Census in Australia
The census in Australia, or the Census of Population and Housing, collects key characteristic data on every person in Australia, the place they are staying in, on a particular night. The census is the largest statistical collection compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and is held every five years. Participation in the census is compulsory; the Australian Bureau of Statistics is legislated to collect and disseminate census data under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The first Australian census was held in 1911, on the night of 2 April and subsequent censuses were held in 1921, 1933, 1947, 1954 and 1961. In 1961 the five-year period was introduced. Censuses are held on the second Tuesday of August; the most recent was held on 9 August 2016 at a cost of $440 million. The census counts all people who are located within Australia and its external and internal territories, with the exception of foreign diplomats and their families, on census night.
For the first time, in 2016 Norfolk Island was included in the Australian census rather than being conducted by the Norfolk Island Government. The census examines data such as age, incomes, dwelling types and occupancy, transportation modes, languages spoken, religion; the census is collected and published against geographic areas defined by the Australian Standard Geographical Classification. The ASGC provides a set of geographic classifications for the dissemination of all ABS statistics. In 2007 the ABS published; the primary aim of mesh blocks is to provide a building block for constructing alternative and more relevant geographies. Only data on total persons and total dwellings is released at the mesh block level. Mesh blocks will form the basis of a new statistical geography, the Australian Statistical Geography Standard; the traditional concept of a Collection District is that it was the area that one census collector can cover in about a ten-day period. In the 2001 census, collectors may be allocated more than one urban collection district because of their size.
In urban areas collection districts average about 220 dwellings. In rural areas the number of dwellings per collection district reduces as population densities decrease. For the 2016 census there were 358,122'mesh blocks' and 57,523 spatial Statistical Area Level 1 regions defined throughout Australia; the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and Privacy Act 1988 guarantee that no personally-identifiable information is released from the ABS to other government organisations, or the public. However the ABS makes confidential census data available to researchers, who must make various legal commitments before being given access. In the 1970s there was public debate about the census. In 1979 the Law Reform Commission reported on the Census. One of the key elements under question was the inclusion of names, it was found. On 18 December 2015, the ABS announced that it will retain name and address data collected in the 2016 census for up to four years; this was an increase from 18 months in the 2011 censuses.
From 1971 to 1996 the ABS had a policy of destruction of the original census forms and their electronic representations, as well as field records. Prior to that it appears there was no explicit policy of destruction, but most material had been destroyed because of lack of storage facilities; however the 2001 census offered, for the first time, an option to have personal data archived by the National Archives of Australia and released to the public 99 years and in 2001 54% of Australians agreed to do so. Indigenous Australians in contact with the colonists were enumerated at many of the colonial censuses; when the Federation of Australia occurred in 1901, the new Constitution contained a provision, which said: "In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted." In 1967, a referendum was held which approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to indigenous Australians. The second of the two amendments deleted Section 127 from the Constitution.
It was believed at the time of the referendum, is still said, that Section 127 meant that aboriginal people were not counted in Commonwealth censuses before 1967. In fact section 127 related to calculating the population of the states and territories for the purpose of allocating seats in Parliament and per capita Commonwealth grants, its purpose was to prevent Queensland and Western Australia using their large aboriginal populations to gain extra seats or extra funds. Thus the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics interpreted Section 127 as meaning that they may enumerate "aboriginal natives" but that they must be excluded from published tabulations of population. Aboriginal people living in settled areas were counted to a greater or lesser extent in all censuses before 1967; the first Commonwealth Statistician, George Handley Knibbs, obtained a legal opinion that "persons of the half blood" or less are not "aboriginal natives" for the purposes of the Constitution. At the first Australian census in 1911 only those "aboriginal natives" living near white settlements were enumerated, the main population tables included only those of half or less aboriginal descent.
