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Coordinates: 37°0′S 144°0′E / 37°S 144°E / -37; 144

Flag of Victoria
Slogan or Nickname: "Garden State", "The Place To Be"
Motto(s): "Peace and Prosperity"
Map of Australia with Victoria highlighted
Other Australian states and territories
Capital Melbourne
Demonym Victorian
Government Constitutional monarchy
Governor David de Kretser
Premier John Brumby (ALP)
 - Total  237,629 km2 (6th)
91,749 sq mi
 - Land 227,416 km2
87,806 sq mi
 - Water 10,213 km2 (4.3%)
3,943 sq mi
Population (June 2009)
 - Population  5,427,700[1] (2nd)
 - Density  23.87/km2 (2nd)
61.8 /sq mi
 - Highest Mt Bogong
1,986 m (6,516 ft)
Gross State Product (2008–09)
 - Product ($m)  $283,784[2] (2nd)
 - Product per capita  $52,284 (5th)
Time zone UTC+10 (+11 DST)
Federal representation
 - House seats 37
 - Senate seats 12
 - Postal VIC
 - ISO 3166-2 AU-VIC
 - Floral Common Heath[3]
 - Aquatic Weedy Seadragon
 - Bird Helmeted Honeyeater
 - Faunal Leadbeater's possum
 - Colours Navy Blue and Silver[4]
Web site

Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales to the north, South Australia to the west, and Tasmania to the south, across the Bass Strait. Victoria is the most densely populated state, and has a highly centralised population, with over 70% of Victorians living in Melbourne, the state capital and largest city. Approximately 30,000 Indigenous Australians are estimated to have lived in the area, before European settlement in Victoria began in the 1830s. The discovery of gold in 1851 at Ballarat and Warrandyte transformed it into a leading industrial and commercial centre.



Victoria, like Queensland, was named after Queen Victoria, the monarch at the time.


After the founding of the colony of New South Wales in 1788, Australia was divided into an eastern half named New South Wales and a western half named New Holland, under the administration of the colonial government in Sydney. The first European settlement in the area later known as Victoria was established in October 1803 under Lieutenant-Governor David Collins at Sullivan Bay, Victoria on Port Phillip Bay. It consisted of 308 convicts, 51 marines, 17 free settlers, 12 civil officers, a missionary and his wife. They had been sent from England in HMS Calcutta under the command of Captain Daniel Woodriff, principally out of fear that the French, who had been exploring the area, might establish their own settlement and thereby challenge British rights to the continent.

Map of Victorian Indigenous Australian nations/language territories

Victoria's next settlement was at Portland, on the west coast of what is now Victoria. Melbourne was founded in 1835 by John Batman.

From settlement the region around Melbourne was known as the Port Phillip District, a separately administered part of New South Wales. In 1851, the British Government separated the area from New South Wales, proclaiming a new Colony of Victoria.

In 1851 gold was discovered near Ballarat, and subsequently at Bendigo. Later discoveries occurred at many sites across Victoria. This triggered one of the largest gold rushes the world has ever seen. The colony grew rapidly in both population and economic power. In ten years the population of Victoria increased sevenfold from 76,000 to 540,000. All sorts of gold records were produced including the "richest shallow alluvial goldfield in the world" and the largest gold nugget. Victoria produced in the decade 1851–1860 20 million ounces of gold, one third of the world's output[citation needed].

Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross at the Eureka Stockade on 1 December 1854 — watercolour by Charles Doudiet

Immigrants arrived from all over the world to search for gold, especially from Ireland and China. Many Chinese miners worked in Victoria, and their legacy is particularly strong in Bendigo and its environs. Although there was some racism directed at them, there was not the level of anti-Chinese violence that was seen at the Lambing Flat riots in New South Wales. However, there was a riot at Buckland Valley near Bright in 1857. Conditions on the gold fields were cramped and unsanitary; an outbreak of typhoid at Buckland Valley in 1854 killed over 1,000 miners.

In 1854 there was an armed rebellion against the government of Victoria by miners protesting against mining taxes (the "Eureka Stockade"). This was crushed by British troops, but the discontents prompted colonial authorities to reform the administration (particularly reducing the hated mining licence fees) and extend the franchise. Within a short time, the Imperial Parliament granted Victoria responsible government with the passage of the Colony of Victoria Act 1855. Some of the leaders of the Eureka rebellion went on to became members of the Victorian Parliament.

The first foreign military action by the colony of Victoria was to send troops and a warship to New Zealand as part of the Maori Wars. Troops from New South Wales had previously participated in the Crimean War.

In 1901 Victoria became a state in the Commonwealth of Australia. As a result of the gold rush, Melbourne had by then become the financial centre of Australia and New Zealand. Between 1901 and 1927, Melbourne was the capital of Australia while Canberra was under construction. It was also the largest city in Australia at the time and the second largest city in terms of population of the British Empire (after London). Whilst Melbourne remains an important and influential financial centre, home to many national and international companies, it was slowly overtaken by Sydney in business importance around the 1970s and 1980s.

On Saturday 7 February 2009 ("Black Saturday"), the state was affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires, resulting in 173 deaths[5].[6]


The Victorian Parliament House, built in 1856, stands in Spring Street, Melbourne.
The Legislative Council Chamber, as photographed in 1878.
One of many local government seats, Geelong Town Hall
Composition of the Parliament of Victoria
ALP 55 19
Liberal 23 15
National 9 2
Greens 0 3
DLP 0 1
Independent 1 0
Source: Victorian Electoral Commission


Victoria has a parliamentary form of government based on the Westminster System. Legislative power resides in the Parliament consisting of the Governor (the representative of the Queen), the executive (the Government), and two legislative chambers. The Parliament of Victoria consists of the lower house Legislative Assembly, the upper house Legislative Council and the Queen of Australia.

Eighty-eight members of the Legislative Assembly are elected to four-year terms from single-member electorates.

In November 2006, the Victorian Legislative Council elections were held under a new multi-proportional representation system. The State of Victoria was divided into eight electorates with each electorate represented by five representatives elected by Single Transferable Vote proportional representation. The total number of upper house members was reduced from 44 to 40 and their term of office is now the same as the lower house members — four years. Elections for the Victorian Parliament are now fixed and occur in November every four years. Prior to the 2006 Election the Legislative Council consisted of 44 members elected to eight-year terms from 22 two-member electorates.

Premier and cabinet

The Premier of Victoria is the leader of the political party or coalition with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly. The Premier is the public face of government and, with cabinet, sets the legislative and political agenda. Cabinet consists of representatives elected to either house of parliament. It is responsible for managing areas of government that are not exclusively the Commonwealth's, by the Australian Constitution, such as education, health and law enforcement. The current premier of Victoria is Mr John Brumby.


Executive authority is vested in the Governor of Victoria who represents and is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. The post is usually filled by a retired prominent Victorian. The governor acts on the advice of the premier and cabinet.


Victoria has a written constitution. Enacted in 1975, but based on the 1855 colonial constitution, it establishes the parliament as the state's law-making body for matters coming under state responsibility. The Victorian Constitution can be amended by the parliament of Victoria. Under new provisions to be enacted, changes to the Victorian Constitution will be subjected to a plebiscite of votes, voting in a referendum.


The centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP), the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia and the rural-based National Party of Australia are Victoria's major political parties. Traditionally, Labor is strongest in Melbourne's inner, working class and western and northern suburbs, Morwell, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. The Liberals' main support lies in Melbourne's more affluent eastern and outer suburbs, and some rural and regional centres. The Nationals are strongest in Victoria's North Western and Eastern rural regional areas. The ALP government of former Premier Steve Bracks has been in office in Victoria since 1999 and was re-elected in 2002 and on 25 November 2006. See Victorian state election, 2006, and 2006 Victorian election campaign.

Following the 2006 Victorian election, the balance of power in the Legislative Council is now held by the Australian Greens. This means that by combining with the Liberal and National Party members, the Greens can defeat proposed Government legislation.

On 27 July 2007, Premier Steve Bracks announced his resignation from politics, saying that he needed to spend more time with his family.[7] The deputy premier, John Thwaites, announced later that day that he too would resign. Former Treasurer John Brumby was elected unopposed by the Labor caucus as the new leader and became the 45th Premier of Victoria on Monday 30 July 2007.

Federal government

Victorian voters elect 49 representatives to the Parliament of Australia, including 37 members of the House of Representatives and 12 members of the Senate. Since 2007, the ALP has held 21 Victorian house seats, the Liberals 14 and the Nationals two. As of 1 July 2008, the Liberals have held six senate seats, the ALP five and the Family First Party one.

Local government

Victoria is incorporated into 79 municipalities for the purposes of local government, including 39 shires, 32 cities, seven rural cities and one borough. Shire and city councils are responsible for functions delegated by the Victorian parliament, such as city planning, road infrastructure and waste management. Council revenue comes mostly from property taxes and government grants.

Source: Victorian Parliamentary Library, Department of Victorian Communities, Australian Electoral Commission


Population growth
estimates for Victoria
2007 5,087,000
2011 5,500,000
2016 6,000,000
2021 6,400,000
2026 6,800,000
2031 7,300,000
Source: Dept of Planning and
Community Development
Melbourne, the state capital, is home to more than seven in ten Victorians.

The 2006 Australian census reported that Victoria had 4,932,422 people resident at the time of the census, an increase of 6.2% on the 1996 figure. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that by June 2007 the state's population reached 5,205,200, and may well reach 7.2 million by 2050.

Victoria's founding Anglo-Celtic population has been supplemented by successive waves of migrants from southern and eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and, most recently, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East. Victoria's population is ageing in proportion with the average of the remainder of the Australian population.

About 72% of Victorians are Australian-born. This figure falls to around 66% in Melbourne but rises to higher than 95% in some rural areas in the north west of the state. Around two-thirds of Victorians claim Australian, English or Irish ancestry. Less than 1% of Victorians identify themselves as Aboriginal. The largest groups of people born outside Australia came from the British Isles, China, Italy, Vietnam, Greece and New Zealand.

More than 70% of Victorians live in Melbourne, located in the state's south. The greater Melbourne metropolitan area is home to an estimated 3.9 million people.[8] Leading urban centres include Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura, Warrnambool and the Latrobe Valley.

