Australia is a Commonwealth country which recognises settlement by English Captain Cook in 1778. It was occupied for thousands of years prior to that by indigenous people. The country’s land mass is as large as that of continental USA, but sparsely populated. The total population is around 25 million people, most living in cities on the East coast. Australia is an English language speaking country, governed by democratically elected local, State and Federal governments.
Australia’s currency is the Australian dollar “AUD$”. The currency is a floating currency available on the international money markets. Australia’s modern free-market economy derives much wealth from primary industries (mining, farming); tourism and recreation; and knowledge services (computing, management).
The labour force is only partly unionised, with individual bargaining available as well as enterprise wide employment arrangements. Some occupations are more heavily regulated than others.
Due to the large distances, travel throughout Australia is best done by air, with all capital cities and most major regional centres served by airlines. Travel to centres not served by air can be done by bus or train (in limited areas) or more often, by car.
Most capital cities and larger regional centres have efficient public bus, train, tram or ferry services. Goods are transported throughout Australia by deregulated but highly effective train and trucking industries.