Australian Dictionary

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Australian Giant Cuttlefish

Australian Giant Cuttlefish

Australian Agricultural Company—formed in 1824 to "extend and improve the flocks of Merino sheep." A million acres of land in New South Wales was alienated to the company. With a capital of a million pounds, the English company was permitted to select the most advantageous site for the land grant. The company’s main purpose was the production of fine wool, and crops not readily available in England. They would provide workers for the colony at no cost to the government, as well as employing a large number of convicts. The initial land grant at Port Stephens proved unsuitable and, in 1831, a proportion of this was exchanged for 101,000ha at Warrah on the Liverpool Plains and 127,000ha on the Peel River. Diversification has taken place in different geographic regions to mitigate the effects of droughts, and convict labour was used to develop both pastoral and mining operations. The Company now operates 21 cattle stations located throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory, spanning 6.5 million hectares. It is the second largest beef cattle company in Australia, with export markets in Asia, America and the Middle East.

Australian Alps—a series of high elevation plateaux capping the South Eastern Highlands and the Southern Tablelands in NSW—stretching from Canberra through Brindabella Range and the Snowy Mountains and along the Great Dividing Range through Victoria. The Alps form a 1.6 million hectare chain of protected areas as a unique part of Australia, a mountainous region in a predominantly dry and flat continent. The geology consists largely of granitic and basaltic rocks—the landscape is characterised by peaked ranges and broad, forested valleys. Vegetation is dominated by alpine herbfields, and other treeless communities, snow gum woodlands and montane forests dominated by alpine ash. And the parks contain plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, as well as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal heritage, outstanding tourism and recreation opportunities and the catchment areas for some of Australia's most important rivers.

Australian Alps Walking Track—a sign-posted bush track crossing 650k between Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The track starts in Walhalla in Victoria's south and travels through some of Australia's highest peaks as well as rivers, creeks and towns on its way north to Tharwa, just south of Canberra. Much of the area covered which is now collectively named the Australian Alps Walking Track was formally called the Alpine Walking Track. The track also includes the Bogong High Plains and the Jagungal Wilderness. Water can be scarce on parts of the track, depending upon the time of year.

Australian Antarctic Territory—the area of Antarctica, other than Adélie Land, that is administered by Australia, lying south of latitude 60°S and between longitudes 45°E and 160°E.

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden—a pre-eminent facility where research, education and the display of plant biodiversity from the southern arid zone of Australia is centred. Existing natural vegetation is incorporated into the new landscape. A visitor reception building was completed in 1995, a Royal Australian Institute of Architects award-winning building. It incorporates energy- and water-saving features, including stabilised earth walls, a combination passive and evaporative air-conditioning system, solar hot water system, rainwater storage and filtration for the majority of water needs and on-site effluent treatment for irrigation use. Solar lighting illuminates the building surrounds, car park and sections of the entrance road. The garden incorporates and displays technology appropriate to arid Australia through quality interpretive displays.

Australian as a meat pie—distinctively Australian in character.

Australian Atomic Energy Commission—a statutory body established by Section 8 of the Atomic Energy Commission Act. The Commission is made up of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and not more than three other members, who are appointed by the Governor General. The powers of the Commission are set out under Section 17 of the Act. Location: Lucas Heights, New South Wales.

Australian ballot—the secret ballot, which originated in Australia.

Australian bear—the koala, a marsupial, which superficially resembles a sleepy teddy bear perched in a tree.

Australian Blues Music Festival—the national festival for Australian blues music, showcasing the legends as well as the up-and-comers. Clubs, pubs, restaurants, cafes and Belmore Park host the blues artists. Held annually during the second week in February, with over 25 Australian blues acts held at 6 venues over 3 days, in Goulbourn, NSW.

Australian Board of Mission—(now known as Anglican Board of Mission—Australia). All Australian Board of Missions archives are held in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.

Australian Broadcasting Commission—Australia's national public broadcaster. This 75-year-old national icon began as the privately owned and operated Australian Broadcasting Company in 1929, five years after short-wave radio went to air in Australia. It was selected by the prime ministerial government as one of only nine stations to receive partial funding in its first year of operation. Eventually it expanded its programming and range of broadcast by assuming control of every radio station recognised by the PMG. It was nationalised in 1932 with passage of legislation initiated by the Labor Party, eventually becoming ubiquitous and affectionately nicknamed 'Auntie'.

