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Interesting Facts About Australia and Australian Immigration

  • Australia is an independent Western democracy with a population of more than 17.6 million. It is one of the world’s most urbanised countries, with about 70 per cent of the population living in the 10 largest cities. Most of the population is concentrated along the eastern seaboard and the south-eastern corner of the continent.
  • Australia is the world's smallest continent and the sixth largest country. Its area is equal to the United States without Alaska, or double the size of Europe, excluding Russia.

  • More than one-fifth of its land area is desert. More than two-thirds of the country is classified as arid or semi-arid.

  • The length of mainland Australia's coastline is about 33.535km. If it was possible to drive non-stop along the entire coast at 60km/h it would take 23 days to reach your starting point.

  • The tip of Queensland's Cape York is the continent's northernmost point (latitude 1041'S), while Australia's most northerly town is Thursday Island.

  • Queensland and Western Australia account for more than half Australia's land area. WA alone spreads over more than one-third of its surface.

  • The hottest temperature recorded in Australia was 53.1C at Cloncurry in Queensland in January 1889.

  • Australia is the lowest and flattest of all the continents because it lies near the centre of a tectonic plate.

  • Australia is the only continent without current volcanic activity. The last eruption took place more than 1400 years ago at Mt Gambier.

  • Since European settlement, Australia has lost about 75% of its rainforests and about 40% of its total forest area. Almost 70% of native vegetation has been removed or modified for agriculture, urban development and forestry since 1788. Land clearing continues at a rate of more than 600,000ha each year, with most occurring in NSW and Queensland.

  • We have more species of venomous snakes than any other continent. Our spiders are also among the world's most poisonous.

  • More than 500 shark attacks have been recorded off the Australian coastline since 1791. Less than half were fatal.

  • The first recorded landing by Europeans on Australian soil was made in 1606 by Dutch explorers.

  • Between 200,000 and 750,000 Aborigines are thought to have lived in Australia when white settlement began. By 1930 this number had been reduced by about two-thirds through a combination of disease and violence.

  • More than one in five people living in Australia were born overseas. With their Australian-born children, they account for about 40% of the population.

  •  AUSTRALIA, the only continent entirely in the southern emisphere. It lies between 10 39’ and 39 111/2’S., and between 13 5’ and 153 16’ E.












The migration program for 2003-04 has 100,000 to 110,000 places available for migrants, plus a parent contingency reserve of 6,500 places for a full year.


There are two programs designed to help people wanting to come to Australia permanently. 


One is the migration program which is made up of:


- a skill migration stream, which has a number of categories for people who have particular occupation skills, outstanding talents or business skills;


- a family migration stream, where people can be sponsored by a relative who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident;


- special eligibility migrants, who are former citizens or residents wanting to return to Australia, or certain New Zealanders.