QE2, the GG is just her representative. As for constitutional ties with Britain being "finally" severed in 1986, how does the head of state currently fit into the constitution? --Merbabu 13:18, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
As I understand it the queen of course relates to HM the Queen of Australia, who is a different entity to HM the Queen of the UK, even if the same person. Imagine two public companies, one of which once owned the other, but now share no connection except for the same chairman of the board. The Act of Settlement, as with all British acts prior to responsible government in Australia remains in force until amended or repealed by an Australian parliament. So it is competent for Australia to amend, maybe making Princess Anne the next queen for instance, but of course this would make the whole situation even more absurb than it is now. As I said this is the constitutional position as I understand it. More to the point, this is obviously how the original author understood it, and so I think it encombant on Tony to provide a source to the contrary if he wishes to change it --Michael Johnson 13:32, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I really don't care what the original author intended.
  • First, Michael, the federal government can indeed override laws passed by state governments in a number of areas, under s. 51. Second, the UK government has the power to ask the Queen to disallow Australian legislation. Third, and most decisively, the Australian Constitution is still an act of the UK Parliament, which has the power to change it. By analogy, Pierre Trudeau managed, finally, to repatriate the Canadian Constitution back in the ?1980s. This third point was reason enough for me to strike "final" from the text. Tony 13:43, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I think Tony is right. As far as I understand... there is a lot of convention involved. The theory is different to the practice. The Governor Gerneral, for example does in fact have the power to dismiss the Prime Minister, he did so in 1975. But 1975 aside for the main part he never has. SolitaryWolf 13:49, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

The Australian constitution is indeed part of a UK act, but acoording to Wikipedia Constitution of Australia is now regarded as fully separated from the text in the original Act, and has always been subject to amendment by referendum and without the UK amending the act. Theoreticly the UK parliament might revoke the act, butin fact gave up the right to do this by the Statute of Westminster and subsequent acts. I am sure you will find the UK government and parliament has no residual powers regarding the constitution or government of Australia, which is the question at hand.

    • Yes, it's subject to amendment by referendum, but is still an act of the Westminster parliament. Please provide evidence that the Statute of Westminster and subsequent acts remove the power of London to do anything it likes with the act. I think you'll find no such evidence.

The key passage of the Statute provides that:

   "No Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom passed after the commencement of this Act shall extend or be deemed to extend, to a Dominion as part of the law of that Dominion, unless it is expressly declared in that Act that that Dominion has requested, and consented to, the enactment thereof." 

I thought that was pretty straightforward. --Michael Johnson 04:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

See also Australia Act 1986 - you're entirely correct. Orderinchaos78 (t|c) 12:02, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
That's right: after the commencement of that act. The Constitution Act was passed decades earlier. Tony 11:36, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Well that's an interesing interpretation. --Michael Johnson 23:29, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
    • It's nothing to do with "residual powers", as you state—this is a notion concerning the powers of our head of state and her representatives in Australia, not of the UK parliament.
    • When you say "theoretically", are you stepping back from the notion that all power is theoretical? Just because a power has never been used does not mean that it doesn't exist.
  • It has already been pointed out that the Australian Constitution is now regarded as having been separated from the Act. The British parliament may amend or repeal the Act, but by doing so they achieve nothing. It is s dictum of British constitutional law that the British pariliament has the power to legislate to prohibit Russians spitting in Red Square. Whether they have the power to enforce that legislation is another thing. --Michael Johnson 04:09, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Ref 1975 Whitlam in fact had the power to remove Kerr by advising the Queen to sack him. He never did because he believed Kerr would never sack him.

    • Well, no. Whitlam had the power just to recommend to the Queen that he be sacked. If the Queen had not accepted this, the sacking would not have occurred. This is the invidious situation that Australians find themselves in, comforted only by the small likelihood that this situation will arise. While on the subject of Whitlam, I don't have a reference for this, but I'm pretty certain that the Whitlam government asked Westminster whether it would alter the Australian Constitution, and the reply was that this would be done only with the consent of the federal and all six state parliaments.
  • This really has nothing to do with the subject, but you seem intent on debating it. The most basic cornerstone of constitutional law is that the Monarch always accepts the advice of her Ministers, and has been this way since the reign of Queen Victoria. The Queen would had had no choice but to remove Kerr on Whitlams advice. I'm surprised you don't know this. As for Whitlam asking the British government to change the constitution, I've never heard that, and it sounds most unlikely. --Michael Johnson 04:00, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Ref sect 51, this refers to areas reserved for the Federal governement, and of course the states cannot legislate in these areas. But the comment was about euthenasia, and no the Feds could not legislate to reverse state law in this area (or many others). This is in contrast to territory governments. All of which has nothing to do with the topic. --Michael Johnson 14:18, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

    • You stated above: "Actually the federal government can do nothing about the laws of state government". This is untrue. If a state parliament legistlates in certain areas, this legislation can be overriden by federal legislation. Read the secion.
  • Which is exactly what I said. Those "certain areas" are listed in Section 51. But why harp on this red herring? --Michael Johnson 04:18, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
The legislation cannot be "overridden". The State act actually continues, as does the Federal, but in any conflict the Federal act takes precedence. Only a High Court case can strike legislation down, as happened with the Native Title situation in WA in 1995. Orderinchaos78 (t|c) 12:05, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Further from Wikipedia Constitutional history of Australia

In an important constitutional case (Sue v Hill (1999) 163 ALR 648), three justices of the High Court of Australia (the ultimate court of appeal) expressed the view that if the British Parliament were to alter the law of succession to the throne, such a change could not have any effect on the monarchy in Australia, because of the Australia Act: succession to the throne would continue in Australia according to the existing rule, unless and until that was altered in Australia. None of the other four justices in that case disagreed with this reasoning.


The same case decided (and on this point the decision is binding) that the United Kingdom is a "foreign power" within the meaning of the Constitution,

    • These cases are irrelevant to whether there are still constitutional links between Australia and the UK.

Now I'm off to bed. --Michael Johnson 14:29, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

  • With respect to Tony's argument that the UK Parliament can amend the Constitution - there's a distinction between autochthony and autonomy. The Constitution certainly derives its original legal status from an Act of the UK Parliament. But that doesn't mean that the UK Parliament still has power to repeal or amend the Constitution. The Australia Acts closed that door off. See Sue v Hill for example. --bainer (talk) 14:45, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Also, the UK government definitely does not have the power to ask the Queen to disallow Australian legislation. I don't know where that idea came from. JPD (talk) 19:53, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Um, no, Sue v Hill has nothing to do with the UK paliament's power to amend the Australian Constitution; rather, it deals with the fact that the succession of its and our head of state is governed by acts of parliaments in both countries. Now, I want solid evidence cited here that Westminster has no power to alter the AC unilaterally. Otherwise, "final" is destined to be "further" in this article. Tony 00:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
The succession was an example used by the judges to illustrate their point. Sue v Hill concerned whether the UK is a "foreign power" for the purposes of s.44(i), and in answering that question, the majority considered whether the UK had any legislative, executive or judicial power over Australia. They held that it didn't: there was no judicial power since appeals to the Privy Council were abolished, and no executive power since with respect to Australia Betty acts as Queen of Australia, and doesn't take advice from UK ministers. There was no legislative power because of s.1 of the Australia Act.
What this means: if the UK parliament were to try to change the Constitution, it would have to be via an amendment or repeal of the Constitution Act, and any such amendment or repeal would have no effect in Australia because of s.1 of the Australia Act.
Naturally the question hasn't been finally and completely answered since the Brits have never tried this. But it's almost certain that any attempts to do so would have no effect in Australia. For the purposes of this broad summary article, "final constitutional ties" is accurate enough. You can add a footnote pointing to the more detailed articles on constitutional law if you want. --bainer (talk) 09:58, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

How about the Australia Act, which according to the Wikipedia article eliminated the remaining ties between the legislature and judiciary of Australia and their counterparts in the United Kingdom. Or the opinion of three High Court judges (metioned above) who stated that the UK parliament is unable to legislate on even the most basic element of Australian government, the Head of State, and by implication on any other element of Australian government. Or the opinion of the authors of Wikipedia articles Constitution of Australia and Constitutional history of Australia, neither of which you have appeared to have read. Or the opinions of editors JPD and bainer given above. Or the opinions of the original authors of this article.

You are the one who wishes to change the status quo. I think it is up to you to produce just one example of a situation where the British parliament can legislate to affect Australian government or law. Up to now all you have provided is personal opinion and off-topic arguments to support your edit. --Michael Johnson 04:36, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The WP article the AC says "The only United Kingdom law which today has application for Australia is the law governing succession to the throne". Its assertion that the text of the constitution is "now regarded" as separate from the UK act is unreferenced—just a bald statement. I'm not satisfied in the least. When I have time, I'll return to this issue. Tony 11:35, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Using sources other than Wikipedia articles or editors would definitely be a good idea, as would starting the sentence with "The final", rather than "Final". I am slightly bothered by Tony's change to the mention of the Statute of Westminster. I am not sure that all of it required official adoption by Australia. At any rate, by WWII, the government weren't clear on whether it needed to be formally adopted and in 1942 adopted it retrospectively from 1939. I don't know what the best way to put this is. JPD (talk) 13:13, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Unlike Canada, South Africa and the Irish Free State, Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland didn't automatically adopt the operative provisions of the Statute, rather their Parliaments had to specifically adopt them. See s.10 of the Statute of Westminster. See also Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1942. --bainer (talk) 23:33, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree that technically the parliament had to adopt the statute, but the retrospective adoption makes it hard to describe in this article. JPD (talk) 09:42, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I certainly agree that the constitutional articles need better referencing. Unfortunately I am not the one to do it as I do not have access to an appropiate library, and internet references in this area are sparse. I have added two references in the article for the disputed sentence; a link to the text of the act itself, and a commentary by an interest group. I would have thought that a reading of section 1 of the Act would have been sufficient for anyone, but the second reference should more than satisfy Wikipedia:Verifiability. --Michael Johnson 00:07, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

The text of Constitution of Australia has been edited in a way that supports my contention that "Final" (better "The final") should be "Further": "These Acts had the effect of severing all constitutional links between Australia and the United Kingdom, except for the fact that the same person, Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state of both countries." Tony 00:36, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

I thought we had put that one to bed. I suggest you read what Monarchists have to say on the subject. --Michael Johnson 01:14, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
You're right that the wording supports your view, because the wording is inaccurate. The fact that the same person is monarch is not actually a constitutional tie. That sentence should say "even though" and not "except for the fact that". It doesn't matter that Betty is both Queen of the UK and Queen of Australia, when she is acting in her capacity as Queen of Australia she acts in a distinct capacity, and takes advice only from her Australian ministers, and there is complete separation of executive power. Again, see the useful case of Sue v Hill in this respect.
Since the 1926 Imperial Conference and the Balfour Declaration, the monarch no longer takes the advice of British ministers in relation to reserving and disallowing bills. Since 1931 and the appointment of Isaacs as G-G, it is established that the monarch acts on Australian advice in making appointments. I'll quote from Sue v Hill:

"The point of immediate significance is that the circumstance that the same monarch exercises regal functions under the constitutional arrangements in the United Kingdom and Australia does not deny the proposition that the United Kingdom is a foreign power... The United Kingdom has a distinct legal personality and its exercises of sovereignty... themselves have no legal consequences for this country." [1999] HCA 30

This point is settled. --bainer (talk) 01:59, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
So this ongoing discussion is also wrong-headed? [1] Tony 03:28, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Given that you are the one pushing it along? --Michael Johnson 04:02, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Your sarcasm is not welcome. Tony 04:54, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I thought it a fair question, given the previous entry in that thread was on the 15th June, hardly an "ongoing discussion". Anyway the use of the word "final" has been verified in the article with a reference, so surely the discussion is closed. Any other discussion is really just our (as editors) interpretation of primary documents, in other words original research. --Michael Johnson 05:09, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
This discussion has changed my stance, but I won't be entirely convinced until I receive advice from a constitutional lawyer. Tony 05:26, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