Australian brush turkeyAlectura lathami, one of Australia's three "mound builders". The male brush turkey builds large incubation mounds that can be four metres in diameter and well over one metre high. They are re-used every year with the dominant bird maintaining the best locality. After copulating with the female, he allows her to deposits her egg in the clutch that he exposes. He then aggressively drives her away and very carefully covers the eggs with humus. They are solitary in nature, and aggressive to each other as well as other species. They do not form permanent pair bonds, and no parental care is provided to the young, who can fly within the hour of hatching.

Australian bullfrog—the only Australian member of the "true frog" family, reached the continent from Papua New Guinea. It is found on Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, and Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

Australian bustardArdeotis australis, a nomadic, ground-dwelling bird, to 1.2m long (females to 80cm) and 1m tall. Plumage predominantly brown on back and upper wings; white on neck, breast and belly; and with a black band around the breast. Upper wings with a patch of black and white on the shoulders. Head characterised by a black crown and forehead and a narrow, black stripe running backwards from the eye. Inhabits grasslands and grassy woodlands. Once very common in parts of Victoria but now dramatically reduced in numbers.

Australian Capital Territory—(ACT) location of the country's capital city, Canberra. Although contained by the State of New South Wales, the ACT is neither a part of that State nor a State in its own right. The Capital Territory was declared as a territory at the time of Australian Federation, and became a self-governing territory in 1989. The ACT lies at the diplomatically neutral halfway point between Sydney and Melbourne, the two power-house cities that were home to those founding fathers who drove much of the debate that led to Federation in 1901. Prior to 1908, when the territory was established as the home of the Commonwealth government and the nation’s major cultural institutions, the area was little known. According to one worker on the national capital in the 1920s, people were flocking to ‘some place called Canberra where they’re building a whole new city'. Best known for its formal planning by Walter Burley Griffin, Canberra is also home to some of Australia’s most whimsical architecture in its embassy district, as well as the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, Old Parliament House, home of the National Portrait Gallery and Parliament House itself. The Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Namadgi National Park and the Murrumbidgee River running from its headwaters in the Kosciusko National Park also make the territory a surprising natural treasure. Namadgi National Park constitutes 40% of the ACT, which is also home to the Kosciusko National Park. Floral emblem: royal bluebell. Faunal emblem: gang-gang cockatoo.

Australian Carnival of Flowers—an annual event in Toowoomba, held during the last week of September, during which over 100,000 people visit the inland Queensland city. There are orchid shows and other floral attractions in historic buildings, the Grand Central Floral Parade, entertainment and concerts, fine food and fashion. Over 240,000 seedlings are planted in Council parks and gardens for Spring each year. Over 250 gardeners enter the Chronicle-Heritage Garden Competition, and seven of Toowoomba's winning gardens are open for public inspection during Carnival week. Council's float will be on display in Laurel Bank Park during Carnival Week. Community groups and churches across the city and the Darling Downs host floral and craft shows.

Australian cedarToona ciliata, a native hardwood tree that was heavily harvested by early settlers, for export to England. The quest for this tree – referred to as 'red gold' because of its export value—spurred the settlement of much of the coastal and hinterland areas of Australia. Logging for valuable red cedar and rosewood timber began in the 1840s. With the Robertson Act in 1861, the government granted land ownership on condition that the land be clear-felled for agriculture; the majority of land in the region was cleared by the early 1900s. Only about 0.13% of the original Big Scrub rainforest remains, surviving as a few isolated remnants. Attempts to grow Australian cedar in plantations have been unsuccessful – the trees have been attacked by the cedar tip moth, which causes the tree to become bushy and useless for timber. Also known as red cedar.

Australian Coat of Arms—features a shield held by a kangaroo and an emu, framed by sprays of golden wattle. The shield contains all the State emblems: a piping shrike for South Australia, the black swan for Western Australia, a Maltese cross and crown for Queensland, a lion for Tasmania, the Southern Cross for Victoria, and the lion and stars for New South Wales. The Coast of Arms is used by the Commonwealth to authenticate documents, to indicate ownership of property, and for other purposes of identification. The Australian Coat of Arms is the property of the Commonwealth of Australia. The first grant of armorial ensigns, crest and supporters to the Commonwealth of Australia was made in 1908; a new design was granted by Royal Warrant in 1912.

