The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the world's smallest continent and a number of islands in the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia's neighbouring countries are Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.
The continent of Australia has been inhabited for over 40,000 years by Indigenous Australians. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. The current population of over 20 million is concentrated mainly in the large coastal cities of Sydney , Melbourne , Brisbane , Perth and Adelaide .
The capital of Australia is Canberra (Australia Capital Territory)
The Australian federal parliament directly administers the following territories: Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Australian Antarctic Territory, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Jervis Bay Territory
Australia is divided into 6 states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and 2 territories; the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
Australia is divided into three separate time zones.
AEST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 10 hours (GMT +10).
ACST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 9 ½ hours (GMT +9 ½).
Covers Western Australia .
AWST is equal to Greenwich Mean Time plus 8 hours (GMT +8).
Australian states except Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia have daylight saving during the summer months. Western Australia operated experimental Summer Time from 2006 - 2009.
The National Standards Commission (Commonwealth statutory authority established in 1950 and operating under the National Measurement Act 1960)
The Commission is responsible for advising the Government on the scientific, technical and legislative requirements of Australia's national measurement system, and has specific responsibilities for coordinating the national measurement system, ensuring that trade measurement instruments comply with international and national legal metrology standards, and for the completion of metrication.
Changed from 2007-2008. Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time) runs in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria. South Australia and Tasmania from the first Sunday in October through to the first Sunday in April.