AUSTRAL REALM Topics: • Australia’s amazing biogeography • Australia’s Asian turn • China coveting of Australian commodities • Aboriginal claims to land and resources • Foreign policy dilemmas Down Under • New Zealand’s matchless physiography MAJOR GEOGRAPHIC QUALITIES • Australia and New Zealand constitute a geographic realm by virtue of territorial dimensions, relative location, and dominant cultural landscape. • Differ physiographically: ‒ Australia—vast, dry, low- relief interior. ‒ New Zealand—mountainous with a temperate climate. • Marked by peripheral development—Australia because of its aridity and New Zealand because of its topography. MAJOR GEOGRAPHIC QUALITIES • Populations peripherally distributed and highly clustered in urban centers. • Economic geography dominated by the export of livestock, specialty goods, wheat, mineral resources. • Integrated into the economic framework of the Asian Pacific Rim as suppliers of raw materials. • Heightened immigration from neighboring realms— Australia is “returning” to Asia. Land and Environment Plate Tectonics and Landscapes • Australian Plate (most of the continent): ‒ Stable ‒ Great Dividing Range ‒ Great Artesian Basin ‒ Murray-Darling River System ‒ Western Plateau and Margins • New Zealand (border of Australian and Pacific Plates). ‒ Earthquakes ‒ Volcanoes ‒ Mountains Climates • Australia ‒ Latitudinal position (Am-Cfb). • Humid temperate in the east • Eastern humid temperate • Mediterranean in the south and southwest ‒ Interior isolation • Desert and steppe • New Zealand ‒ Under influence of Southern and Pacific Oceans (Cfb-H). • Moderate, moist conditions • Island nation • Variation north-to-south, coast at sea level to high elevation. The Southern Ocean •Surrounding Antarctica. •Subtropical Convergence—marine transition where cold, dense waters meet warmer waters of other three oceans. ‒ Change in temperature, chemistry, salinity, and marine fauna. •West Wind Drift—the body of water circulates clockwise around Antarctica. Biogeography •Australia’s Distinctive Flora/Fauna. ‒ Marsupials—Animals whose young are born very early in their development and then are carried in an abdominal pouch. • Examples: kangaroo, koala, platypus. ‒ Keystone plant species: Eucalyptus tree. •Biogeography—study of distribution of fauna and flora. ‒Zoogeographical Regions— Physical location of animal life divided into zones. ‒Wallace’s Line vs. Weber’s Line: where is the correct divide located? •Aboriginal population arrival (50,000 years ago). ‒ Appears to have caused an ecosystem collapse. ‒ Widespread burning of existing forest, shrub, and grasslands led to spread of desert scrub and caused the rapid extinction of large mammals. •Arrival of Europeans and livestock. ‒ Further destruction of remaining wildlife habitats. ‒ Big game hunting and extinctions. ‒ Change in land use patterns. Regions of the Realm = • Australia • New Zealand Historical Geography •Aboriginal societies were longestablished, isolated human populations in this realm. •Arrival of Europeans doomed the Aboriginals; loss of lands, rights, cultures. The Seven Colonies •Major coastal settlements became centers of seven colonies. •Pattern of straight-line boundaries. •Northern Territory—Darwin ‒ Largest clusters of Aboriginals. ‒ Forced European assimilation. ‒ Anti-Asian immigration. Australia Successful Federation •1901—Commonwealth of Australia ‒ 6 States ‒ 2 Federal Territories • Northern Territory to protect the interests of Aboriginal populations. • Australian Capital Territory. • Federal capital of Canberra. •Federation—association among territories sharing autonomy with a central government. •Unitary state—power is concentrated in a strong, central government. Australia Australia Sharing the Bounty •No adequate sharing of national wealth. •Aboriginal population disproportionately disadvantaged. ‒ Lower life expectancies. ‒ Higher unemployment levels. •National campaign to address these ills: ‒ Formal apology in 2008. ‒ Enhanced social services. ‒ Justice supports Aboriginal land claims. •Ranks in the top 15 countries in the world in terms of GNI. •Far ahead of all its western Pacific Rim competitors (except Japan and Singapore) in terms of key development indicators. Immigrants • New immigration policy focus: ‒ Skills, financial status, age, and facility with the English language. ‒ Relatives of earlier immigrants. ‒ Quota on asylum-seekers. • Immigrants account for most of population growth and multicultural society. Core and Periphery • Core Area—population concentrated in the east and southeast facing the Pacific Ocean. ‒ Secondary core area in the southwest facing Indian Ocean. • Periphery—the Outback. ‒ Spatial arrangement is a result of climate. An Urban Culture •82% Urban