Australian Colonies Government Act 1850 (Imp)—allowed for the transition in all Australian colonies to responsible self-government, with the executive drawn and answerable to the legislature. It also created the new colony of Victoria by excising the Port Phillip district from New South Wales. The Act, passed by the British Parliament, retained the property franchise for the existing Legislative Councils, but halved the qualifications. New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania availed themselves of the Act to establish parliaments in 1855; South Australia followed in 1856; and Queensland in 1859. South Australia introduced manhood suffrage—votes for all men irrespective of property qualifications—from the start of responsible self-government, Victoria followed in 1857, New South Wales in 1858, Queensland in 1872, Western Australia in 1893 and Tasmania in 1900.

Australian colony—a community of people, subject to the British crown, whose district had been established by European settlers of Australia. The colonies of New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland were declared and established during the period 1788 to 1859. Federation was attained by 1901. Within the glossary of the Australian Constitution, a colony is defined as "a community that is subject to the final legal authority of another country".

Australian Commonwealth—a constitutional democracy as a federation of states, including the nearby island of Tasmania. Under the Australian Constitution, the legislative power of the Commonwealth of Australia is vested in the Parliament of the Commonwealth, which consists of the Queen, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The English monarch is the Head of State and a Governor-General is her representative. The Australian Commonwealth was established by the Australian Constitution Bill () and defined by the Australian Constitution. The Commonwealth was declared on the first of January in the first year of the twentieth century, at Sydney's Centennial Park. Also known as the Commonwealth of Australia.

Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 (Cth)—established the first federal tribunal to have jurisdiction over industrial matters, the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. The Act also provided for the registration of organisations of employers and employees i.e., workers’ unions. Arbitration was intended to replace industrial action, and on this basis the Act provided for compulsory arbitration but made both strikes and lockouts illegal. The Act was amended in 1947 to separate the roles of the court and the conciliation commissioners. The court was confined to judicial functions (interpretation and enforcement), and arbitration in respect of four specified matters: basic wage, minimum female wage, hours of work and paid annual leave. All other matters were left for the commissioners. In 1956, substantial amendments were made effecting a separation of the judicial and arbitrative functions of the court. In effect, it was deemed unconstitutional for the Arbitration Court to be vested with both arbitral and judicial powers because of the acceptance in the Constitution of the separation of legislative and judicial powers. Hence amendments were made providing for the establishment of a Commonwealth Industrial Court and a Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to overtake the dual role of the Court of Conciliation & Arbitration. The Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 was repealed in 1984 and replaced by the Industrial Relations Act. This Act was repealed by the Howard government in 1996 and replaced with the Workplace Relations Act.

Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission—(1973 – 1988) took over the role of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in 1973. In 1988, the Arbitration Commission was itself replaced with the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

Australian Constitution—established three 'arms' of government—the Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary—and provided the authority for the powers by which they operate. It covers financial and trade matters; the federal relationship between the States and the Commonwealth, including the formation of new States; the arrangements for a Seat of Government; and the process for any alteration of the Constitution. It can be altered only with the agreement of a majority of voters in a majority of States, by which means the original Constitution has been amended eight times. This document is inseparable from the Royal Commission of Assent, with which it became law on 9 July, 1900.

Australian Constitution Act (No 1) 1842 (Imp)—the Legislative Council in New South Wales became a partly-elected representative chamber, with two thirds of its members returned by voters in the colony, by this Act of the British Parliament. However, the Executive Council was still constitutionally separate from the legislature, not responsible to it. Only men who owned freehold property worth 200 pounds or who were householders paying 20 pounds rent a year could vote. Women were excluded from the reform.

Australian Constitution Act (No 2) 1850 (Imp)—allowed for the transition in all Australian colonies to responsible self-government, with the executive drawn from and answerable to the legislature. The Act, passed by the British Parliament, retained the property franchise for the existing Legislative Councils, as established under the Australian Constitutions Act (No 1), but halved the qualifications. New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania availed themselves of the Act to establish parliaments in 1855; South Australia followed in 1856; and Queensland in 1859. Also known as the Australian Colonies Government Act.

