Queensland facts for kids

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Queensland
alt text for flag alt text for coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Slogan or nickname The Sunshine State
Motto(s) Audax at Fidelis
(Bold but Faithful)
Map of Australia with Queensland highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Coordinates
Capital city Brisbane
Demonym Queenslander,
Banana Bender (colloquial)
Government Constitutional monarchy
 • Governor Paul de Jersey
 • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (ALP)
Australian state  
 • Self-governing colony 6 June 1859
 • Statehood 1901
 • Australia Act 3 March 1986
Area  
 • Total 1,852,642 km² (2nd)
715,309 sq mi
 • Land 1,730,620 km²
668,196 sq mi
 • Water 121,991 km² (6.58%)
47,101 sq mi
Population
(March 2016)
 
 • Population 4,827,000 (3rd)
 • Density 2.79/km² (5th)
7.2 /sq mi
Elevation  
 • Highest point Mount Bartle Frere
1,622 m (5,322 ft)
Gross state product
(2014–15)
 
 • Product ($m) $313,889 (3rd)
 • Product per capita $62,498 (5th)
Time zone(s) UTC+10 (AEST)
(does not observe DST)
Federal representation  
 • House seats 30/150
 • Senate seats 12/76
Abbreviations  
 • Postal QLD
 • ISO 3166-2 AU-QLD
Emblems  
 • Floral Cooktown orchid
(Dendrobium phalaenopsis)
 • Animal Koala
(Phascolarctos cinereus)
 • Bird Brolga (Grus rubicunda)
 • Fish Barrier Reef anemonefish
(Amphiprion akindynos)
 • Mineral or gemstone Sapphire
 • Colours Maroon
Website www.qld.gov.au

Queensland (abbreviated as QLD, or less frequently Q) is the second-largest and third-most-populous state in the Commonwealth of 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 4,750,500, 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. Often 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. Tourism in the state, fuelled largely by its warm tropical climate, is a major industry.

Queensland was first inhabited by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. 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 was allowed from 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 6th of June is now celebrated annually statewide as Queensland Day. Queen Victoria, who went on to become Britain and Australia's second 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.

History

The history of Queensland spans thousands of years, encompassing both a lengthy indigenous presence, as well as the eventful times of post-European settlement. The north-eastern Australian region was explored by Dutch, Spanish and French navigators before being encountered by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. The state has witnessed frontier warfare between European settlers and Indigenous inhabitants (which did not result in any settlement or treaty), as well as the exploitation of cheap Kanaka labour sourced from the South Pacific through a form of forced recruitment known at the time as "blackbirding". 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. 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.

Arrival of Aborigines

The Aboriginal occupation of Queensland is thought to predate 50,000 BC, likely via boat or land bridge across Torres Strait, and became divided into over 90 different language groups.

During the last ice age Queensland's landscape became more arid and largely desolate, making food and other supplies scarce. This led to the world's first seed-grinding technology. Warming again made the land hospitable, which brought high rainfall along the eastern coast, stimulating the growth of the state's tropical rainforests.

European arrival (1606)

In February 1606, Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed near the site of what is now Weipa, on the western shore of Cape York. This was the first recorded landing of a European in Australia, and it also marked the first reported contact between European and Aboriginal Australian people. The region was also explored by French and Spanish explorers (commanded by Louis Antoine de Bougainville and Luís Vaez de Torres, respectively) prior to the arrival of Lieutenant James Cook in 1770. Cook claimed the east coast under instruction from King George III of the United Kingdom on 22 August 1770 at Possession Island, naming Eastern Australia, including Queensland, 'New South Wales'.

The Aboriginal population declined significantly after a smallpox epidemic during the late 18th century. (There has been controversy regarding the origins of smallpox in Australia; while many sources have claimed that it originated with British settlers, this theory has been contradicted by scientific evidence. There is circumstantial evidence that Macassan mariners visiting Arnhem Land introduced smallpox to Australia. )

In 1823, John Oxley, a British explorer, sailed north from what is now Sydney to scout possible penal colony sites in Gladstone (then Port Curtis) and Moreton Bay. At Moreton Bay, he found the Brisbane River. He returned in 1824 and established a settlement at what is now Redcliffe. The settlement, initially known as Edenglassie, was then transferred to the current location of the Brisbane city centre. Edmund Lockyer discovered outcrops of coal along the banks of the upper Brisbane River in 1825. In 1839 transportation of convicts was ceased, culminating in the closure of the Brisbane penal settlement. In 1842 free settlement was permitted. In 1847, the Port of Maryborough was opened as a wool port. The first free immigrant ship to arrive in Moreton Bay was the Artemisia, in 1848. In 1857, Queensland's first lighthouse was built at Cape Moreton.