Victoria is Australia's most urbanised state: nearly 90% of residents living in cities and towns. Since 1871, more than half of all Victorians have lived in urban areas. Today, just over 12% of Victorians live in rural areas.[citation needed] The drift of people into Melbourne continues despite government efforts to encourage Victorians to settle in regional areas.[citation needed]

Age structure and fertility

The government predicts that nearly a quarter of Victorians will be aged over 60 by 2021. The 2006 census reveals that Australian average age has crept upward from 35 to 37 since 2001, which reflects the population growth peak of 1969–72.[citation needed] In 2007, Victoria recorded a TFR of 1.87, the highest after 1978. [2]


About 60.5% of Victorians describe themselves as Christian. Roman Catholics form the single largest religious group in the state with 27.5% of Victorian population, followed by Anglicans and members of the Uniting Church. Catholics and Protestants (including Anglicans) in Victoria each form around 30% of the population. Buddhism, the state's largest non-Christian religion, is also the fastest growing with 132,634. Victoria is also home of 109,370 Muslims and 41,105 Jews. Around 20% of Victorians claim no religion, and even amongst those who declare a religious affiliation, church attendance is low.[9]

In 2008, the levels of couples choosing to marry in a church had dropped to 36 percent; the other 64 percent chose to register their marriage with a civil celebrant.[10]


Primary and secondary

Victoria's state school system dates back to 1872, when the colonial government legislated to make schooling both free and compulsory. The state's public secondary school system began in 1905. Before then, only private secondary schooling was available. Today, a Victorian school education consists of seven years of primary schooling (including one preparatory year) and six years of secondary schooling.

The final years of secondary school are optional for children aged over 17. Victorian children generally begin school at age five or six. On completing secondary school, students earn the Victorian Certificate of Education. Students who successfully complete their secondary education also receive a tertiary entrance ranking, or ENTER score, to determine university admittance.

Victorian schools are either publicly or privately funded. Public schools, also known as state or government schools, are funded and run directly by the Victoria Department of Education [3]. Students do not pay tuition fees, but some extra costs are levied. Private fee-paying schools include parish schools run by the Roman Catholic Church and independent schools similar to English public schools. Independent schools are usually affiliated with Protestant churches. Victoria also has several private Jewish and Islamic primary and secondary schools. Private schools also receive some public funding. All schools must comply with government-set curriculum standards. In addition, Victoria features two selective schools, Melbourne High School for boys, MacRobertson Girls' High School for girls. Students at these schools are exclusively admitted on the basis of a selective entry test. These schools consistently achieve the highest results in the state in the VCE.

As of August 2005, Victoria had 1,613 public schools, 484 Catholic schools and 208 independent schools. Just under 537,000 students were enrolled in public schools, and 289,000 in private schools. Nearly two-thirds of private students attend Catholic schools. More than 455,000 students were enrolled in primary schools and more than 371,000 in secondary schools. Retention rates for the final two years of secondary school were 77% for public school students and 90% for private school students. Victoria has about 60,200 full-time teachers.

Tertiary education

The University of Melbourne is Victoria's oldest university.

Victoria has nine universities. The first to offer degrees, the University of Melbourne, enrolled its first student in 1855. The largest, Monash University, has an enrolment of nearly 56,000 students—more than any other Australian university. Both the University of Melbourne and Monash University are purportedly ranked highly among the world's best universities requiring a fairly high entry score, passing of mature age entrance exams or direct payment for student admission into their courses.

The number of students enrolled in Victorian universities was 241,755 at 2004, an increase of 2% on the previous year. International students made up 30% of enrolments and account for the highest percentage of pre-paid university tuition fees. The largest number of enrolments were recorded in the fields of business, administration and economics, with nearly a third of all students, followed by arts, humanities, and social science, with 20% of enrolments.

Victoria has 18 government-run institutions of “technical and further education” (TAFE). The first vocational institution in the state was the Melbourne Mechanics Institute (established in 1839), which is now the Melbourne Athenaeum. More than 1,000 adult education organisations are registered to provide recognised TAFE programs. In 2004, there were about 480,700 students enrolled in vocational education programs in the state.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Education and Training (Victoria), Department of Education, Science and Training (Commonwealth), National Centre for Vocational Education Research
The State Library of Victoria forecourt.


The State Library of Victoria is the State's research and reference library. It is responsible for collecting and preserving Victoria's documentary heritage and making it available through a range of services and programs. Material in the collection includes books, newspapers, magazines, journals, manuscripts, maps, pictures, objects, sound and video recordings and databases.

In addition, local governments maintain local lending libraries, typically with multiple branches in their respective municipal areas.


Victorian production and
workers by economic activities
Number of
of workers
Finance, insurance
and property
30.5% 319,109 15.3%
Community, social
and personal services
16.6% 562,783 27.4%
Manufacturing 15.4% 318,218 15.3%
Wholesale and
retail trade
12.1% 423,328 20.3%
Transport, utilities
and communications
10.6% 133,752 6.4%
Construction 6.2% 136,454 6.6%
Government 4% 62,253 3%
Agriculture 3.3% 72,639 3.5%
Mining 1.3% 4,472 0.2%
Other - 49,208 2%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Figures are for 2004–2005

The state of Victoria has the largest economy in Australia after New South Wales, accounting for a quarter of the nation's gross domestic product. The total gross state product (GSP) at current prices for Victoria was at just over A$222 billion, with a GSP per capita of A$44,443. The economy grew by 3.4% in 2004, less than the Australian average of 5.2%.

Finance, insurance and property services form Victoria's largest income producing sector, while the community, social and personal services sector is the state's biggest employer. Despite the shift towards service industries, the troubled manufacturing sector remains Victoria's single largest employer and income producer. As a result of job losses in declining sectors such as manufacturing, Victoria has the highest unemployment rate in Australia as of September 2009[11]

1990s economic slump

Victoria experienced an economic slump from 1989 to 1992 during the term of John Cain. This was largely attributable to lagging property markets, reduced protection of manufacturing sectors as well as a financial crash involving industry giants such as the Pyramid Building Society and the collapse of The State Bank of Victoria, in particular its merchant banking arm Tricontinental. The result was a loss of employment and a drain of population to New South Wales and Queensland.

In the mid to late 1990s, the Victorian state government of Premier Jeff Kennett (Liberal Party of Australia) sought to reverse this trend with massive cuts to state expenditure, shrinking of the state public sector and the aggressive development of new public works, mainly centred around the state capital of Melbourne. These included the Melbourne Museum, Federation Square, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre (nicknamed "Jeff's Shed"), Crown Casino, capital works such as the CityLink tollway, the sale of state assets (including the State Electricity Commission and some state schools), the pruning of state services and a public relations campaign promoting Melbourne's merits, aimed at Melbourne residents and visitors alike.

Under the government of former Premier Steve Bracks (Australian Labor Party), there was less emphasis on capital works and more on expansion of public services. Population increase now outstrips the national trend.


Victoria's stand at the Paris Exhibition Universal of 1867, showing bales of wool.

During 2003–04, the gross value of Victorian agricultural production increased by 17% to $8.7 billion. This represented 24% of national agricultural production total gross value. As of 2004, an estimated 32,463 farms occupied around 136,000 square kilometres (52,500 sq mi) of Victorian land. This comprises more than 60% of the state's total land surface. Victorian farms range from small horticultural outfits to large-scale livestock and grain productions. A quarter of farmland is used to grow consumable crops.

More than 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) of Victorian farmland are sown for grain, mostly in the state's west. More than 50% of this area is sown for wheat, 33% for barley and 7% for oats. A further 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 sq mi) is sown for hay. In 2003–04, Victorian farmers produced more than 3 million tonnes of wheat and 2 million tonnes of barley. The state also grows about half of Australia's tobacco. Victorian farms produce nearly 90% of Australian pears and third of apples. It is also a leader in stone fruit production. The main vegetable crops include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Last year, 121,200 tonnes of pears and 270,000 tonnes of tomatoes were produced.

More than 14 million sheep and 5 million lambs graze over 10% of Victorian farms, mostly in the state's north and west. In 2004, nearly 10 million lambs and sheep were slaughtered for local consumption and export. Victoria also exports live sheep to the Middle East for meat and to the rest of the world for breeding. More than 108,000 tonnes of wool clip was also produced—one-fifth of the Australian total.

Victoria is the centre of dairy farming in Australia. It is home to 60% of Australia's 3 million dairy cattle and produces nearly two-thirds of the nation's milk, almost 6.4 million litres. The state also has 2.4 million beef cattle, with more than 2.2 million cattle and calves slaughtered each year. In 2003–04, Victorian commercial fishing crews and aquaculture industry produced 11,634 tonnes of seafood valued at nearly $A109 million. Blacklipped abalone is the mainstay of the catch, bringing in $A46 million, followed by southern rock lobster worth $A13.7 million. Most abalone and rock lobster is exported to Asia.


Machinery and equipment manufacturing is the state's most valuable activity, followed by food and beverage manufacturing and petroleum, coal and chemical manufacturing. More than 15% Victorian workers are employed in manufacturing industries. Victoria has 318,000 manufacturing workers. The state is marginally behind New South Wales in the value of manufacturing output.

Major industrial plants belong to the car manufacturers Ford, Toyota and Holden; Alcoa's Portland and Point Henry aluminium smelters; oil refineries at Geelong and Altona; and a major petrochemical facility at Laverton.

Victoria also plays an important role in providing goods for the defence industry. Melbourne is the centre of manufacturing in Victoria, followed by Geelong. Energy production has aided industrial growth in the Latrobe Valley.


Yallourn Power Station in the Latrobe Valley

Mining in Victoria contributes around A$3 billion to the gross state product but employs less than 1% of workers. The Victorian mining industry is concentrated on energy producing minerals, with brown coal, petroleum and gas accounting for nearly 90% of local production. The oil and gas industries are centred off the coast of Gippsland in the state's east, while brown coal mining and power generation is based in the Latrobe Valley.

In the 2005/2006 fiscal year, the average gas production was over 700 million cubic feet (20,000,000 m3) per day (M cuft/d) and represented 18% of the total national gas sales, with demand growing at 2% per year.[12]

In 1985, oil production from the offshore Gippsland Basin peaked to an annual average of 450,000 barrels per day. In 2005–2006, the average daily oil production declined to 83,000 bbls/d, but despite the decline Victoria still produces almost 19.5% of crude oil in Australia.[13]

Brown coal is Victoria's leading mineral, with 66 million tonnes mined each year for electricity generation in the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland.[14] The region is home to the world's largest known reserves of brown coal.

Despite being the historic centre of Australia's gold rush, Victoria today contributes a mere 1% of national gold production. Victoria also produces limited amounts of gypsum and kaolin.

Service industry

The service industries sector is the fastest growing component of the Victorian economy. It includes the wide range of activities generally classified as community, social and personal services; finances, insurance and property services, government services, transportation and communication, and wholesale and retail trade. Most service industries are located in Melbourne and the state's larger regional centres.

As of 2004–05, service industries employed nearly three-quarters of Victorian workers and generated three-quarters of the state's GSP. Finance, insurance and property services, as a group, provide a larger share of GSP than any other economic activity in Victoria. More than a quarter of Victorian workers are employed by the community, social and personal services sector.[15]

Geology and geography

Satellite image of Victoria
Victorian cities, towns, settlements and road network.