Australian Constitution Bill ()—established the Commonwealth of Australia upon passage through the British Parliament. The Bill was drafted at a series of Constitutional Conventions held in the 1890s, and taken to London in 1900 by a delegation led by Edmund Barton. At the request of the Australian delegation, Queen Victoria signed her Royal Assent in duplicate so that a copy could be brought back to Australia. The Queen presented this document with the pen, inkstand and table used at the ceremony in Windsor Castle to Edmund Barton, spokesman for the delegates.

Australian Continental Dunefield—dunefields cover a large portion of the Australian continent in areas with favourable topography, climate and sand supply. The main areas of dunes lie in a diagonal band across the continent from the Mallee dunefield in the south-east to the Great Sandy Desert in the north-west. These two dunefields, together with the Strzelecki Desert, Simpson Desert and Great Victoria Desert dunefields, constitute the largest distinct sand seas. In addition there are many smaller dunefields surrounding these sand seas and isolated dunes over an even broader area. The major dunefields lie within the arid and semi-arid climate zones, although some smaller dunefields occur in areas which are presently sub-humid or humid and densely vegetated. The broadly concentric pattern of rainfall distribution over the Australian continent is the product of summer monsoonal rainfall over the tropical north decreasing towards the south, and winter westerly frontal rainfall in the south decreasing to the north. The driest part of the continent, at the northern end of Lake Eyre, still averages over 10 mm of rain each year and is largely vegetated to a degree which is sufficient to stabilise dune crests. The anticlockwise whorl formed by the longitudinal dune orientations has long been recognised and its general similarity with the anticlockwise winds of the sub-tropical high pressure system noted. At the centre of the whorl at approximately 26° S there is a distinct double centre to the pattern of dunes; one centred over Lake Carnegie and the other NE of Mt Connor. However, dunes over most of the Great Victoria, Eyre, south-western Mallee, Great Sandy and Gascoyne are oblique (up to 75° divergent) and there are areas of the Gascoyne, northern Great Sandy and along the axis of the dune whorl in central Australia where dunes are opposed or even reversed with respect to the modern RDD. Transverse dunes (excluding playa shoreline features) are rare in the Australian dunefield. Single-crested longitudinal dunes are the most common type in Australia and dominate in all dunefields except the Great Sand,y where multi-crested longitudinal dunes dominate. Around and between the dual centres of the whorl, network dunes are common, where dunes change orientation over relatively short distances. The network dunes are short, linked linear segments varying from no detectable preferred orientation to dunes with a dominant set of longitudinal dunes but with connecting segments of different orientations. At the centre of the whorl, particularly in the west, there are areas of isolated mounds: mostly small dunes separated by sandless plains but often with a regular arrangement. These are in some ways similar to star dunes, reflecting a highly variable wind regime, but are formed in areas of very low sand availability. Within the longitudinal dunefields there are areas of parabolic dunes, especially towards the margins of the dunefield in areas where longitudinal streamlines are parallel and show little curvature, in the Mallee, Eyre and Wiso dunefields and in patches of the extreme south-west Great Victoria dunefield and through the south-west. The Mallee Dunefield occupies the western portion of the Cenozoic Murray Basin. The Cenozoic Lake Eyre Basin underlies both the Simpson and Strzelecki dunefields which are separated by the low, structural ridge of the Gason Dome on which Sturt's Stony Desert is found. The extensive Great Victoria and Great Sandy dunefields occur on landscapes of subtle but distinct ridge and valley topography. The generally low sand supply has contributed to the characteristic dune morphologies: longitudinal, network and mound. The topography and extensive palaeodrainage network of the western half of the continent date to the late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic. It is thought that this relict landscape was the product of advancing aridity through the Neogene, leading to loss of effective fluvial transport. Subsequent evolution towards an arid landscape saw the development of saline groundwater windows, playas and aeolian landforms by at least 1 million years ago. Because of this trend to aridity and reduction of sediment supply, most of the dunefields today receive little or no new supplies of sand from fluvial sources but rework old coastal, fluvial and lacustrine sediments from relict shorelines, terrestrial basin deposits, piedmonts and valley floors. The repeated expansion of arid conditions in glacial stages of the Quaternary glacial cycles has left dunefields extending from the most arid parts of the continent into the semi-arid zone and isolated patches in presently humid areas. Growing geochronological evidence points to dune formation beginning in the mid-Pleistocene and accelerating as the climate has become increasingly arid in subsequent glacial cycles. However, the dunes appear to have suffered little modification of orientation after their initial formation, possibly due to stabilisation by pedogenesis and vegetation, and their orientation preserves the alignment due to sand drift direction at that time. The trend towards aridity experienced since the Miocene and modulated by the Milankovich cycles in the Quaternary has seen progressive landscape change, spread of aeolian landforms, development of playa lakes and loss of fluvial drainage networks. The dunefield exhibits many features reflective of the evolution of the climate as well as related changes in sediment supply.

