|Slogan or nickname: Sunshine State|
|Motto(s): Audax at Fidelis (Bold but Faithful)|
Other Australian states and territories
|Demonym||Queenslander, Banana Bender (colloquial)|
|- Governor||Penelope Wensley|
|- Premier||Campbell Newman (LNP)|
|- Self-Governing Colony||6 June 1859|
|- Australia Act||3 March 1986|
|- Total||1,852,642 km² (2nd)
715,309 sq mi
|- Land||1,730,648 km2
668,207 sq mi
|- Water||121,994 km2 (6.58%)
47,102 sq mi
|Population (End of March 2012)|
|- Population||4,560,059 (3rd)|
|- Density||2.61/km2 (5th)
6.8 /sq mi
|- Highest||Mount Bartle Frere
1,622 m (5,321 ft)
|Gross State Product (2010–11)|
|- Product ($m)||$251,616 (3rd)|
|- Product per capita||$55,414 (5th)|
|Time zone||UTC+10 (AEST)
(does not observe DST)
|- House seats||30|
|- Senate seats||12|
|- ISO 3166-2||AU-QLD|
|- Floral||Cooktown orchid
|- Bird||Brolga (Grus rubicunda)|
|- Fish||Barrier Reef Anemonefish
Coordinates: Queensland (abbreviated as Qld) is the second-largest and third-most populous state in Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. Queensland has a population of 4,560,059, concentrated along the coast and particularly in the state's South East. The state is the world's sixth largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 km2. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australia's third largest city. Referred to as the 'Sunshine State', Queensland is home to 10 of Australia's 30 largest cities and is the nation's third largest economy.
Queensland was first occupied by Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, who arrived at least 60,000 years ago. The first European to land in Queensland (and Australia) was Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon in 1606, who explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula near present-day Weipa. In 1770, Lieutenant James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain. The colony of New South Wales was founded in 1788 by Governor Arthur Phillip at Sydney; New South Wales at that time included all of what is now Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades until the establishment of a penal colony at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Penal transportation ceased in 1839 and free settlement permitted in 1842.
The state was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who on 6 June 1859 signed Letters Patent separating the colony from New South Wales. The date 6 June is now celebrated state-wide as Queensland Day. Queen Victoria, who went on to become Britain's longest reigning monarch, chose an eponymous name for the colony over Cooksland, which had been suggested by the influential local Presbyterian minister John Dunmore Lang in honour of navigator James Cook. Queensland achieved statehood with the Federation of Australia on 1 January 1901.
The history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. Estimated to have been settled by Indigenous Australians more than 60,000 years ago, the north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch, Portuguese and French navigators before being encountered by Captain James Cook in 1770. The Australian Labor Party has its origin as a formal organisation in Queensland and the town of Barcaldine is the symbolic birthplace of the party. The state has witnessed frontier warfare between European settlers and Indigenous inhabitants, as well as the employment of cheap Kanaka labour sourced from the South Pacific. June 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of its creation as a separate colony from New South Wales. A rare record of early settler life in north Queensland can be seen in a set of ten photographic glass plates taken in the 1860s by Richard Daintree, in the collection of the National Museum of Australia.
Queensland borders the Torres Strait to the north, with Boigu Island off the coast of New Guinea representing the absolute northern extreme of its territory. The triangular Cape York Peninsula, which points toward New Guinea is the northernmost part of the state's mainland. West of the peninsula's tip, northern Queensland is bordered by the Gulf of Carpentaria, while the Coral Sea— an arm of the Pacific Ocean— borders Queensland to the east. To the west, Queensland is bordered by the Northern Territory, at the 138°E longitude, and to the southwest by the northeastern corner of South Australia.
In the south, there are three sections that comprise its border: the watershed from Point Danger to the Dumaresq River; the river section involving the Dumaresq, the Macintyre and the Barwon; and 29°S latitude (including some minor historical encroachments below the 29th parallel) over to the South Australian border.
The state capital is Brisbane, located on the coast 100 kilometres (60 mi) by road north of the New South Wales border. The state is divided into several officially recognised regions. Other smaller geographical regions of note include the Atherton Tablelands, the Granite Belt, and the Channel Country in the far southwest.
Queensland has many places of natural beauty, including: the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast having some of the state's most popular beaches; the Bunya Mountains and the Great Dividing Range with numerous lookouts, waterfalls and picnic areas; Carnarvon Gorge; Whitsunday Islands and Hinchinbrook Island.
The state contains six World Heritage listed preservation areas: Australian Fossil Mammal Sites at Riversleigh in the Gulf Country, Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Fraser Island, Great Barrier Reef, Lamington National Park and the Wet Tropics of Queensland.
Because of its size, there is significant variation in climate across the state. Low rainfall and hot summers are typical for the inland west, a monsoonal 'wet' season in the far north, and warm temperate conditions along the coastal strip. Inland and in southern ranges low minimum temperatures are experienced. The climate of the coastal strip is influenced by warm ocean waters, keeping the region free from extremes of temperature and providing moisture for rainfall.