Victoria's northern border is the southern bank of the Murray River. It also rests at the southern end of the Great Dividing Range, which stretches along the east coast and terminates west of Ballarat. It is bordered by South Australia to the west and shares Australian's shortest land border with Tasmania. The official border between Victoria and Tasmania is at 39°12' S, which passes through Boundary Islet in the Bass Strait for 85 metres.[16][17] Victoria contains many topographically, geologically and climatically diverse areas, ranging from the wet, temperate climate of Gippsland in the southeast to the snow-covered Victorian alpine areas which rise to almost 2,000 metres (6,500 ft), with Mount Bogong the highest peak at 1,986 m; (6,516 ft). There are extensive semi-arid plains to the west and northwest.

There is an extensive series of river systems in Victoria. Most notable is the Murray River system. Other rivers include: Ovens River, Goulburn River, King River, Campaspe River, Loddon River, Wimmera River, Elgin River, Barwon River, Thomson River, Snowy River, Latrobe River, Yarra River, Maribyrnong River, Mitta River, Hopkins River, Merri River and Kiewa River.

The state symbols include the Pink Heath (state flower), Leadbeater's Possum (state animal) and the Helmeted Honeyeater (state bird).

The state's capital, Melbourne, contains approximately 70% of the state's population and dominates its economy, media, and culture. For other cities and towns, see List of localities (Victoria) and Local Government Areas of Victoria.


Modern V/Line VLocity diesel train used on services to Geelong, Ballarat, Ararat, Bendigo, Echuca and Traralgon

Victoria has the highest population density in any state in Australia, with population centres spread out over most of the state, with only the far northwest and the Victorian Alps lacking permanent settlement.

The Victorian road network services the population centres, with highways generally radiating from Melbourne and other major cities and rural centres with secondary roads interconnecting the highways to each other. Many of the highways are built to freeway standard ("M" freeways), while most are generally sealed and of reasonable quality.

Rail transport in Victoria is provided by several private and public railway operators who operate over government-owned lines. Major operators include: Metro Trains Melbourne which runs an extensive, electrified, passenger system throughout Melbourne and suburbs; V/Line which is now owned by the Victorian Government, operates a concentrated service to major regional centres, as well as long distance services on other lines; Pacific National, CFCLA, El Zorro which operate freight services; Great Southern Railway which operates The Overland Melbourne-Adelaide; and CountryLink which operates XPTs Melbourne-Sydney.

There are also several smaller freight operators and numerous tourist railways operating over lines which were once parts of a state-owned system. Victorian lines mainly use the 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm) broad gauge. However, the interstate trunk routes, as well as a number of branch lines in the west of the state have been converted to 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge. Two tourist railways operate over 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge lines, which are the remnants of five formerly government-owned lines which were built in mountainous areas.

A current Melbourne C class (Citadis) tram.

Melbourne has the world's largest tram network,[18] currently operated by Yarra Trams. As well as being a popular form of public transport, over the last few decades trams have become one of Melbourne's major tourist attractions. There are also tourist trams operating over portions of the former Ballarat and Bendigo systems. There are also tramway museums at Bylands and Haddon.

Melbourne Airport is the major domestic and international gateway for the state. Avalon Airport is the state's second busiest airport, which is complements Essendon and Moorabbin Airports to see the remainder of Melbourne's air traffic. Hamilton Airport, Mildura Airport, Mount Hotham and Portland Airport are the remaining airports with scheduled domestic flights. There are no fewer than 27 other airports in the state with no scheduled flights.

The Port of Melbourne is the largest port for containerised and general cargo in Australia,[19] and is located in Melbourne on the mouth of the Yarra River, which is at the head of Port Phillip Bay. Additional seaports are at Westernport Bay, Geelong, and Portland.



Victoria's major utilities include a collection of brown-coal-fired power stations, particularly in the LaTrobe Valley.


Victoria's water infrastructure includes a series of dams and reservoirs, predominantly in Central Victoria, that hold and collect water for much of the state. The water collected is of a very high quality and requires little chlorination treatment, giving the water a taste more like water collected in a rainwater tank. In regional areas however, such as in the west of the state, chlorination levels are much higher.

Victoria's water system is currently being linked by a series of pipelines to facilitate the privatisation of the state's water system, creating a water market where water will be traded between regions and investors can buy and sell water.[20] These works include the Wonthaggi desalination plant, being constructed to provide "new" water to the system to better facilitate water trade in a privatised market.[21]


Average monthly maximum
temperature in Victoria
Month Melbourne Mildura
January 25.8 °C 32.8 °C
February 25.8 °C 32.7 °C
March 23.8 °C 29.3 °C
April 20.2 °C 24.1 °C
May 16.6 °C 19.6 °C
June 14.0 °C 16.0 °C
July 13.4 °C 15.4 °C
August 14.9 °C 17.7 °C
September 17.2 °C 21.1 °C
October 19.6 °C 25.0 °C
November 21.8 °C 29.0 °C
December 24.1 °C 31.7 °C
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Victoria has a varied climate despite its small size. It ranges from semi-arid and hot in the north-west, to temperate and cool along the coast. Victoria's main land feature, the Great Dividing Range, produces a cooler, mountain climate in the centre of the state.

Victoria's southernmost position on the Australian mainland means it is cooler and wetter than other mainland states and territories. The coastal plain south of the Great Dividing Range has Victoria's mildest climate. Air from the Southern Ocean helps reduce the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Melbourne and other large cities are located in this temperate region.

The Mallee and upper Wimmera are Victoria's warmest regions with hot winds blowing from nearby deserts. Average temperatures top 30 °C (86 °F) during summer and 15 °C (59 °F) in winter. Victoria's highest maximum temperature of 48.8 °C (119.9 °F) was recorded in Hopetoun on 7 February 2009, during the 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave.[22]

The Victorian Alps in the northeast are the coldest part of Victoria. The Alps are part of the Great Dividing Range mountain system extending east-west through the centre of Victoria. Average temperatures are less than 9 °C (48 °F) in winter and below 0 °C (32 °F) in the highest parts of the ranges. The state's lowest minimum temperature of –11.7 °C (10.9 °F) was recorded at Omeo on 13 June 1965, and again at Falls Creek on 3 July 1970.[22]


Victoria is the wettest Australian state after Tasmania. Rainfall in Victoria increases from north to south, with higher averages in areas of high altitude. Median annual rainfall exceeds 1,800 millimetres (71 in) in some parts of the northeast but is less than 250 millimetres (10 in) in the Mallee.

Rain is heaviest in the Otway Ranges and Gippsland in southern Victoria and in the mountainous northeast. Snow generally falls only in the mountains and hills in the centre of the state. Rain falls most frequently in winter, but summer precipitation is heavier. Rainfall is most reliable in Gippsland and the Western District, making them both leading farming areas. Victoria's highest recorded daily rainfall was 375 millimetres (14.7 in) at Tanybryn in the Otway Ranges on 22 March 1983.[22]

Source: Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Primary Industries, Australian Natural Resources Atlas


Some major tourist destinations in Victoria are:

Other popular tourism activities are gliding, hang-gliding, hot air ballooning and scuba diving.

Major events also play a big part in tourism in Victoria, particularly cultural tourism and sports tourism. Most of these events are centred around Melbourne, but others occur in regional cities, such as the V8 Supercars and Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island, the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool and the Australian International Airshow at Geelong and numerous local festivals such as the popular Port Fairy Folk Festival, Queenscliff Music Festival, Bells Beach SurfClassic and the Bright Autumn Festival.


The Melbourne Cricket Ground during the 1998 Boxing Day Test match.

Victoria is the home of Australian rules football, with ten of the sixteen clubs of the Australian Football League based in Victoria, and the traditional Grand Final held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground usually on the last Saturday in September.

Victoria's cricket team, the Victorian Bushrangers play in the national Sheffield Shield cricket competition. Victoria is represented in the National Rugby League by the Melbourne Storm and is also represented in Football (soccer) by Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart (from 2010) in the A-League.

Melbourne has held the 1956 Summer Olympics, 2006 Commonwealth Games, FINA World Swimming Championship, and is home to the annual Australian Open tennis tournament, and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Victoria is also home to Bells Beach, which is the home of the world's longest-running surfing competition, the Bells Beach SurfClassic, which is part of The ASP World Tour.

Netball is a big part of sport in Victoria. The Melbourne Vixens represent Victoria in the ANZ Championship. Some of the worlds best netballers such as Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto and Bianca Chatfield come from Victoria.

Possibly Victoria's most famous island, Phillip Island, is home of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit which hosts the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix which features MotoGP (the world's premier motorcycling class), as well as the Australian round of the World Superbike Championship and the domestic V8 Supercar racing, which also visits Sandown Raceway and the rural Winton Motor Raceway circuit.

Australia's most prestigious footrace, the Stawell Gift, is an annual event.

Victoria is also home to the Aussie Millions poker tournament, the richest in the southern hemisphere.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is one of the biggest horse racing events in the world and is one of the world's largest sporting events. The main race is for the $6 million Melbourne Cup, and crowds for the carnival exceed 700,000.

See also




  1. ^ 3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2009, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ 5220.0 - Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 2008-09 (Reissue), Australian Bureau of Statistics, 22 December 2009.
  3. ^ "Floral Emblem of Victoria". Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Victoria". Parliament@Work. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  5. ^ Vic bushfires death toll - Vic Police
  6. ^ "Victoria under siege as fires rage across state". Herald Sun. 7 February 2009.,21985,25022560-2862,00.html. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  7. ^ title=Steve Brack Resigns
  8. ^ "3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2007-08". ABS website. ABS. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  9. ^ 2006 Census Community Profile Series : Victoria
  10. ^ Statistics report for 2008 from the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
  11. ^
  12. ^ Department of Primary Industries
  14. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics: Year Book Australia, 2004 - Profile of major commodities
  15. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics, Department of Primary Industries
  16. ^ "Victoria Tasmania border". Retrieved 2006-03-07. 
  17. ^ Boundary Islet on
  18. ^ DoI (2008). [1]. Retrieved 28 April 2008.
  19. ^ "DoI media release - 'GOVERNMENT OUTLINES VISION FOR PORT OF MELBOURNE FREIGHT HUB' - 14 August 2006".!OpenDocument. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  20. ^ D!ssent, Article by Kenneth Davidson "Water Lies", Issue 31 Summer 09/10
  21. ^ D!ssent, Article by Kenneth Davidson "Water Lies", Issue 31 Summer 09/10
  22. ^ a b c "Rainfall and Temperature Records: National" (PDF). Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 14 November 2009. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Victoria (state) article)

From Wikitravel

Oceania : Australia : Victoria

Victoria [1] is the southernmost of the eastern mainland states of Australia. The state is roughly triangular in shape. New South Wales lies to the north / north-east, with the Murray River forming most of the boundary between the two states. South Australia lies to the west and the southern coast forms the other side of the triangle. Melbourne, the state capital and largest city, is nestled on Port Phillip Bay in the center of the southern coast.

