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Bass Strait

Bass Strait

Barrier Highway—begins at the Sturt Highway, just north of Gawler at the outskirts of the Barossa Valley. The highway heads north into the rich mid-north of South Australia, mainly through sheep grazing and wheat growing regions and the moderate-sized towns of Riverton and Saddleworth before reaching the old copper town of Burra set amongst a range of bald hills. From Burra, the highway heads further north into remote arid country with little on offer, even for the keen tourist. Once reaching Oodla Wirra, the highway passes through the Nackara Range, and heads in a north-easterly direction through very remote and flat country, passing through the roadhouse towns of Yunta, Mannahill and Olary before reaching Cockburn, the town split in half by the SA/NSW border. The highway is named after the Barrier Ranges which are near the mining city of Broken Hill—one of the principal reasons for the highway's existence.

Barrington Tops—a 25km-long plateau extending between a series of extinct volcanic peaks in the Mount Royal Ranges. A plateau stretched between their summits features alpine meadows, where wildflowers proliferate each spring beneath the snow gums. Over twenty valleys radiate from the hub of the plateau. Melting snow becomes white water flowing down to the sea through ancient beech forests, whilst water from sphagnum moss swamps is slowly released from the plateau. Fed with melting snow and an annual rainfall exceeding 1500mm, wild rivers become waterfalls plunging from great heights into fern-lined gorges. In the river valleys of the lowlands, weathered basalt washed down from the mountains forms rich alluvial soils. The park's diversity includes stands of tall eucalypts, ancient Australian beech forest, rich sub-tropical rainforest in the lowland gullies, and twisted, stunted snow gums on the high plains.

Barrington Tops National Park—World Heritage-listed in 1969, the park lies 38km west of Gloucester and and protects the catchment areas of six streams that feed the Manning and Hunter rivers. It has mainly dirt roads. You will be stunned by the high, rugged, river valleys heavily forested with species from Antarctic beech to subtropical rainforest. The Barrington Tops themselves are two high, cliff-ringed plateaus—Barrington and Gloucester—that rise steeply from the surrounding valleys. The changes in altitude are so great – the highest points are Mount Barrington (1555m) and Polblue Mountain (1577m) – that within a few minutes you can pass from areas of subtropical rainforest to warm and cool temperate rainforest and then to high, windswept plateaus covered with snow gums, meadows and subalpine bog. Up on the plateaus, snow is common from the end of April to early October, while heavy fogs and rains are possible at virtually any time.

Barrinian—a tribe of indigenous Australian pygmies, now extinct. They lived in Far North Queensland and had come in from the tropical rainforests to live on missions in the region. Tindale and Birdsell concluded they were not just small but were radically unlike any other Aborigines in Australia. They named them Barrineans, after nearby Lake Barrine in the Atherton Tablelands. The three main tribes in the region were the Kongkandji (Gungganydji), Indindji and Barbaram, whose territories covered, respectively, the coastal area around Cape Grafton, the eastern slopes of the Atherton Tableland from Lake Barrine south to Gordonvale, and the Great Dividing Range behind Cairns.

barrister—a legal practitioner whose main function is to act as an advocate in court. (in full: barrister-at-law).

Barron Gorge National Park—the most visited of any of Queensland’s protected areas, offering magnificent gorge scenery along the Cairns-Kuranda railway line. The 2820ha park can be seen from the comfort of a train carriage or an aerial cableway, or by walking along the pack-and-dray routes of early pioneers, or by following the traditional pathways of the Djabugay people. With the construction of the Barron Gorge power station, however, the majority of the river's flow is now channelled underground, thereby diminishing the spectacle of the falls.

Barron River—originates in the upland ranges of the Atherton Tablelands at Mount Hypipamee National Park, at an altitude of about 1000m.Twenty kilometres downstream, the Barron River drains into Tinaroo Falls Dam. Flows from Tinaroo Dam are controlled, and a significant proportion of the controlled releases directed to the irrigation channels of the Mareeba-Dimbulah Irrigation Area (MDIA). The MDIA straddles the Great Divide, and overflow from the channels in the western portions of the area exits to the Mitchell catchment (Gulf of Carpentaria drainage division) through the headwaters of the Mitchell River and through the Walsh River subcatchment. Groundwater supplies are available from alluvial fractured basalt and other fractured rock aquifers. Aquifers in the Atherton basalt formation supply water for much of the mixed cropping, sugar and grazing on the southern tablelands. In the Kairi/Tolga area, springs flowing from these fractured basalts provide 50,000 megalitres annually to the Barron River flows. The alluvial aquifer of the Lower Barron floodplain supplies the irrigation needs of sugar cane farmers.