Details of "half-caste" (but not "ful
Jan Pieterszoon Coen
Jan Pieterszoon Coen was an officer of the Dutch East India Company in Indonesia in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. He was the founder of the capital city of the Dutch East Indies. Renowned for providing the impulse that set the VOC on the path to dominance in the Dutch East Indies, he was long considered a national hero in the Netherlands. Since the independence of Indonesia he has been looked at in a more critical light because of the way he took back the islands in the Banda SeaFurther but more extensive actions perpetrated by order of Coen, are recounted in a BBC Television documentary series "The Spice Trail"; the program contains details of wanton acts of destruction committed by the Dutch in the spice islands of eastern Indonesia, the purpose of, to create scarcity of natural produce in order to maintain price levels. Coen was born at Hoorn on 8 January 1587 and raised by his family in accordance with strict Calvinist principles.
In 1601 he travelled to Rome to study trade in the offices of the Fleming Joost de Visscher, where he learned the art of bookkeeping. Joining the Dutch United East India Company, he made trading voyages to East Indies in 1607 with the fleet of Pieter Verhoeff. During the journey, Verhoeff and 50 of his men were killed during negotiations with the chiefs of the Banda Islands. After his return to Holland in 1610, Coen submitted an important report on trade possibilities in Southeast Asia to the company's directors; as a result of this report, he was again sent overseas, with the rank of chief merchant. On the second trip he acquitted himself so well of his commission, made himself so remarkable by the success of his practice of commerce, that in October 1613 was appointed accountant-general of all VOC offices in East Indies and president of the head office in Bantam and of Jacatra. In 1614, he was made director-general, second in command. On 25 October 1617 the XVII Lords of the VOC appointed him their fourth governor-general in the East Indies.
As a merchant and Calvinist, Coen was convinced of the necessity of strict enforcement of contracts entered into with Asian rulers. He therefore aided Indonesian princes against their indigenous rivals or against other European powers and was given commercial monopolies for the company in return, thus the Dutch, at the price of heavy military and naval investment gained control of the area's rich spice trade. Between 1614 and 1618, Coen secured a clove monopoly in the Moluccas and a nutmeg monopoly in the Banda Islands; the inhabitants of Banda had been selling the spices to the English, despite contracts with the VOC which obliged them to sell only to the VOC, at low prices. In 1621, he led an armed assault of Banda using Japanese mercenaries, taking the island of Lonthor by force after encountering some fierce resistance by cannons that the natives had acquired from the English. Many thousands of inhabitants were massacred and replaced by slave labour from other islands to make way for Dutch planters.
Of the 15,000 inhabitants it is believed only about a thousand survived on the island. Eight hundred people were deported to Batavia. On account of disputes at the head office in Bantam with natives, the Chinese, the English, the VOC desired a better central headquarters. Coen thus directed more of the company's trade through Jakarta, where it had established a factory in 1610. However, not trusting the native ruler, he decided in 1618 to convert the Dutch warehouses into a fort. While away on an expedition the English had taken control over the town. Coen managed to reconquer Jakarta in 1619 with fire destroying most of the town during the process, he rebuilt the city and fort, thus founded on its ruins the new Dutch town, which he forthwith proclaimed the capital of the Dutch East Indies. In 1621 the city was renamed Batavia. Coen didn't get his way. In 1622 Coen revisited Europe. On 1 February 1623, he handed his post to Pieter de Carpentier and returned to the Netherlands, where he was given a hero's welcome off the coast of Texel.
He became head of the VOC chamber in Hoorn and worked on establishing new policies. During his absence from the East Indies, difficulties with the English were exacerbated by the Amboyna massacre. On 3 October 1624 he was reappointed governor-general in the East Indies, but his departure was hindered by the English. In 1625, he married Eva Ment, in 1627 departed incognito for the East Indies with his wife, their newborn child and her brother and sister, starting work on 30 September 1627. After his arrival, the English established their headquarters in Bantam. Twice during Coen's term in office, Sultan Agung of Mataram besieged Batavia, in 1628 and 1629. Agung's military was poorly armed and had inadequate provisions of food, was never able to capture the city. During Agung's second siege Coen died on 21 September 1629 due to the cholera outbreak in Batavia during this siege. At the graveyard of Sultan Agung in Imogiri, there is a persistent item of folklore, that Coen's remains were stolen from his grave in Jakarta, placed under the steps leading up to Agung's grave.
