New South Wales

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New South Wales
Flag of New South Wales Coat of Arms of New South Wales
(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Motto: "Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites" (Newly Risen, How Brightly You Shine)
Nickname: First State, Premier State
Map of Australia with New South Wales highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Capital Sydney
Government Const. monarchy
Professor Marie Bashir
Morris Iemma (ALP)
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
809,444 km² (5th)
800,642 km²
8,802 km² (1.09%)
Population (End of March 2005)
 - Population
 - Density
6,764,600 (1st)
8.45/km² (3rd)
Gross State Product (2001-02)
 - Product ($m)
 - Product per capita
$243,171 (1st)
$36,614/person (5th)
Time zone UTC+10 (+11 DST)
Federal representation
 - House seats
 - Senate seats
 - Highest
 - Lowest
Mount Kosciuszko (2,229m)
 - Postal
 - ISO 3166-2

New South Wales (NSW) is Australia's most populous and oldest state, located in the south-east, north of Victoria and south of Queensland. It was founded in 1788 and originally comprised much of the Australian mainland. During the 19th century large areas were successively separated to form the British colonies of Tasmania (1825), Victoria (1851), Queensland (1859), and South Australia (which at that time included what is now the Northern Territory). In 1901 these colonies plus Western Australia federated to form the "Commonwealth of Australia".

New South Wales is known the world over for the picturesque harbour of its capital, Sydney. Sydney is Australia's oldest and largest city and a centre of international finance. Sydney was the host city of the 2000 Olympic Summer Games.




Its four main cities from north to south are Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, and Wollongong which all lie along the coast. Towns include Albury, Broken Hill, Dubbo, Tamworth, Armidale, Lismore, Nowra, Griffith, Leeton, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn and Coffs Harbour.

The state is bordered on the north by Queensland, on the west by South Australia, and on the south by Victoria. Its coast faces the Tasman Sea. New South Wales contains two Federal enclaves: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and the Jervis Bay Territory.

New South Wales can be divided physically into four sections:

  • A thin coastal strip, with climates warming from cool temperate on the far south coast to subtropical near the Queensland border, including the regions south of Sydney such as the Illawarra , the Shoalhaven near Nowra, Newcastle and the Central Coast and the North Coast, North of The Hunter, as well as others.
  • The mountainous areas of the Great Dividing Range and the high country surrounding them. Whilst not particularly steep, many peaks rise above 1000 m, with the highest Mount Kosciuszko at 2229 m (7308 ft). This includes the Southern Highlands, Central Tablelands and the New England regions.
  • The agricultural plains that fill a significant portion of the state's area, with a much sparser population than the coast, includes The Riverina area around Wagga Wagga.
  • The arid plains in the far north-west of the state, which are unsuitable for settlements of any notable size.
New South Wales showing highways connecting towns and major centres
New South Wales showing highways connecting towns and major centres


Main article: Government of New South Wales

The form of the Government of New South Wales is prescribed in its Constitution, which dates from 1856, although it has been amended many times since then. Since 1901 New South Wales has been a state of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Australian Constitution regulates its relationship with the Commonwealth.

Under the Australian Constitution, New South Wales ceded certain legislative and judicial powers to the Commonwealth, but retained complete independence in all other areas. The New South Wales Constitution says: "The Legislature shall, subject to the provisions of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, have power to make laws for the peace, welfare, and good government of New South Wales in all cases whatsoever." In practice, however, the independence of the Australian states has been greatly eroded by the increasing financial domination of the Commonwealth.

The State Parliament is composed of two houses, the Legislative Assembly (lower house), and the Legislative Council (upper house). The head of the State Government is the Premier, currently Morris Iemma.


New South Wales has a Gross Domestic Product of AU$265,966,000,000, which equalled AU$39,950 per capita, in 2003. This was equal to US$30,277, above the major European Union economies.

Another New South Wales

The Australian region was not the first piece of land to be called New South Wales. A map of North America printed in the 1780s gave the name New South Wales to a mostly unexplored area along the south shore of Hudson's Bay where the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario now lie.

External links

See also

Flag of Australia
States and mainland territories
Australian Capital Territory | New South Wales | Northern Territory | Queensland | South Australia | Tasmania | Victoria | Western Australia
Jervis Bay Territory
External territories
Ashmore and Cartier Islands | Australian Antarctic Territory | Christmas Island | Cocos (Keeling) Islands | Coral Sea Islands | Heard Island and McDonald Islands | Norfolk Island
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