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
Penguin procession and Phillip Island
Penguin procession and Phillip Island


Time Zone

Victoria keeps the time as New South Wales and Tasmania, and is always half an hour ahead of South Australia.

Standard time is 10 hours ahead of GMT and summer time (from the first Sunday of October to the first Sunday of April) is 11 hours ahead.

Get in

By car

Victoria has good cross border road connections into its neighbouring states. The main routes from the north are the Princes Highway following the coast and entering the state near Genoa, the Hume Highway from Sydney entering the state at Wodonga, the Newell Highway entering the state near Shepparton and being the main route from Brisbane, and the Sturt and Silver City Highways entering at Mildura. From the west, the Princes Highway is again the coastal route, and the Western Highway the more direct route.

It is around 6 hours from Sydney to the Victorian border along the Hume Highway, and another 3-4 hours from there into Melbourne.

By plane

Melbourne is the main entry point to Victoria by air and has direct flights to all Australian capital cities, and many international destinations.

Get around

By car

Touring Victoria by car is a straightforward and practical way of seeing the state. Distances between towns tend not to be as great as in other states, and it is unusual to drive for more than a couple of hours without passing through a small town. Victoria has the most developed road network of any state of Australia, and most towns are accessible without using dirt of gravel roads. Roads are indicated as motorways, A, B or C roads, but in general there is no need to avoid a C road if it clearly provides the quickest trip to where you want to go.

By public transport

The state rail company, V/Line [2] provides rail services within the state, and connecting coach services to the towns that the railway line no longer reaches to.

V/Line train services operate to and from Melbourne on the Geelong line in the south-west, Ballarat in western Victoria, Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca in the north, Seymour and Wodonga in the north-east, and Sale, Traralgon, and Bairnsdale in the state's east.

Melbourne has an integrated bus, tram and train network, described at the Metlink website. [3]. Many other larger towns have buses servicing the towns. See the local guides.


Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road. The Alpine Regions of Beechworth and Bright. The Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island penguins.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

VICTORIA, a British colonial state, occupying the southeastern corner of Australia. Its western boundary is in 140° 58' E.; on the east it runs out to a point at Cape Howe, in 150 E. long., being thus rudely triangular in shape; the river Murray constitutes nearly the whole of the northern boundary, its most northerly point being in 34° S. lat.; the southern boundary is the coast-line of the Southern Ocean and of Bass Strait; the most southerly point is Wilson's Promontory in 39° S. lat, The greatest length east and west is about 480 m.; the greatest width, in the west, is about 250 m. The area is officially stated to be 87,884 sq. m.

The coast-line may be estimated at about Boo m. It begins about the 141st meridian with bold but not lofty sandstone cliffs, worn into deep caves and capped by grassy undulations, which extend inland to pleasant park-like lands. Capes Bridgewater and Nelson form a peninsula of forest lands, broken by patches of meadow. To the east of Cape Nelson lies the moderately sheltered inlet of Portland Bay, consisting of a sweep of sandy beach flanked by bold granite rocks. Then comes a long unbroken stretch of high cliffs, which, owing to insetting currents, have been the scene of many calamitous wrecks. Cape Otway is the termination of a wild mountain range that here abuts on the coast. Its brown cliffs rise vertically from the water; and the steep slopes above are covered with dense forests of exceedingly tall timber and tree-ferns. Eastwards from this cape the line of cliffs gradually diminishes in height to about 20 to 40 ft. at the entrance to Port Phillip. Next comes Port Phillip Bay, at the head of which stands the city of Melbourne. When the tide recedes from this bay through the narrow entrance it often encounters a strong current just outside; the broken and somewhat dangerous sea thus caused is called "the Rip." East of Port Phillip Bay the shores consist for 15 m. of a line of sandbanks; but at Cape Schanck they suddenly become high and bold. East of this comes Western Port, a deep inlet more than half occupied by French Island and Phillip Island. Its shores are flat and uninteresting, in some parts swampy. The bay is shallow and of little use for navigation. The coast continues rocky round Cape Liptrap. Wilson's Promontory is a great rounded mass of granite hills, with wild and striking scenery, tree-fern gullies and gigantic gum-trees, connected with the mainland by a narrow sandy isthmus. At its extremity lie a multitude of rocky islets, with steep granite edges. North of this cape, and opening to the east, lies Corner Inlet, which is dry at low water. The coast now continues low to the extremity of the colony. The slight bend northward forms a sort of bight called the Ninety Mile Beach, but it really exceeds that length. It is an unbroken line of sandy shore, hacked by low sandhills, on which grows a sparse dwarf vegetation. Behind these hills comes a succession of lakes, surrounded by excellent land, and beyond these rise the soft blue outlines of the mountain masses of the interior. The shores on the extreme east are somewhat higher, and occasionally rise in bold points. They terminate in Cape Howe, off which lies Gabo Island, of small extent but containing an important lighthouse and signalling station.

The western half of Victoria is level or slightly undulating, and as a rule tame in its scenery, exhibiting only thinly timbered grassy lands, with all the appearance of open parks. The north-west corner of the colony, equally flat, is dry and sometimes sandy, and frequently bare of vegetation, though in one part some seven or eight millions of acres are covered with the dense brushwood known as "mallee scrub." This wide western plain is slightly broken in two places. In the south the wild ranges of Cape Otway are covered over a considerable area with richly luxurious but almost impassable forests. This district has been reserved as a state forest and its coast forms a favourite holiday resort, the scenery being very attractive. The middle of the plain is crossed by a thin line of mountains, known as the Australian Pyrenees, at the western extremity of which there are several irregularly placed transverse ranges, the chief being the Grampians, the Victoria Range and the Sierra Range. Their highest point is Mount William (3600(3600 feet). The eastern half of the colony is wholly different. Though there is plenty of level land, it occurs in small patches, and chiefly in the south, in Gippsland, which extends from Corner Inlet to Cape Howe. But a great part of this eastern half is occupied with the complicated mass of ranges known collectively as the Australian Alps. The whole forms a plateau averaging from 1000 to 2000 ft. high, with many smaller table lands ranging from 3000 to 5000 ft. in height. The highest peak, Bogong, is 6508 ft. in altitude. The ranges are so densely covered with vegetation that it is extremely difficult to penetrate them. About fifteen peaks over 5000 ft. in height have been measured. Along the ranges grow the giant trees for which Victoria is famous. ' The narrow valleys and gullies contain exquisite scenery, the rocky streams being overshadowed by groves of graceful tree-ferns, from amid whose waving fronds rise the tall smooth stems of the white gums. Over ten millions of acres are thus covered with forest-clad mountains which in due time will become a very valuable asset of the state. The Australian Alps are connected with the Pyrenees by a long ridge called the Dividing Range (1500 to 3000 ft. high).

Victoria is fairly well watered, but its streams are generally too small to admit of navigation. This, however, is not the case with the Murray river. The Murray for a distance of Rivers. 670 m. (or 1250 m. if its various windings be followed) forms the boundary between New South Wales and Victoria; it receives a number of tributaries from the Victorian side. The Mitta Mitta, which rises in the heart of the Australian Alps, is 150 m. long. The Ovens, rising among the same mountains, is slightly shorter. The Goulburn (340 m.) flows almost entirely through well-settled agricultural country, and is deep enough to be used in its lower part for navigation. The valley of this river is a fertile grain - producing district. The Campaspe (150 m.) has too little volume of water to be of use for navigation; its valley is also agricultural, and along its banks there lie a close succession of thriving town - ships. The Loddon (over 200 m.) rises in the Pyrenees. The upper part flows through a plain, to the right agricultural and to the left auriferous, containing nearly forty thriving towns, including Bendigo (formerly named Sandhurst) and Castlemaine. In the lower part of the valley the soil is also fertile, but the rainfall is small. To the west of the Loddon is the Avoca river with a length of 140 m.; it is of slight volume, and though it flows towards the Murray it loses itself in marshes and salt lagoons before reaching that river.

The rivers which flow southwards into the ocean are numerous. The Snowy river rises in New South Wales, and in Victoria flows entirely through wild and almost wholly unoccupied territory.

The Tambo (120 m. long), which rises in the heart of the Australian Alps, crosses the Gippsland plains and falls into Lake King, one of the Gippsland lakes; into the same lake falls the Mitchell river, rising also in the Australian Alps. The Mitchell is navigated for a short distance. The Latrobe empties itself into Lake Wellington after a course of 135 m.; it rises at Mount Baw Baw. The Yarra Yarra rises in the "Black Spur" of the Australian Alps. Emerging in a deep valley from the ranges, it follows a sinuous course through the undulating plains called the "Yarra Flats," which are wholly enclosed by hills, on whose slopes are some of the best vineyards of Australia; it finds its way out of the Flats between high and precipitous but well-wooded banks, and finally reaches Port Phillip Bay below Melbourne. Owing to its numerous windings its course through that city and its suburbs is at least thirty miles. Nearer to the sea its waterway, formerly available for vessels drawing 16 ft., has now been deepened so as to be available for vessels drawing 20 ft. The Barwon, farther west, is a river of considerable length but little volume, flowing chiefly through pastoral lands. The Hopkins and Glenelg (280 m.) both water the splendid pastoral lands of the west, the lower course of the former passing through the fertile district of Warrnambool, well known throughout Australia as a potato-growing region.