Coen was known in his time on account of strict governance and harsh criticism of people who did not share his views. A famed quote of his from 1618, "Despair not, spare your enemies not, for God is with us", illustrates that Coen did not hesitate to use cruel measures to accomplish his goals and that he used his faith in God to justify his actions; this goal was to gain monopoly over the spices market. The most controver
Cape York Peninsula
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia; the land is flat and about half of the area is used for grazing cattle. The undisturbed eucalyptus-wooded savannahs, tropical rainforests and other types of habitat are now recognized and preserved for their global environmental significance, but native wildlife is threatened by introduced species and weeds. In 1606, Dutch sailor Willem Janszoon on board the Duyfken reached Australia as its first known European explorer, discovering the Cape York Peninsula. In February 1606, Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon landed near the site of what is now Weipa, on the western shore of Cape York – This was the first recorded landing of a European in Australia, it marked the first reported contact between European and Aboriginal Australian people. Edmund Kennedy was the first European explorer to attempt an overland expedition of Cape York Peninsula, he had been second-in-command to Thomas Livingstone Mitchell in 1846 when the Barcoo River was discovered.
The aim was to establish a route to the tip of the peninsula, where Sydney businessmen were attempting development of a port for trade with the East Indies. The expedition set out from Rockingham Bay near the present town of Cardwell in May 1848, it turned out to be one of the great disasters of Australian exploration. Of the thirteen men who set out, only three survived; the others were speared by hostile aborigines. Kennedy died of spear wounds within sight of his destination in December 1848; the only survivor to complete the journey was an aborigine from New South Wales. He led a rescue party to the other two, unable to continue; the peninsula was reached in 1864 when the brothers Francis Lascelles and Alexander William Jardine, along with eight companions, drove a mob of cattle from Rockhampton to the new settlement of Somerset where the Jardines’ father was commander. En route they lost most of their horses, many of their stores and fought pitched battles with Aborigines arriving in March 1865.
The west coast borders the Gulf of Carpentaria and the east coast borders the Coral Sea. The peninsula is bordered on three sides. There is no clear demarcation to the south, although the official boundary in the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 of Queensland runs along at about 16°S latitude. At the peninsula’s widest point, it is 430 km from the Bloomfield River in the southeast, across to the west coast just south of the aboriginal community of Kowanyama, it is some 660 km from the southern border of Cook Shire, to the tip of Cape York. The largest islands in the strait include Prince of Wales Island, Horn Island and Badu Island. At the tip of the peninsula lies Cape York, the northernmost point on the Australian mainland, it was named by Lieutenant James Cook on 21 August 1770 in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of York and Albany, a brother of King George III of the United Kingdom, who had died three years earlier: The point of the Main, which forms one side of the Passage before mentioned, and, the Northern Promontory of this Country, I have named York Cape, in honour of his late Royal Highness, the Duke of York.
The tropical landscapes are among the most stable in the world. Long undisturbed by tectonic activity, the peninsula is an eroded level low plain dominated by meandering rivers and vast floodplains, with some low hills rising to 800 m elevation in the McIlwraith Range on the eastern side around Coen; the backbone of Cape York Peninsula is the peninsula ridge, part of Australia’s Great Dividing Range. This mountain range is made up of ancient Palaeozoic rocks. To the east and west of the peninsula ridge lie the Carpentaria and Laura Basins, themselves made up of ancient Mesozoic sediments. There are several outstanding landforms on the peninsula: the large expanses of undisturbed dunefields at the eastern coast around Shelburne Bay and Cape Bedford-Cape Flattery; the soils are remarkably infertile compared to other areas of Australia, being entirely laterised and in most cases so old and weathered that little development is apparent today. It is because of this extraordinary soil poverty that the region is so thinly settled: the soils are so unworkable and unresponsive to fertilisers that attempts to grow commercial crops have failed.