Barron River catchment—covers an area of 2100sq km in the Wet Tropics bioregion of north Queensland. The catchment is unique because of the contrasts in climate and the diverse range of land uses. Major land uses are grazing, tobacco, sugar, mixed cropping, horticulture, intensive animal production, forestry, tourist development, World Heritage and urban areas. The Barron River catchment commences at Mount Hypipamee National Park, east of Herberton, flows across the Atherton Tablelands near Atherton, through Tinaroo Dam and Mareeba to Kuranda, where it passes through the coastal range and drops abruptly before crossing a narrow coastal floodplain to enter the sea near Machans Beach. Of all the catchments in the Wet Tropics, the Barron has been the most extensively modified.

barrow—1. wheelbarrow. 2. embarrassment.

Barrow Creek—one of the more important outposts in the Northern Territory, prior to the twentieth century. Like Alice Springs, the town came into existence with the arrival of the Overland Telegraph in 1872. Barrow Creek was also the site of the last major Aboriginal massacre in the Northern Territory. In 1928, a posse led by the local Chief Protector of Aborigines killed an estimated 70 Aborigines in a series of bloody reprisals for the killing of one white man by one black. Barrow Creek was handed back to the Kaytetye people in 2002. The Barrow Creek Telegraph Station is located about 280km north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway.

Barrow Island—an arid island in the Indian Ocean, off the north coast of Western Australia. This island is both an important nature reserve and the biggest onshore oilfield developed in Australia. Ninety per cent of the island is covered by spinifex, a spiny-leafed grass that grows in tussocks. Beneath Barrow's seemingly barren surface is a plethora of caves, some receding as much as 100m underground. In many cases, the caves are a refuge for animals seeking to escape the aridity at ground level. Burrowing bettongs, once prevalent across Australia, now survive only on four islands, chiefly Barrow, which is today also home to over 10 000 northern brush-tailed possums—and few trees.

Barrow Island euro—a sub-species found only on the island. Related to the mainland wallabies, they are two-thirds of their size and have a thicker coat of hair. Euros feed and rest on the beach where ocean breezes moderate temperatures, in beach caves and relictual mangroves. Barrow Island euros get their moisture from plants and by licking dew off vegetation. They congregate around the 'Biggada waterhole' where the island's one fresh water supply is usually maintained year round. They also congregate around any of the company's water storage areas. This extra supply of water—and shade—has possibly lead to an increase in euro numbers on the island. These euros have evolved exclusively for the island environment. They are squat and significantly smaller than their mainland relatives. Their faces are distinct, with almost a prehistoric look. Also known as a wallaroo or biggada.

Bartle Frere—(see: Mount Bartle Frere).