Australian Council of National Trusts—(ACNT) the federal co-ordinating body of the national trust movement, formed in 1965 to serve the national interests of the individual Australian trusts. The Council has the responsibility for: coordinating policies, procedures and programs for implementation at state and territory levels; expressing and presenting opinions to national or international bodies; coordinating national sponsorship and education projects with state and territory trusts. The trust movement began in 1945 in New South Wales and was followed by South Australia (1955); Victoria (1956); Queensland (1963); Western Australia (1964); Tasmania (1975); the Australian Capital Territory (1976) and the Northern Territory (1976). Since the inception of the National Trust in Australia, the national trusts have played a leading role in the extensive work of identifying those parts of our natural, Aboriginal and historic environment that are historically, aesthetically or scientifically significant. The places classified by the national trusts have formed a basis for all other heritage registers of protected places and areas in Australia.

Australian Council of Trade Unions—(ACTU) (1927—present ), the central body organising trade union activity in Australia. Comprising a Labour Council from each state, the ACTU is an affiliation of most workers' unions around Australia. Unions cannot affiliate with the ACTU unless they are first affiliated with a state body. The ACTU Congress, held every two years, is the policy-making body and its decisions are binding on affiliated trade unions. The ACTU was established in Melbourne in 1927 when the State Labor Councils and the then federal unions recognised the need for an organisation to represent the national interests of the unions. Today the ACTU speaks on behalf of its 65 member unions on issues that are of interest to all Australian workers.

Australian Country Party—a movement formed from rural disillusionment with urban politics. The first Country Party electoral success occurred in Western Australia in 1914, and by 1921 the organisation had won representation in each of the seven Australian Parliaments. Each of the state and national arms of the party has had several changes in name, the federal organisation being known from January 1920 as the Australian Country Party, before becoming the National Country Party of Australia in May 1975. The name National Party of Australia was adopted in October 1982 in an attempt to dispel the organisation's purely rural image. In contrast to the national impetus of the Australian L Labor Party and the Australian Liberal Party, most of the strength of the Country Party is concentrated at state level.

Australian Court of Conciliation and Arbitration—(ACCA) (1956 – 1973) replaced the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration. The ACCA had both judicial and arbitral powers, allowing it to determine existing rights by way of award interpretation. The court was able to create new rights and obligations for employers and employees by making awards prescribing terms and conditions of employment. The court also had the power to determine existing rights by way of award interpretation and order compliance. The ACCA was replaced in 1973 by the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission.

Australian Courts Act 1828 (Imp)—declared that the laws in force in England at the date of the statute should apply in New South Wales, as far as they could be applied. Each of the colonial parliaments was established under Acts of the Imperial Parliament at Westminster, in England. For a very long time any state act which conflicted with an Imperial act intended to apply to the state was, to the extent of any conflict, inoperative in the state. In 1828 the Imperial Parliament, to settle any possible disputes over which law applied in the Australian colonies, passed the Australian Courts Act.

Australian Democrats—Australia's fourth major political party, formed in 1977 by Don Chipp, a Liberal member of the House of Representatives and former minister, who had been approached by the people of the Australia Party, the New Liberal Movement and by other concerned individuals to hold a series of meetings across Australia with a view to forming a new party. After a series of public meetings around Australia, a resolution was passed unanimously to form a new reformist party, and the 'Australian Democrats' was officially launched. It won its first parliamentary seat when Robin Millhouse was elected to the State Parliament in South Australia. Their rallying cry is "Keep the bastards honest". Although the Democrats have won a number of seats in the Senate and currently hold the balance of power there, the party has never held a seat in the House of Representatives.

