Western Australia (abbreviated as WA) is a state occupying the entire western third of Australia. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east. Western Australia is Australia's largest state and the second-largest country subdivision in the world. The state has approximately 2.4 million inhabitants (around 10% of the national total), the majority of whom live in the south-west corner of the state.
The first European to visit Western Australia was the Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog, who visited the Western Australian coast in 1616. The British established a military outpost at King George Sound, near present-day Albany, in 1826, was followed by the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, including the site of the present-day capital, Perth.
Western Australia achieved self-government in 1890, and later federated with the other British colonies in Australia in 1901. Today Western Australia's economy mainly relies on mining, agriculture, and tourism, with the state supplying 46% of Australia's exports. Western Australia is the second-largest iron ore producer in the world.
Famous quotes containing the words western and/or australia:
“The Oriental philosophy approaches easily loftier themes than the modern aspires to; and no wonder if it sometimes prattle about them. It only assigns their due rank respectively to Action and Contemplation, or rather does full justice to the latter. Western philosophers have not conceived of the significance of Contemplation in their sense.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“It is very considerably smaller than Australia and British Somaliland put together. As things stand at present there is nothing much the Texans can do about this, and ... they are inclined to shy away from the subject in ordinary conversation, muttering defensively about the size of oranges.”
—Alex Atkinson, British humor writer. repr. In Present Laughter, ed. Alan Coren (1982)