A note on the main Australia page: In the box on the right about the government, it should be 'Head of State' rather than Queen. The Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. I don't think her successor will like to be called 'Queen: Charles III'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

She is the Queen of Australia, though. If/when Australia has a King, the infobox will read "King:". . . Slac speak up! 04:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Labour Market

Partial Deregulation? I'm not sure "partial deregulation" is a terribly accurate term for WorkChoices. Nonetheless, removing "partial” would seem to make the article more neutral. Fair?SolitaryWolf 12:51, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

What are you suggesting instead of "partial deregulation"? There are still regulations, so what is "full deregulation"? Laissez-faire#Economic_theory? --Merbabu 13:09, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Neither. I'm suggesting "including partial deregulation of the labour market" be changed to "including the deregulation of the labour market." Although, someone will need to recreate the hyperlink to WorkChoices. SolitaryWolf 13:15, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how removing the word "partial" makes the article more npov. Sarah Ewart (Talk) 13:18, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
By not suggesting that the deregulations have being either minor (through the word partial) or major (through the word full) there is no degree in our writing. By balancing the degree of our writing we are able to be more neutral. For example probably is a greater degree of writing then what would be if we used the word possibly. The degree of our writing helps us be more neutral in a topic. I think this is good because of the controversial nature of WorkChocies. Hope this helps. SolitaryWolf 13:28, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Not really. We write what is precise and verifiable. Sarah Ewart (Talk) 14:31, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
The same rule works for words like hate and dislike or insolent and contemptible. Notice the different and precise degrees? But you do seem terribly disagreeable. I will not argue my idea for the sake of it. You are either choosing not to understand this or simply disagree (In which case so be it I'm over it) - Night peoples -SolitaryWolf 14:41, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
We write what is verifiable. Your personal comments are inappropriate. Sarah Ewart (Talk) 15:16, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't mean to sound offensive... But I think you'll find it is very verifiable to sate that WorkChoices is a form of Labour Market deregulation. On the other hand I think you’ll have difficulty verifying that it is only a "partial" form of deregulation. SolitaryWolf 02:46, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the issue here is the notion of deregulation. Does deregulation mean a state where no regulation exists at all, or is it a process of decreasing the amount of regulation. Perhaps if agreement can be found between these two different usages, then agreement can be found on what to use in the article. --Merbabu 03:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
What if the word "partial" was replaced with "comprehensive"? In this sense the series of amendments are not implied as either minor or major. Rather they are simply stated as comprehensive. SolitaryWolf 16:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Little problems

"The mainland of the continent of Australia"—No, the first three words are redundant. Tony 13:52, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Since I last reviewed this article, a lot of repeated links have crept back in. Why are the states linked again and again and again? The speckled blue appearance is untidy, and it dilutes the high-value links that we want readers to hit.

I have to say that the whole article needs a copy-edit. I wonder whether it should go to WP:FAR. Tony 14:00, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

lol at "that we want readers to hit". If only we can control people's thoughts too! (seriously, though - you do have a point). --Merbabu 14:24, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

See the landmass section above concerning the mainland. JPD (talk) 19:55, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes ... I've looked at that section, and it doesn't enlighten me. "The mainland of the continent" is clearly a ridiculous expression. I've fixed one of the two occurrences. In the same league is "made a contribution to"—why not "contributed to"? Tony 00:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
The continent of Australia comprises all the land masses on the Australian continental shelf, i.e. the Australian mainland, New Guinea, Tasmania and some other islands. The first three words of "The mainland of the continent of Australia" are not redundant, because this phrase does not mean the same thing as "The continent of Australia". However, I think it does have the same meaning as "the Australian mainland", so perhaps just replace it by that. Hesperian 00:31, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
OK. Tony 00:32, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I intend to delink words that are repeatedly linked throughout the article: see above. Tony 00:34, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

"Seats in the House of Representatives are allocated to states on the basis of population"—This is untrue for Tasmania, so the text will have to be changed. Tony 11:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

It's not so much untrue as lackign detail, and possibly misleading. The seats are allocated on the basis of population, it's just that the method of allocation includes a minimum of five seats for each state. Do we need to go to that level of detail in this article? JPD (talk) 14:50, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
It should be fixed: Tasmania has a far greater representation than it would deserve purely on account of its population.

In "Politics" it says that the Queen is "nominally represented by" the GG. Later it says just "represented by". The wording should be the same. My new passport says "represented by" on page 1. Tony 03:40, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

New map with links

A new map has been added with links to states, cities, etc. I think the concept is a great one and clearly some good work has gone into it. Two points though - which i think can be fixed: it still seems a bit, um, "messy". Can it it be tidied up some how? A border? Secondly, is it in the best position? In fact, does it mean that the existing map in the states and territories section can now be replaced with the new one? I don't think there is a need for both, and with a few more improvements, the new one could be clearly superior to the old (which i don't think actually says that much). Nice work Zondor --Merbabu 05:16, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

The most important thing is that I made a Java tool to help with this tedious task. Resized to show border. -- Zondor 13:26, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
A little more background at the top and bottom would allow the links to be laid out more neatly. Also, the link to Perth should be to Perth, Western Australia. --Scott Davis Talk 13:30, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, the simple fix would be to drop the refs along the top - ie, to Indonesia, East TImor, etc. --Merbabu 13:45, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
True - especially since East Timor is not on the present map. The Arafura Sea link belongs though, and would still look squeezed in without a bit more space. More space at the bottom could lower the Tasmania link, to make space for Bass Strait. --Scott Davis Talk 13:56, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I've altered the template that generates the map as discussed. Tweaking turns out not to be all that hard. How does it look now? --Scott Davis Talk 14:08, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps the only thing left that is missing the scale to measure distance that the previous map has. The image can be simply updated for that. -- Zondor 14:23, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I think it doesn't look too bad. But it might be too big for the article as it is now. How does it look shrunk 30%? By the way, Zondor did another for Sydney. Again, great concept (particularly as it uses an aerial shot) but again it needs a tidy up. It cut off the northern beaches peninsula. have these link maps been used in other articles? --Merbabu 14:33, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Re the latest version with state flags, can the title Arafura Sea be brought down a bit - there is still space. And maybe the left could be trimmed a bit. The map is BIG and we don't really need all that Indian Ocean there. --Merbabu 23:04, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Can the dots representing cities be enlarged? They're pretty hard to locate with the mouse. Tony 03:41, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I think the flags make the image too cluttered. JPD (talk) 09:44, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree about the flags – keep it clear, please.--cj | talk 06:20, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Another vote for removal of flags - they look pretty unreadable at that sort of size. Everything else is great though! -- Chuq 10:29, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, chop the flags. In which case we could also shrink the map a bit more and it is still clear. Also, doesn't it affect download speeds as the whole flag is donwloaded not just the tiny thumb - or am I wrong on this point? --Merbabu 23:29, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to put in a vote for adding city labels, it would make it a little more cluttered, but right now it's not obvious at a glance that the city points are links and they are a little small to easily get the rollover effect with the mouse. Kmusser 14:41, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

New language info

I removed the passage below. There's no doubt so good stuff here that can be incorporated into the article. But at the moment, it needs work:

  • No references
  • Wrong place within article
  • No clear identification of what these 267 languages are (apart from "many are aboriginal").
  • Younger and different to American English is not that helpful

There are 267 languages in Australia (many being Aboriginal languages.) Of those, 234 are living languages, 2 are second languages without mother tongue speakers, and 31 are extinct. The Australian English language is the most common and has a formal style as well as a colloquial style. Australia still has a formal style in writing while it sustains an informal style in speaking. In the history of the Australian English language, the language has its own background when compared to American English. Australian English is younger than American and its history is different and less complex. There has been no Australian Declaration of Independence like in America. However, Australian English has not moved as far from British English as American had in the period. In the greater part of Australia, the vocabulary is still Standard English (Hansford 67). --Merbabu 23:39, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

By the way, English definitely has official status in Australia.

Settlement Vs Invasion (or a suitable compromise)

Yanksox says "invasion" is too extreme a word, yet settlement is far too "soft" a word, anybody got any good alternatives? I'm Australian and I don't call it "the settlement", I call it "the invasion", no other word I can think of accurately describes what occured. Settlement has "peacful" connotations and I believe it is misleading. If a whole bunch of unwanted people turned up with guns and started shooting you and members of your community, you would not call it a "settlement" (I hope)....

To be honest, I'm not Australian. I do agree settlement is too soft, invasion is a bit extreme. The situation is similar to where all indigeous people were forced out. I normally call it "rape of the land," but I suppose we can't call it that. I defer to anyone with more expertise. Yanksox 00:41, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
cool, yeah I agree, maybe "occupation" is a bit more neutral, I'm not going to change it now (and will consult here before doing so again), but I might do a bit more research, I'm fairly sure the academic term would be invasion, but I'll ask some lecturers on what the consensus would be, anyone else feel free to leave suggestions.
Occupation is a military term for an ongoing state of affairs and implies it is not permanent. Correct, or not, settlement is the accepted terminology. Invasion just smells of POV and statement making--Merbabu 00:53, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Never you mind my POV, I, as an Autralian resident am saying that IMOO settlement is too soft a term for what amounted to the genocidal takeover of the peoples of an already occupied country. If what happened then happened now, it would not be called a "settlement". "Settlement" sounds like what happens when you freight potato chips around. If I came to the shores of your country, made a token offering of peace then began a capaign designed at culling the majority of your population, you would still call that a "settlement"? Don't ever assume that someone is "making a statement", I thought wikipedia offered the locals POV before the world communities views anyway?
The indigenous inhabitants certainly would have seen it as an "invasion", but to the UK government and its colonists it was a peaceful "annexation" of unclaimed lands. Neither of these descriptions is appropriate except in the context of a balanced discussion. "Occupation" has wartime connotations; according to its disambiguation page, it means both "the period of time following a nation's territory invasion by controlling enemy troops" and "the act of settling onto an uninhabited tract of land". I propose "colonisation". It is accurate, it is neutral with regard to the legal and ethical aspects, yet it correctly connotes the atmosphere of Western imperialism and colonialism that prevailed at the time. Hesperian
That's spot on, all in favour say ay! I agree it is neutral yet still conveys the notion that the land wasn't empty when they arrived. Cheers —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TheOriginalSesquipedalian (talkcontribs).
I tentatively support "colonisation" - i coudl change my mind depending on the reasoning of other editors. (By the way, my suggestion that that "invasion" was POV and "statement making" was refering to how I am predicting it would be read, and did not represent my views of the editor above as assumed). --Merbabu 01:18, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Reading the above "colonisation" came to mind, ant then Hesperian came up with it first. Definately "colonisation" describes what happened. --Michael Johnson 01:21, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Thus, do we have a consensus on "colonisation"? --Merbabu 00:12, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

I think colonisation is right for the use The Indigenous Australian population, estimated at about 350,000 at the time of European colonisation, and perhaps a few other places, but it definitely should not be substituted for settlement throughout the entire article. --Scott Davis Talk 00:32, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
"Colony" was widely used, both as the title for the entities that became states (Colony of Victoria) and by the colonials themeselves ("Wild Colonial Boy", "Old Colonists Association", "Colonial Mutual" etc etc.) Colonisation describes what happened, and was what those who did it thought they were doing. --Michael Johnson 06:26, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Replacing the verb usage is fine I think. Some of the noun uses of settlement (a place where people live) would be wrong to replace with colony (a political construct). --Scott Davis Talk 14:33, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


Anyone guess why the sudden incidence of vandalism? Is it bad enough to ask for a partial restriction? Tony 11:23, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

This is a fairly high profile article, it's not unusual that it attracts plenty of vandalism. But there are plenty of people with it on their watchlists, so vandalism never stays around for long. I doubt protection's necessary. --bainer (talk) 12:02, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Bainer makes a fair point - but as an article matures to reach the standard this one has - I can't see what's wrong with partial protection. πίππύ δ'Ω∑ - (waarom? jus'b'coz!) 06:48, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

its because of the ashes, england vs australia

recent edit

"The Australian economy has not suffered a recession since the early 1990s. As of July 2006, unemployment was 4.8% with 10,223,300 persons employed."