Barton, Sir Edmund (Toby)—(1849-1920), Party: Protectionist. Born: Sydney 1849. Education: Sydney Grammar School; Sydney University. Profession: Barrister Queens Counsel, 1889; Judge of the High Court of Australia, 1903-20. Services: 1879-87, NSW Legislative Assembly; 1883-87, Speaker of House; 1891, leader of the federation movement.; member of committee drafting the Constitution; 1900, led Australian delegation to London to present Constitution to British Parliament; 1901, Australia's first Prime Minister, also Minister External Affairs; 1903, resigned and became a senior judge in the new High Court of Australia, and held that position until his death in 1920; one of three Australian Prime Ministers to receive Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, First Class. Rt Hon. Sir Edmund Barton was Prime Minister from 1 January 1901 to 24 September 1903. Edmund Barton had been nicknamed 'Tosspot Toby' because of his taste for strong liquors. He graduated with honours in classics in 1868 and as MA in 1870 from the University of Sydney. In 1871, he had a successful legal practice and, like many lawyers, soon became interested in politics. Elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1879, he became the youngest-ever Speaker of the House at the age of 34. During his early parliamentary career, the long-debated issue of federation became an increasingly heated subject in the political arenas of Australia. The question was whether Australia should remain a loose collection of six colonies, which might even evolve into six separate nations, or whether they should federate into a single nation. Barton, convinced that federation was the key to Australia's future, allied himself to the Federalists led by Sir Henry Parkes. Barton had found the mission which lifted him out of the ruck of colonial politicians. For 10 years he devoted himself physically and intellectually to federation. He inspired the formation of the Australasian Federation League, which played a vital role in moulding public opinion. Undiscouraged by parliamentary rejection of the first Constitution Bill, he and his colleagues fought to keep the movement alive. In 1897, as Leader of the Federal Convention, he presided over a new Constitution Bill but saw it lose in a national referendum. Once more, Barton argued through the clauses of a Constitution Bill which would be acceptable to Australians. On 9 July 1900, Queen Victoria assented to the Act which established the Commonwealth of Australia. But Lord Hopetoun, the first Governor-General, astounded Barton's supporters by a decision that the Premier of New South Wales should be the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth. So many senior politicians rebelled that Hopetoun had to commission Barton instead. Barton led the Protectionist Party, which started to tackle the problems of Australian defence, creation of courts to adjudicate on the Constitution and on industrial relations, a unified tariff system and the implementation of the White Australia Policy being demanded by many Australians. But Barton himself was weary, worried about his health and deeply in debt. He tended to leave much of the work to others, until he resigned from Parliament to become a senior puisne judge in the new High Court. He continued to be a respected public figure until his death in 1920.

Barwon Heads—a seaside town on the western bank of the Barwon River estuary, which separates it from the twin town of Ocean Grove. As these towns possess both the closest ocean beeches to Geelong and safe, family beaches along the riverbank, they are popular holiday destinations. Barwon Heads is somewhat quieter and smaller than Ocean Grove, but the town does have two jetties and two boat-launching ramps. Once entirely overlooked, the town was recently popularised in the late 1990s as the film location of Sea Change, a popular TV series. Changes in the sea level over the 100,000 years are responsible for the development of the present-day landscape and features of the Barwon Heads-Ocean Grove area. Prior to European settlement, the area is thought to have been occupied by the Wathawurung people, and it is from their language that the name 'Barwon' was derived. Barwon Heads is situated on the Bellarine Peninsula, 22km south-east of Geelong and 95km south-west of Melbourne.

Barwon River—culminates at Barwon Heads, in Victoria. From its source high in the Otway Ranges, it descends through forests and farmland to Geelong before reaching the Bellarine Peninsula and the sea. The river is lined for much of its length with remnant native vegetation, and much of the southern and northern banks through Geelong have been converted to parklands, reserves and recreation areas. The river supplies drinking water to Geelong, and the health of the river is of vital importance to the Ramsar-listed wetland of Lake Connewarre, located downstream of the The Aboriginal name for the river is thought to mean 'great, wide, awful river'.

Barwon River tribes—principally, the Ngemba people; also includes the Morowari, Paarkinji, Weilwan, Barabinja, Ualarai and Kamilaroi tribes. These tribes lived in Victoria, along the Barwon River.

bash—1.hit, strike, assault. 2. attempt; have a go: e.g., Have a bash at it. 3. drinking spree or wild party.

bash (someone's ear)—talk incessantly; bore with incessant talk.

basic wage—the principle of "a fair day's wages for a fair day's work", the basis for wage-fixing for sixty years: established as a result of the "Harvester Case", 1907.

Basket Swamp National Park—an important wetland of heaths and sedges located in the New England Tablelands of New South Wales. It cleans, stores and slowly releases water throughout the year into local creeks that run into the coastal Clarence River system. This woodland park has no facilities, and is suited only to self-reliant bushwalkers. It includes Timbarra Lookout and gives access to nearby Basket Swamp Falls and the Woollool Woolloolni Aboriginal Place. The entrance road passes through Boonoo State Forest, which has a picnic and camping area with tables and toilet.