Australian desert limeCitrus glauca, has a widespread occurrence on the rangeland interior of NSW and southern Queensland, as well as a totally disjunctive occurrence near Carrieton in South Australia. The tree grows to 7m, and suckers when disturbed. The fruits are rounded, up to 15mm in diameter and a pale lemon colour when ripe. They set fruit infrequently in their South Australian habitat. Also called desert lemon, native kumquat, limebush.

Australian English—a major variety of the English language, used throughout Australia. Although English has no official status in the Constitution, Australian English is Australia's de facto official language and is the first language of the majority of the population. Australian English started diverging from British English after the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788 and was recognised as being different from British English by 1820. It arose from the intermingling of children of early settlers from a great variety of mutually intelligible dialectal regions of the British Isles and quickly developed into a distinct variety of English. Australian English differs from other varieties of English in vocabulary, accent, pronunciation, register, grammar and spelling. Australian English began its development after the landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove. The earliest form of Australian English was first spoken by the children of the colonists born into the colony of New South Wales. This very first generation of children created a new dialect that was to become the language of the nation. The Australian-born children in the new colony were exposed to a wide range of different dialects from all over the British Isles, in particular from Ireland and South East England. The native-born children of the colony created the new dialect from factors present in the speech they heard around them, and provided an avenue for the expression of peer solidarity. Even when new settlers arrived, this new dialect was strong enough to deflect the influence of other patterns of speech. A large part of the convict body were the Irish, 25% of the total convict population. Many of these people were arrested in Ireland, and some in Great Britain. It is possible that the majority of Irish convicts either did not speak English, or spoke English "indifferently". There were other significant populations of convicts from non-English speaking areas of Britain, such as the Scottish Highlands and Wales. Records from the early 19th century survive to this day describing the distinct dialect that had surfaced in the colonies since first settlement in 1788, with Peter Miller Cunningham's 1827 book Two Years in New South Wales, describing the distinctive accent and vocabulary of the native born colonists, different from that of their parents and with a strong London influence. Anthony Burgess writes that "Australian English may be thought of as a kind of fossilised Cockney of the Dickensian era." The Australian gold rushes saw many external influences adopted into the language. The first of the Australian gold rushes, in the 1850s, began a large wave of immigration, during which about two per cent of the population of the United Kingdom emigrated to the colonies of New South Wales and Victoria. According to linguist Bruce Moore, "the major input of the various sounds that went into constructing the Australian accent was from south-east England." Some elements of Aboriginal languages have been adopted by Australian English—mainly as names for places, flora and fauna (for example dingo) and local culture. Many such are localised, and do not form part of general Australian use, while others, such as kangaroo, boomerang, budgerigar, wallaby and so on have become international. Many towns or suburbs of Australia have also been influenced or named after Aboriginal words. The most well known example is the capital, Canberra named after a local language word meaning "meeting place". Among the changes starting in the 19th century gold rushes was the introduction of words, spellings, terms and usages from North American English. The words imported included some later considered to be typically Australian, such as bonzer. This influence continued with the influx of American military personnel in World War II as well as film. The primary way in which Australian English is distinctive from other varieties of English is through its unique pronunciation. It shares most similarity with other Southern Hemisphere accents, in particular New Zealand English. Like most dialects of English it is distinguished primarily by its vowel phonology.

Australian Exclusive Economic Zone—(EEZ) designed to protect the economic benefits that a country can gain from its adjoining oceans, particularly those linked to fishing and mining. Not every country has a territorial sea claim and/or an EEZ. The size of the claim also varies between countries. Increasingly, Australian authorities have had to deal with illegal fishing (such as fishing of the Patagonian toothfish) in its EEZ. To protect valuable and sometimes rare resources, the Federal Government has gone to great lengths to establish and maintain a Coastwatch surveillance program. In the case of countries with a long coastline and extensive EEZ, such as Australia, monitoring can be a difficult task. With such a large geographical area to cover, just observing breaches of the rights granted to Australia by its EEZ is difficult, let alone carrying out the complicated physical and legal process of bringing offenders to justice.

Australian External Territories—the Australian Antarctic Territory and subantarctic islands; Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Advance Island and Cartier Island in the Indian Ocean; the Coral Sea Islands near the Great Barrier Reef; and Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean.