This raises the problem of why the fact that x number of people are employed supports the assertion in the first clause. Unemployment of 4.8% may be a useful statement, but is only one of a number of determinants of "lack of recession". It's fuzzy. Tony 13:42, 18 November 2006 (UTC) There are arguments on both sides.--Darrendeng 08:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Australia Part of Asia?

Today on the news there was somthing about Australia now officially being classified as part of Asia, anyone got any info on this?--Rob 20:12, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Media nonsense.--cj | talk 03:21, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It's a tricky one, because we are geographically Asian (something none of us can deny), but culturally, we are largely "Anglo", hence the Union Jack on our flag and the Queen's head on our coins. I suggest that this point be mentioned in the article. Aussieaussie 21:35, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Geographically we are in "Australia and Oceania". Economically we may seek a membership in ASEAN or something but it does not change the geography. Alex Bakharev 23:16, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Geographically, no matter how you look at it, we are not part of Asia but are our own continent. Heck, other continents such as Europe and Africa actually touch the continent of Asia, something that Australia does not do. Now, no one would ever claim that "Europe and Africa are geographically Asian". Even the North American continent (tip of Alaska) has a point almost touching Asian continent. Asa01 04:42, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Touché SolitaryWolf 15:46, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
And culturally, we are North American :P -- Chuq 03:37, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually no, I disagree with that. We are a multicultural country and cannot be classified as following any main culture. It is important that we are recognised as Australian and therefore accepting all cultures, religions, peoples etc. Can we stick with the Australia and Oceania tag for geographic location and make a note of our multiculturalism? Yuanchosaan 10:21, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I was half joking - but you can't deny we are probably influenced more by US culture than any other! -- Chuq 12:16, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right,<laugh>. Sorry if I offended. Keep the Australia and Oceania tag? Yuanchosaan 06:00, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Unemployment Figures

Hi, I noticed while reading the section about the economy, this interesting sentence: 'As of July 2006, unemployment was 4.8% with 10,223,300 persons employed'

That's more like 48% of the population. Which digit needs to be removed?

10M people are working, 500K are unemployed, the rest are not participating (not interested) - children. retirees, housewives, etc. Alex Bakharev 13:42, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, you're right. I read it as 10M person UNemployed. 02:23, 25 November 2006 (UTC)Original Poster

Water as % of area

According to the infobox 1% of Australia is water. Acc to the infoboxes for the individual states, most of the states are all between 4 and 6.6% water, Tas is 25% and NSW is just over 1%. It seems impossible for the states to average maybe 5% and the whole country to be 1%. Nurg 03:24, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

No its not - its maths! -- Chuq 03:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Nurg is right - the current figures are not consistent. JPD (talk) 19:26, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I haven't checked the specific figures, so there may well be errors, but it is not impossible for the figures above to be correct. Because the states have different areas, its not just as matter of averaging the eight state/territory percentage figures. Because Tasmania has a such a small total area, its 25% water doesn't influence the national water % at all. -- Chuq 20:23, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, of course Chuq was also right in saying that Nurg's last sentence was incorrect, but he had already implied that the smallest value was just over 1% in NSW, with all the others over 4%, which cannot be consistent with a 1% total. JPD (talk) 12:26, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I checked the figures and Nurg is probably on to something. First off, I guess that it depends on the various sources used. The total area in the infobox is different from the total area given in the geography section. The geography section uses the CIA as a source and the infobox area comes from List of countries and outlying territories by total area which does not list a source. In any case, if you add up the water areas in the state's infoboxes you'll get a total of 158,677 sq mi of water. Divide that by the total sq. miles of 2,988,888 (and multiply by 100) and you'll get 5.3%. According to the figures from the CIA you'll get 0.8% water. So maybe some sources need to be double-checked. —MJCdetroit 21:37, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
That's quite a large discrepancy. Possibly refering to "internal water bodies" (ie. Lake Eyre) vs "portion of territory which is water" (ie. including Bass Strait and a certain distance out from the coastline around the whole country?) -- Chuq 21:48, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Within Wikipedia, there's frequent undefined use of "water as percent of area". Usually, the unstated assumption is that a 3 or 12 mile territorial limit at the coastline describes a captured water territory. Without definition, this isn't useful, and generally would be better broken down. In the case of Australia, very arid but with a long coastline, these figures can be misleading, and not an index of anything at all. Enclosed water (lakes and rivers) plausibly relates to climate and suitability for agriculture, etc.; an extensive coastline vs. landlocked has many implications for trade, navy/military, and fishing. They don't relate to each other in any obvious way. This is a general, perhaps endemic Wikipedia problem which I hope will be addressed. Paulownia5 20:29, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Racial inequality

Indigenous Australians have higher rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education and life expectancies for males and females that are 17 years lower than those of other Australians.[19] Perceived racial inequality is an ongoing political and human rights issue for Australians. Australia has the worst racial inequality of any developed nation. I could quote many academic articles that cite examples, but many points are already listed here. The most striking is the 17 year life expectancy gap, as a comparison the life expectancy gap between white Americans and African-Americans has now shrunk to 5 years. I changed "perceived racial inequality" to "racial inequality", which was reverted back to "perceived racial inequality" on the basis of "speculation and OR". This reversion is just trying to inaccurately water-down reality and is actually quite offensive, dismissing gross inequality as merely "perceived". Sad mouse 21:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi SM. "Perceived" does not in any sense means it's not real. After all, it could be real and unperceived. This article simply can't take a Point of view on the matter - it should be something that John Howard or Keith Windschuttle can read and not have factual issues with. Even they can't deny that there is the perception of racial inequality in Australia. My advice to strengthen this point is to add citations and evidence demonstrating the poor position of indigenous Australians. After all, external sources are much more pertinent and valuable than Wikipedia's say-so. Slac speak up! 21:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Mmm... I see your point. But the data in the article already (higher unemployment, higher imprisonment, lower education, a 17 year lower life expectancy) are signs on real racial inequality not signs of the perception. Also, they are already referenced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, I could add extra citations, but they are already present in - how much longer should this section be expanded? In fact (and this is speculation) I would say that Australia has a real and unperceived racial inequality, since most Australians rarely think about indigenous peoples (who are a very small minority outside the NT), but the problems they face are statistically demonstrated. Where is the citation for anyone to say that there is a perception of inequality? There currently isn't one. Trying reading and coming to the conclusion that the issue is simply perception. Sad mouse 01:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

On a separate, and more minor, point, the politics section mentions three major parties and then the minor parties. I edited out that the minor parties "influence has been marginal" for two reasons : 1. in the hung Senate when Howard attempted major legislative changes, the support or lack of it of these minor parties was essential. I wonder about the burden of "marginal" if they are dismissed as such - perhaps in that case the Nationals should be listed as a marginal party because their influence in the Coalition legislative agenda at times has been less than that of Senate Democrats. 2. It is really just unnecessary, the parties are already called minor, this isn't an article on the politics, why go out of the way to make a contentious statement as fact? Sad mouse 21:09, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

This point, as you say, is minor, and I don't think there's any problem with removing "influence has been marginal" since this will always be a judgement call. Slac speak up! 21:28, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Cheers, it has already been reverted twice.Sad mouse 01:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I made two minor changes which turned POV statements into NPOV and I posted a discussion topic for them (above). Xtra reverted the changes three times without commenting on the discussion page and putting notes on my personal talk page threatening me with being blocked from wikipedia. Is that allowable? Sad mouse 03:07, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the removal of "perceived". I'm not aware of any qualified person who denies that there is racial inequality, or suggests that there is only a perception of inequality. Racial inequality is the reason why we have affirmative action policies - policies that seek to redress that inequality. Here's a link to a speech on the website of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission which says:
Special measures permit action to be taken that assists disadvantaged racial groups. Special measures recognise that historical patterns of racism entrench disadvantage and that the prohibition of racial discrimination alone is not enough to overcome racial inequality.
Evidently the HREOC thinks its reason for existence is to overcome racial inequality in Australia. Here's a link to the abstract of an academic paper in which "The empirical context of the problem of racial inequality in Australia is presented".
In light of this, the "perceived" in "perceived racial inequality" is itself a POV word; it suggests that there may only be a perception of inequality, which may not be grounded in reality. Is there any evidence of that? Are there any scholars out there who take this position? --Hesperian 03:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I included "perceived" when I wrote that part of the article, mainly because I didn't do any reading and was unwilling to make the firmer statement. If there is a supporting body of literature to support the idea that racial inequality goes beyond perception, add a reference. It probably needs a qualifier though to say that inequality mostly effects indigenous Australians. Old speeches and articles on the theorhetical basis inequality in Australia vs America, probably aren't good sources.
The question of racism in general would need another ref. Be aware that someone will probably insert another one denying that inequality exists, much like the Windschutle quote that has made their way into the history section of this article. --Peta 03:46, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Having a quick look around, it is hard to get a definition of racial inequality beyond "society contains different races with different levels of performance on social indicators". If someone has a hard and fast rule for how different they have to perform we can address that, otherwise the ABS reference demonstrates the point. The other issue you raised - that of racism, really is seperate, and if it can be supported it would need new references and should be in culture and not demographics probably. Sad mouse 06:06, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I wrote the following on Sad mouse's page and stand by it even though Sad mouse deleted it:
I have reverted your edits for two reasons. 1) Australia is a featured article, which means that it has been judged as one of Wikipedia's best and has been thouroughly checked by editors. Such pages should only be edited to update or improve, but not to change facts, especially without a reference. 2) Your edits seem to be both original research on your part and your point of view, both of which are not allowed on wikipedia. Please consider this when editting in future. Xtra 23:58, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Xtra 06:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the marginal influence comment is unnecessary. I was probably too quick to put it back in, partly because the edit summary did not justify removing it. As for perceived racial inequality, let's take a step back and look at what the sentence is actually saying. It's not talking about the reality of the inequality - as has been said, the data is in the article already. The sentence is commenting on the fact that it is a political and human rights issue. It is definitely the perceived inequality which is the issue, real or unreal, and not any real unperceived inequality. In fact, politically, the perceptions of inequality themselves are often treated as the issue. These doesn't mean that including "perceived" is necessary (Peta's original version didn't have it, and resulted in this), but it's worth keeping in mind. If anything, this sentence needs citations/clarifications for/of the idea that inequality is "a political and human rights issue", not a discussion about whether it is perceived or not. JPD (talk) 11:57, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Two points to make on that : the original was racial discrimination which is different than racial inequality. It is fair to say that the ABS data does not show there is racial discrimination (there is, but that would require additional references) but it absolutely does demonstrate, unequivocally, racial inequity. As you have said, it is clear there is racial inequality, so that should be said in the article. Also, I would say that the actual racial inequality is the important human rights issue (and, I think, as a political issue, since no politician can 'win' on inequality until the stats improve). The point you raise about perceived inequalities I understand, but it is a little vague and unreferenced - is the racial inequality perceived by the Australian public greater or lesser than the actual level of inequality? I would guess the perceived inequality is actually lower than the actual inequality, but I have no references to demonstrate that point so it has to be left out. My solution is to call it what it is, racial inequality, ignore the part about politics and just say it is a human rights issue, adding references from AI, HRW and the UN:
This racial inequality is an ongoing human rights issue for Australia. Sad mouse 15:26, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
The text Alex Bakharev quoted as "racial discrimination" was actually "racial inequality". I am not necessarily supporting his change. Having said that, your references cite racial discrimination as the human rights issue, not inequality. However, I am not really sure what being "a human rights issue for country Z" or "for Z-ians" mean. Maybe it would be better to be more specific and say that it has been raised as an issue by A, B and C. As far as I do understand it, I would have though the inequality itself would be more of a political issue, and isn't one that gets as much attention as it could, but if it is given a mention in this context, this mention should probably be more specific too. JPD (talk) 16:25, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Okay, how is this version? The inequality is in with the statistics, and it just says that discrimination has been raised as an issue by several groups. That could be fleshed out with better references, including internal Australian groups as well as the UN groups I mentioned, but it seems a decent start. Sad mouse 17:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Please see that these sources are cited in the correct format. See WP:CITE.--cj | talk 21:00, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Just the facts please...