Bass—a small town on the Bass River, and the third permanent settlement in Victoria. The original settlement continued until 1853 when the Anderson brothers bought freehold land south of the Bass River. A memorial in the George Bass Park commemorates the visit by naval surgeon and explorer, George Bass and his party of six, who landed near Bass on 4 January, 1798, in search of fresh water after their voyage in an open whale boat, which they had rowed from Port Jackson. Bass named the bay Westernport, the most westerly harbour he reached in the strait that was later named in his honour. The township of Bass is now a service centre to the local farming community and passing tourists. One of the town's main attractions is the Wildlife Wonderland park which houses the Giant Earthworm Museum. Gippsland is famous for its giant earthworms. Located about 109km south-east of Melbourne along the Princes Highway en route to Phillip Island.

Bass, George—(1771-1803), a British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia. George Bass was born on 30 January 1771 at Aswarby, a hamlet near Sleaford, Lincolnshire. He had attended Boston Grammar School and later trained in medicine at the hospital at Boston, Lincolnshire. At the age of 18 he was accepted in London as a member of the Company of Surgeons, and in 1794 he joined the Royal Navy as a surgeon. He arrived in Sydney in New South Wales on HMS Reliance on 7 September 1795. Also on the voyage were Matthew Flinders, John Hunter, Bennelong, and his surgeon's assistant William Martin. Bass had brought with him on the Reliance a small boat with a 2.4m keel and 1.5m beam, which he called the Tom Thumb on account of its size. In October 1795 Bass and Flinders, accompanied by William Martin sailed the Tom Thumb out of Port Jackson to Botany Bay and explored the Georges River further upstream than had been done previously by the colonists. Their reports on their return led to the settlement of Banks' Town. In March 1796 the same party embarked on a second voyage in a similar small boat, which they also called the Tom Thumb. During this trip they travelled as far down the coast as Lake Illawarra, which they called Tom Thumb Lagoon. They discovered and explored Port Hacking. Later that year Bass discovered good land near Prospect Hill, found lost cattle brought out with the First Fleet, and failed in an attempt to cross the Blue Mountains. In 1797, without Flinders, in an open whaleboat with a crew of six, Bass sailed to Cape Howe, the farthest point of south-eastern Australia. From here he went westwards along what is now the coast of the Gippsland region of Victoria, to Western Port Bay, almost as far as the site of present-day Melbourne. His belief that a strait separated the mainland from Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) was backed up by his astute observation of the rapid tide and the long south-western swell at Wilsons Promontory. Bass discovered the Kiama area and made many notes on its botanical complexity and the amazing natural phenomenon, the Kiama Blowhole, noting the volcanic geology around the blowhole, and contributed much to its understanding. In 1798, this theory was confirmed when Bass and Flinders, in the sloop Norfolk, circumnavigated Van Diemen's Land. In the course of this voyage Bass found and explored the estuary of the Derwent River, where the city of Hobart would be founded, on the strength of his report, in 1803. When the two returned to Sydney, Flinders recommended to Governor John Hunter that the passage between Van Diemen's Land and the mainland be called Bass Strait. Bass was an enthusiastic naturalist and botanist, and he forwarded some of his botanical discoveries to Sir Joseph Banks in London. He was made an honorary member of the Society for Promoting Natural History, which later became the Linnean Society. Some of his observations were published in the second volume of David Collins's An Account of the English colony in New South Wales. He was one of the first to describe the Australian marsupial, the wombat. In January 1801 Bass set sail again for Port Jackson; Bass never returned from this journey. Bass and a syndicate of friends had invested some £10,000 in the copper-sheathed brig the Venus, and a cargo of general goods to transport and sell in Port Jackson. Bass was the owner-manager and set sail in early 1801. On arrival Bass found the colony awash with goods and he was unable to sell his cargo. Governor King was operating on a strict programme of economy and would not take the goods into the government store, even at a 50% discount. What King did though was contract with Bass to ship salt pork from Tahiti. Food was scarce in Sydney at that time and prices were being driven up, yet pigs were plentiful in the Society Islands and King could contract with Bass at 6 pence a pound where he'd been paying a shilling (12 pence) previously. The arrangement suited King's thrift, and was profitable for Bass. In January 1803 Bass applied to King for a fishing monopoly extending from a line bisecting the lower South Island of New Zealand from Dusky Sound to Otago Harbour—now the site of the city of Dunedin—and including all the lands and seas to the south, notably the Antipodes Islands, probably on the basis of information from his brother-in-law Waterhouse, the discoverer of the Antipodes archipelago. He expected much from it, but before he heard it had been declined he sailed south from Sydney never to return. What became of Bass is unknown. As many months passed with no word of his arrival Governor King and Bass's friends in Sydney were forced to accept that he had met some misfortune.

