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Two Solitudes

TWO SOLITUDES STATISTICS They're at opposite ends of the country and have differing economic interests. What's good for resource-rich Western Australia likely won't benefit the manufacturing and financial service hubs of Victoria and New South Wales. But as the West's economy continues to grow, so does its political clout. UNEMPLOYMENT, 2009-10 5.7% 5.5% 5.5% 5% GEOGRAPHY Arafura Sea Timor Sea New South Wales Victoria W. Australia Australia Darwin Coral Sea REAL GDP GROWTH 4.3% Indian Ocean • Cairns 2.3% Derby NORTHERN TERRITORY Townsville 1.7% Newman QUEENSLAND Alice Springs Rockhampton • New South Wales Victoria W. Australia Australia WESTERN A U S TR- AL I A AUSTRALIA SHARE OF GDP (outer circle) POPULATION (inner circle) In millions SOUTH AUSTRALIA Brisbane • Geraldton 14.4% • Kalgoorlie NEW SOUTH WALES West Australia Perth • Newcastle 2.2 Adelaide New South Wales • Sydney "Canberra 6.9 31.7% Great Albany Australian Bight Victoria 5.4 VICTORIA 23.5% Melbourne Tasman Sea 7.1 KM 500 Southern Ocean Rest of Australia TASMANIA 30.4% Hobart STATES IN PLAY WESTERN AUSTRALIA VICTORIA NEW SOUTH WALES I Fiercely independent, Western Australia's economy revolves primarily around the resource sector, specifically iron ore, gold, and oil and gas production. Iron ore accounts for about 34 per cent of the state's exports, gold about 20 per cent, and crude petroleum another 8 per cent. Western Australia's economy looks outward, accounting for about 39 per cent of Australia's merchandise trade I Australia's cultural hub, with artsy Melbourne as its capital, Victoria also has a long history as the country's transportation manufacturing centre. They have been making cars in the state for over 100 years and Victoria is the home of Australia's aerospace sector. Corporations including Qantas Airways, BHP Billiton Ltd., telecom giant Telstra and retailers Woolworths and Coles Myer all use Victoria as their base for operations. Victoria accounts for just 3 per cent of Australia's land mass, but contributes about 24 per cent of its GDP. IAnchored by the gleaming state capital of Sydney, New South Wales is Australia's business and financial centre. The state's main industries include financial, property and insurance services, and most of Australia's largest financial institutions – including banks, insurers and investment banks such as Macquarie – are headquartered in Sydney. The state is also a manufacturing hub, with particular strength in the food and beverage sector. With coal and aluminum producers, New South Wales is also benefiting directly from the resource boom, though to a far lesser extent than Western Australia. exports, compared with 17 per cent for New South Wales and 9 per cent for Victoria. China buys about 35 per cent of Western Australia's exports, making it the state's largest trading partner. POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS I Despite its size and economic heft, Western Australia has just 15 MPs in Canberra. No Australian prime minister has been born in Western Australia and just one, John Curtin, who served as PM from October, 1941 until July, 1945, represented the area. The state has 12 elected representatives in the 76-member Senate, the same number as other states. Until last month, Premier Colin Barnett was the only Liberal Party premier in Australia. I Victoria has 37 members in Australia's 150-member House of Representatives. Ten of Australia's prime ministers were born in Victoria. At the state government level, Victoria has just elected a Liberal coalition government, joining Western Australia as the only other led by a right-of-centre conserva- tive government. IAs Australia's most populous state, New South Wales has 48 Members of Parliament in Canberra. Seven of Australia's prime ministers were born in NSW and it remains the most politically influential state in the country. ANDY HOFFMAN AND JOHN SOPINSKI/THE GLOBE AND MAIL » SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

Two Solitudes

shared by IGEmp on Jan 31
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The Western half of Australia and the Eastern half have totally different economic interests. This infogrpahic shows the the economic differences between the different regions of Canada.


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