Australian Federal Police—(AFP) is the Commonwealth's primary law enforcement agency, with two main areas of responsibility. Nationally, the AFP investigates and prevents crime against the Commonwealth and protects Commonwealth interests in Australia and overseas. Locally, the AFP provides community policing services to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Australian finger lime—Microcitrus australasica, grows to an erect tree of 10m. The fruits are green and cylindrical—up to 50mm long and only about 20mm in diameter. They have prominent thorns and set plenty of viable seed in their natural habitat, from the Clarence River in NSW north to Brisbane. Both of the native limes, this and the Australian round lime have a slight taste of turpentine.

Australian flag—(see: Australian national flag).

Australian Fossil Mammal Sites—the Riversleigh/Naracoorte World Heritage property. Over 2000 kilometres separate the two sites, which together form the World Heritage property. This property was inscribed on the World Heritage List for its outstanding natural universal values, principally its representation of major stages of the earth's evolutionary history.

Australian freshwater crocodileCrocodylus johnsoni or Crocodylus johnston, a species of reptile endemic to the northern regions of Australia. Unlike their much larger Australian relative the saltwater crocodile, freshwater crocodiles are not known as man-eaters and rarely cause fatalities, although they will bite in self-defense if cornered. When Gerard Krefft named the species in 1873, he intended to commemorate the man, named Johnston, who first reported it to him. However, Krefft made an error in writing the name, and for many years the species has been known as johnsoni. Recent studies of Krefft's papers have determined the correct spelling of the name, and much of the literature has been updated to the correct usage. However, both versions are still extant. The freshwater crocodile is a relatively small crocodilian. Males can grow to 2.3-3m long, while females reach a maximum size of 2.1m. Males commonly weigh around 70kg, with large specimens up to 100kg or more, against the female weight of 40kg . In areas such as Lake Argyle and Katherine Gorge there exist a handful of confirmed 4m individuals. This species is shy and has a more slender snout than the dangerous saltwater crocodile. The body colour is light brown with darker bands on the body and tail, which tend to be broken up near the neck. Some individuals possess distinct bands or speckling on the snout. Body scales are relatively large, with wide, close-knit armoured plates on the back. Rounded, pebbly scales cover the flanks and outsides of the legs. Freshwater crocodiles are found in the states of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Main habitats include freshwater wetlands, billabongs, rivers and creeks. This species can live in areas where saltwater crocodiles cannot, and are known to inhabit areas above the escarpment in Kakadu National Park and in very arid and rocky conditions (such as Katherine Gorge, where they are common and are relatively safe from saltwater crocodiles during the dry season). However, they are still consistently found in low-level billabongs, living alongside the saltwater crocodiles near the tidal reaches of rivers. They compete poorly with saltwater crocodiles; however, this species is saltwater tolerant. Adult crocodiles eat fish, birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians, although larger individuals may take prey as large as a wallaby. Eggs are laid in holes during the Australian dry season (usually in the month of August) and hatch at the beginning of the wet season (November/December). The crocodiles do not defend their nests during incubation. From one to five days prior to hatching, the young begin to call from within the eggs. This induces and synchronizes hatching in siblings and stimulates adults to open the nest. It is not known if the adult that opens a given nest is the female who laid the eggs. As young emerge from the nest, the adult picks them up one by one in the tip of its mouth and transports them to the water. Adults may also assist young in breaking through the egg shell by chewing or manipulating the eggs in their mouths. Until recently, the freshwater crocodile was common in northern Australia, especially where saltwater crocodiles are absent (such as more arid inland areas and higher elevations). In recent years, the population has dropped dramatically due to the ingestion of the invasive cane toad. The toad is poisonous to freshwater crocodiles, although not to saltwater crocodiles, and the toad is rampant throughout the Australian wilderness. The crocodiles are also infected by Griphobilharzia amoena, a parasitic trematode, in regions such as Darwin. Although the freshwater crocodile does not attack humans as potential prey, it can deliver a nasty bite. There have been very few incidents where people have been bitten whilst swimming with freshwater crocodiles, though rarely. In general, it is still considered safe to swim with this species, so long as they are not aggravated. Also known as Johnston's crocodile or colloquially as freshie.