Instead of arguing how to describe things, and what adjectives are POV and what are NPOV, why not just let facts speak for themselves? Read this - it's not long. [2] --Merbabu 13:43, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

More on Racial inequality

"...with higher rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education and life expectancies for males and females that are 17 years lower than those of other Australians..." Although I will not deny there are issues this statement seems grossly POV.

For one the sources from which the stats were taken are not dated. Additionally, the possible reasoning behind these stats is not mentioned. For example Indigenous Australian communities are largely rural based. This is important because rural areas traditionally experience higher rates of unemployment. These rates are felt regardless of class or race. Consequently, higher crime rates become an issue. The isolated nature of Aboriginal communities also makes it difficult to supply them with public goods and services in a logistic sense.

Finally, the fact that many indigenous Australians have attained high levels of education and hold respectable positions in society should not be overlooked.

For an overview, I think Sad Mouses contributions demand a great deal of excess information to remain balanced. Until this issue can be resolved (scans history) I felt it was neccesary to tag the demographics section. SolitaryWolf 01:54, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the POV tag really needs to be removed, most of the data you ask for is already referenced. "...with higher rates of imprisonment and unemployment, lower levels of education and life expectancies for males and females that are 17 years lower than those of other Australians..." Although I will not deny there are issues this statement seems grossly POV. How is that POV? They are simply data. If you go to the link most of your further questions are answered, for example the data is the most recent available (2005 and 2002). Also if you look at the breakdown the high unemployment rate is not only rural, it is also higher in the urban population. In terms of education, you can look at the percentage that finished school at grade 9 - it is double the non-Aboriginal population.!OpenDocument

This is a better comparison than tertiary education (where they perform five times lower) because you are right that rural areas have restricted access to universities but secondary education is legislated to be available to everyone. Crime rates are not only higher (and despite what you say, this is not associated with rural areas), but of Aborigines that go to jail, they have a much greater rate of suicide. In health, the remote and non-remote population have exactly the same increase in health problems (same reference as above). In other words, there is racial inequality even in the urban population, and even in those areas where the government has legislative duty to perform (ie comparing basic health and basic education, not luxury health and luxury eduction) the rural Aborigine population is worse off than the non-Aborigine population. Finally, you note that many Aborigines have high education and respectable positions - yes that is true, but the point is not as many proportionally as non-Aborigines which is the very definition of racial inequality. We could make this section an entire page, but that would make a long article longer and the reference contains the required data. Sad mouse 04:08, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

So now we hide all mention of racial inequality despite it clearly meeting the definition (differential performance of a racial group on social indicators) and we delete all references to concerns by international human rights groups on racial discrimination. How is removal those facts now a POV action? Sad mouse 18:13, 7 December 2006 (UTC) Well, such is wikipedia, those with the most time on their hands to revert get their way over those who discuss the point. Sad mouse 18:15, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I never personally reverted anything. SolitaryWolf 03:15, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Sad mouse's contributions changed a fairly vague sentence to a referenced one which was completely NPOV. The data was not put there by Sam mouse, but has been there for over a year. It is quite reasonable for a demographics section to speak about averages, without having to spell out that many individuals are far from average. Having said that, the current version hardly hides all mention of racial inequality - the data is given, and the reader would have to be fairly stupid not to understand that it implies inequality. As Merbabu says above, often it's best to let the facts speak for themselves. I'm not sure how appropriate it would be to describe inequality as an issue if there were references for it. However, only one of the references Sad mouse added actually addresses inequality, and I don't think allegations that specific policies are discriminatory are really necessary for a demographics section. JPD (talk) 12:21, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I like the new architecture of this section and I appreciate that the reference has being singled to the ABS given the ABS’s regular updates. Also that the stats from the various human rights organisations have being removed in particular, substantially improves the neutrality of the section. SolitaryWolf 03:24, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Separate articles?

I think it's time to separate articles about the Commonwealth of Australia and the continent. Note that we already do have separated articles for America and United States of America, for Europe and the European Union and do not mix the terms. I was very surprized to hear from this article that Australia is a country. It sounds something like "America is a country", i.e. non-encyclopedic.--Planemo 18:55, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

We already have Australia (continent). Your comparisons are incorrect however: the United States and European Union do not comprise their respective continents.--cj | talk 19:05, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Australia does not as well. Read the Australia (continent) article. Since this article exists I suggest to move Australia to Commonwealth of Australia since this is the official name of the country.--Planemo 21:38, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia's naming conventions are determined by common usage, not official usage. As the word "Australia" most commonly refers to the country, this article is located here.--cj | talk 22:09, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
"America" is also commonly refers to a country. But the article is named The United States of America. Wikipedia uses official names for countries.--Planemo 23:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
This is contrary to common sense. Compare United Kingdom (not United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Iran, (not Islamic Republic of Iran) and Russia (not Russian Federation). Slac speak up! 00:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
"Russia" is the official term. Russian constitution states it is equal to "Russian Federation". Anyway I think UK should be move to the official name with a redirect from "United Kingdom".--Planemo 09:49, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, get that one moved first :). In any case, it's United States, not United States of America. Slac speak up! 10:03, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Also, at least since the Whitlam era, the federal government has almost ignored the title "Commonwealth of Australia" for the simple "Australia". Look for instance at the coat of arms. --Michael Johnson 00:17, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Anyway, I think the continent should have priority over country.--Planemo 09:53, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Why? The question isn't which one is bigger, the question is, given that "Australia" can mean two things, which one does it most often mean? "Australia" as a continent defined geologically is not often talked about. Australia the country is. JPD (talk) 12:25, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
When I type "Australia" I search information on the continent, not about country.--Planemo 14:02, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
You are being incredibly pedantic Planemo. Can you think of anyone besides yourself who refers to Australia, the continent, rather then Australia, the country? Noone in this country, including our own government, refers to our own country as the "Commonwealth of Australia". Wikipedia allocates parent keywords to the most popular, and relevant articles, unless there are a multitude of sub-meanings that could cover that keyword. The article about the country easily surpasses the importance of the article about the continent. James Pinnell 16:44, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
With all due respect Planemo, you are the only one thinking this way. Yeah it's a fair point but it isnt what is done at wikipedia.--Rob 23:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Australia is the official and common name of the country. The Commonwealth of Australia is its official title which should be, and is, noted in the first line of the article. I would point to - "the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations" - versus - "United States Mission to the United Nations". The Parliamentary website,, is titled "Parliament of Australia", while the US equivalents, and, clearly state "United States House of Representatives" and "United States Senate". The two situations are not comparable at all. Orderinchaos78 05:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Sixth-largest country

I think we should say in the introduction (or at least in the geography section) that Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world. After all, it's huge size is one of its defining characteristics. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Wideywideboy3 (talkcontribs) 16:15, 9 December 2006 (UTC).

If you do, be sure to mention in what terms Australia is the 6th largest country in the world. Its population for example certainly is not the 6th largest in the world. SolitaryWolf 06:33, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Racial inequality once again (*sigh*)

We have a few people abusing revert. After all the edits and consensus revisions were reverted multiple times, I thought it appropriate to simply provide a link to direct people to the Indigenous Australians article if they want to read up further on the issues facing Indigenous Australians.

All I added to the section was (see Issues facing Indigenous Australians) (which I thoroughly updated to remove some POV material, update the statistics and provide links) yet even this was reverted. Can we get someone to stop the reverters? Sad mouse 22:27, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

That is incorrect - I see no sign of consensus with your views - at least not on the talk page. Human rights and other activist groups are completely unreliable as sources. Why not just let facts speak for themselves? Read this - it's not long. [3] --Merbabu 00:31, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I was trying to let the facts speak for themselves, hence I provided a link to a wiki article about the facts, written from the ABS data and not from activist groups (which are not "completely unreliable" anyway, you are showing your bias). Yet the link to the data has been removed - that consists of trying to hide the issue, not "letting the facts speak for themselves". Sad mouse 01:04, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Please don't accuse people of bias just cos they don't agree with the way you want to edit articles. You know nothing of my views and you'd be a fool if you presume you do. please assume good faith. What is your bias? ABS is a good objective source. If not try some peer reviewed academic articles. They may too have a bias, but at least they are of quality and are forced to show some sort of discipline, rather than just advocate a position which is the sole purpose of lobby group or advocacy group (no matter how admirable). --Merbabu 01:14, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
One wonders if you have actually read the link I provided. The way you keep bringing up human rights groups makes me think you didn't even click on the link, since the article it connects was written solely from ABS data. Consistently removing a link containing objective data (and coupled with personal comments against me) is biased. Calling human rights groups "completely unreliable" is biased (note, if you had called their conclusions into question based on objective data that disputed it, that would be fine, but to automatically group all human rights organisations together and prejudge them as completely unreliable is biased). "Good faith" can only stretch so far. Sad mouse 02:06, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that a single link should indeed be in this section of the article - in my opinion, without it, several statements are made which aren't illustrated for the non-Australian observer. While some of the edits (eg "suffer from racial inequality") are vague and should not be in an encyclopaedia at all, the information to which Sad mouse refers seems fairly safe territory - if one wanted to make it safer, finding the Royal Commission report and a few HREOC papers wouldn't go astray. Orderinchaos78 05:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

An "issues" section would be the place for it rather than demographics. On the other hand there are no other "issues" mentioned in the article.--Merbabu 05:54, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I haven't read all of the other discussion on this topic so this may have been mentioned before, but we have human rights in Australia and many other Australian topics which could be expanded, and may form the basis of a summary section. --bainer (talk) 06:12, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
There are a thousand things that can be mentioned about Australia, and especially relating to it's demographics. What we have here is a misguided individual on a petty mission to bring attention to our indigenous people. This article is an inappropriate place to put such information; it is better dealt with on the Indigenous Australians page. I would strongly object to a "human rights" or "issues" section in this article... they are things that are partisan and very much irrelevant compared to others such as the economy, history and demographics. It would be quite a pity to scar such a well-written and neutral article. michael talk 06:16, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I like the new architecture of this section and I appreciate that the reference has being singled to the ABS given the ABS’s regular updates. Also that the stats from the various human rights organisations have being removed in particular, substantially improves the neutrality of the section. SolitaryWolf 07:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
That is interesting. Do you have any reason for why Indigenous Affairs is such a "petty issue" that we shouldn't have a simple link to it? That is all I put in, a simple link for people that might actually want to know more, isn't that what wiki is about, interlinks to articles to have information at the fingertip? I gave up actually trying to mention social inequality, but is it that much to ask to link to a relevant article? The sad thing is that many Australians do have such an underlying and unacknowledged racism that they are unwilling to even accept a link to Aboriginal Issues in an article, because anything that suggests Australia isn't perfect ruins the "neutrality of the article". I guess I won't be surprised if the next time I visit this article Aborigines have been deleted from it completely. Enjoy yourselves. 10:51, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
You deleted the references to indigenous Australian's? That was stupid. If your really are so adamant about including the link. You could add it to the see also section with the words special interest in brackets next to it. SolitaryWolf 02:39, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
No, I didn't delete the reference to indigenous Australians. After I put the link in (and nothing but a link), Beneaththelandslide deleted it with the comment rvv; rubbish! take your advocacy elsewhere. Someone I feel that two users in particular are going to revert any change I make (one has even stalked me into other articles as "punishment"), but I would like to see someone insert the link. Why don't you give it a try? Sad mouse 05:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
No, I in part agree with Beneaththelandslide. I suggest you try to add it to the see also section or similar with the words special interest in brackets next to it. Like I have said earlier, I like the article the way it is now. All the same, it is an issue and as such I won’t object to it being added into another section as a special interest. SolitaryWolf 06:17, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it is rather POV to call Aboriginal Equality issues a "special interest". The obvious place to link to it is in the demographic section with just a simple link, not calling it special interest or anything else. And even if you have graciously given your permission, that isn't going to stop the POV-reverters from controlling the article. Sad mouse 19:23, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
"Graciously given permission", this is open source, I have no authorization to give.
There are similar links in the see also section already. As such it seems to be a very appropriate section to add the link, even if it is not the “obvious” section. SolitaryWolf 03:07, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


"As of July 2006, unemployment was 4.8% with 10,223,300 persons employed."