In the west there are Lakes Corangamite and Colac, due north of Cape Otway. The former is intensely salt; the latter is fresh, having an outlet for its waters. Lakes Tyrrell and Hindmarsh lie in the plains of the north-west. In summer they are dried up, and in winter are again formed by the waters of rivers that have no outlet. In the east are the Gippsland lakes, formed by the waters of the Latrobe, Mitchell and Tambo, being dammed back by the sandhills of the Ninety Mile Beach. They are connected with Bass Strait by a narrow and shifting channel through a shallow bar; the government of Victoria has done a great deal of late years to deepen the entrance and make it safer. The upper lake is called Lake Wellington; a narrow passage leads into Lake Victoria, which is joined to a wider expanse called Lake King. These are all fresh-water lakes and are visited by tourists, being readily accessible from Melbourne. (T. A. C.) Geology. - Victoria includes a more varied and complete geological sequence than any other area of equal size in Australia. Its geological foundation consists of a band of Archean and Lower Palaeozoic rocks, which forms the backbone of the state. The sedimentary rocks in this foundation have been thrown into folds, of which the axes trend approximately north and south. The Lower Palaeozoic and Archean rocks build up the Highlands of Victoria, which occupy the whole width of the state at its eastern end, extending from the New South Wales border on the north to the shore of the Southern Ocean on the south. These Highlands constitute the whole of the mountainous country of Gippsland and the north-eastern districts. They become narrower to the west, and finally, beyond the old plateau of Dundas, disappear beneath the recent loams of the plains along the South Australian border. The Lower Palaeozoic and Archean rocks bear upon their surface some Upper Palaeozoic rocks, which occur in belts running north and south, and have been preserved by infolding or faulting; such are the Grampian Sandstones in the west; the Cathedral Mountain Sandstones to the north-east of Melbourne; the belt of Devonian and Lower Carboniferous rocks that extends across eastern Victoria, through Mount Wellington to Mansfield; and finally, far to the east, is the belt of the Snowy river porphyries, erupted by a chain of Lower Devonian volcanoes. Further Upper Palaeozoic rocks and the Upper Carboniferous glacial beds occur in basins on both northern and southern flanks of the Highlands. The Mesozoic rocks are confined to southern Victoria; they build up the hills of southern Gippsland and the Otway Ranges; and farther west, hidden by later rocks, they occur under the coast of the western district. Between the southern mountain chain and the Victorian Highlands occurs the Great Valley of Victoria, occupied by sedimentary and volcanic rocks of Kainozoic age. The NorthWestern Plains, occurring between the northern foot of the Highlands and the Murray, are occupied by Kainozoic sediments.

Victoria has a fairly complete geological sequence, though it is poorer than New South Wales in the Upper Carboniferous and Lower Mesozoic. The Archean rocks form two blocks of gneisses and schists, which build up the Highlands of Dundas in the west, and of the north-eastern part of Victoria. They were originally described as metamorphosed Silurian rocks, but must be of Archean age. Another series of Archean rocks is more widely developed, and forms the old framework upon which the geology of Victoria has been built up. They are known as the Heathcotian series, and consist of phyllites, schists and amphibolites; while their most characteristic feature is the constant association of foliated diabase and beds of jasperoids. Volcanic agglomerates occur in the series at the typical locality of Heathcote. The Heathcotian rocks form the Colbinabbin Range, which runs for 40 m. northward and southward, east of Bendigo. They are also exposed on the surface at the eastern foot of the Grampian Range, and at Dookie, and on the southern coast in Waratah Bay; they have been proved by bores under Rushworth, and they apparently underlie parts of the Gippsland coalfields. The Cambrian rocks have so far only been de finitely proved near Mansfield. Mr A. M. Howitt has there collected some fragmentary remains of Olenellus and worm tubes of the Cambrian genus Salterella. These beds at Mansfield contain phosphatic limestones and wavellite.

The Ordovician system is well developed. It consists of slates and quartzites; and some schists around the granites of the western district, and in the Pyrenees, are regarded as metamorphic Ordovician. The Ordovician has a rich graptolitic fauna, and they have been classified into the following divisions: - Upper Ordovician Darriwill Series Castlemaine Series Lower Ordovician Bendigo Series Lancefield Series The Ordovician beds are best developed in a band running northnorth-west and south-south-east across Victoria, of which the eastern boundary passes through Melbourne. This Ordovician band begins on the south with the block forming the plateau of Arthur's Seat and Mornington Peninsula, as proved by Ferguson. This outlier is bounded to the north by the depression of Port Phillip and the basalt plains west of Melbourne. It reappears north of them at Lancefield, whence it extends along the Highlands, past Ballarat, with southern outliers as far as Steiglitz. It forms the whole of the Ballarat Plateau, and is continued northward through the goldfields of Castlemaine, Bendigo and the Pyrenees, till it dips under the North-Western Plains. Certain evidence as to the age of the rocks in the Pyrenees has not yet been collected, and they may be pre-Ordovician. Some Upper Ordovician rocks occur in the mountains of eastern Gippsland, as near Woods Point, and in north-eastern Victoria, in Wombat Creek.

The Silurian system consists of two divisions: the lower or Melbournian, and the upper or Yeringian. Both consist in the main of sandstones, quartzites and shales; but the upper series includes lenticular masses of limestone, at Lillydale, Loyola and along the Thomson river. The limestones are rich in typical Silurian corals and bryozoa, and the shales and sandstones contain brachiopods and trilobites. The Silurian rocks are well exposed in sections near Melbourne; they occur in a belt running from the southern coast at Waratah Bay, west of Wilson's Promontory, north-north-westward across Victoria, and parallel to the Ordovician belt, which underlies them on the west. The Silurian rocks include the goldfields of the Upper Yarra, Woods Point, Walhalla and Rushworth, while the limestones are worked for lime at Lillydale and Waratah Bay. The Devonian system includes representatives of the lower, middle and upper series. The Lower Devonian series includes the porphyries and their associated igneous rocks, along the valley of the Snowy river. They represent the remains of an old chain of volcanoes which once extended north and south across Victoria. The Middle Devonian is mainly formed of marine sandstones, and limestones in eastern Gippsland. It is best developed in the valleys of the Mitchell, the Tambo and the Snowy rivers. The Upper Devonian rocks include sandstones, shales and coarse conglomerates. At the close of Middle Devonian times there were intense crustal disturbances, and the granitic massifs, which formed the primitive mountain axis of Victoria, were then intruded.

The Carboniferous system begins with the Avon river sandstones, containing Lepidodendron, and the red sandstones, with Lower Carboniferous fish, collected by Mr Geo. Sweet near Mansfield. Probably the Grampian Sandstone, the Cathedral Mountain Sandstone, and some in the Mount Wellington district belong to the same period. The Upper Carboniferous includes the famous glacial deposits and boulder clays, by which the occurrence of a Carboniferous glaciation in the Southern Hemisphere was first demonstrated. These beds occur at Heathcote, Bendigo, the Loddon Valley, southern Gippsland and the North-Eastern district. The beds comprise boulder clay, containing ice-scratched boulders, and sometimes rest upon ice-scratched, moutonne surfaces, and some lake deposits, similar to those laid down in glacial lakes. The glacial beds are overlain by sandstones containing Gangamopteris, and Kitson's work in Northern Tasmania leaves no doubt that they are on the horizon of the Greta or Lower Coal Measures of New South Wales.

The Mesozoic group is represented only by Jurassic rocks, which form the mountains of southern Gippsland and include its coalfields. The rocks contain fossil land plants, occasional fish remains and the claw of a dinosaur, &c. The coal is of excellent quality. The mudstones, which form the main bulk of this series, are largely composed of volcanic debris, which decomposes to a fertile soil. These rocks trend south-westward along the Bass Range, which reaches Western Port. They skirt the Mornington Peninsula, underlie part of Port Phillip and the Bellarine Peninsula, and are exposed in the Barrabool Hills to the south-west of Geelong; thence they extend into the Otway Ranges, which are wholly built of these rocks and contain some coal seams. Farther west they disappear below the recent sediments and volcanic rocks of the Warrnambool district. They are exposed again in the Portland Peninsula, and rise again to form the Wannon Hills, to the south of Dundas.

The Kainozoic beds include three main series: lacustrine, marine and volcanic. The main lacustrine series is probably of Oligocene age, and is important from its thick beds of brown coal, which are thickest in the Great Valley of Victoria in southern Gippsland. A cliff face on the banks of the Latrobe, near Morwell, shows 90 ft. of it, and a bore near Morwell is recorded as having passed through 850 ft. of brown coal. Its thickness, at least in patches, is very great. The brown coals occur to the south-east of Melbourne, under the basalts between it and Geelong. Brown coal is also abundant under the Murray plains in north-western Victoria. The Kainozoic marine rocks occur at intervals along the southern coast and in the valleys opening from it. The most important horizon is apparently of Miocene age. The rocks occur at intervals in eastern Victoria, along the coast and up the river valleys, from the Snowy river westward to Alberton. At the time of the deposition of these beds Wilson's Promontory probably extended south-eastward and joined Tasmania; for the mid-Kainozoic marine deposits do not occur between Alberton and Flinders, to the west of Western Port. They extend up the old valley of Port Phillip as far as Keilor to the north of Melbourne, and are widely distributed under the volcanic rocks of the Western Plains. They are exposed on the floors of the volcanic cauldrons, and have been found by mining operations under the volcanic rocks of the Ballarat plateau near Pitfield. The Miocene sea extended up the Glenelg valley, round the western border of the Dundas Highlands, and spread over the Lower Murray Basin into New South Wales; its farthest south-eastern limit was in a valley at Stawell. Some later marine deposits occur at the Lakes Entrance in eastern Gippsland, and in the valley of the Glenelg.

The volcanic series begins with a line of great dacite domes including the geburite-dacite of Macedon, which is associated with solvsbergites and trachy-dolerites. The eruption of these domes was followed by that of sheets of basalt of several different ages, and the intrusion of some trachyte dykes. The oldest basalts are associated with the Oligocene lake deposits; and fragments of the large lava sheets of this period form some of the table-topped mountains in the Highlands of eastern Victoria. The river gravels below the lavas have been worked for gold, and land plants discovered in the workings. At Flinders the basalts are associated with Miocene limestones. The largest development of the volcanic rocks are a series of confluent sheets of basalt, forming the Western Plains, which occupy over 10,000 sq. m. of south-western Victoria. They are crossed almost continuously by the SouthWestern railway for 166 m. from Melbourne to Warrnambool. The volcanic craters built up by later eruptions are well preserved: such are Mount Elephant, a simple breached cone; Mount Noorat, with a large primary crater and four secondary craters on its flanks; Mount Warrenheip, near Ballarat, a single cone with the crater breached to the north-west. Mount Franklin, standing on the Ordovician rocks north of Daylesford, is a weathered cone breached to the south-east. In addition to the volcanic craters, there are numerous volcanic cauldrons formed by subsidence, such as Bullenmerri and Gnotuk near Camperdown, Keilembete near Terang, and Tower Hill near Port Fairy. Tower Hill consists of a large volcanic cauldron, and rising from an island in a lake on its floor is a later volcanic crater.

The Pleistocene, or perhaps Upper Pliocene, deposits of most interest are those containing the bones of giant marsupials, such as the Diprotodon and Palorchestes, which have been found near Geelong, Castlemaine, Lake Kolungulak, &c.; at the last locality Diprotodon and various extinct kangaroos have been found in association with the dingo. There is no trace in these deposits of the existence of man, and J. W. Gregory has reasserted the striking absence of evidence of man's residence in Victoria, except for a very limited period. There is no convincing evidence of Pleistocene glacial deposits in Victoria. Of the many records, the only one that can still be regarded as at all probable is that regarding Mount Bogong.