Australian dotterelPeltohyas australis, family Glareolidae (coursers and pratincoles). Coursers are medium-sized plover-like birds with slender, decurved bills, broad wings, long legs, and 3 short toes, middle toenail pectinate in some species. Plumage often with bold patterns on the head or breast. Pratincoles have a swallow-like body form, short wide bill, long pointed wings, short legs, longer front toes than in coursers, middle toenail pectinate, and a short hallux present in most species, sociable and flock all year, feed like swallows on flying insects. Some species are intermediate in form between coursers and pratincoles—rock pratincoles have longer legs than most pratincoles, cream-colored coursers have shorter legs than two-banded coursers, and Egyptian "plovers" Pluvialis and Australian "dotterel" Peltohyas are even shorter-legged. Open country, often arid lands, some coursers are nocturnal.

Australian Fair Pay Commission—(AFPC) a federal body created under the Work Relations (Work Choices) Amendment Act 2005. The new commission has been designed to take over many of the functions of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The federal government proposes to refer the power to set further increases to the minimum wage, and to set award rates of pay and casual loading, to the AFPC. It appears to be intended that this body will focus on economic and other national considerations, rather than purely industrial relations issues, in setting minimum wages.

Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard—the comparison point for applying the ‘no disadvantage’ test to newly certified Australian Workplace Agreements. Under the Work Choices Amendment Act, The Government will create a legislative Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard for dealing with annual leave, personal leave, parental leave and maximum ordinary hours.

Australian fur sealArctocephalus pusillus, the world's fourth-rarest seal species. Hunted to the brink of extinction last century, they are now protected by law. The Australian fur seal is found from the coast of New South Wales, down around Tasmania and into the waters of Victoria and South Australia. It is the most common seal in Tasmanian waters and breeds on small, isolated rocks in Bass Strait between October and January. It also hauls-out at various rocky areas around the Tasmanian coastline, especially outside the breeding season when many seals disperse from the breeding colonies. Adult males grow to 200-225cm and weigh 220kg to 360kg. Bulls are usually dark grey/ brown, with a ruff of coarse hair on neck and shoulders. The dense coat is made of woolly underfur and long, coarse outer hairs, which traps air, which waterproofs and insulates the seal. Females give birth to a single pup in November-December. Once a cow gives birth for the first time, she is practically in a continuous state of lactation for the rest of her life, with at most a few weeks off between weaning last season's pup and having another. The Australian fur seal eats mainly fish and cephalopods (squid, octopus and cuttlefish).

Australian giant cuttlefishSepia apama, the largest cuttlefish species in the world, with a maximum recorded size of 520mm mantle length (ML) and 6.2 kg weight. It is endemic to Australian waters, with a distribution reported to extend across temperate southern Australia from southern Queensland to Point Cloates in Western Australia, and including northern Tasmania. Its life span is 1 year, perhaps 2 in some cases. It occurs on rocky reefs, seagrass beds and areas of mud and sand to depths of 100m. It occurs on rocky reefs, seagrass beds, and sand and mud seafloor to a depth of 100 m. Breeding takes place with the onset of the southern winter. Males abandon their normal cryptic colouring and set out to dazzle the females by adopting rapidly changing bright colours and striking patterns. Devious males mimic female colouring and form in order to gain access to females protected by dominant males. Death follows shortly after mating and laying of eggs that will spawn the next generation. Sepia apama are primarily diurnal and have a small home range (90-550m) over short recording periods. They are able to channel most of their energy directly into growth because they spend 95% of the day resting, suggesting bioenergetics more like that of an octopus than a squid. Very little time is spent foraging (3.7% during the day and 2.1% during the night), most of their time is spent resting and hiding in crevices from predators. The exception to this behavioral routine is the mass spawning aggregation, where cuttlefish are far more active during the days or weeks that they spend there. Sepia apama skin posesses a dense layer of pigmented chromatophore organs of 3 color classes: yellow, red, and black/brown, as well as underlying structural reflectors of 2 types: iridophores (creating iridescence in the skin) and leucophores, which produce whiteness in their body patterns. They also have controllable skin papillae that can dramatically alter their appearance. The overall appearance of the animal, termed the body pattern, can change in less than a second due to direct neural control of the skin patterns. This is unique among all animals but is characteristic of cephalopods. This species is famous for its unique and very large spawning aggregation that occurs every austral fall (May - July) in northern Spencer Gulf, north-west of Adelaide, WA.

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