Info Australia

Climate:
tropical in the north, very hot and humid, the temperature fluctuates between 40°C and 50° in the summer (January-February) and between 25°C and 35°C in the winter (July-August); the centre and south is tropical but more temperate and dry, throughout the four seasons temperatures are between 24°C in January and February and 8°C in July and August. In Tasmania, due to its extreme southern latitude, these values tend to be lower.
Currency:
The Australian Dollar, divided into 100 cents, coined by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which at present stands at a mean value, compared to the euro, of about $ 1 = € 0,80
Time difference to Italy:
referred to Eastern Daylight Savings Time is 10 hours ahead;
Central Daylight Savings Time it is 9,5 hours ahead;
Western Daylight Savings it is 8 hours ahead.
Area Code:
0061 followed by the code of the city that you want to call (2 Sydney and Canberra; 7 Brisbane and Cairns; 3 Melbourne, Hobart and Launceston; 8 Adelaide, Perth, Darwin; Alice Springs and Ayers Rock) and by the telephone number of the person you wish to call..
Electricity:
 240V 50 Hz. Due to safety standards in Australia sockets have a switch to shut off power.
Working hours:
Shops: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30pm (in major cities they remain open till 9pm). Saturday from 9:00 to 12:00.
Banks: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm
Public and private offices: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Festivities:
1 January (New Year);
26 January (Australia Day);
Good Friday;
Easter Monday;
25 April (Anzac Day);
2nd Monday in June ( Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, except in Western Australia);
25 December (Christmas Day)
26 December (Boxing Day, except in Southern Australia)

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, has an area of 7,682,400 km² and has a population of about 21,800,000 people of which 95% are of European origin. The Anglo-Saxon members of the population are the majority, approximately about 94%, Italians 1,2%, Aborigines 2%, Asians 1,3% and other ethnic groups 1,5%.

The Australian population is mainly concentrated in the east of the country (90%) especially in Sydney with 4,336,374 inhabitants, followed by Melbourne (3,806,092), Brisbane (1,867,594) and Adelaide (1,158,259). In the last decade, thanks to mining and the exploitation of the subsoil, Western Australia is also starting to develop, with Perth (1,554,769) as a reference point. The remaining land, dry or extremely humid and tropical is largely uninhabited.

The official spoken language is English as there are very few Aborigines left that have retained their native language. Italian is spoken by about 400,000 people. The Australians of Italian origin are the fourth largest ethnic group in Australia, with approximately 1,000,000 people after the English, Scottish and Irish. The Italian community is one of the richest and over the years has achieved a very high social cultural level (for example, Mr.Morris Iemma, Premier of New South Wales from 2005 to 2008. He was born in Sydney in 1961 and is the son of Calabrian Italian immigrants.

Australia is a federal state (Commonwealth of Australia) consisting in six member states: Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. It is also made up of different territories, which are mainly the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which directly depend constitutionally on the federal government. The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have their own government, but the Commonwealth of Australia has the power to legislate with respect to autonomous local government, and its legislation prevails over the territorial law. The other territories are administered directly by the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II of England, who also boasts the title of Queen of Australia. Her power is only nominal as she is represented in the country by the Governor General of Australia, currently Ms. Quentin Bryce, to whom the constitution recognizes executive powers, which as a rule is in line and accordance with the opinion of the Prime Minister, today being Ms. Julia Gillard. The individual governors of the six Australian states are also representatives of the Queen.

The executive power power is vested in the Australian Federal Government (Federal Executive Council) which consists of the Governor General of Australia supported by the Executive Directors, or rather by the Prime Minister and by the Ministers of State. In line with the authority that comes with being the Prime Minister, the executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Ministers of State.

The legislative power is exercised by the Federal Parliament or Commonwealth (Parliament of the Commonwealth), which is divided into two branches:

  • The Senate: is composed of 76 senators. Each Australian state must be represented in the Senate by a number of members equal to that of the other states. The Australian constitution allows Parliament to increase or decrease the number of its senators. The Senate is elected by proportional representation every six years and is renewable by half every three years.
  • The House of Representatives: consists of 148 MPs, a number that can be determined by the Parliament, and its members should be twice as many as the number of senators. MPs are elected by the Australian citizens in proportion to the number of Australians living in each state with the majority system. In Australia, all citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote. No foreign citizen is allowed to sit in Parliament.

