According to abbreviationfinder, Perth is the capital of Western Australia, in the estuary of the Swan River, which expands like a lake in the urban area, (2018) 2.0 million residents in the metropolitan area (urban region with an area of 3,698 km 2), which, among other things, also includes Fremantle; 76% of the population of Western Australia is concentrated here.
The city center is 15 km from the sea, the urban region extends over more than 100 km along the coast of the Indian Ocean. Seat of an Anglican and a Catholic archbishop; four universities, technical university, astronomical observatory, scientific institute of geology; State library, historical and state museum, other museums, art gallery; botanical and zoological garden (in South Perth).
Perth is the commercial and financial center of Western Australia (including the business base for the development and exploitation of the natural resources of the Pilbara region), the metropolitan area is the most important industrial center of the state (industrial locations mainly in the suburbs of Kwinana, Spearwood, Canningvale and Welshpool). Energy is supplied by a natural gas pipeline from the north-west shelf area. Perth is the terminus of the transcontinental railroad from Sydney (“Indian Pacific”) and the junction of the Western Australian road network; Redcliffe International Airport.
The most famous sights are the Old Mill (1835; now a museum), the Old Court House (1836) and the former prison (1856; now an art gallery). Numerous high-rise office buildings for banks and commercial enterprises shape the image of the city.
Founded in 1829, Perth received city status in 1856. At the end of the 19th century, the city experienced rapid growth in the wake of the gold rush. After the Second World War, Perth was the destination of numerous British, Greek and Italian immigrants.
Industry (including mining and construction) has a share of 23.5% (2017) of the gross domestic product (GDP). In terms of sales, the food and beverage industry comes first, followed by mechanical and plant engineering, the metalworking and chemical industries, including coal and petroleum processing. In the automotive industry, major US and Japanese manufacturers had their own production facilities in Australia, but these were closed by 2017. The jobs that have been lost are to be absorbed by building up an armaments industry. Other industrial sectors (wood processing, paper, printing, textile and clothing industries) have smaller shares in the industrial structure. The states of Victoria and New South Wales account for almost two thirds of industrial production, almost equally. The respective capitals Melbourne and Sydney are the largest industrial locations. Queensland and Western Australia follow at a great distance.
“The Ghan” – an Australian railway legend
Since spring 2004, Australia has been able to be crossed completely by rail for the first time in a north-south direction. This was made possible by the construction of the last remaining section of the 2,979-kilometer rail link between Adelaide on the Great Australian Bight in the south and Darwin on the Timor Sea coast in the north. The train is en route for 47 hours and the traveler spends two nights in the comfortably equipped compartments.
The settlement areas on the coasts, separated by deserts and huge distances, forced the Australians to adopt an unprecedented pioneering spirit to overcome the vastness of their continent. John McDouall Stuart (* 1815, † 1866), who had learned to survive in the outback from the Aborigines, was the first to cross the Australian continent in a north-south direction in 1862. His expedition prepared the construction of the telegraph line between Port Augusta and Darwin. Camel caravans, the “Camel Trains”, carried the goods through the inhospitable areas of Central Australia, oxen and horses were not suitable for the extremely dry climate. Afghans, Persians and Turks came to the country as camel drivers. The name of the train, »The Ghan«, is reminiscent of the Afghan drivers.
Around 1870 the visions for the construction of a railway line across the continent began to take shape. 30 years later, sections of the route in the north from Darwin to Pine Creek and in the south from Adelaide to Oodnadatta had been expanded. The wealth of the outback – mineral resources such as gold, copper and opal – was easier to transport by rail, and the miners got to the mining areas more quickly. In 1929 the connection reached from Adelaide to the city of Alice Springs in the middle of the continent. From that year “The Ghan” rolled through the barren desert landscape of the outback and quickly became a railway legend.
After the Second World War, construction began on a new route, which runs further west from Port Augusta. In 1975 it was put into operation. Many places along the old route were deserted, their fate was linked for better or for worse to the railroad. Finally, in 2001, construction began on the last northern section from Alice Springs to Darwin. The single-track route mainly leads through plains and plains, but 97 bridges had to be rebuilt. The Aborigines, whose settlement areas the railway crosses, were included in the planning, in particular the route should not disturb the holy places of the indigenous people. On January 15, 2004, the maiden voyage of the first passenger train on the new connection took place. In the future, the railway will also handle a large part of the freight traffic. It is uncertain whether the hope of the city of Darwin of becoming a major export port and “bridgehead to Asia” through the railroad will be fulfilled. But the railway legend will undoubtedly be a great success for tourism.