Bass Coast—from French Island in the north, Inverloch in the east, Wonthaggi in the south and Phillip Island in the west... Visit the popular fairy penguin parade at marvellous Phillip Island, or take some time to explore the majestic and diverse coastline. Enjoy the view from Point Grant and watch the waves crashing against the Nobbies, as the blow hole thunders in the cliffs below. Catch a ferry from Western Port Bay and take a closer look at Seal Rocks, the breeding ground for Australia's largest colony of fur seals. Meander further east along the Bass Coast to Kilcunda and Wonthaggi, where many tourist attractions are within easy reach. Further south is Cape Patterson, the gateway to Bunurong Marine Park, which stretches along the coast for about 17kms. It is a wonderland of sandy coves, rock platforms and underwater reefs supporting a diverse array of marine life. Anderson Inlet, opening out to Bass Strait, is usually dotted with multi-coloured sails of yachts and windsurfers taking advantage of the ocean breezes. The popular surf beach on the outskirts of town allows easy access for surf and boogie boards. Located in SW Gippsland, Victoria.

Bass River—a narrow, fast-flowing stream rising in steep, cleared country in Tasmania. Downstream from Almurta, the terrain is relatively flat farmland. The river becomes wider (5m—7m) in summer, but remains fairly shallow with extensive areas less than 60cm deep and pools to 100cm. There is often dense riparian growth of willow trees with some encroachment by them into the channel. Submerged aquatic vegetation is abundant. The lower reaches are subject to flooding after heavy rain. The river contains short-finned eel, common galaxias, spotted galaxias and some tupong. The estuarine section is accessible and is surrounded by flat, open land where water is 15-20m wide with depths over 100cm. Carries some Australian salmon, estuary perch, flounder and mullet.

Bass Strait—the stretch of water between the Australian mainland and the island state of Tasmania; 130km across at its narrower end and 250 km at the wider end. Of the numerous remote islands in the Strait, the Furneaux Islands lie at the east end and King Island at the west end. There are a number of wrecked ships located on the shores of many of the islands in between. The Bass Strait has been of social and historical importance since the arrival of the First Fleet, as this was the site of a busy whaling industry. So rich was this resource that whaling ships were drawn from as far away as the U.S. The Strait is the Southern Hemisphere feeding ground for humpback whales that migrate back to the Antarctic Ocean for winter breeding; and although numbers have dropped drastically as a result of the whaling industry, whale-sighting is an annual event in New South Wales.

Bass Strait islands—Flinders Island and Cape Barren Islands are located off the north-east of Tasmania, whilst King Island is situated off the north-west tip. Rainfall is in the range of 600mm—800mm throughout. Rain falls in all months, although winter has the greater falls and far more rain days. Thunderstorms average around 10 per annum. It is certain that many of these storms are winter cold stream storms. Summer daytime temperatures are mild. It is in winter overnight lows that the islands are much milder than the Tasmanian mainland. Frost is common only well away from the ocean.

bastard—amongst men, a term of endearment, often included in a greeting; e.g., How've you been, you old bastard?

bastard file—file with rough teeth for coarse filing.

bastard mahogany—(see: bangalay).

Bat Cave—the larger of two known breeding sites for the bent-wing bat in south-eastern Australia. Every spring, thousands of these bats return to the maternity chamber in Bat Cave after wintering in various caves throughout south-eastern Australia. The cave is over 300m long and has enormous deposits of bat guano (dung) that is home to a multitude of invertebrates. Guano mining in the 19th century reduced the level within the cave, which now has a restricted access to protect the ecosystem. However, visitors may view the bats via infrared cameras in the Bat Observation Centre. Bat Cave is located in the Naracoorte Caves National Park.