population. •Coastal orientation! ‒ Cities, manufacturing complexes, and agricultural areas. The Cities •Australian cultural identity. •Sameness of urban and rural landscapes across the continent. •Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin ‒ Clean and orderly. ‒ High standards of public infrastructure. ‒ Part of “developed” world order. Sydney • Sprawling metropolis. • Compact, high-rise CBD. • Port—ferry and freighter traffic. Economic Geography Agricultural Abundance • Wool, Meat, and Wheat. • Herding: Sheep-raising, Beef and Dairy products • Agriculture: Commercial grain farming, Sugarcane in warm/ humid coastal areas, Mediterranean and diverse crops with irrigation. Mineral Wealth • Diverse and abundant mineral resources. ‒ Gold, Oil and Natural Gas, Coal, Nickel, Copper, Bauxite, Tungsten, Asbestos, Iron Ore. • Japan and China—Australia’s best customers (raw materials). Manufacturing’s Limits •“Tyranny of distance”—expensive imports from Britain and U.S. •Import substitution—local entrepreneurs establish their own industries to produce goods cheaper than imported because of high transport costs. •Diversified domestic industries: ‒ Machinery, textiles, chemicals •Primary sector prominence— export of raw materials. •Service sector: ‒ Tourism—5% of economy. Australia’s Challenges • Ties to Europe weakening. • Ties to Asia/Pacific Rim strengthening. • Challenges at Home 1. 2. 3. 4. Aboriginal claims. Concerns involving immigration. Environmental degradation. Issues related to Australia’s status and regional role. Aboriginal Issues •Aboriginal land issue ‒ 1992—Australian High Court ruled in favor of Aboriginal claims. ‒ An Outback issue. •Aboriginal Land Councils—make people land-rich but dirt poor. ‒ Prevent private enterprise. Immigration Issues •Eugenic (race-specific) immigration policies until 1970s. •Today, Asian immigrants outnumber natural increase. ‒ Hong Kong, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka. Environmental Issues •Environmental degradation ‒ Aboriginal and European damage. ‒ Deforestation, mining, fertilizer. ‒ Extinction, endangered and threatened species. •Climatic variability: ‒ Arid dominance. ‒ El Niño events. ‒ Fresh water availability. *Open pit mining and pollution. *Great Barrier Reef – largest continuous coral reef on Earth! Australia Australia’s Place in the World •Question of Australia becoming a republic or keeping the Queen. •Ending its status as a British Commonwealth. •Relations with Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea. •Growing global presence, influence of Asia and Pacific Rim. •USA allies—closer relations with the U.S. Government. ‒ U.S. troops will be stationed at Australian military bases (2012). New Zealand • 2 large mountainous islands (scattered smaller islands). ‒ North Island ‒ South Island • Southern Alps • Along the “Ring of Fire.” ‒ Prone to volcanoes and earthquakes. • Maori—people of Polynesian roots would have been a part of the Pacific Realm (dominant culture). • European colonization—70% of current population. New Zealand Human Spatial Organization • Population concentrated in lowerlying slopes and lowland fringes. ‒ Peripheral development pattern. ‒ 86% urbanized. ‒ Coastal cities. • Cropland and pastures: ‒ Sheep, dairy cattle, and beef cattle. ‒ Variety of vegetables, cereals, fruits. • Primary export revenues—wool, milk products, and meat. • North Island ‒ Wellington—capital ‒ Auckland—largest urban area • South Island ‒ Canterbury Plain • Christchurch ‒ Dunedin New Zealand’s Future Past •1840—Maori and British Treaty ‒ Granted colonists sovereignty over New Zealand, Maori rights over tribal lands. •1862—Treaty revoked (imperialism). Present •Maori land claims, growing demands. ‒1990s—New Zealand courts supported Maori position. •Cultural declaration: Maori as official language. ‒Cultural revival. ‒Power of native peoples. ‒Pursue sustainable lifestyles. New Zealand New Zealand The Green Factor •New Zealand is ranked first in the world on a range of environmental indices. ‒One of the leading “green” societies in the world. ‒Long-active Green Party. •Established environmental conservation program. ‒30% of its land is protected. ‒70% + renewable energy sources (hydro and geothermal). ‒Nuclear-free country. ‒Environmental courts hear cases involving environmental management decisions. *Progressive politics, high quality of life, sustainable society. Homework 1. Read Textbook Chapter 11 2. Homework: • Choose one “@from the Field Notes” subsection topic in Ch.11 textbook; research and summarize (1 page). OR • Choose a realm/region within Austral Realm to review. Regions include Australia and New Zealand. Choose a topic relating to Austral Realm’s successes and failures. 3. Reminder: Homework due this week!