The climate on Cape York Peninsula is tropical and monsoonal, with a heavy monsoon season from November to April, during which time the forest becomes uninhabitable, a dry season from May to October. The temperature is warm to hot, with a cooler climate in higher areas; the mean annual temperatures range from 18 °C at higher elevations to 27 °C on the lowlands in the drier southwest. Temperatures over 40 °C and below 5 °C are rare. Annual rainfall is high, ranging from over 2,000 millimetres in the Iron Range and north of Weipa to about 700 millimetres at the southern border. All this rain falls between November and April, only on the eastern slopes of the Iron Range is the median rainfall between June and September above 5 millimetres. Between January and March, the median monthly rainfall ranges from about 170 millimetres in the south to over 500 millimetres in the north and on the Iron Range; the Peninsula Ridge forms the drainage divide between the Gulf of Car
Cairns is a city in the Cairns Region, Australia. It is on the east coast of Far North Queensland; the city is the 5th-most-populous in ranks 14th overall in Australia. Cairns was founded in 1876 and named after William Wellington Cairns, Governor of Queensland from 1875 to 1877, it was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but declined when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane and other metals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region; the population of the Cairns urban area at the 2016 Census was 144,787. Based on 2015 data, the associated local government area has experienced an average annual growth rate of 2.3% over the last 10 years. Cairns is a popular tourist destination because of its tropical climate and access to both nearby tropical rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Prior to British settlement, the Cairns area was inhabited by the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people, who still claim their Native Title rights.
The area is known in the local Yidiny language as Gimuy. From 1770 to the early 1870s the area was known to the British as Trinity Bay; the arrival of beche de mer fishermen from the late 1860s saw the first European presence in the area. On the site of the modern-day Cairns foreshore, there was a large native well, used by these fishermen. A violent confrontation occurred in 1872 between local Yidinji people and Phillip Garland, a beche de mer fisherman, over the use of this well; the area from this date was subsequently called Battle Camp. In 1876, hastened by the need to export gold mined from the Hodgkinson goldfields on the tablelands to the west, closer investigation by several official expeditions established its potential for development into a port. Brinsley G. Sheridan surveyed the area and selected a place further up Trinity Inlet known to the diggers as Smith's Landing for a settlement which he renamed Thornton. However, after Native Police officers Alexander Douglas-Douglas and Robert Arthur Johnstone opened a new track from the goldfields to Battle Camp, this more coastal site became preferable.
Battle Camp was renamed Cairns in late 1876 in honour of the Governor of Queensland, William Cairns. The site was sand ridges. Labourers cleared the swamps, the sand ridges were filled with dried mud, sawdust from local sawmills, ballast from a quarry at Edge Hill. Debris from the construction of a railway to Herberton on the Atherton Tableland, a project which started in 1886, was used; the railway opened up land used for agriculture on the lowlands, for fruit and dairy production on the Tableland. The success of local agriculture helped establish Cairns as a port, the creation of a harbour board in 1906 supported its economic future. On 25 April 1926, the Cairns Sailors and Soldiers War Memorial was unveiled by Alexander Frederick Draper, the mayor of the City of Cairns. During World War II, the Allied Forces used Cairns as a staging base for operations in the Pacific, with United States Army Air Forces and Royal Australian Air Force operational bases, as well as a major military seaplane base in Trinity Inlet, United States Navy and Royal Australian Navy bases near the current wharf.
Combat missions were flown out of Cairns in support of the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942. Edmonton and White Rock south of Cairns were major military supply areas and U. S. Paratroopers trained at the Goldsborough Valley. A Special Forces training base was established at the old "Fairview" homestead on Munro's Hill, Mooroobool; this base was known as the Z Experimental Station, but referred to informally as "The House on the Hill". After World War II, Cairns developed into a centre for tourism; the opening of the Cairns International Airport in 1984 helped establish the city as a desirable destination for international tourism. According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 144,787 people in Cairns. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 8.9% of the population. 67.9% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 4.0%, New Zealand 3.1%, Papua New Guinea 1.5%, Philippines 1.2% and Japan 1.1%. 76.9% of people only spoke English at home.