There are five predominate climatic zones in Queensland, based on temperature and humidity:
However, most of the Queensland populace experience two weather seasons: a "winter" period of rather warm temperatures and minimal rainfall and a sultry summer period of hot, sticky temperatures and higher levels of rainfall.
The annual mean statistics for some Queensland centres is shown below:
|City||Min. Temp||Max. Temp||No. Clear days||Rainfall|
|Brisbane||15.7 °C (60.3 °F)||25.5 °C (77.9 °F)||113.1||1,149.1 mm (45.24 in)|
|Mackay||19.0 °C (66.2 °F)||26.4 °C (79.5 °F)||123.0||1,570.7 mm (61.84 in)|
|Cairns||20.8 °C (69.4 °F)||29.0 °C (84.2 °F)||89.7||2,006.3 mm (78.99 in)|
|Townsville||19.8 °C (67.6 °F)||28.9 °C (84.0 °F)||120.9||1,136.7 mm (44.75 in)|
The highest maximum temperature observed in the state is 69.3 °C (157 °F). This temperature was recorded between 2003 and 2005 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite.
population by year
|Source: Australian Bureau
A smaller proportion of Queensland's population lives in the capital city than any other mainland state. As of June 2004 the capital city represented 45.7% of the population; for the whole country, capital cities represented 63.8% of the total population.
The 2006 Census showed the following religious affiliation in Queensland:
On 9 December 2005, the population of Queensland officially reached 4 million. According to Queensland's Office of Economic and Statistical Research the estimated population of the state at the end of 2007 was 4,228,290 which is almost 20% of Australia's total. For many years until 2008, Queensland was the fastest growing state in Australia. At its peak growth in 2007, it was estimated that over 1,500 people moved to the state per week including 1,000 to the southern part of the state alone and the state recorded a TFR of 2.1, the highest since 1977. Queensland's growth rate has since been surpassed by Western Australia).
Queensland's economy has enjoyed a boom in the tourism and mining industries over the past 20 years. A sizeable influx of interstate and overseas migrants, large amounts of federal government investment, increased mining of vast mineral deposits and an expanding aerospace sector have contributed to the state's economic growth. The 2008–09 saw the expansion slow to just 0.8% the state's worst performance in 18 years.
Between 1992 and 2002, the growth in the Gross State Product of Queensland outperformed that of all the other states and territories. In that period Queensland's GSP grew 5.0% each year, while growth in Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose on average 3.9% each year. Queensland's contribution to the Australian GDP increased by 10.4% in that period, one of only three states to do so.
In 2003 Brisbane had the lowest cost of living of all Australia's capital cities. In late 2005 Brisbane was the third most expensive capital for housing after Sydney and Canberra and just ahead of Melbourne by $15,000.
Primary industries include: bananas, pineapples, peanuts, a wide variety of other tropical and temperate fruit and vegetables, grain crops, wineries, cattle raising, cotton, sugar cane, wool and a mining industry including bauxite, coal, silver, lead, zinc, gold, and copper. Secondary industries are mostly further processing of the above-mentioned primary produce. For example, bauxite is shipped by sea from Weipa and converted to alumina at Gladstone. There is also copper refining and the refining of sugar cane to sugar at a number of mills along the eastern coastline. Major tertiary industries are the retail trade and tourism.
Tourism is Queensland's leading tertiary industry with millions of interstate and overseas visitors flocking to the Sunshine State each year. The industry generates $4.0 billion annually, accounting for 4.5% of Queensland's GSP. Queensland is a state of many landscapes that range from sunny tropical coastal areas, lush rainforests to dry inland areas.
The main tourist destinations of Queensland include, Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest, Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, Hervey Bay and nearby Fraser Island, Townsville, Magnetic Island, North Stradbroke Island and South Stradbroke Island, Sunshine Coast, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and the Whitsundays known for Airlie Beach and Whitehaven Beach.
The Gold Coast of Queensland is also sometimes referred to as "Australia's Theme Park Capital", with five major amusement parks. These are Dreamworld, Movie World, Sea World, Wet 'n' Wild and WhiteWater World.
There are numerous wildlife parks in Queensland. On the Gold Coast there is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary at Currumbin and David Fleay Wildlife Park at Burleigh Heads. On the Sunshine Coast there is UnderWater World at Mooloolaba and Australia Zoo near Beerwah/Glass House Mountains, home of Steve Irwin until his death in 2006.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary at Fig Tree Pocket and Brisbane Forest Park at The Gap are located in Brisbane. North of Brisbane is Alma Park Zoo which is relocating to Logan City and Kumbartcho Wildlife Sanctuary which was originally called Bunya Park Wildlife Sanctuary.
Accommodation in Queensland caters for nearly 22% of the total expenditure, followed by restaurants/meals (15%), airfares (11%), fuel (11%) and shopping/gifts (11%).