Batavia—an island in Indonesia and the centre of a large trade network in the 17th century. Batavia became the main administrative and military centre of the Dutch foothold in Indonesia. Dutch explorations for the long-postulated Great South Land were launched from Batavia, now known as Jakarta.

Bateman's Bay—a waterway at the mouth of the Clyde River and the seaside resort situated there. In 1821 Lt Johnson visited Bateman’s Bay with Hamilton Hume and Major Mitchell. Development of the area commenced in the 1860s with the shipping of timber from the mouth of the Clyde. Although it is the largest town on the NSW coast south of Nowra, Bateman's Bay has retained its small-town atmosphere. Located 10km from Murramurang National Park and 40km from Eurobodalla National Park.

Bates, Daisy—author of The Passing of the Aborigines (published 1938), a still controversial work. Born in county Tipperary, Ireland; married briefly to Breaker Morant, whom she soon tossed out when he failed to pay for the wedding. Appointed by the Western Australian government in 1904 to record customs, languages and dialects of the Aboriginal people at Maaba Reserve, Cannington, where she lived in a tent for six years compiling her data. Nominated "The Great White Queen of the Never-Never" by a popular ladies' magazine of the time.

bathers—swimsuit; bathing costume; cossie.

bathing costume—bathing suit; swimsuit; cossie.

Bathurst—Australia's first inland settlement, it lies on the Macquarie River west of the Blue Mountains. Bathurst was founded in 1815 and named after the British secretary of state for the colonies, Henry Bathurst, the 3rd Earl Bathurst. Gold was discovered in 1823 by a Lands Department surveyor. This was the first such discovery in Australia, and was hushed up by the government who feared the disruptive effects of a gold rush; not until the rush to Ballarat was this site revealed. Development did not begin before 1850, the new wealth ushering in a very high standard in town planning. Many fine examples 19th century architecture have been preserved. Bathurst is also home to the Mount Panorama racing circuit, accommodating stock car racing that draws one billion people worldwide each year.

Bathurst Island—Bathurst and Melville Islands are known collectively as the Tiwi Islands. Bathurst Island lies 80km to the north of Darwin across the Beagle Gulf and covers an area of 2600sq km. The home of the Tiwi Aborigines (now an Aboriginal reserve) for thousands of years, the island was first sighted by Europeans in 1644 when Abel Tasman passed by on his way from Batavia. In 1818 Phillip Parker King, the son of NSW Governor Philip Gidley King, explored the island and named it after Lord Bathurst, who, at the time, was the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The mangroves on the coast and the lack of any real reason for settlement rendered the island useless to setters at that time. In 1978 the ownership of Bathurst Island was formerly handed back to the Tiwi people and today the island is run by the Tiwi Land Council. It is said that the word 'Tiwi' means 'people; we, the people; or, perhaps, we, the chosen people'. Certainly, the Tiwi people are different in both their culture and personality to mainland Aborigines.

Batman, John—founder of the first settlement at Port Phillip, and co-founder of the Port Phillip Association. In May 1835, Batman set sail from Launceston in search of sheep-grazing country beyond Van Daemon’s Land. Acting on advice given by Hume and Hovell in their earlier exploration of the region, he inspected the Port Phillip district. Landing near present-day Geelong, Batman moved his ship up to the mouth of the Yarra River and explored the area. Here, he produced a treaty signed by eight Aboriginal “chiefs”, granting the use of over 600,000 acres of land. This was in exchange for an annual payment of blankets, knives, mirrors, tomahawks, beads, scissors, flour and such things. Batman established a depot at Indented Head on the western shore of Port Phillip before returning to Launceston, where his purchase was divided into blocks. These blocks were allotted to shareholders in the Port Phillip Association, whose members commenced to settle the Port Phillip district. However, In August of that same year, John Pascoe Fawkner arrived with another party of Tasmanians. On a visit to the settlement, Governor Bourke named it Melbourne, after the then-Prime Minister of Britain, and ordered that it be laid out according to a plan by the New South Wales Surveyor General.