Other languages spoken at home included Japanese 1.6%, Mandarin 0.8%, Italian 0.7%, Korean 0.7% and German 0.6%. The most common responses for religion were No Religion 32.1%, Catholic 22.4% and Anglican 13.2%. Cairns is located on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula on a coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range; the northern part of the city is located on Trinity Bay and the city centre is located on Trinity Inlet. To the south of the Trinity Inlet lies the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah; some of the city's suburbs are located on flood plains. The Mulgrave River and Barron River flow within the greater Cairns area but not through the CBD; the city's centre foreshore is located on a mud flat. Cairns is a provincial city, with a linear urban layout that runs from the south at Edmonton to the north at Ellis Beach; the city is 52 km from north to south. The Northern Beaches consist of a number of beach communities extending north along the coast. In general, each beach suburb is at the end of a spur road extending from the Captain Cook Highway.
From south to north, these are Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Park, Trinity B
Time in Australia
Australia uses three main time zones: Australian Western Standard Time, Australian Central Standard Time, Australian Eastern Standard Time. Time is regulated by the individual state governments. Australia's external territories observe different time zones. Standard time was introduced in the 1890s. Before the switch to standard time zones, each local city or town was free to determine its local time, called local mean time. Now, Western Australia uses Western Standard Time. Daylight saving time is used in states in the south and south-east - South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, it is not used in Western Australia, the Northern Territory or Queensland. The standardisation of time in Australia began in 1892, when surveyors from the six colonies in Australia met in Melbourne for the Intercolonial Conference of Surveyors; the delegates accepted the recommendation of the 1884 International Meridian Conference to adopt Greenwich Mean Time as the basis for standard time. The colonies enacted time zone legislation, which took effect in February 1895.
The clocks were set ahead of GMT by 8 hours in Western Australia. The three time zones became known as Western Standard Time, Central Standard Time, Eastern Standard Time. Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales adopted Central Standard Time due to it being connected by rail to Adelaide but not Sydney at the time. On 1 May 1899 at 12:00AM local time, South Australia advanced Central Standard Time by thirty minutes after lobbying by businesses who wanted to be closer to Melbourne time and cricketers and footballers who wanted more daylight to practice in the evenings disregarding the common international practice of setting one-hour intervals between adjacent time zones. Attempts to correct these oddities in 1986 and 1994 were rejected; when the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and placed under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, that Territory kept Central Standard Time. When the ACT was broken off from New South Wales, it retained Eastern Standard Time. Since 1899, the only major changes in Australian time zones have been the setting of clocks to one-half hour earlier than Eastern time on the territory of Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island changing from UTC+11:30 to UTC+11:00 on 4 October 2015.
When abbreviating "Australian Central Time" and "Australian Eastern Time", in domestic contexts the leading "Australian" may be omitted. Though the governments of the states and territories have the power to legislate variations in time, the standard time within each of these is set related to Coordinated Universal Time as determined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures and set by section 8AA of the National Measurement Act of 1960 of the Commonwealth. Australia has kept a version of the UTC atomic time scale since the 1990s, but Greenwich Mean Time remained the formal basis for the standard times of all of the states until 2005. In November 2004, the state and territory attorneys-general endorsed a proposal from the Australian National Measurement Institute to adopt UTC as the standard of all Australian standard times, thereby eliminating the effects of slight variations in the rate of rotation of the Earth that are inherent in mean solar time. All states have adopted the UTC standard, starting on 1 September 2005.
In Victoria, South Australia and the ACT, the starting and ending dates of daylight saving times are determined by proclamations, declarations, or regulation made by the State Governor or by the responsible minister. Such instruments may be valid for only the current year, so this section only refers to the legislation. In New South Wales and Western Australia, the starting and ending dates, if any, are to be set by legislation. Western Standard Time – UTC+08:00 Western Australia – Standard Time Act 2005Central Standard Time – UTC+09:30 South Australia – Standard Time Act 2009 and the Daylight Saving Act 1971 Northern Territory – Standard Time Act 2005Eastern Standard Time – UTC+10:00 Queensland – Standard Time Act 1894 New South Wales – Standard Time Act 1987 No 149 Australian Capital Territory – Standard Time and Summer Time Act 1972 Victoria – Summer Time Act 1972 Tasmania – Standard Time Act 1895 and the Daylight Saving Act 2007 The choice of whether to use DST is a matter for the governments of the individual states and territories.