Am I missing something about how unemployment is calculated? Because 10 million person unemployed would be roughly 50% of Australia's population.

Also, and this is just based on a rough guess of which I am most probably wrong: Wouldn't the south of WA be temperate? I find it hard to believe it is subtropical. Disco 14:24, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Unemployment is that part of the workforce who do not have work. Children, retirees, and stay-at-home parents are not included in the workforce. "Employed" can be defined as low as a few hours of paid casual work per week. --Scott Davis Talk 15:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Scott is right of course, but I'm guessing this is the usual "employed/unemployed" misreading (see earlier section. I think subtropical is right, and some definitions of these terms quite clearly overlap. JPD (talk) 20:26, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Understood. (As I said in terms of temperature, I have no idea what constitutes one or another, having lived in Melbourne and Perth I find it hard to believe they count as different zones. But I'm happy to bow to consensus) Disco 13:56, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Naming of Australia

The section under "Origin and history of the name" in this article mentions nothing of the part played by Pedro Fernandes de Queirós in the naming of Australia. Even the article on Queiros on Wikipedia states the following:

"The name of Pedro Fernandes de Queirós is today chiefly remembered in Australia. Many writers credit Queirós with coining the word "Australia" in the belief that he named his islands "Australia del Espiritu Santo", whereas he actually called them Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. (The name "Australia" was actually coined by his translator in 1625 and later was strongly endorsed by Matthew Flinders.)"

This also fails to mention that it is a widely held view that he named (what he thought was) Australia, "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo" after the King of Spain at the time, Phillip III who was from the house of "Austria" (Habsberg), hence the name "Austrialia". Here is link to one place that confirms this but it may require confirmation: [4]

It seems that no-one is 100% sure of where the name is really from but if we're stating theories on how the name was derived, surely all of them should get some coverage. Regardless, Queiros should be mentioned. 04:13, 19 December 2006 (UTC) Brett

The place he named "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo" was not what we now know as Australia but the islands that became known as the New Hebrides, and later Vanuatu. His title was derived from "Austria" (Österreich), meaning eastern kingdom in German, whereas Australia is derived from the Latin word for south. The words Austrialia and Australia are superficially similar, but relate to quite different points on the compass. JackofOz 04:57, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

As I stated "he named (what he thought was) Australia, "Austrialia del Espiritu Santo"". It also doesn't change the fact that on the Queiros page it states "The name "Australia" was actually coined by his translator in 1625 and later was strongly endorsed by Matthew Flinders.". In light of this, surely it should be mentioned on the Australia page (or conversely deleted from the Queiros page) that there is at least debate as to whether the name Australia came from the latin 'Australis' or as a corruption of 'Austrialia'. 01:19, 20 December 2006 (UTC) Brett

There have been maps produced for ions which have named a presumed southern continent as "Terre Australis Incognita" or something similar (my latin is non-existant). It translates as unknown southern land. Early cartographers assumed there must be a southern continent to "balance out" the northern continents. This is where the term "Australia" comes from. I have never heard of Queiros before but it would be logical for him to name newfound lands in the south of the equator as part of this continent. But I doubt he originated the name. --Michael Johnson 01:41, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Queiros named the lands after the House of Austria, the rulers of Spain at the time, not from the Latin "Australis". Whether the name "Australia" comes directly from the Latin or from Dalrymple's translation will probably never be known. However Dalrymple used it earlier than 1771. It was in his 1765 translation of Juan Luis Arias de Loyola's book about Torres. Joesph Banks took a copy of this book on Cook's 1768 voyage. In any case, Queiros and Austrialia del Espiritu Santo do deserve a mention. Dbromage 02:04, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Unless you can provide a source to the contrary, it is clear that the name Australia came from the Latin Terre Australis , or South Land, a term that was widely used before Queiros. See for instance the Johannes Schöner globe, which was made 50 years before Queiros was born. There were no mistaken translations. The only things Queiros named were some of the islands of Vanuatu. --Michael Johnson 02:25, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure how much more simple I can make this. On one page in Wikipedia, the Queiros page, it states "many writers" credit the origin of the name Australia to Queiros' translator. On the Australia page it is not mentioned at all. There are two options here:

1. If it is complete hearsay and there is undisputable evidence that the name "Australia" came from the Latin word for south, the "Queiros theory" should be deleted from the Queiros page or altered to make it clear that this theory has been proven incorrect.

2. If it is a valid thoery that can't dismissed (except by Micheal Johnson's "doubts" of course), then it should be mentioned on both pages as an alternate theory as to where the name came from. 01:02, 21 December 2006 (UTC) Brett

The problem is the article on Queiros is entirely unsourced on this matter. It does say:

A devout Catholic, Queirós visited Rome in 1600, where he obtained the support of the Pope, Clement VIII, for further explorations. He went to Peru in 1603 with the intention of finding Terra Australis, the mythical "great south land," and claiming it for Spain and the Church. Queirós's party of three ships, San Pedro y Paulo, San Pedro and Los Tres Reyes left Callao on 21 December 1605, with 300 crew and soldiers.

In May 1606 the expedition reached the islands later called the New Hebrides and now the independent nation of Vanuatu. Queirós landed on a large island which he took to be part of the southern continent, and named it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo (the Southern Land of the Holy Spirit). The island is still called Espiritu Santo. Here he founded a colony which he called Nova Jerusalem.

This in entirely consistant with what I understand was the situation. But further down it says:

The name of Pedro Fernandes de Queirós is today chiefly remembered in Australia. Many writers credit Queirós with coining the word "Australia" in the belief that he named his islands "Australia del Espiritu Santo", whereas he actually called them Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. (The name "Australia" was actually coined by his translator in 1625 and later was strongly endorsed by Matthew Flinders.)

Which does not gell with the previous quote. Either he was looking for Terre Australis or he wasn't. Neither is sourced. "Many writers" is not very reliable as a source. (added later) We understand from the first quote that the term "Terre Australis" was in use before Queiros commenced his voyage, so he didn't coin the term. He didn't encounter mainland Australia, so didn't "name" it, and his translator apparently coined "Australia". It's not clear if Matthew Flinders (who did promote Australia) was inspired by Queiros' translator or not. So it is difficult to see why one would include him in a paragraph on naming Australia.

--Michael Johnson 01:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


The History section of this article says:

"South Australia was founded as a "free province" — that is, it was never a penal colony. Victoria and Western Australia were also founded "free", but later accepted transported convicts."

The Settlement and colonisation section of the article History of Australia says:

"Victoria and South Australia were founded as "free colonies" — that is, they were never penal colonies, although the former did receive some convicts from Tasmania. Western Australia was also founded "free", but later accepted transported convicts due to an acute labour shortage."

Did the region that is now South Australia accept penal transportation before its fundation? Did the region that is now Victoria accept penal transportation before or after its fundation? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:59, 20 December 2006 (UTC).

South Australia was founded as an experiment in settlement, with free settlers direct from Britain. No convicts were ever sent there. Victoria was settled as a "private enterprise" inititive from Tasmania. The first settlers probably included former convicts, and certainly many former convicts moved to Victoria as a way to advance themselves. No convicts were sent from Britain to Victoria. I don't know if any convicts still serving their term were sent from Tas to Vic, although this is possible. Also there was an attempt to establish a penal colony in Vic about 1803, but the colonists moved on to Hobart to establish Tas. WA started as a free settlement, but then asked for and received convicts to provide cheap labour, after transportation had ceased to the rest of Australia. --Michael Johnson 05:20, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I had corrected the History Section of this article accordingly to my interpretation about what you had written. Tell me if what I wrote is correct or not and, in the second case, correct it.
(edit conflict) The only settlements in what is now SA before Adelaide was founded in late 1836 were on Kangaroo Island - a whaling/sealing camp which I think had more like Aboriginal slaves stolen from Van Diemen's Land than convicts, and then the first settlers lived there for a few months while the site of Adelaide was selected. The only exploration was Flinders and Baudin along the coast around 1802, and Sturt's party down the Murray around 1830. --Scott Davis Talk 07:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
    • So, did (as it is said in this article) or didn't (as it is said in History of Australia) Victoria accept penal transporatation after its fundation as a British colony? One of those articles has wrong information.
Didn't, as far as I am aware. --Michael Johnson 05:05, 21 December 2006 (UTC)


Any desire for the culture, (or perhaps start a trivia section) to include that fact that Australia is ranked #4 in beer consumption in the world? Well, it makes me proud.  :) Disco 17:19, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Residual power

The article states that s51 of the Constitution gives power to the commonwealth on certain subjects and leaves 'residual power' to the States. This view has been overturned since 1920 when the High Court decided the 'Engineers Case' (1920) 28 CLR 129. The court overturned the Reserved Powers doctrine and found that subject matters should not be interpreted strictly in the Constitution. Therefore the areas not covered in s51 can be legislated on by the Commonwealth. A recent example is the new IR laws, they are based on s51(xx) Corporations power, yet they encroach on a long held 'state power'.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:35, 4 January 2007.

I'm not a legal expert, but surely saying that the powers given to the Commonwealth should not be strictly interpreted is not the same as removing the notion of residual power? JPD (talk) 12:21, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Well perhaps you could say that 'residual power' is a massive simplification. The states have power over all areas that the commonwealth does not wish to 'cover the field' (Clyde Engineering v Dacey). The commonwealth can legislate on all matters in s51, as well as those reasonably incidental, and in addition can legislate for any area so long as it is some how related to a s51 power. If the commonwealth enters an area of law long held by the states, then the state law is invalid (s109 of the Constitution). An example of this is the Tasmanian Dams Case - the commonwealth, among other things, used the 'External Affairs power' (s51xxix) put a ban on a Tasmanian dam. The only relevance being that environment is an international issue.

- Pat (author of first point).