The chief literature on the geology of Victoria is to be found in the maps and publications of the Geological Survey - a branch of the Mines Department. A map of the State, on the scale of eight inches to the mile, was issued in 1902. The Survey has published numerous quarter-sheet maps, and maps of the gold fields and parishes. The geology is described in the Reports, Bulletins and Memoirs of the Survey, and in the Quarterly Reports of the Mining Registrars. Statistics of the mining industry are stated in the Annual Report of the Secretary for Mines. See also the general summary of the geology of Victoria, by R. Murray, issued by the Mines Department in 1887 and 1895. Numerous papers on the geology of the State are contained in the Trans. R. Soc. Victoria, and on its mining geology in the Trans. of the Austral. Inst. Min. Engineers. The physical geography has been described by J. W. Gregory in the Geography of Victoria (1903). (J. W. G.) Flora. - The native trees belong chiefly to the Myrtaceae, being largely composed of Eucalypti or gum trees. There are several hundred species, the most notable being Eucalyptus amygdalina, a tree with tall white stem, smooth as a marble column, and without branches for 60 or 70 ft. from the ground. It is singularly beautiful when seen in groves, for these have all the appearance of lofty pillared cathedrals. These trees are among the tallest in the world, averaging in some districts about 300 ft. The longest ever measured was found prostrate on the Black Spur: it measured 470 ft. in length; it was 81 ft. in girth near the root. Eucalyptus globulus or blue gum has broad green leaves, which yield the eucalyptus oil of the pharmacopoeia. Eucalyptus rostrata is extensively used in the colony as a timber, being popularly known as red gum or hard wood. It is quite unaffected by weather, and almost indestructible when used as piles for piers or wharves. Smaller species of eucalyptus form the common "bush." Melaleucas, also of Myrtacea kind, are prominent objects along all the coasts, where they grow densely on the sand-hills, forming "ti-tree" scrub. Eucalyptus dumosa is a species which grows only 6 to 12 ft. high, but with a straight stem; the trees grow so close together that it is difficult to penetrate the scrub formed by them. Eleven and a half million acres of the Wimmera district are covered with this "mallee scrub," as it is called. Recent legislation has made this land easy of acquisition, and the whole of it has been taken up on pastoral leases. Five hundred thousand acres have recently been taken up as an irrigation colony on Californian principles and laid out in 40-acre farms and orchards. The Leguminosae are chiefly represented by acacias, of which the wattle is the commonest. The black wattle is of considerable value, its gum being marketable and its bark worth from £5 to £10 a ton for tanning purposes. The golden wattle is a beautiful tree, whose rich yellow blossoms fill the river-valleys in early spring with delicious scent. The Casuarinae or she-oaks are gloomy trees, of little use, but of frequent occurrence. Heaths, grass-trees and magnificent ferns and fern-trees are also notable features in Victorian forests. But European and subtropical vegetation has been introduced into the colony to such an extent as to have largely altered the characters of the flora in many districts.

Table of contents


The indigenous animals belong almost wholly to the Marsupialia. Kangaroos are tolerably abundant on the grassy plains, but the process of settlement is causing their extermination. A smaller species of almost identical appearance called the wallaby is still numerous in the forest lands. Kangaroo rats, opossums, wombats, native bears, bandicoots and native cats all belong to the same class. The wombat forms extensive burrows in some districts. The native bear is a frugivorous little animal, and very harmless. Bats are numerous, the largest species being the flying fox, very abundant in some districts. Eagles, hawks, turkeys, pigeons, ducks, quail, snipe and plover are common; but the characteristic denizens of the forest are vast flocks of parrots, parakeets and cockatoos, with sulphur-coloured or crimson crests. The laughing jackass (giant kingfisher) is heard in all the country parts, and magpies are numerous everywhere. Snakes are numerous, but less than one-fourth of the species are venomous, and they are all very shy. The deaths from snake-bite do not average two per annum. A great change is rapidly taking place in the fauna of the country, owing to cultivation and acclimatization. Dingoes have nearly disappeared, and rabbits, which were introduced only a few years ago, now abound in such numbers as to be a positive nuisance. Deer are also rapidly becoming numerous. Sparrows and swallows are as common as in England. The trout, which has also been acclimatized, is taking full possession of some of the streams.


Victoria enjoys an exceptionally fine climate. Roughly speaking, about one-half of the days in the year present a bright, cloudless sky, with a bracing and dry atmosphere, pleasantly warm but not relaxing. These days are mainly in the autumn and spring. During forty-eight years, ending with 1905, there have been on an average 132 days annually on which rain has fallen more or less (chiefly in winter, but rainy days do not exceed thirty in the year. The average yearly rainfall was 25.61 in. The disagreeable feature of the Victorian climate is the occurrence of north winds, which blow on an average about sixty days in the year. In winter they are cold and dry, and have a slightly depressing effect; but in summer they are hot and dry, and generally bring with them disagreeable clouds of dust. The winds themselves blow for periods of two or three days at a time, and if the summer has six or eight such periods it becomes relaxing and produces languor. These winds cease with extraordinary suddenness, being replaced in a minute or two by a cool and bracing breeze from the south. The temperature often falls 40° or 50° F. in an hour. The maximum shade temperature at Melbourne in 1905 was 108.5°, and the minimum 32°, giving a mean of 56.1°. The temperature never falls below freezing-point, except for an hour or two before sunrise in the coldest month. Snow has been known to fall in Melbourne for a few minutes two or three times during a long period of years. It is common enough, however, on the plateau; Ballarat, which is over moo ft. high, always has a few snowstorms, and the roads to Omeo among the Australian Alps lie under several feet of snow in the winter. The general healthiness of the climate is shown by the fact that the average death-rate for the last five years has been only 12.71 of the population.


As regards population, Victoria maintained the leading position among the Australasian colonies until the end of 1891, when New South Wales overtook it. The population in 1905 was 1,218,571, the proportion of the sexes being nearly equal. In 1860 the population numbered 537,847; in 1870, 720,599; in 1880, 860,067; and in 1890, 1,133,266. The state had gained little, if anything, by immigration during these years, for the excess of immigration over emigration from 1861 to 1870 and from 1881 to 18go was counterbalanced by the excess of departures during the period 1871 to 1880 and from 1891 to 1905. The mean population of Melbourne in 1905 was 511,900.


Births per 1000


of Population.

p e riod.

Births per 1000

of Population.









18 7 1- 75











Deaths per woo

of Population.

period. I

D eaths 1

of Popu per lation 00.0 .












14 10







The births in 1905 numbered 30,107 and the deaths 14,676, representing respectively 24.83 and 12.10 per moo of the population. The birth-rate has fallen markedly since 1875, as the following statement of the averages arranged in quinquennial periods shows: - The number of illegitimate births during 1905 was 1689, which gives a proportion of 5.61 to every ioo births registered. The death-rate has greatly improved. Arranged in quinquennial periods the death-rates were: - The marriages in 1905 numbered 8774, which represents a rate of 7.24 per 1000 persons. This was the highest number reached during a period of fourteen years, and was 564 more than in 1904 and 1169 more than in 1903. In the five years 1871-75 the marriagerate stood at 6.38 per woo; in 1876-80, 6.02; in 1881-85, 7'37; in 1886-90, 8.13; in 1901-5, 6.86.

Outside Melbourne and suburbs, the most important towns are Ballarat (49,648), Bendigo (43,666), Geelong (26,642), Castlemaine (8063), Warrnambool (6600), Maryborough (6000) and Stawell (5200).


The Church of England, as disclosed at the census of 1901, had 432,704 adherents; the Roman Catholic Church came next with 263,710; the Presbyterians had 190,725; Wesleyans and Methodists, 180,272; Congregationalists, 17,141; Baptists, 32,648; Lutherans, 1 3,935; Jews, 5907; and the Salvation Army, whose Australian headquarters are in Melbourne, 8830.


There were in 1905 1930 state schools, in which there were 210,200 children enrolled, the teachers numbering 4689. There were also 771 private schools with 2289 teachers and a net enrolment of 43,014 children; the majority of them being connected with one or other of the principal religious denominations. The total cost of primary instruction in 1905 was £676,238, being IIs. 2d. per head of population and £4, 14s. 4d. per head of scholars in average attendance. Melbourne University maintains its high position as a teaching body. In 1905 the number of matriculants was 493 and the graduates 118.

Crime is decreasing. In 1905 the number of persons brought before the magistrates was 4 8 ,345. Drunkenness accounted for 1 4,45 8, which represents 11.92 per 1000 of the population: in 1901 the proportion was 1 4.43. Charges against the person numbered 1932, and against property 4032.


As one of the six states of the Commonwealth, Victoria returns six senators and twenty-three representatives to the federal parliament. The local legislative authority is vested in a parliament of two chambers, both elective - the Legislative Council, composed of thirty-five members, and the Legislative Assembly, composed of sixty-eight members. One-half of the members of the Council retire every three years. The members of the Assembly are elected by universal suffrage for the term of three years, but the chamber can be dissolved at any time by the Governor in council. Members of the Assembly are paid boo a year.

The whole of Victoria in 1905 was under the control of municipalities, with the exception of about 600 sq. m. in the mountainous part of Wonnangatta, and 64 sq. m. in French Island. The number of municipalities in that year was 206; they comprised II cities, II towns, 38 boroughs and 146 shires.

X XVIII. 2 a Finance. - The public revenue in 1905 showed an increase on that of the three previous years, being £7,515,1 4 2, equal to £6, 4s. 2d. per head of population; the expenditure amounted to £7,343,742, which also showed a slight increase and was equal to £6, is. 4d. per inhabitant. The public revenue in five-yearly periods since 1880 was: 1880, £4,621,282; 1885, £6,290,361; 1890, £8,519,159; 1895, £6,712,512; and 1901, £7,722,397. The chief sources of revenue in 1905 were: Customs duties (federal refunds), £2,017,378; other taxation, £979,029; railway receipts, £3,609,120; public lands, £408,836; other sources, £501,379. The main items of expenditure were: railways (working expenses), £2,004,601; public instruction, £661,794; interest and charges on public debt, £1,884,208; other services, £ 2 ,793, 1 39. On the 30th of June 1905 the public debt of the state stood at £51,513,767, equal to £42, 9s. 7d. per inhabitant. The great bulk of the proceeds of loans was applied to the construction of revenue-yielding works, only about three millions sterling being otherwise used.

Up to 1905 the state had alienated 26,346,802 acres of the public domain, and had 17,994,233 acres under lease; the area neither alienated nor leased amounted to 11,904,725 acres.