Frontier War

Bulla Queensland 1861
Fighting between Burke and Wills's supply party and Indigenous Australians at Bulla in 1861

A war, sometimes called a "war of extermination" The "Native Police Force", employed by the Queensland government, was key in the oppression of the indigenous people.

On 27 October 1857, aborigines of Martha Fraser's Hornet Bank station on the Dawson River killed eleven Europeans. This was the largest massacre of Australian colonists by aborigines. One author estimates 24,000 Aboriginal men, women and children died at the hands of the Native Police in colonial Queensland between 1859 and 1897 alone.

See also: Hornet Bank massacre

Colony of Queensland

Queensland Colony
British Crown Colony

1859–1901
 

Flag Coat of arms
Flag (1876–1901) Coat of arms
Location of Queensland
Light green: Queensland

Green: Territory of Papua (annexed by Queensland in 1883)

Dark grey: Other British possessions

Government Self-governing colony
Monarch
 -  1859–1901 Victoria
Governor
 -  1859–1868 George Bowen first
 -  1896–1901 Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington last
Legislature Parliament of Queensland
History
 -  independence from the New South Wales colony 6 June 1859
 -  Federation of Australia 1901

A public meeting was held in 1851 to consider the proposed separation of Queensland from New South Wales. On 6 June 1859, Queen Victoria signed Letters Patent to form the separate colony of what is now Queensland. Brisbane was appointed as the capital city. On 10 December 1859, a proclamation was read by British author George Bowen, whereby Queensland was formally separated from the state of New South Wales. As a result, Bowen became the first Governor of Queensland. On 22 May 1860 the first Queensland election was held and Robert Herbert, Bowen's private secretary, was appointed as the first Premier of Queensland. Queensland also became the first Australian colony to establish its own parliament rather than spending time as a Crown Colony. In 1865, the first rail line in the state opened between Ipswich and Grandchester.

Queensland's economy expanded rapidly in 1867 after James Nash discovered gold on the Mary River near the town of Gympie, sparking a gold rush. While still significant, they were on a much smaller scale than the gold rushes of Victoria and New South Wales. During the period from the 1860s till the early 20th century, many labourers, known at the time as Kanakas, were brought to Queensland from neighbouring Pacific Island nations to work in the state's sugar cane fields. Some of these people had been kidnapped under a process known as blackbirding or press ganging, and their employment conditions amounted to indentured labour or even slavery. During the Australian federation of 1901, the White Australia policy came into effect, which saw all foreign workers in Australia deported under the Pacific Island Labourers Act of 1901, which saw the Pacific Islander population of the state decrease rapidly.

20th century

On 1 January 1901, Australia was federated following a proclamation by Queen Victoria. During this time, Queensland had a population of half a million people. Brisbane was subsequently proclaimed a city in 1902. In 1905, women voted in state elections for the first time, and the University of Queensland was established in 1909. In 1911, The first alternative treatments for polio were pioneered in Queensland and remain in use across the world today.

World War I had a major impact on Queensland. Over 58,000 Queenslanders fought in World War I and over 10,000 of them died.

Australia's first major airline, Qantas, was founded in 1920 to serve outback Queensland.

In 1922, Queensland abolished the Upper House, becoming the only State with a unicameral State Parliament in Australia.

In 1935, cane toads were deliberately introduced to Queensland from Hawaii in a poorly-thought-out and unsuccessful attempt to reduce the number of French's cane and greyback cane beetles that were destroying the roots of sugar cane plants, which are integral to Queensland's economy. In 1962, the first commercial production of oil in Queensland and Australia began at Moonie.

The humid climate—regulated by the availability of air conditioning—saw Queensland become a more accommodating place to work and live for Australian migrants. To this day, it is one of Australia's economic powerhouses and the third most populous state in the country.

21st century

In 2009, Queensland celebrated Q150, its 150th anniversary as an independent colony and state. The Queensland government and other Queensland organisations commemorated the occasion with many events and publications, including the announcement of the top 150 icons of Queensland by the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, and the creation of monuments at significant survey points in Queensland's history to honour the many early explorer/surveyors who mapped the state.

Geography

Part of Great Barrier Reef from Helecopter
Great Barrier Reef, which extends along most of Queensland's coastline
Qld region map 2
Commonly designated regions of Queensland

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 constitute 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 areas of natural beauty, including the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, home to 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.

Climate

Queensland koppen
Köppen climate types in Queensland
ISS036-E-028444
Great Sandy Strait from orbit

Because of its size, there is significant variation in climate across the state. Low rainfall and hot humid summers are typical for the inland and west, a monsoonal "wet" season in the far north, and warm, temperate conditions along the coastal strip. Elevated areas in the south-east inland can experience temperatures well below freezing in mid-winter. 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.