All of the pronounciations give /æɪ/ as the digraph in the second syllable. Although not Australian myself I have never heard it said like this with generally /eɪ/- di ? --Quentin Smith 13:09, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

It's the same vowel sound as in "trail", "frail", "railway", "tray", "stray", "fray" . I think they all have the same sound as /æɪ/. What are some words with /eɪ/ sounds? My ears are tuned for South Australian English if that makes a difference to my choice of rhyming words. --Scott Davis Talk 13:31, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm usually a bit unsure about the difference between /æɪ/ and /eɪ/. /æɪ/ seems to be a bit broader. The Macquarie Dictionary actually has /eɪ/ for all the words you mention (including Australia) and doesn't use /æɪ/ at all. JPD (talk) 15:58, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Exactly, /æɪ/ is broader - think maaaaaate - sometimes you can hear the glide quite distinctly. If you want to imagine what it sounds like, start off with /æ/ and /ɪ/ separately and then run them together. It's just like that.
Scott, if you want to know what /eɪ/ sounds like, picture an American saying way, say, bay - you can tell it's not Australian when you hear the vowel.
As to whether Australians actually say it, it depends. The broadness of dipthongs varies quite a bit in AusE - the less broad are associated with more refined speech. So it's not entirely incorrect to use /eɪ/ as the transcription for this phoneme, but my estimation is that that pronunciation is rare. My own pronunciation varies greatly according to context, and is sometimes /eɪ/, but I think I'm an aberration (non-Australians sometimes mistake me for a speaker of RP). The pure /eɪ/ pronunciation would sound a little foreign to an Australian - sort of Mid-Atlantic. Slac speak up! 20:26, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary lists these pronunciations: AusE: IPA: /əˈstræɪliə, -jə/ RP: IPA: /ɒˈstreɪliə, -jə/ GenAm: IPA: /ɔˈstreliə, -jə/ which I think should be added. Paulownia5 20:40, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

/æɪ/ is the same vowel as /eɪ/, six of one hald a dozen of the other. The only difference is that the former better reflects Australian pronunciation. Now I don't mean to call Slac wrong, the problem is a subtle one. /æɪ/ is /eɪ/ but [æɪ] and [eɪ] are different. The broader the accent the more of an [æɪ] you have. As the accent gets more "cultivated" the /æɪ/ (aka /eɪ/) approaches [eɪ] (like you have in RP). Jimp 04:49, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Why are the national sports teams for Austraila Green and Yellow? Gam3

Its actually green and gold.... If anyone knows might be an idea to add to the article --Mcgrath50 23:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't the idea to represent the colours of Wattle? And i think they were only adopted in he 1970s. But i don't know where that can be verified. Merbabu 23:16, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know why they are the colours, but we have an article Green and gold. -- Chuq
the website has information on the when, why, etc i have heeps of uni study to do atm so if someone else wants to do the write up for this it would be GREAT Philsgirl 13:01, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

ABS statistics

On SBS last night it said a new yearbook of ABS statistics had come out - does anyone have a copy, or have the main statistics been updated? Leon 06:12, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd try the ABS if I were you. JackofOz 06:19, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


i heard somewhere that clocks in australia run counterclockwise. is this true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This is totally not true, they run clockwise as everywhere else in the world. AxG (talk) (guest book) 17:26, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Then again, if clocks did run counterclockwise there, wouldn't they just rename the direction to match with their clocks by definition of "clockwise"?--Loodog 03:26, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Maybe the clock section should be removed...if it wasn't a joke it sets another reason for not allowing public amendments to wikipedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:30, 5 April 2007.

What clock section? I have never seen a clock section in the article, and if there ever was it was removed very quickly, without fuss. Also, if there weren't any public amendments allowed to Wikipedia, then the article wouldn't exist, since the entire contents of every article was contributed by the public. -- Chuq 03:59, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
there is a joke clock that needs to be read in a mirror, but these are not restricted to Australia prehaps this section should be removed???Philsgirl 13:03, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

What global economic downturn?

The economy section is W R O N G

There is no global downturn. All industrialized countries are having the greatest boom since the 2000 IT days. If Australia is having problems with the economy it is not because there is something wrong with the world but because there is something wrong with Australia. The whole section is misleading because there is no global downturn, there might be in a few years if the USA housing market does not pick up but right now today the world economy is booming. So I will remove it within one week of today, someone else can if he/she wishes rewrite the section but to say that there is a global economic downturn is just wrong Potaaatos 22:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I see this user has been banned indefinately...


It is clear from Australia (continent) that Tasmania is not part of the mainland (surprise, surprise!). Therefore we need to add it in to the mix. As the lead para was written, Tasmania seemed to figure nowhere in the makeup of Australia. JackofOz 23:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Tasmania is, however, an island. JPD (talk) 12:47, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes indeed it is. But it hardly does it justice to describe it as an anonymous member of "a number of islands in the Southern, Indian, and Pacific Oceans". That relegates it to the same status as some uninhabited island off the coast of Western Australia that nobody except geographers has ever heard of. Tasmania is a state, all by itself. We mention the miscellaneous islands and we mention the mainland. Tasmania also deserves separate mention. JackofOz 11:51, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
The way I see it, the "uninhabited island off the coast of Western Australia" is usefully included in the references to islands, which mainly refers to Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, the TSI, Tiwi Islands, etc. as well as Lord Howe and possibly the external territories. This is a purely physical description, so statehood is irrelevant. If there is justification for mentioning Tasmania separately, it is on grounds of size together with distance from the mainland, and would probably be better phrased as "the largest of which is Tasmania". JPD (talk) 12:17, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Tasmania is orders of magnitude larger than the other islands of Australia; it's not like, say, Canada which includes a mainland and many largish islands of similar size. I've mentioned Tasmania and also linked to list of islands of Australia. --bainer (talk) 12:15, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

"international rankings"

how about adding in a table with australia's rankings on the HDI, the economist quality of life index etc. just like the article for norway has... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:22, 19 February 2007 (UTC). The Capitals Nickname is called Julie stinks really bad Just letting you know. Complusory voting is not true. It is only compulsory to enrol to vote and turn up to the election and have your name ticked off the list. When you get into the booth you do not have to write/tick/mark anything on the ballot paper. You are free to leave it completely blank if you do not wish to vote.

The electoral act specifically requires voting, not "being recorded at a both". So yes, voting is really compulsory. Slac speak up! 12:34, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

This is all a bit pedantic, entering a blank ballot would be considered a non-vote.

It would be counted as an informal vote - of which there are too many! Its not hard to vote, especially seeing as though the parties hand out 'How to Vote' leaflets... Orbitalwow 16:08, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

- Technically it is Illegal to informally vote BUT when we have elections that only YOU know what is written on the form it's impossible to police and is left up to the person to be a good citizen --Mcgrath50 20:58, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Category:Germanic culture

Australia has been add to the new Category:Germanic culture by an editor. Please discuss this to ascertain whether this is appropriate or not - and act accordingly.-- Zleitzen(talk) 13:39, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Beliefs of first immigrants, 48,000 years ago

What is the basis for the statements about the oral culture and and spiritual values of the first immigrants to Australia, 48,000 years ago? The statement "The first Australians were the ancestors of the current Indigenous Australians; they arrived via land bridges and short sea-crossings from present-day Southeast Asia. Most of these people were hunter-gatherers, with a complex oral culture and spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime." ought to be supported by a citation if one is available, and deleted otherwise. Agemegos 05:27, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Kazakh interwiki

Please add Kazakh interwiki: [[kk:Аустралия]] -- 11:07, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Indigenous Australian culture

Cyberjunkie reverted my insertion that Australian culture was indigenous culture before 1788, saying it was not factual. I cannot possibly see how that is not factual, although I'm happy to discuss the precisse wording. Let's discuss it here rather than having a revert war! (and ps: apologies for not puttinga comment on my revert!) RayNorris 09:56, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

You added the following, along with a main link to Australian Aboriginal culture:

Before 1788, the culture of most Australians was the Australian Aboriginal culture.

That's a silly statement. Australia, and thus Australian culture, did not exist as a tangible concept before European discovery and then settlement. We are discussing Australian culture.--cj | talk 09:21, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but what you've just said would be considered by some people to be offensively racist. No matter - I presume we agree that we are striving here for a NPOV. Anyway, how about the following sentence instead, which says the same thing but a bit more wordily, and maybe less likely to be interpreted as a political statement: "Before 1788, Australia had a population of 300,000-400,000 people who had a well-defined culture, which we now call Australian Indigenous Culture. After British settlement in 1788, the population swelled from the influx of British, and the dominant culture switched very quickly to being an Anglo-Celtic culture." Note that this pair of sentences is totally NPOV, and has no political overtones that I'm aware of. Now I'm happy to discuss the wording of what I wrote with you, but you seem to be saying either that Indigenous people aren't Australians, or that they had no culture, neither of which I can agree with. Or are you saying something else? RayNorris 09:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, I've just noticed that you've reverted my insertion even though I suggested we should discuss the issue here rather than start a revert war. I don't think that's the sort of behaviour one expects from someone who claims admin status. RayNorris 09:48, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm not completely sure that I agree with Cyberjunkie as regards including indigenous culture in the culture section, but he is correct. There wasn't "a well-defined culture" now called "Australian Indigenous Culture". There were many cultures, which may seem quite similar to each other when compared with European cultures, but were quite different. While they were all Australian cultures in the sense that they existed and belonged in Australia, they weren't one Australian culture and didn't involve any sense of "Australia". JPD (talk) 10:01, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your point that there wasn't one well-defined culture. My apologies - I was being sloppy. There were of course many cultures. But CyberJunkie seems to have some sort of terra nullius argument that there wasn't any culture in Australia before 1788, which is what I reacted against. As I said, I'm very happy to discuss here a good NPOV statement that we can put in here, but the current statement in the article that the culture was always Anglo-Celtic until recent times is clearly incorrect and needs to be fixed. That all I was trying to do. (I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition...) RayNorris 10:10, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I understood Cyberjunkie to be saying that the section (including the statement about being Anglo-Celtic) to be about the concept of Australian culture, not culture in Australia. He was quite clear in saying that it was the concept of Australia that started at that time, not the existence of culture. The issues of discussion are whether the section should cover culture in Australia more generally, and if not, whether the sentence in the article clearly conveys the meaning ascribed to it by Cyberjunkie.
The section is mainly about what has affected current culture than history, so the current content would seem sufficient. I would actually argue that the "primary basis" of Australian culture remains Anglo-Celtic even now, even though other influences have become much more important over time. JPD (talk) 10:25, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think anybody's disputing the fact that our culture is now primarily Anglo-Celtic. The problem is the implied asserion in the article that it has always been that way: "The primary basis of Australian culture until the mid-20th century was Anglo-Celtic".
Anyway, and sadly, I've got better things to do with my time than mess about with details like this. I'll simply insert "Since 1788" before this sentence, which at least means it's technically correct, even if (as I think) it does a disservice to the people that lived here before then. I am saddened that even though the Australian courts have long thrown out the concept of Terra Nullius, it still lives on in the implicit assumptions and attitudes of many Australians.RayNorris 10:43, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
If you think Cyberjunkie is suggesting some sort of terra nullius, then you are missing his point completely. My point about the primary basis of Australian culture still being Anglo-Celtic is that the sentence could be changed to say "The primary basis of Australian culture is Anglo-Celtic, although ... have contributed to distinctive Australian features.", removing any perceived implication that the sentence is covering pre-1788 culture. JPD (talk) 10:58, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Ahem. I agree that your sentence is also OK. But I think you have missed CyberJunkie's point. I quote: "Australia, and thus Australian culture, did not exist as a tangible concept before European discovery and then settlement." I think the 300 000 people who lived in Australia then would beg to differ. I think their land was a very tangible concept to them. There is this implicit assumption by a huge number of people that "we" discovered Australia and that it didn't really exist as an entity before then. But there was a country, one which we invaded and renamed, and we now find that all a bit embarrassing, and so it's easier to pretend there was no history of the country before 1788. It's that attitude which I find so saddening.
But in any case, I think we've wandered off the point, and wikipedia is not really the place for these discussions. I suggest we stop here.RayNorris 11:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
You're trying way to hard to make a point here. Stop misrepresenting my words to make it.--cj | talk 11:34, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
Ray, now you're not only misrepresenting the point, but linking it to completely irrelevant things. How is it any worse to invade the single country that you insist existed than to invade the land of many different groups? The distinction isn't relevant to any questions of embarassment. Anyway, to get back to the article, the culture section is not the place to focus on history. I think my suggested opening sentence does a better job of making it clear the focus is on culture and how history has shaped it, rather than the history of culture, as as well as removing the questionable implication that Anglo-Celtic culture is no longer the primary basis of Australian culture. Does anyone disagree? JPD (talk) 12:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I've absolutely no idea how you interpret my comments to mean what you just said. I suspect you're pulling my leg, right? ;-) Point taken. Anyway, to get back to the article, yes, as I said before, I think your suggested opening sentence is fine. My only concern originally (Sigh...) was that we shouldn't imply that there has never been any culture other than Anglo-Celtic. Your suggested sentence, concentrating on the present, is a good solution, and I think will satisfy both wings of the political spectrum. RayNorris 12:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Megadiverse country

I noticed that under the Flora and Fauna section Australia is considered a megadiverse country.