However, during World War I and World War II all states and territories used daylight saving time. In 1968 Tasmania became the first state in peacetime to use DST, followed in 1971 by New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory. Western Australia and the Northern Territory did not adopt it. Queensland abandoned DST in 1972. Queensland and Western Australia have used DST during the past 40 years during trial periods; the main DST zones are the following: Central Daylight Saving Time – UTC+10:30, in South Australia Eastern Daylight Saving Time – UTC+11:00, in New South Wales, the ACT, TasmaniaDuring the usual
Government of Queensland
The Government of Queensland referred to as the Queensland Government, is the Australian state democratic administrative authority of Queensland. The Government of Queensland, a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, was formed in 1859 as prescribed in its Constitution, as amended from time to time. Since the Federation of Australia in 1901, Queensland has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Constitution of Australia regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth. Under the Australian Constitution, Queensland ceded legislative and judicial supremacy to the Commonwealth, but retained powers in all matters not in conflict with the Commonwealth. Key state government offices are located at 1 William Street in the Brisbane central business district; the Government of Queensland operates under the Westminster system, a form of parliamentary government based on the model of the United Kingdom. The Governor of Queensland, as the representative of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, holds nominal power, although in practice only performs ceremonial duties.
The Parliament of Queensland holds legislative power, while executive power lies with the Premier and Cabinet, judicial power is exercised by a system of courts and tribunals. The Parliament of Queensland is the state's legislature, it consists of Her Majesty The Queen, a single chamber. Queensland is the only Australian state with a unicameral parliament after a second chamber, the Legislative Council, was abolished in 1922; the Legislative Assembly has 93 members. Elections for the Legislative Assembly are held every four years; the Cabinet of Queensland is the government's chief policy-making organ, consists of the Premier and all ministers. The Queensland Government delivers services, determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies grouped under areas of portfolio responsibility; each portfolio is led by a government minister, a member of the Parliament. As of April 2016 there were nineteen lead agencies, called government departments, that consist of: Department of the Premier and Cabinet Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Department of Education and Training Department of Energy and Water Supply Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Queensland Health Department of Housing and Public Works Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Department of Justice and Attorney-General Department of National Parks and Racing Department of Natural Resources and Mines Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation Department of State Development Department of Transport and Main Roads Queensland Treasury Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth GamesA range of other agencies support the functions of these departments.
The judiciary of Queensland consists of the Magistrates Court, the District Court, the Supreme Court, as well as a number of smaller courts and tribunals. The Chief Justice of Queensland is the state's most senior judicial officer; the Magistrates Court is the lowest tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland. The court's criminal jurisdiction covers summary offences, indictable offences which may be heard summarily, but all criminal proceedings in Queensland begin in the Magistrates Court if they are not within this jurisdiction. For charges beyond its jurisdiction, the court conducts committal hearings in which the presiding magistrate decides, based on the strength of the evidence, whether to refer the matter to a higher court or dismiss it; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is less than or equal to $150,000. Appeals against decisions by the Magistrates Court are heard by the District Court; the District Court is the middle tier of the judicial hierarchy of Queensland.
The court has jurisdiction to hear all appeals from decisions made in the Magistrates Court. Its criminal jurisdiction covers serious indictable offences; the court's civil jurisdiction covers matters in which the amount in dispute is more than $150,000 but less than or equal to $750,000. Appeals against decisions by the District Court are heard by the Court of Appeal, a division of the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court is the highest tier of the judicial hierarchy Queensland. The court has two divisions; the Trial Division's jurisdiction covers serious criminal offences, civil matters involving claims of more than $750,000. The Court of Appeal's jurisdiction allows it to hear cases on appeal from the Trial Division, the District Court, a number of other judicial tribunals in Queensland. Appeals against decisions by the Court of Appeal are heard by the High Court of Australia. There are several factors; the legislature has no upper house. For a large portion of its history, the state was under a gerrymander that favoured rural electorates.
