Australia Matt Faatz, Arpan Chowdhury

Australia as a country was claimed in 1770 by Capt. James Cook of Great Britain, and was claimed as a British territory. Six British colonies joined to become the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

Australia currently holds a population of 22,992,654.

Australia's economy is mostly benefited by its services sector, which accounts for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs. Australia is an open market with few tariffs on imports. It also plays an active role in the World Trade organization. Australia holds a GDP per capita rank of 13th.

Australia has an unemployment rate of 5.8% as of 2016.

Australia's main industries are mining, industrial and agricultural equipment, food processing, chemicals, and steel.

Australia is a parliamentary democracy, where the party with the most representation in parliament forms the government. This is formed under a constitutional monarchy. It is also a commonwealth realm.

The capital of Australia is Canberra.

Australia has 6 states and 2 territories, which are the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Australia declared independence from the federation of UK colonies on January 1st, 1901.

Australia' constitution was drafted on July 9th, 1900, and went into effect on January 1st of the following year. It has been amended several times, the last time being in 1977. A referendum to create a new amendment to reflect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Act is planned for early 2017.

Australia has a common law system based on England's common law system.

Australians are allowed to vote once they reach the age of 18. Their votes are universal and compulsory.

Australia's chief of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove. Cabinets are nominated by the prime minister from among members of Parliament and sworn in by the governor general. The governor general is appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister.

Australia has a bicameral Legislative Branch. Its Federal Parliament consists of the Senate, which has 76 seats with 12 members from each state and 2 from each mainland territory, and the House of Representatives, which houses 150 seats, where members may serve terms of up to 3 years.

Australia's Judicial Branch consists of a High Court with 7 justices, and a large number of subordinate courts. Judges are picked by the governor-general.

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