However, when I click on the megadiverse countries link, Australia is not on that list, nor is Australia highlighted on the map of that page.

So,either Australia is indeed considered a megadiverse country and it should be on that list, or it is not and the reference to it being a megadiverse country should be removed from its description.

Just thought you might want to follow this up.

Cheers! Geckoz 05:52, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

I guess it depends on who is making up the list and for what purpose. Australia's fauna and flora is very diverse, and possibly more important, highly endemic, something that cannot be said for most of the countries on that list. -- Michael Johnson 08:17, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

The article megadiverse countries only lists the signatories to the Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries (I think, its hard to tell with no source information provided); regardless it's not a complete lists of places that have been described as megadiverse by various organisations.--Peta 02:17, 16 March 2007 (UTC)


Just read through this section which states:

The first undisputed recorded European sighting of the Australian mainland was made by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in 1606.

Should this be re-worded slightly to make it clear that there are theories about other sightings such as the article in [5]? In notide that there is also a History of Australia before 1788 page and a European exploration of Australia page which each give slightly different versions. I'm not sure how much detail should be found here, but to me the current sentence is a little ambiguous. I'm not an expert in Australian history so will leave it to others who are no doubt more qualified than I am to determin what if any treatment should be given to competing historical claims. --Hmette 06:22, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

The specificity you would like is best kept to the daughter articles, being as this is a summary article. The sentence you quote does not deny there are other claims; in fact, it implies there are others, but states that this is the earliest undisputed European sighting. For overview purpose, I think this is fine.--cj | talk 08:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


According to my copy of the Australian Government's Style Manual (1978 edition, page 10), program is the preferred spelling of this word. I think this spelling should be used in the article and not the longer version. Does anyone have any objection to this? Michael Glass 12:34, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Both forms are correct in Australian English, so (per the Manual of Style) you should not be changing one form to another. Where in this article is it an issue anyway?--cj | talk 12:55, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

There were two of each - so I change two of them and it is now consistent. Alan Davidson 13:42, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


The first use of the word "Australia" in the English language was in 1625. The words "A note of Australia del Espiritu Santo, written by Master Hakluyt" - were published by Samuel Purchas in 1625 - Purchas, vol. iv, p. 1422-1432. It was an anglicised translation of Captain de Quiros's words from 1606, who, seeking Terra Australis, named the land he landed at on the day of Pentecost "La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo". Although Cook later clarified that he had been at Vanuatu at the time, by then, the word "Australia" as a name for "Terra Australis" had been in publication 150 years. External Reference - an image of the actual page in the original publication: [6] SWCS 10:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we should retain your addition, which essentially references a typo in a document about Austrialia del Espiritu Santo – ie, Vanuatu not Australia.--cj | talk 02:29, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, the explorer in question was seeking Terra Australis - and believing he had found it, declared that Austrialia del Espiritu Santo would become the new name of all this part of the South as far as the pole i.e. not just the island on which he was standing. Regardless of that point, as far as whether the English translation document then contained a "typo" or an "Anglicization" of his word "Austrialia" is not really the point here, as the subject is "Etymology" i.e. the study of historical linguistic change. Historically, that word was published in 1625, and was referenced by Dalrymple and Cook in their journals. SWCS (talk 05:14, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Needs to be updated

Map proves Portuguese discovered Australia: new book. All these articles need to be updated with at least a sentence about the claims made in the book Beyond Capricorn:

I can't do that because this article is protected, and I don't want to mess up the other articles. 10:53, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

See Theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia. It remains disputed.--cj | talk 02:42, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • yes it does. But makes these wikipedia articles about Australia very biased, towards something that now got sufficient profs. Unless, the Portuguese used mediums to guess how the Australian coast was like, so it is disputed because of that. It is a fact that lots of people win the lottery. This article is not up-to-date with the latest news:

Map 'proves' Portuguese found Australia Wednesday Mar 21 16:53 AEDT

A 16th century maritime map proves Portuguese adventurers, not British or Dutch, were the first Europeans to discover Australia, according to a new book.

The book, Beyond Capricorn, says the map, which accurately marks geographical sites along Australia's east coast in Portuguese, proves Portuguese seafarer Christopher de Mendonca led a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay in 1522 - almost 250 years before Britain's Captain James Cook.-- 01:44, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Location marked Baia Neve, the claimed Botany Bay
I wouldnt say this counts as proof. If that is supposed to be Botany Bay, why are there two huge islands in the middle of it, and what are all the islands to the east? --Astrokey44 03:02, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Area of Australia: It is 7692024 km2 as listed in Geoscience Australia, a government agency on Geoscience

How long as Australia been populated?

I've always understood that Australia has been populated for at least 60, 000 years. Probably much longer.

I've seen reports that comment that perhaps Homo Erectus (or however you spell it) was here and then Homo Sapian wiped them out.

Anyway. This book is grand.

"Until recently the earliest evidence of human occupation in Australia was dated to 38,000 B.P. According to (Thorn et al 1999: 591-612) various dating techniques have given a range of 57,000 – 71,000 B.P. for the Lake Mungo remains. This has been disputed by (Bowler et al 2000: 719–726) who gave an age of 40,000 B.P.
The dating was resolved in 2003 with the use of Optically Stimulating Luminescence, considered the most accurate due to the method of collecting samples, giving a similar date of 40,000 B.P and a general consensus that this is correct."
This is from an A+ paper I wrote for university. I assume it would be an acceptable date for WP.
The Lake mungo site is in the southern part of Australia so obviously the Aboriginals must have arrived in the north (most likely point of entry being either the Kimberley, Arnhem Land or Cape York Peninsula) earlier than 40,000 B.P. to have migrated so far south but the oldest evidence in the Northern Territory (rock paintings) is dated to only 38,000 B.P. Ochre rocks with a pattern of wear consistent with use in art were dated to 60,000 B.P. but this is contentious considering that the oldest European art is only 35 - 40,000 years old. Wayne 14:56, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
See Mungo Man#Age (which I should put footnotes into at some point). Mungo Man's remains are the oldest anatomically modern human remains found in Australia. The best accepted age for him currently is 40,000 years BP, previous results have ranged from as young as 28,000 years BP (the earliest studies, now regarded as inaccurate) to as old as 62,000 years BP (a 1999 study which has been criticised fairly heavily).
Remember that these are the oldest human remains. Tools and art have been found that are much older, although I don't have the dates on hand; the oldest tools are around 60,000 years old if memory serves me correctly. --bainer (talk) 06:44, 5 April 2007 (UTC)


The demographics of Australia should be added. Number of Australians overseas, languages spoken in Australia, breakdown of ethic backgrounds etc.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 04:21, 1 April 2007 (ACST).

Such information is already present in Australia#Demographics.--cj | talk 18:58, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Protect page for 6 mths

I think this page needs to be protected for at least 6 mths from the anons and new users who continually vandalise the page.
This is something I cannot understand, do they find it fun to be so disruptive? -- Mark 01:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, so-called civilised society has those elements within it who clearly have such a low self-esteem that, when combined with their evident lack of intellect, together with access to technology, enables them to satisfy their pubescent urges through misusing the facilities available to them. These are the same type of sub-sentients who attempt to earn an identity through 'tagging' and grafitti as well as other mindless acts in the real world. Nevertheless we, the mature section of society, are expected to preserve the planet for their use and the use of their offspring, and to pay for their ill-deserved chance to get a university education. How utterly depressing. --JohnArmagh 18:30, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Population figure

The population figure is cited as being from mid-2006, though this is false and may be verified by checking the article's history - it has been modified (updated to the figure featured on Australia's population clock) since this citation was originally made. Please take necessary measures to correct the situation.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 03:19, 7 April 2007 (ACST).


