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The Commonwealth of Australia is a self- governing federal state. It has six states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and two internal territories. It is situated in the southwestern = part of the Pacific Ocean. Australia has an area of approximately 7.7 million square kilometers. Australia is the largest island in the world and the smallest continent. The Dutch were the first Europeans to visit Australia. In 1770 the English captain James Cook discovered the east coast of Australia. Nearly 22 million people live in Australia. The capital of the country is Canberra, but before 1927, the government was located in Melbourne. There are no industrial plants in Canberra. The population of Canberra is about 300,000 people. Some of the important non-government buildings in Canberra are the buildings of Australian Academy of Song, the Australian National University and others. There are two big industrial cities in Australia: Sydney and Melbourne. The Australian climate is dry and warm. Australia is situated in the Southern Hemisphere and that is why it has summer when we have winter. January is the hottest month in Australia. Due to Australia’s separation from other countries, the animals in Australia have developed differently. They are interesting. You can see the dingo, a wild dog which hunts other animals at night, the kangaroo and many parrots. There are many and lakes in the country. Australia is an industrial country. It has coal, nickel, zinc and gold. Australia is one of the most important produces of metals and minerals. It exports wool, meat, fruit and sugar. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are the major ports of the country. There are many universities, theaters and museums in Australia. There are several political parties in Australia, including the Liberal, Labor, and Green parties, as well as two socialist parties.

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