The capital value of properties as returned by the municipalities in 1905 was £210,920,174, and the annual value £11,743,270. In 1884 the values were 104 millions and £8,099,000, and in 1891, 203 millions and £13,734,000; the year last mentioned marked the highest point of inflation in land values, and during the following years there was a vast reduction, both in capital and in annual values, the lowest point touched being in 1895; since 1895 a gradual improvement has taken place, and there is every evidence that this improvement will continue. The revenues of municipalities are derived chiefly from rates, but the rates are largely supplemented by fees and licences, and contributions for services rendered. Excluding government endowments and special grants, which in 1905 amounted to £90,572, the revenues of the municipalities in the years named were: 1880, £616,132; 1885, £7 8 9,4 2 9; 1890, £ 1, 2 73, 8 55; 18 95, £1,038,720; 1900, £ 1, 0 3 6 ,497; 1905, £1,345,221. In addition to the municipalities there are other local bodies empowered to levy rates; these and their revenues in 1905 were: Melbourne Harbour Trust, £189,983;£189,983; Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, £390,441; Fire Boards, £53,279. The Board of Works is the authority administering the metropolitan water and sewerage works. Excluding revenue from services rendered, the amount of taxation levied in Victoria reached in 1905 £4,621,608; of this the federal government levied £2,488,843, the state government £979, 02 9, the municipalities £986,009, and the Melbourne Harbour Trust £167,727.

Productions and Industry: Minerals. - About 25,400 persons find employment in the goldfields, and the quantity of gold won in 1905 was 810,050 oz., valued at £3,173,744, a decrease of 10,967 oz. as compared with 1904. The dividends paid by gold-mining companies in 1905 amounted to £454,431, which, although about the average of recent years, showed a decline of £168,966 as compared with the sum distributed in 1904. Up to the close of 1905 the total value of gold won from the first discovery in 1851 was £273,236,500. No other metallic minerals are systematically worked, although many valuable deposits are known to exist. Brown coal, or lignite, occurs extensively, and attempts have frequently been made to use the mineral for ordinary fuel purposes, but without much success. Black coal is now being raised in increasingly large quantities. The principal collieries are the Outrim Howitt, the Coal Creek Proprietary, the Jumbunna and the Korumburra, all in the Gippsland district. The production of coal in 1905 was 155,185 tons, valued at £79,060; £4100 worth of silver and £11,159 worth of tin were raised; the value of other minerals produced was £93,39 2, making a total mineral production (exclusive of gold) of £187,711, Agriculture. - Judged by the area under tillage, Victoria ranks first among the states of the Australian group. The area under crop in 1905 was 4,269,877 acres, compared with 2,116,000 acres in 1891 and 1,435,000 acres in 1881. Wheat-growing claims the chief attention, 2,070,517 acres being under that cereal in 1905. The areas devoted to other crops were as follows: maize, 11,785 acres; oats, 312,052 acres; barley, 40,938 acres; other cereals, 14,212 acres; hay, 591,771591,771 acres; potatoes, 44,670 acres; vines, 26,402 acres; green foliage, 34,041 acres; other tillage, 73,574 acres; land in fallow comprised 1,049,915 acres. Victorian wheat is of exceptionally fine quality, and usually commands a high price in the London market. The average yield per acre in 1905 was 11.31 bushels; except for the year 1903, the total crop and the average per acre in 1905 were the highest ever obtained. The yield of oats was 23.18 bushels per acre, of barley 2 5'95, and of potatoes 2.58 tons. Great progress has been made in the cultivation of the grape vine, and Victoria now produces more than one-third of the wine made in Australia.

Live Stock

The number of sheep in 1905 was 11,455,115. The quality of the sheep is steadily improving. Systematic attention to stock has brought about an improvement in the weight of the fleece, and careful observations show that between 1861 and 1871 the average weight of wool per sheep increased about one-third; between 1871 and 1881 about one pound was added to the weight per fleece, and there has been a further improvement since the year named. The following were the number of sheep depastured at the dates named: 1861, 6,240,000; 1871, 10,002,000; 1881, 10,267,000; 1891, 12,928,000; 1901, 10,841,790. The horses number 385,513, the swine 273,682, and the horned cattle 1,137,690; of these last, 649,100 were dairy cows. Butter-making has greatly increased since 1890, and a fairly large export trade has arisen. In 1905, 57,606,821 lb of butter were made, 4,297,350 lb of cheese and 16,433,665 lb of bacon and hams.

Manufactures.-There has been a good deal of fluctuation in the amount of employment afforded by the factories, as the following figures show: hands employed, 1885, 49,297; 1890, 56,639; 1893, 39,473; 1895, 46,095; 1900, 64,207; 1905, 80,235. Of the hands last named, 52,925 were males and 27,310 females. The total number of establishments was 4264, and the horse-power of machinery actually used, 43,492. The value of machinery was returned at £6,187,919, and of land and buildings £7,771,238. The majority of the establishments were small; those employing from 50 to 100 hands in 1905 were 161, and upwards of 100 hands, 124.

Commerce.-Excluding the coastal trade, the tonnage of vessels entering Victorian ports in 1905 was 3,989,903, or about 34 tons per inhabitant. The imports in the same year were valued at £ 22 ,337, 886, and the exports at £22,758,828. These figures represent £18, 8s. 5d. and £18, 15s. 6d. per inhabitant respectively. The domestic produce exported was valued at £14,276,961; in 1891 the value was £13,026,426; and in 1881, £12,480,567. The comparatively small increase over the period named is due mainly to the large fall in prices of the staple articles of local production. There has, however, been some loss of trade due to the action of the New South Wales government in extending its railways into districts formerly supplied from Melbourne. The principal articles of local production exported during 1905 with their values were as follows: butter and cheese, £1,576,189; gold (coined and bullion), £1,078,560; wheat, £1,835,204; frozen mutton, £275,195; frozen and preserved rabbits and hares, £220,940; skins and hides, £535,086; wool, £2,501,990; horses, £278,033; cattle, £293,241; sheep, £ 326,526; oats, £165,585; flour, £590,297; hay and chaff, £97,47 1; bacon and ham, £89,943;£89,943; jams and jellies, £73,233; fruit (dried and fresh), £ 12 5,33 0. The bulk of the trade passes through Melbourne, the imports in 1905 at that port being £18,112,528.

Defence.-The Commonwealth defence forces in Victoria number about 5700 men, 4360 being partially paid militia and 1000unpaid volunteers. There are also 18,400 riflemen belonging to rifle clubs. Besides these there are 200 naval artillerymen, capable of being employed either as a light artillery land force, or on board war vessels. The total expenditure in 1905 for purposes of defence in the state was £291,577.

Railways.-The railways have a total length of 3394 m., and the cost of their construction and equipment up to the 30th of June 1905 was £41,259,387; this sum was obtained by raising loans, mostly in London, on the security of the general revenues of the state. In 1905 the gross railway earnings were £3,582,266, and the working expenses £ 2,222,279; so that the net earnings were L1,359,987, which sum represents 3.30% on the capital cost.

Posts and Telegraphs.-Victoria had a length of 6338 m. of telegraph line in operation in 1905; there were 969 stations, and the business done was represented by 2,256,482 telegrams. The postoffices, properly so-called, numbered 1673; during that year 119,689,000 letters and postcards and 59,024,000 newspapers and packets passed through them. The postal service is carried on at a profit; the revenue in 1905 was £708,369, and the expenditure £ 62 7,735. Telephones are widely used; in 1905 the length of telephone wire in use was 28,638 m., and the number of telephones 14,134; the revenue from this source for the year was £102,396.

Banking.-At the end of 1905 the banks of issue in Victoria, eleven in number, had liabilities to the extent of £36,422,844, and assets of £40,511,335. The principal items among the liabilities were: notes in circulation, 035,499; deposits bearing interest, £ 2 3, 0 55,743; and deposits not bearing interest, £12,068,153. The chief assets were: coin and bullion, 0,056,666; debts due, £ 29,918,226; property, £1,919230; other assets, £ 617,213. The money in deposit in the savings banks amounted to £10,896,741, the number of depositors being 447,382. The total sum on deposit in the state in 1905 was, therefore, £46,020,637, which represents £37, 15s. 4d. per head of population.

Authorities. - J. Bonwick, Discovery and Settlement of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1856), Early Days of Melbourne (Melbourne, 1857), and Port Phillip Settlement (London, 1883); Rev. J. D. Lang, Historical Account of the Separation of Victoria from New South Wales (Sydney, 1870); Victorian Year-Book (annually, 18 731905, Melbourne); F. P. Labilliere, Early History of the Colony of Victoria (London, 1878); G. W. Rusden, Discovery, Survey and Settlement of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1878); R. B. Smyth, The Aborigines of Victoria (2 vols., Melbourne, 1878); J. J. Shillinglaw, Historical Records of Port Phillip (Melbourne, 1879); David Blair, Cyclopaedia of Australasia (Melbourne, 1881); E. Jenks, The Government of Victoria (London, 1881); E. M. Curr, The Australian Race: its Origin, Language, Customs, &'c. (Melbourne, 1886-87); Edmund Finn, Chronicles of Early Melbourne (Melbourne, 1889); attempted by the government of New South Wales at Early P Y g days. Settlement Point, near French Island, Western Port Bay, but it was abandoned shortly afterwards. In 1834 Messrs Edward and Francis Henty, who had taken part in the original expedition to Swan river, West Australia, and afterwards migrated to Van Diemen Land, crossed Bass Strait, established a shore whaling station at Portland Bay, and formed sheep and cattle stations on the river Wannon and Wando rivulet, near the site of the present towns of Merino, Casterton and Coleraine. In 1835 a number of flock owners in Van Diemen Land purchased through Batman from the aborigines a tract of 700,000 acres on the shores of Port Phillip. The sale was repudiated by the British government, which regarded all unoccupied land in any part of Australia as the property of the crown, and did not recognize the title of the aborigines. Batman, however, remained at Port Phillip, and commenced farming within the boundaries of the present city of Melbourne. He was followed by John Pascoe Fawkner and other settlers from Van Diemen Land, who occupied the fertile plains of the new territory. In 1836 Captain Lonsdale was sent to Melbourne by the government of New South Wales to act as resident magistrate in Port Phillip. The first census taken in 1838 showed that the population was 3511, of whom 3080 were males and 431 females. In 1839 Mr Latrobe was appointed superintendent of Port Phillip, and a resident judge was nominated for Melbourne, with jurisdiction over the territory which now forms the state of Victoria. The years 1840 and 1841 were periods of depression owing to the decline in the value of all descriptions of live stock, for which the first settlers had paid high prices; but there was a steady immigration from Great Britain of men with means, attracted by the profits of sheep-farming, and of labourers and artisans who obtained free passages under the provisions of the Wakefield system, under which half the proceeds from the sale and occupation of crown lands were expended upon the introduction of workers. The whole district was occupied by sheep and cattle graziers, and in 1841 the population had increased to 11,738. Melbourne was incorporated as a town in 1842, and was raised to the dignity of a city in 1847. In that same year the first Anglican was ordained, and in 1848 the first Roman Catholic bishop. The third census (taken in 1846) showed a population of 32,870.