bats-wing coral treeErythrina vespertilio, a native, bird-attracting tree to 10m. Flowers are bright red and pea-shaped, November to December. Nectar-producing flowers are a favourite with honey-eating birds. The timber is very soft and light. It is used for floats, fishingrod butts, surf skis and model aircraft. Aboriginal uses: The roots were eaten raw and the timber used for shields. Leaves reputed sedative. The orange-red seeds were used to make necklaces, which were used as an article of trade. is scattered throughout northern Australia, northern New South Wales and South Australia.

batsman—(cricket) the person who is batting, or "at the bat".

batswing fernHistiopteris incisa, a widespread fern with red-brown to golden-brown scaly rhizome. Fronds 1-2m long, soft, pale green above, bluish-green below, hairless stalk, dark at base and paler above. A close relative of bracken, it thrives on disturbance and is abundant in areas where trees have fallen after flooding. Found in wet gullies and at the base of sandstone cliffs on the coast and ranges of eastern Australia and throughout the temperate regions of the Southern Hemisphere. The pinnae are a pale greyish green (glaucous) and the pinnules close to the rhachis (stalk) show the characteristic "bat" appearance that gives the fern its name. It is a most attractive fern, but as it spreads like bracken, it can exclude other plants if it likes the environment.

batting average—(cricket) a batsman's runs, scored per completed innings.

Battle Camp Sandstones—the deeply dissected sandstone plateaus and ranges of the Battle Camp Sandstones lie in the south of the region adjacent to the undulating Laura Lowlands, which are composed of residual weathered sands and flat plains of colluvial and alluvial clays, silts and sands. The west of the region is dominated in the south by the extensive Tertiary sand sheet dissected by intricate drainage systems of the Holroyd Plain, the Tertiary laterite of the undulating Weipa Plateau, the low rises of Mesozoic sandstones, with the northern extension of the Weipa Plateau and extensive coastal plains adjoining the Gulf of Carpentaria. Extensive aeolian dunefields lie in the east associated with Cape Bedford/Cape Flattery in the south and the Olive and Jardine Rivers. The vegetation is predominantly Darwin stringybark and carbeen/bloodwood woodlands, broad-leaved tea-tree woodlands, heathlands and sedgelands, notophyll vine forests, with semi-deciduous mesophyll vine forests on the eastern ranges and deciduous vine thickets on drier western slopes. Extensive mangrove forests are found in Kennedy Inlet in the north-east of the region, and in estuaries on both the west and east coasts. Tropical humid/maritime climate, with rainfall varying from 100mm to 1600mm.

Battle Mountain—site of the largest pitched battle between blacks and whites in Australia. Small bands of warriors would swoop down on outlying farms in the new settlement of Burketown, spear settlers and cattle, burn buildings and disappear back into the rocky hills. Police Sub-inspector Frederick Charles Urquhart and native troopers tracked the Kalkadoons, trapped some in a gorge, and massacred them all – men, women and children. Over the next few months, bands of native police and squatters set out on a punitive expedition to wipe out the Kalkadoons. Urquhart tracked them to a boulder-strewn hill, sixty miles north of Cloncurry, which was to become known as Battle Mountain. The Kalkadoon warriors had picked out a strong defensive position and were well prepared for such a siege. But when the battle turned against them, the warriors made a fatal mistake. They formed ranks and charged down the hillside, and wave after wave of warriors were mown down in a hail of bullets. Over 200 warriors, women and children lay dead on the slopes of the hill. Frederick Urquhart went on to become Commissioner of Police for Queensland, then an Administrator of the Northern Territory.

Battle of Brisbane—(the...) Brisbane in 1942 was a garrison city in the front line of defense against the Japanese. MacArthur had moved his headquarters to Brisbane. When the Australian Seventh Division came back from overseas, they found the town occupied by Americans. As thousands more GIs flooded into the city, brawls broke out over money, cigarettes, beer and women. On day one of the two-day ruckus, decorated Australian soldier gunner Edward Webster was shot dead by an American MP, and six other Australians were wounded. The next day, an angry Aussie mob referred any American soldier they could to the local hospital. The event became known as the Battle of Brisbane.

Battle of Pinjarra—(see: Pinjarra massacre).