Socceroos, put australia on the map. put them on the page please

````a Chalres Darwin uni comp

so edit this mercilessly, im not the first king of controversy, but i am the best thing, since elvis presley —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:41, 8 April 2007 (UTC).

Perhaps within the scope of international football, they put Australia on the map, but as far as sports go Australia is probably better known (OUTSIDE the country) for its cricket, rugby union, swimming and netball success. As far as Australia as a whole goes, it is known for many more things that just sports.
Soccer in Australia is discussed in more detail in its respective section in the Sport in Australia article. -- Chuq (talk) 03:30, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

An Occidental Bias in this Article

Why is it that there is a reference in the introduction of this article to the practice of "penal transportation", and not in others? For example, the historical reference in the introduction to the article for the United States reads:

"American society is the product of large-scale immigration and is home to a complex social structure[6] as well as a wide array of household arrangements.[7] The U.S. is one of the world's most ethnically and socially diverse nations.[8]

The nation was founded by thirteen colonies declaring their independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776 as the new nation, the "United States of America."

There's also absolutely no mention of it in the introductions for the New Caledonia, Canada, New Zealand, India, French Guyana, nor Siberia articles. The article about the Province (now state) of Georgia does not even mention the practice at all! These places all were subject to penal transportation. Why is Australia singled out in the introduction to its national article as being subject to this insidious practice?

This is clearly a double standard.

The fact that there is one brief mention of indigenous history that glosses over 40,000+ years of habitation on the continent I believe signifies an occidental bias in this article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:35, 12 April 2007 (UTC).

Hi. I have a feeling you are not Australian. Transportation factors heavily in to the national consciousness, even to this day. Of course it happened elsewhere but I doubt the impact was so significant or lasting as it was in Australia. Free settlement from Europe wasn't even allowed until about 60 years after the first convicts arrived (although some soldiers chose to remain instead of returing to the UK at the end of their tour).
As for your concerns over indigenous history. I think you are quite right but part of the problem is that even the experts disagree on prehistorical Australia (how many influxes of people were there, where did they do first, etc). The subject has been studied far less than it has in (for example) North America. Robert Brockway 08:24, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


I wrote the original post above.

I am actually an Australian, and recognise that the legacy of transportation has been diminished significantly as Australian society accepts that the contributions made to Australia though free immigration (which added far more in terms of population and expertise than transportation) have had a far more significant nation-building effect on modern Australia. We don't live in a country that "started" on January 26th 1788, this country as an entity began in 1901 as a result of the actions of free and learned patriots. Despite the fact that I am from New South Wales, the fact that transportation was limited if not non-existent in places like Victoria and South Australia (not to mention the hundreds of towns and cities outside the capitals) and yet it is still credited with being the foundation upon which this nation was built, seems to indicate a bias toward New South Wales as the cradle of Australian society - which is completely wrong.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that free settlement wasn't allowed in "Australia" until sixty years after 1788. 35 years after the first fleet arrived at Port Jackson, New South Wales became a crown colony with all the rights and responsibilities associated with such a status.

The point is this: Transportation happened, and it was a part of the first permanent European settlement on what is now the Australian continent. But it was for so many other countries too. If the only reason that other national or state articles do not include this information in their *introduction* because it isn't relevant to the wider nation/state as a whole today, then Australia's article should have no need to mention transportation in its introduction as transportation has been constantly diminished through free settlement and the founding actions of Australians since 1823.

To give disproportionate credit to transportation undermines far more significant contributions to this land's human history such as indigenous habitation and free settlement. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:02, 15 April 2007 (UTC).

Interestingly there was an op-ed in The Advertiser newspaper a few days ago on this very subject. The gist was that transportation had a huge effect on how Australia is today. Far more so than any other factor in our history. Unlike other countries who had transportation alongside free settlement and thus had a minority of these "second class citizens" our settlement was such that almost all citizens were "second class" and is the source of our "fair go" attitude. I wish I had kept it.

"By the time the free immigrants arrived in the second half of the nineteenth century, the land of Australia and control over its socio-political institutions were firmly entrenched in other hands." -Edward J. Dodson

I would argue that indigenous habitation was actually insignificant compared to transportation due to Terra Nullus. Natives in effect did not exist and we did not interact with them to the extent that colonists did in America for example. For the first 50 years of settlement the colony had no contact with more than the 1,500 indigenous Australians who lived east of the ranges. As for the impact of free settlement, I am an Adelaidian and we have the same values as the eastern states and the only difference we/I see is probably the moving away from our British traditions, ie the "Americanisation" of our culture which is a relatively recent cultural change in which we are maybe a few years behind the eastern states. Our culture is largely influenced by that of the eastern states not our "free" origins. Wayne 11:52, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Presenting the Queen of Australia, wrong

There is no Queen of Australia the same as there is no queen of New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II is the queen of Great Britian which is like England, Scotland, Wales, North Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, (I think) Pakistan; and of course others. please fix that, i fixed the part that said "queen Elizabeth II" and i put in the rank of Maj. Gen. Michael Jeffery and Prime minister Howard. thx --Jameogle 02:26, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Erm... no, sorry, but your wrong. Totally wrong. --RaiderAspect 03:55, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
See monarchy in Australia and list of titles and honours of Queen Elizabeth II. She has different titles in each of her realms and territories. She even has two titles in Canada, an English and a French version. --bainer (talk) 04:11, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Yup she's the Queen of Australia, i'd like to see your source that says she isnt!! --Mcgrath50 06:11, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree she is, but i think it's a simply mistake on behalf of a good faith editor. Perhaps see his talk page before commenting further. Although anyone can put anything on a talk page, this one suggests to me that a little postive and gentle guidance is what we need. Merbabu 06:19, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

To clarify the original query, when Pakistan became a republic, Elizabeth II ceased being Queen of Pakistan. The title is now extinct.

Queen Elizabeth II, is Queen of England and Queen of the Commonwealth, this includes Australia, New Zeland etc... thus she is Queen of Australia as well, the parlament acts on her behalf Philsgirl 13:11, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

An interesting oddity is that the Australia Act according to some academics is that it still leaves the question unresolved over whether Elizabeth II's title as "Queen of New South Wales" (as well as the other states) is valid [7]. I'm not quite sure if that should be mentioned on Wikipedia though since knowledge of this curiosity isn't exactly that widespread. --  Netsnipe  ►  18:45, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
Queen Elizabeth II, is not Queen of the Commonwealth. Her official United Kingdom title is "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.". If you visit the Royal Family's official website it says she is "Head of State of 15 Commonwealth realms." I can't find any official source that says Queen of the Commonwealth. Also the Head of the Commonwealth title is not hereditary but an elected title and, although the Heads have agreed to vote for her successor, can be given to any Commonwealth member's Head of State by a consensus of such on the Queens death. Doesn't that mean she is Head of State of Australia rather than Queen? Wayne 13:00, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
According to the Royal Styles and Titles Act 1973 as passed by the Australian Parliament her official Australian title is: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. --Michael Johnson 00:48, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. How did the monarchists slip that in during the public debate on severing ties with the monarchy without a consensus? Very sneaky lol. There is no mention on the Queens website of that and in fact it makes it clear that although she has other titles, only her UK title is official. So which takes precedence? Wayne 04:08, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict) There is no such thing as "Queen of the Commonwealth". As Wayne says, QE2 is Head of the Commonwealth. Of the 53 member nations, only 16 of them, known as Commonwealth Realms, recognise her as their queen (not sure which one of them the Royal website is ignoring by saying there are only 15). She holds different crowns and different titles for each of these Commonwealth Realms, eg. the one mentioned above by Michael Johnson is her title for Australia; and it theoretically possible for, say, New Zealand to abolish the New Zealand monarchy and become a republic (as Australia tried to do in 1999), while staying a member of the Commonwealth; or, say, Canada to dethrone QE2 as the Queen of Canada and install Dan Aykroyd as the King of Canada, while Elizabeth II continues as queen of the remaining 15 member nations. All highly unlikely scenarios, but the machinery of these arrangements allows for such theoretical possibilities. The Head of the Commonwealth is an elected office, but there's no way of knowing for absolute certain whether Charles Wales would succeed her in that role. (But I think it's very unlikely that anyone else would get the nod, fwiw). Until QE2 ceases to be Head of the Commonwealth through dying or somehow relinquishing the position, it would be somewhat inappropriate for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers to be formally discussing her successor, so I doubt the vote Wayne refers to has ever taken place. (But I'm sure there have been informal discussions behinf closed doors). In the opinion of most informed people, QE2 is Australia's Head of State because she is the monarch. But there's been a lively debate about this question, and even Sir David Smith, former Official Secretary to various G-Gs, takes the view that the G-G is the Head of State. However this question has nothing to do with her holding the separate office of Head of the Commonwealth, because technically John Howard could be elected to that job while the Queen would remain both Queen of Australia and Head of State of Australia. -- JackofOz 04:24, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Re Wayne's last question, each one of her 16 separate titles is official in the country to which it is relevant, and only in that country. In Australia, she is not the Queen of the United Kingdom, but the Queen of Australia only. She holds the crown of the United Kingdom only in respect of the UK, she holds the crown of Australia only in respect of Australia, and so on for the other 14 Commonwealth Realms. No one of her crowns has any precedence over any other - they are all completely separate and distinct. See Statute of Westminster for more on this. One might wonder why her website is really only about her being the Queen of the UK and ignores the fact that she holds 15 other crowns. Just as one might wonder why she turns up to barrack for the England cricket team when they're playing test matches against other Commonwealth countries of which she is also their Queen (but a different queen). -- JackofOz 04:24, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

soz, before wat i meant to say was that she is the queen of great britian,(england, scotland, wales, north ireland) and then the Commonwealth, but she is not usually recognised as the queen of the commonwealth of Australia, i understand what your saying above, but all through the 1900s to 1940s, the Head of the monarch was only recognised as there queen because the people thought they were British, but then the statute of westminster ad the Australia act if she is trully the queen of australia, then how come we still have a governor general, wouldn't there be just a queen who lives just on the other side of the world. wouldn't australia use the same aproach as england with prime minsiter then queen, i also don't get qhat your saying how anyone could be the head of the commonwealth, then whats the piont of being in the commonwealth if the leader is not british, this commonwealth is formed on the foundations of the nation that were british colonies that regained some freedom in government affairs. --Jameogle 04:38, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

  • In fact, she is recognised as the Queen of the Commonwealth of Australia. Well, to be precise, she is the Queen of Australia. Whenever she visits Australia, she is most definitely NOT the Queen of the UK, but the Queen of Australia. There are even occasions when she has formally and explicitly officiated at ceremonies as "Queen of Australia" outside Australia, such as when she represented specifically Australian interests at WW2-related commemorations in France.
  • This delineation of the crowns started with the UK's Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927, and gradually each Commonwealth Realm has passed its own legislation naming her "Queen of ...". In Australia's case, this happened in 1953 and again in 1973.
  • Up until the 1950s, many Australians thought of themselves just as much British as Australian. That's because there simply was no such thing as a separate Australian citizenship until 26 January 1949. Prior to then, all Australians were legally and actually "British subjects", if not British persons. Prime Minister Robert Menzies is famous for saying "Australians are British to the boostraps". When the Queen first visited Australia in 1954, the majority of people flew the Union Jack, the flag of the UK, rather than their own flag, the Australian National Flag. That was testament to the lingering confusion in the minds of many people at that time about our own national identity, apparently unaware that we have a Queen of Australia who is legally distinct from the Queen of the UK, the Queen of Canada, the Queen of New Zealand, the Queen of the Bahamas, et al.
  • We have a Governor-General because the Queen of Australia resides in a foreign country, the UK, and it is not practical for her to perform here the functions she performs in the UK. Nevertheless, there have been occasions when she has personally given Royal Assent to Acts of the Australian Parliament. She has done this in her capacity as Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, not in her capacity as Elizabeth II, Queen of the UK or anywhere else.
  • The modern Commonwealth of Nations has developed to the point where the "mother country", the UK, no longer has any special status. During Margaret Thatcher's premiership, she outraged other Commonwealth leaders such as Bob Hawke with her stance on sanctions and other international policies, so much so that semi-serious questions were raised about the UK being expelled from the Commonwealth. A number of countries such as Fiji, Pakistan and South Africa have either been suspended or expelled from the Commonwealth, or chosen to leave, and there is absolutely no technical reason that would prevent the UK from being expelled if circumstances warranted it (highly unlikely though that possibility is).
  • Elizabeth II is only the second Head of the Commonwealth, but the first who has had that title as part of her formal title ("Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, .... Queen of <wherever>, Head of the Commonwealth"). It makes a kind of sense for the the Head of the Commonwealth to be whoever is the monarch of the UK, since that's where the Commonwealth started; but on the other hand, that monarch is monarch of only 16 nations, while the Commonwealth consists of 53 nations. Some of the remaining 37 countries have monarchs of their own, eg. Malaysia. If it were set in stone that the monarch of the UK would always inherit the title of Head of the Commonwealth as by right, this would upset more than a few of the peoples of the Commonwealth. Elizabeth II is greatly and universally respected as a person, even by people who hate the very idea of monarchy, which is probably why everybody is happy with her being the Head of the Commonwealth; but the same cannot be said for Prince Charles, so it's far from certain that he would automatically become the next Head of the Commonwealth. The heads of government of the 53 Commonwealth nations are entitled to have a say about this, and when the time comes I'm sure they will. There's no technical reason why some universally respected and statesman-like person such as Sir William Deane couldn't become Head of the Commonwealth. (But there probably plenty of political reasons why that wouldn't be a goer.) -- JackofOz 05:39, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

External Territories

I think that Image:Australian external territories.png should be included in the info box similar to France's article (ie underneath the world map). There isn't anything different between Australia's external territories and France's, is there? I'd add the map myself but the page is locked to me. -- 07:14, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the inclusion of the external territories for France was included because of their distance from the mainland (some are on the other side of the world). This is not true in Australia in the majority of cases. This map also includes Antarctic territory which isn't actually sovereign Australian territory, so the map you mentioned is not accurate. However, I see no reason why a rectified version shouldn't be included. --Mgill 13:23, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Coat of Arms

Any chance of somebody getting a better quality Coat of Arms image with a transparent background (as with the images of practically all other countries' coats of arms)? I can't believe that such an image isn't in existence, or that somebody can't or isn't willing to create one. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:11, 24 April 2007 (UTC).

We do have Image:Australian coat of arms 1912 edit.png, if someone is willing to replace all instances of the non-transparent version.--cj | talk 00:44, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
That one's ugly. Somebody should use this one, which I whipped up from the one already present in the article. Somebody please change all instances of the last one to this one.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Owned Souls (talkcontribs) 16:57, 5 May 2007 (ACST).
Could somebody crop Image:Australian_Coat_of_Arms.png for me? I forgot to do so when I first uploaded it, and I am presently unable to as I am a relatively new user and the image is featured on a semi-protected page (Australia). Do not resize it or anything, keep it at the exactly the same quality and everything else the same, only bring the edges of the picture to the first occurring pixel of each side. —Owned Souls 06:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC).

I have now performed all of the above-mentioned tasks. This section may now be comfortably ignored. —Owned Souls 10:15, 9 May 2007 (UTC).