Natural disasters are often a threat in Queensland; severe tropical cyclones can impact the coast and cause severe damage, with recent examples including Larry, Yasi and Ita. Flooding from rain-bearing systems can also be severe and can occur anywhere in Queensland. One of the deadliest and most damaging floods in the history of the state occurred in early 2011. Droughts and bushfires can also occur; however, the latter are generally less severe than those that occur in southern states. Severe springtime thunderstorms generally affect the south-east and inland of the state and can bring damaging winds, torrential rain, large hail and even tornadoes. The strongest tornado ever recorded in Australia occurred in Queensland near Bundaberg.

There are five predominant climatic zones in Queensland, based on temperature and humidity:

Dickon's Inlet, Port Douglas
Dickson's Inlet, Port Douglas, Queensland during the dry season

However, most of the Queensland populace experience two weather seasons: a "winter" period of mild to warm temperatures and minimal rainfall, and a sultry summer period of hot, sticky temperatures and higher levels of rainfall.

The coastal far north of the state is the wettest place in Australia, with Mount Bellenden Ker, south of Cairns, holding many Australian rainfall records with its annual average rainfall of over 8 metres. It is not uncommon for locations in this area to receive more rain in 24 hours during the wet season than the majority of Queensland receives in a year. Snow is rare in Queensland, although it does fall with some regularity along the far southern border with New South Wales, predominantly in the Stanthorpe district although on rare occasions further north and west. The most northerly snow ever recorded in Australia occurred near Mackay; however, this was exceptional.

The annual mean statistics for some Queensland centres are 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 official maximum temperature recorded in the state was 49.5 °C (121.1 °F) at Birdsville Police Station on 24 December 1972, although the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite measured a ground surface temperature of 69.3 °C (156.7 °F). This temperature was the hottest value worldwide measured by MODIS in 2003. Queensland has the highest average maximums of any Australian state, and Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Atherton, Weipa and Thursday Island are the only large population centres not to have recorded a temperature above 40 °C (104 °F).

The lowest minimum temperature is −10.6 °C (12.9 °F) at Stanthorpe on 23 June 1961 and at The Hermitage (near Warwick) on 12 July 1965. Temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F) are, however, generally uncommon over the majority of populated Queensland.

Climate data for Queensland
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 49.0
(120.2)
46.5
(115.7)
46.7
(116.1)
41.7
(107.1)
39.3
(102.7)
36.0
(96.8)
36.1
(97)
38.5
(101.3)
42.4
(108.3)
45.1
(113.2)
48.7
(119.7)
49.5
(121.1)
49.5
(121.1)
Record low °C (°F) 5.4
(41.7)
3.3
(37.9)
-0.2
(31.6)
-3.5
(25.7)
-6.8
(19.8)
-10.6
(12.9)
-10.6
(12.9)
-9.4
(15.1)
-5.6
(21.9)
-4.5
(23.9)
0.0
(32)
2.2
(36)
-10.6
(12.9)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Demographics

See also: Demographics of Australia
Queensland population by year
1901 498,129
1954 1,318,259
1961 1,518,828
1971 1,851,485
1981 2,345,208
1991 3,029,950
2001 3,628,946
2011 4,516,200
Brisbane Skyline Evening
State capital and most populous city, Brisbane, located in southeast Queensland.
TownsvilleSkyline08
Queensland has a less centralised population than other states, with significant populations in regional cities such as Townsville (above).

Age and population

Queensland is less centralised than most other Australian states, with 50% of the population living outside the state capital, and 25% living outside the South East Queensland urban agglomeration. Queensland is home to many regional cities, the most populous being the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Mackay, Rockhampton and Bundaberg. For decades, Queensland has consistently been the fastest growing state in Australia, while Western Australia has grown faster in the 2010s. 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.

Religious affiliation

According to the 2011 Census, principal religious affiliations in Queensland are distributed as follows:

Roman Catholic Church: 23.8%
No religion: 22.1%
Anglican Church: 18.9%
Uniting Church: 8.4%
Presbyterian and Reformed churches: 3.5%
All other religions or inadequately described: 25.3%

Transport

See also: Transportation in Australia
EMU77MTN
A QR (Queensland Rail) EMU series train on the South East Queensland rail network

Queensland is served by a number of National Highways and, particularly in South East Queensland, motorways such as the M1. The Department of Transport & Main Roads oversees the development and operation of main roads and public transport, including taxis and local aviation.

Principal rail services are provided by Queensland Rail and Pacific National, predominantly between the major towns along the coastal strip east of the Great Dividing Range.

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 Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, 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 TransLink, which provides services bus, rail, light rail and ferry services through contracted bus, ferry and light rail 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.kab:Usṭralya

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