Battle of the Coral Sea—the first of six battles in the Pacific War of WWII. Fought in the waters south-west of the Solomon Islands and eastward from New Guinea, between opposing aircraft carrier forces. It was a strategic defeat for the enemy, and the first major check on the great offensive begun five months earlier at Pearl Harbour. The diversion of Japanese resources represented by the Coral Sea battle would also have immense consequences a month later, at the Battle of Midway. Townsville was strategically chosen as the location of a large U.S. Air Force base supporting General MacArthur's defence of Australia against the advancing Japanese forces.

Battle of Vinegar Hill—Australia's first armed rebellion, an event which took place 50 years before the celebrated Eureka Stockade incident. This was an uprising of Irish convicts against the severity of British rule. In the early 1800s, the British government began to send many Irish rebels as convicts to NSW. These men were primarily freedom fighters who had fought against British oppression of their home land, in the unsuccessful Irish Rebellion of 1798, the final battle of which had been at Vinegar Hill in Ireland. The same name was given to the hill where at about 11 A.M. on the fifth of March they confronted their jailers. British troops chased unsuccessful rebels, taking prisoners as they went. Following their defeat, eight rebel leaders were hanged; nine received sentences of 200 or 500 lashes; and 34 were sent to work in the worst of the secondary penal settlements, of the coalmines in Newcastle.

battler—1. someone who works hard for a living, but can barely make ends meet; the average working man; Australia's "working-class hero". 2. Someone who barely makes a living from professionally betting on the horses.

Baudin, Captain Nicolas—(1754-1803), Commander-in-Chief of the 1880 French scientific expedition to the 'Southern Lands'. The expedition was undertaken in two lavishly equipped ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste. A large group of civilian scientists, including François Péron, were present on board. Following his detailed instructions from the French Ministry of Marine, Baudin led the expedition to the coast of New Holland (now known as Western Australia) to chart the coast and to collect specimens. Following resupply in Timor, the ships then sailed to Van Diemen's Land to make further studies there. In March 1802, they sailed for the 'unknown coast', naming it Terre Napoleon, after the French Emperor. The French met Flinders' expedition off Encounter Bay on 8-9 April 1802. After spending 5 months recuperating in Sydney, Baudin led his expedition back to South Australian waters, to complete the charting of Terre Napoleon.

Bauer, Ferdinand L—born in Feldsberg, Austria, on 20 January 1760, died in Heitzing, Vienna, Austria, on 17 March 1826. He and his brother Franz were probably two of the best of all botanical artists. In 1784 Dr John Sibthorp, who was visiting Vienna, engaged Bauer to accompany him on a voyage to Greece and the Greek islands as natural history painter. Bauer returned with Sibthorp to England to finish the drawings for his Flora Graeca. There he met Sir Joseph Banks, and in 1801 was appointed botanical draughtsman to the expedition to Terra Australis under Captain Matthew Flinders on the Investigator. He had made 700 drawings of plants and animals by July 1802, and about 12 months later he speaks of having completed nearly 600 more. He returned to England in 1805. In 1813 Bauer began his Illustrationes Florae Novae Hollandiae. It was not a financial success, partly because the artist was so conscientious that he endeavoured to do all the work himself, including the colouring of the plates. He returned to Austria in August 1814 but continued to do much work for English publications, including Lambert's Pinus and Lindley's Digitalis, etc. He died on 17 March 1826. The name of Bauer has been perpetuated in several Australian plants, and Cape Bauer on the Australian coast was named after Ferdinand by Flinders.

Baudin, Captain Nicolas—(1754-1803), Commander-in-Chief of the 1880 French scientific expedition to the 'Southern Lands'. The expedition was undertaken in two lavishly equipped ships, the Géographe and the Naturaliste. A large group of civilian scientists, including François Péron, were present on board. Following his detailed instructions from the French Ministry of Marine, Baudin led the expedition to the coast of New Holland (now known as Western Australia) to chart the coast and to collect specimens. Following resupply in Timor, the ships then sailed to Van Diemen's Land to make further studies there. In March 1802, they sailed for the 'unknown coast', naming it Terre Napoleon, after the French Emperor. The French met Flinders' expedition off Encounter Bay on 8-9 April 1802. After spending 5 months recuperating in Sydney, Baudin led his expedition back to South Australian waters, to complete the charting of Terre Napoleon.

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