Queensland is served by a number of National Highways and, particularly in South East Queensland, high quality motorways such as the M1. The Queensland government Department of Transport & Main Roads oversees the development and operation of main roads and public transport, including taxis and local aviation.
Major seaports include the Port of Brisbane and subsidiary ports at Gladstone, Townsville and Bundaberg. There are large coal export facilities at Hay Point / Dalrymple Bay, Gladstone and Abbot Point. Sugar is another major export, with facilities at Lucinda and Mackay.
Brisbane Airport is the main international and domestic gateway serving the state. Gold Coast Airport, Cairns International Airport and Townsville Airport are the next most prominent airports, all with scheduled international flights. Other regional airports, with scheduled domestic flights, include Great Barrier Reef Airport, Hervey Bay Airport, Mackay Airport, Mount Isa Airport, Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport, Rockhampton Airport, and Sunshine Coast Airport.
South East Queensland has an integrated public transport system operated by the TransLink Transit Authority, which provides services bus, rail and ferry services through contracted bus and ferry operators and Queensland Rail. The TransLink network operates a fare system which allows a single ticket to be used across all modes for the same price irrespective of the number of transfers made on the trip. Regional bus and long-distance rail services are also provided throughout the State. Local bus services are also available in most regional centres.
Executive authority is vested in the Governor, who represents and is appointed by Elizabeth II on the advice of the Premier. The current governor is Ms. Penelope Wensley, AO. The head of government is the Premier, who is appointed by the Governor but must have the support of the Legislative Assembly. The current Premier is Campbell Newman of the Liberal National Party. Other ministers, forming the Executive Council, are appointed by the governor from among the members of the Legislative Assembly on the Premier's recommendation.
The Queensland Parliament or the Legislative Assembly, is unicameral. It is the only Australian state with a unicameral legislature. A bicameral system existed until 1922, when the Legislative Council was abolished by the Labor members' "suicide squad" so called because they were appointed for the purpose of voting to abolish their own offices. The Parliament is housed in the 19th century Parliament House and 20th century Parliamentary Annexe in Brisbane. The state's politics are traditionally regarded as being conservative relative to other states.
The judicial system of Queensland consists of the Supreme Court and the District Court, established by the Queensland Constitution, and various other courts and tribunals established by ordinary Acts of the Queensland Parliament.
In 2001 Queensland adopted a new codified constitution, repealing most of the assorted Acts of Parliament that had previously made up the constitution. The new constitution took effect on 6 June 2002, the anniversary of the formation of the colony of Queensland by the signing of Letters Patent by Queen Victoria in 1859.
Local government is the mechanism by which towns and districts can manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1993–2007. Queensland is divided into 73 local government areas which may be called Cities, Towns, Shires or Regions.
Each area has a council which is responsible for providing a range of public services and utilities, and derives its income from both rates and charges on resident ratepayers, and grants and subsidies from the State and Commonwealth governments.
The state's first university, The University of Queensland was established in 1909. It was moved to St Lucia in 1945, where it remains today. The University of Queensland ranks amongst the top 100 universities in several global rankings.
James Cook University was setup in 1970 to become the first tertiary education institution in North Queensland. Griffith University was established in the Brisbane suburb of Nathan in 1971. Bond University was established in 1989 as a not-for-profit university, the first of its type in Queensland and is located at Robina on the Gold Coast. In the Brisbane central business district at Gardens Point the Queensland University of Technology was opened in 1989 (previously the Queensland Institute of Technology).
In the following decades the Central Queensland University, University of Southern Queensland and the University of the Sunshine Coast were established. The Australian Catholic University also operates a campus in Brisbane. In 1997 the National Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA) was established and in 2010 Southern Cross University opened a new campus at the southern part of the Gold Coast.
The state of Queensland is represented in all of Australia's national sporting competitions and is also host to a number of domestic and international sporting events. The most popular winter and summer team sports are Rugby league, Rugby union and cricket, respectively. Rugby league's annual State of Origin series is a major event in the Queensland sporting calendar, with the Queensland Maroons in 2012 winning a record seventh series in a row. The Brisbane Broncos are the state's most successful team of any sport, having won 3 premierships in the NRL rugby league era and 6 in total during their 23-year existence.
Queensland's dominance is not restricted to rugby league. The early part of this century saw the AFL's Brisbane Lions claim a hat-trick of premierships between 2001–2003 inclusive, and coming so close to a record-equalling fourth, whilst recently Brisbane Roar FC won back to back A-League titles in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 season. Just four years after being branded "the joke of rugby union", the Queensland Reds won its first Super Rugby title in July 2011. The Queensland Firebirds were also an outstanding team in 2011, going undefeated in the Netball ANZ Championship to win the Grand Final.
Swimming is also a popular sport in Queensland, with a majority of Australian team members and international medalists hailing from the state. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Queensland swimmers won all six of Australia's gold medals, all swimmers on Australia's three female (finals) relays teams were from Queensland, two of which won gold.
Major professional teams include:
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