The elective element was introduced into the Legislative Council of New South Wales in 1842, in the proportion of twenty-four members to twelve nominated by the crown, and the district of Port Phillip, including Melbourne, returned six members. But the colonists were not satisfied with government Philip Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography (Melbourne, 1892); T. A. Coghlan, Australia and New Zealand (1903-4). (T. A. C.) History. - The first discoverer of Victoria was Captain Cook, in command of H.M.S. "Endeavour," who sighted Cape Everard, about half-way between Cape Howe and the mouth of the Snowy river, on the 19th of April 1770, a few days prior to his arrival at Botany Bay. The first persons to land in Victoria were the supercargo and a portion of the crew of the merchant ship "Sydney Cove," which was wrecked at the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait on the 9th of February 1797. In the same year, Mr Bass, a surgeon in the navy, discovered the strait which bears his name and separates Victoria from Tasmania. Lieut. Grant in the "Lady Nelson" surveyed the south coast in 1800, and in 1801 Port Phillip was for the first time entered by Lieut. Murray. In 1802 that harbour was surveyed by Captain Flinders, and in the same year Mr Grimes, the surveyor-general of New South Wales, explored the country in the neighbourhood of the present site of Melbourne. In 1804 Lieut.-Colonel Collins, who had been sent from England, formed a penal settlement on the shores of Port Phillip, but after remaining a little more than three months near Indented Head, he removed his party to Van Diemen Land. Victoria was visited in 1824 by two sheep farmers named Hume and Hovell, who rode overland from Lake George, New South Wales, to the shores of Corio Bay. In 1826 a convict establishment was from and by Sydney; an agitation in favour of separation commenced, and in 1851 Victoria was formed into a separate colony with an Executive Council appointed by the crown, and a Legislative Council, partly elective and partly nominated, on the same lines as that of New South Wales. The population at that date was 77,435. Gold was discovered a few weeks after the colony had entered upon its separate existence, and a large number of persons were attracted to the mines, first from the neighbouring colonies - some of which, such as South Australia, Van Diemen's Land and West Australia, were almost denuded of able-bodied men and women - and subsequently from Europe and America. Notwithstanding the difficulties with which the local government had to contend, the task of maintaining law and order was fairly grappled with; the foundations of a liberal system of primary, secondary and university education were laid; roads, bridges and telegraphs were constructed, and Melbourne was provided with an excellent supply of water.

Local self-government was introduced in 1853, and the Legislature found time to discuss a new Constitution, which not only eliminated the nominee element from the Legis lature, but made the executive government responsible to the people. The administration of the gold-fields was not popular, and the miners were dissatisfied at the amount charged for permission to mine for gold, and at there being no representation for the gold-fields in the local Legislature. The discontent culminated, at Ballarat in December 1854, in riots in which there was a considerable loss of life both amongst the miners and the troops. Eventually, an export duty on gold was substituted for the licence fee, but every miner had to take out a right which enabled him to occupy a limited area of land for mining, and also for residence. The census taken in 1854 showed a population of 236,778. The new Constitution was proclaimed in 1855, and the old Executive Council was gazetted as the first responsible ministry. It held office for about sixteen months, and was succeeded by an administration formed from the popular party. Several changes were made in the direction of democratizing the government, and vote by ballot, manhood suffrage and the abolition of the property qualification followed each other in rapid succession. To several of these changes there was strenuous opposition, not so much in the Assembly which represented the manhood, as in the Council in which the property of the colony was supreme. The crown lands were occupied by graziers, termed locally "squatters," who held them under a licence renewable annually at a low rental. These licences were very valuable, and the goodwill of a grazing farm or "run" commanded a high price. Persons who desired to acquire freeholds for the purpose of tillage could only do so by purchasing the land at auction, and the local squatters, unwilling to be deprived of any portion of a valuable property, were generally willing to pay a price per acre with which no person of small means desirous of embarking upon agricultural pursuits could compete. The result was that although the population had increased in 1861 to 540,322, the area of land under crop had not grown proportionately, and Victoria was dependent upon the neighbouring colonies and even more distant countries for a considerable portion of its food. A series of Land Acts was passed, the first in 1860, with the view of encouraging a class of small freeholders. The principle underlying all these laws was that residence by landowners on their farms, and their cultivation, were more important to the state than the sum realized by the sale of the land. The policy was only partially successful, and by a number of ingenious evasions a large proportion of the best land in the colony passed into the possession of the original squatters. But a sufficient proportion was purchased by small farmers to convert Victoria into a great agricultural country, and to enable it to export large quantities of farm and dairy produce.

The greater portion of the revenue was raised by the taxation through the customs of a small number of products, such as spirits, tobacco, wine, tea, coffee, &c. But an agitation arose in favour of such an adjustment of the import duties as would protect the manufactures which at that time were being coin menced. A determined opposition to this policy was made by a large minority in the Assembly, and by a large majority in the Council, but by degrees the democratic party triumphed. The victory was not gained without a number of political crises which shook the whole fabric of society to its foundations. The Assembly tacked the tariff to the Appropriation Bill, and the Council threw out both. The result was that there was no legal means of paying either the civil servants or the contractors, and the government had recourse to an ingenious though questionable system by which advances were made by a bank which was recouped through the crown "confessing" that it owed the money, whereupon the governor issued his warrant for its payment without any recourse to parliament. Similar opposition was made by the Council to payment of members, and to a grant made to Lady Darling, the wife of Governor Sir Charles Darling, who had been recalled by the secretary of state on the charge of having shown partiality to the democratic party. Indeed on one occasion the dispute between the government and the Council was so violent that the former dismissed all the police, magistrates, county court judges and other high officials, on the ground that no provision had been made by the Council, which had thrown out the Appropriation Bill, for the payment of salaries.

Notwithstanding these political struggles, the population of the colony steadily increased, and the Legislature found time to pass some measures which affected the social life and the commercial position of the colonies. State aid to religion was abolished, and divorce was made comparatively easy. A system of free, compulsory and secular primary education was introduced. The import duties were increased and the transfer of land was simplified. In 1880 a fortnightly mail service via Suez between England and Melbourne was introduced, and in 1880 the first International Exhibition ever held in Victoria was opened. In the following year the census showed a population of 862,346, of whom 452,083 were males and 410,263 females. During the same year the lengthy dispute between the two houses of parliament, which had caused so much inconvenience, so many heartburnings and so many political crises, was brought to an end by the passage of an act which reduced the qualifications for members and the election of the Legislative Council, shortened the tenure of their seats, increased the number of provinces to fourteen and the number of members to forty-two. In 1883 a coalition government, in which the Liberal or protectionist and the Conservative or free-trade party were represented, took office, and with some changes remained in power for seven years. During this political truce several important changes were made in the Constitution. An act for giving greater facilities for divorce was passed, and with some difficulty obtained the royal assent. The Victorian railways were handed over to the control of three commissioners, who to a considerable extent were made independent of the government, and the civil service was placed under the supervision of an independent board. In 1887 the representatives of Victoria met those of the other British colonies and of the United Kingdom in London, under the presidency of Lord Knutsford, in order to discuss the questions of defence, postal and telegraphic communication, and the contribution of Australia to the Imperial navy. In 1888 a weekly mail service was established via Suez by the steamers of the P. & O. and the Orient Companies, and the second Victorian International Exhibition was opened. In 1890 all the Australian colonies, including New South Wales and New Zealand, sent representatives to a conference at Melbourne, at which resolutions were passed in favour of the establishment of a National Australian Convention empowered to consider and report upon an adequate scheme for the Federal Constitution. This Convention met in Sydney in 1891 and took the first step towards federation '(see' Australia).

In 1891 the coalition government resigned and a Liberal administration was formed. An act passed in that year placed the railways again under the control of the government. Measures of a democratic and collectivist tendency have since obtained the assent of the Legislature. The franchise of property-holders not resident in an electorate was abolished and the principle of "one man one vote" was established. Acts have been passed sanctioning Old Age Pensions; prohibiting shops, except those selling perishable goods, from keeping open more than eight hours; compelling the proprietors to give their assistants one half-holiday every six days; preventing persons from working more than forty-eight hours a week; and appointing for each trade a tribunal composed of an equal number of employers and employed to fix a minimum wage. (See AUSTRALIA.) Victoria enjoyed a large measure of prosperity during the later 'eighties and earlier 'nineties, and its financial prosperity enabled the government to expend large sums in extending railway communication to almost every locality and to commence a system of irrigation. The soil of Victoria is on the whole more fertile than in any other colony on the mainland of Australia, and in no portion of the continent is there any locality equal in fertility to the western district and some parts of Gippsland. The rainfall is more equable than in any portion of Australia, but the northern and north-western districts, which are the most remote from the sea and the Dividing Range, are subject to droughts, which, although not so severe or so frequent as in the interior of the continent, are sufficiently disastrous in their effects. The results of the expenditure upon irrigation have not been so successful as was hoped. Victoria has no mountains covered with snow, which in Italy and South America supply with water the rivers at the season of the year when the land needs irrigation, and it was necessary to construct large and expensive reservoirs. The cost of water is therefore greater than the ordinary agriculturist who grows grain or breeds and fattens stock can afford to pay, although the price may not be too high for orchardists and vine-growers. In 1892 the prosperity of the colony was checked by a 1892. great strike which for some months affected produc tion, but speculation in land continued for some time longer, especially in Melbourne, which at that time contained nearly half the population, 500,000 out of a total of 1,140,105. There does not seem to have been any other reasons for this increase in land values, for there was no immigration, and the value of every description of produce had fallen - except that the working classes were prosperous and well paid, and that the purchase of small allotments in the suburbs was a popular mode of investment. In 1893 there was a collapse. The value of land declined enormously, hundreds of persons believed to be wealthy were ruined, and there was a financial panic which caused the suspension of all the banks, with the exception of the Australasia, the Union of Australia, and the New South Wales. Most of them resumed payment, but three went into liquidation. It was some years before the normal condition of prosperity was restored, but the great resources of the colony and the energy of its people discovered new markets, and new products for them, and enabled them materially to increase the export trade. (G. C. L.)

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Victoria (abbrev "VIC" for purposes of Australia Post and ISO 3166-2:AU and some publications' worldwide extensions of the Chapman codes) is the southernmost mainland state of Australia. It adjoins South Australia to the west and New South Wales to the north-east. Across Bass Strait to the south lies the island state, Tasmania.

When it joined the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 its capital, Melbourne, was the financial capital of Australasia. Some New Zealanders still go there occasionally for shopping.

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This article uses material from the "Victoria" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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