The Judicial Power is exercised by the Supreme Court, which is the main judicial body composed of a president and six judges.
Alongside this judicial organ there are other Australian Federal Courts, divided by subject:

  • Federal Court of Australia: has jurisdiction over all matters assigned to it by federal law (eg. commercial law, immigration and citizenship laws, corporate law, etc…). The first-instance trials are presided over by one judge; however if the Chief Justice, who presides over the Court, deems it appropriate, the proceedings may be entrusted to a Full Court made up of three or more judges. The Court acts as a “Court of Appeal” in the composition of the Full Court, both in the case where the sentence has been pronounced by a monocratic judge of that Court and when issued by a Federal Court of one of the federal states, or by a court in the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), or still, if the sentence has been issued by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.
  • Family Court of Australia: deals with legal controversies involving family law, it was established in 1975 under the Family Law Act 1975. The Court exercises its functions with regard to marriage law, child custody, adoption and international agreements in the field of family law. Divorce cases are not a part of the jurisdiction of this Court which are the competence of the Federal Magistrates’ Court of Australia. Usually the panel of judges consists of two judges, who can participate without physically presiding over the trial (split court).
  • Federal Magistrates' Court of Australia:established by the Federal Magistrates’ Act 1999, has the task of alleviating the burden of litigation in Federal Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia. The jurisdiction of this federal organ involves any case that has already been tried by an Australian court. Recourse cannot be taken to the Federal Magistrates’ Court if the case has been submitted to the opinion of the other two courts. It adjudicates in a monocratic composition (Federal Magistrate), both open and closed trials, or rather in his chambers, all at the discretion of the Federal Magistrate.

Australia exercises its judicial power with justice, extreme precision and speed, guaranteeing all its citizens legal certainty, an excellent deterrent to discourage crime and mischief. Just think, for instance, for a civil law trial in six months you get to the issuance of a ruling of first instance. In 1985 the death penalty was abolished in Australia.

Australian economic activity: it is mainly concentrated on the eastern coast, in fact the Australian GDP originating from the Australian state of New South Wales is about 32%, 24% from Victoria and 19% from Queensland.

On average, the main source of productivity is represented by services, mainly financial services, real estate and business, with a contribution of 21% of the GDP. Following behind are the trade and manufacturing industry of about 11% of the GDP, transport, communications, construction and mining with about 8%, agriculture, forestry and fishing at 3%.

Exports in Australia are concentrated mainly in, unprocessed raw materials, while importation is mainly of finished goods. The primary sector is flourishing, in fact Australia has the largest production of wool in the world, particularly of merino wool, with approximately 105 million sheep. The production of meat is also abundant. Even though only 6% of the land is cultivated, the productivity of wheat and forage and other cereals such as oats, barley, rye, corn, rice, oilseeds, tabacco and cotton are very high.

In Queensland there is an abundant production of sugar cane. There is an intensive production of fruit, bananas, grapes, oranges, pears, pineapples, papayas and even poultry farming and the production of honey. Australian vineyards are renowned for their high quality in the Barossa Valley (South Australia) near Adelaide and in the Hunter Valley (New South Wales) 150 km north west of Sydney. With regards to the energy demand in Australia, it is totally self-sufficient. Coal, lignite, bauxite, copper, uranium (world’s largest producer), gold (12% of global production), iron, diamonds (world’s largest producer), manganese, nickel and tin are all extracted from Australian mines. In Western Australia important reserves of oil and natural gas have been found. The cost of gasoline is lower by about 50% compared to the current price in Italy. Natural gas is cheaper than water. Not only does the whole population benefit from such benefits but also the entire manufacturing sector.

Industries employ about 25% of the workforce: the main industrial centres are Sydney, Newcastle, and the metropolitan area of Melbourne. The most productive industries are steel and iron, metallurgical, mechanical, aeronautical, electronic and petrochemical, the production of synthetic fibres and electrical cables. There are also industries involved in the packaging of agricultural products and wool. As for imports, these include mostly machinery, yarns and fabrics, paper and cardboard, motor vehicles, chemical products, building products, some food products, given the strict laws in this regard.

In terms of nature and landscapes, Australia offers a wildlife that is extremely rich and unique. The landscape, depending upon where you are located is characterized by the Australian Bush, made up of eucalyptus trees up to 40m high; malee consisting of eucalyptus’ up to 5m high, mulga made up of acacia trees and finally the scrub characterized by low bush flora. But it is also characterized by boundless deserts, sandy and rocky, the world’s longest coral reef and by very particular landforms such as the Uluru (Ayers Rock), present on our home page. The Australian fauna is characterized by a unique species, the marsupials (kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and wombats), freshwater and seawater crocodiles and the dingo. Among the birds we find the emu, budgies, etc…Australia is the country with the most poisonous spiders and snakes in the world. Even in the water there are many species of fish, but you must be very careful of the sharks that are everywhere and jellyfish, which include some of the most venomous species in the world.

In terms of religion, about 44% of Australians are Protestants, 28% Catholic and 3% Orthodox. The remaining 25% profess various faiths (Muslim, Buddhist, etc..) generally related to the origin of ethnic belonging.

 

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