This, combined with the decentralised nature of Queensland, meant that politics has been dominated by regional interests. Queensland, along with New South Wales operated a balloting system known as Optional Preferential Voting for state elections; this is different from the predominant Australian electoral system, the instant-runoff voting system, in practice is closer to a first past the post ballot, which some say is to the
Aboriginal Australian is a collective term for all the indigenous peoples from the Australian mainland and Tasmania. This group contains many separate cultures that have developed in the various environments of Australia for more than 50,000 years; these peoples have a broadly shared, though complex, genetic history, but it is only in the last two hundred years that they have been defined and started to self identify as a single group. The exact definition of the term Aboriginal Australian has changed over time and place, with the importance of family lineage, self identification and community acceptance all being of varying importance. In the past Aboriginal Australians lived over large sections of the continental shelf and were isolated on many of the smaller offshore islands, once the land was inundated at the start of the inter-glacial. However, they are distinct from the Torres Strait Islander people, despite extensive cultural exchange. Today Aboriginal Australians comprise 3.1% of Australia's population.
They live throughout the world as part of the Australia diaspora. Before extensive European settlement, there were over 200 Aboriginal languages. However, today most Aboriginal people speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English, they have a number of health and economic deprivations in comparison with the wider Australian community. A new definition was proposed in the Constitutional Section of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs' Report on a Review of the Administration of the Working Definition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders: An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he lives. Justice Gerard Brennan in his leading judgment in Mabo v Queensland stated: Membership of the Indigenous people depends on biological descent from the Indigenous people and on mutual recognition of a particular person's membership by that person and by the elders or other persons enjoying traditional authority among those people.
The category "Aboriginal Australia" was coined by the British after they began colonising Australia in 1788, to refer collectively to all people they found inhabiting the continent, to the descendants of any of those people. Until the 1980s, the sole legal and administrative criterion for inclusion in this category was race, classified according to visible physical characteristics or known ancestors; as in the British slave colonies of North America and the Caribbean, where the principle of partus sequitur ventrem was adopted from 1662, children's status was determined by that of their mothers: if born to Aboriginal mothers, children were considered Aboriginal, regardless of their paternity. In the era of colonial and post-colonial government, access to basic human rights depended upon your race. If you were a "full-blooded Aboriginal native... any person having an admixture of Aboriginal blood", a half-caste being the "offspring of an Aboriginal mother and other than Aboriginal father", a "quadroon", or had a "strain" of Aboriginal blood you were forced to live on Reserves or Missions, work for rations, given minimal education, needed governmental approval to marry, visit relatives or use electrical appliances.
The Constitution of Australia, in its original form as of 1901, referred to Aboriginals twice, but without definition. Section 51 gave the Commonwealth parliament a power to legislate with respect to "the people of any race" throughout the Commonwealth, except for people of "the aboriginal race"; the purpose of this provision was to give the Commonwealth power to regulate non-white immigrant workers, who would follow work opportunities interstate. The only other reference, Section 127, provided that "aboriginal natives shall not be counted" in reckoning the size of the population of the Commonwealth or any part of it; the purpose of Section 127 was to prevent the inclusion of Aboriginal people in Section 24 determinations of the distribution of House of Representatives seats amongst the states and territories. After these references were removed by the 1967 referendum, the Australian Constitution had no references to Aboriginals. Since that time, there have been a number of proposals to amend the constitution to mention Indigenous Australians.
The change to Section 51 enabled the Commonwealth parliament to enact laws with respect to Aboriginal peoples as a "race". In the Tasmanian Dam Case of 1983, the High Court of Australia was asked to determine whether Commonwealth legislation, whose application could relate to Aboriginal people—parts of the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 as well as related legislation—was supported by Section 51 in its new form; the case concerned an application of legislation that would preserve the cultural heritage of Aboriginal Tasmanians. It was held that Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, together or separately, any part of either, could be regarded as a "race" for this purpose; as to the criteria for identifying a person as a member of such a "race", the definition by Justice Deane has become accepted as current law. Deane said: It is unnecessary, for the purposes of the present case, to consider the meaning to be given to the phrase "people of any race" in s. 51. Plainly, the words have a wide and non-technical meaning....
The phrase is, in my view, apposite to refer to all Australian Aboriginals collectively. Any doubt, which might otherwise exist in that regard, is removed