Following the chaos of Twilight, Australia experienced a number of changes of fortune in its climb to its present status as a star faring nation. The hard work of its citizens ameliorated the effects of damaging events and capitalized upon the potential of beneficial events, bringing the nation hard-won success. The Australians are understandably proud of their accomplishments
As a mediator between nations, Australia gains much world respect, and its citizens are very proud of this fact.
- Population: 22,680,000 (56% urban, 44% rural)
- Literacy: 99%
- College Education: 87%
- Life Expectancy: 91.3 male, 98.4 female
- Largest Cities: Sydney (3,475,000), Newcentre (2,882,000), Melbourne (2,641,000)
Although it has had to overcome some tremendous hurdles in the past few centuries, Australia’s economy is presently in very good shape
- Industrial Capacity: 3 Rudell Units
- Agricultural Output: 103%, net exporter of grain
- Mineral Production: 85% percent, net importer of metals (principally from off-world)
- Power Production: 108%, net exporter of power (83% solar, 8% atomic, 1% mineral)
- Principal Trading Partners: America, Indonesia, Azania, Germany
History Since Twilight
No historian will deny that Twilight was the most destructive calamity in human history. No nation, no matter how isolated, escaped the effects of the war. Australia was no exception. During Twilight, Australia all but ceased to exist as a nation. Thirty percent of the population perished in the nuclear strikes and pandemics, and Australia’s industrial base and oil refining capacity were effectively destroyed. With its government left powerless and its economy non-existent. Australia slipped into chaos.
For the first several decades of Twilight, the only cohesive force on the entire Australian continent was the Australian military. Australian troops established cantonments in New South Wales, Victoria, and the cities of Darwin in the north and Fremantle on Australia’s west coast. These forces regulated food production and distribution inside their cantonments but abandoned the regions outside.
The century following Twilight saw nearly unlimited growth for Australia. The new Australian government began reconstruction of New South Wales and Victoria, but resettlement of the Outback was not in the cards: The Australian government felt that rebuilding New South Wales and Victoria was all Australia could handle at the time. As a result, Fremantle and Darwin remained islands of civilization thousands of miles from the cities of the south.
The rebirth of the European Space Agency led by France’s return to space spurred the creation of the Australian Space Administration (ASA). Unfortunately, lack of funding hindered the development of a viable system until the 2080s, when Neptune 1 soared into low Earth orbit. Permanent space stations and solar power satellites followed in the late 2080s.
The year 2088 marked a special occasion for Australia. An ongoing international discussion concerning the territoriality of orbits and other worlds resulted in a series of treaties and agreements known as the Melbourne Accords. Most nations signed the Accords; some, including the nations of the ESA, would not. In particular, the failure of Great Britain to sign the Accords wounded the relationship between Australia and Britain, propelling Australia toward America, by far the major signatory of the Accords.
The early 2100s saw the beginning of a long-lasting cooperation between Australia and America. The two nations cooperated in the development of a joint space program which could compete with the ESA. Later, Australia and America cooperated in the development of a joint Australian-American stutterwarp drive. The result, the American/Australian probe Connestoga, was launched to Barnard’s Star in 2155. Following the successful flight of the manned Crux Australis to Barnard’s Star in 2157, the Australians stepped up their space program considerably. Due to shortages of tantalum, the Australians were able to construct only a few starships, and these were devoted to exploration of what would later become the American, Arm. The Australians did, however, continue development within the solar system, constructing a lunar colony at Aristerchus and a scientific station on Jupiter’s moon, Callisto.
The Alpha Centauri War of 2163 saw Australia become the mediator in the conflict between Argentina and the ESA. Following Australia’s successful negotiation of the end of the war and the rush to colonize Tirane, Australia wasted no time in constructing a small fleet of colonization vessels and establishing its colony of New Canberra on that planet. Having exhausted their supply of tantalum, the Australians were fortunate to locate several large deposits of the metal in a section of their Tiranean territory which adjoined the nearby Japanese colony. Unfortunately, Japan staked its own claim to the same territory and its tantalum. Following a short conflict, the Australians and the Japanese worked out an agreement to share the tantalum deposits.
The late 2160s and 2170s saw Australia and its ally, America, join forces in the exploration and future colonization of the American Arm. The Australian-American Exploration Council (AAEC) was formed to coordinate exploration of the Arm: Australian and American survey vessels journeyed down-arm in search of habitable worlds.
The year 2183 marked the independence of Tasmania and Northern Queensland from Australia. When the Australian Parliament announced plans to reincorporate the two traditionally autonomous regions into the nation, some objection was raised by the governments in Hobart and Cairna. Following a heated debate, a national referendum was held The Australian people narrowly voted to award independence to both regions.
The discovery of King and its incredible reserves of tantalum by the Americans in 2 132, and its subsequent colonization by both America and Australia in the late 2190s, opened the door to the completion of Australia’s national reconstruction. While the Americans concentrated on expanding the fledgling American Space Force, the Australians sold much of the yield from their initial tantalum strikes.
The enormous capital which Australia received from this financed the resettlement and initial terraforming of the Outback and set the nation squarely on its feet financially. By joint agreement, the Australians and the Americans had divided the American Arm into two sub-arms of colonization. The Australian off-world effort settled into a period of slow development with the initial colonization of Botany Bay in 221 2 and Kingsland in 2217. The Huntsland colony on King grew steadily as new colonists arrived from Earth; the Botany Bay colony began to settle in, and the Kingsland colony looked to be a moderate success.
The failure of the Botany Bay colony in 2214 was a turning point in Australia’s colonization effort. The Australian populace, which had had high hopes for the colony, was furious. Amid a flurry of rhetoric and blame, the prime minister and his cabinet resigned. Recolonization of Botany Bay did not take place until 2233, when a privately financed effort went back to that world.
Australia continued the full-scale development of its colonies well into the late 23rd century. The new Botany Bay colony concentrated in microelectronics research and construction. The Kingsland colony, although growing slowly, showed great promise as terraforming began on that world. And the Huntsland colony continued mining the rich metal deposits of King. Further colonization was no longer feasible since the American Arm possessed no more habitable worlds.
The 2260s were marked by the assimilation of Papua New Guinea into North Queensland. The Queenslanders, who economically and militarily dominated their neighbors to the north, quietly took over Papua’s government, closely tying it to their own. In 2290, when the two nations formally joined together, the name of Papua was chosen for the new nation, as a gesture to the Papuans, who made up the bulk of its population, and a message to the rest of Australia, emphasizing that the new nation was moving further from its traditional Australian roots.
24th Century Australia
The Australia of 2300 is a nation forever transformed by the Twilight War. The traditional notions that Australia was a passive nation of sheep ranchers and tourist attractions disappeared during Australia’s reconstruction efforts of the late 2000s Today’s Australia is composed of the gleaming cities and factories of the south and the extensive farmlands of the terraformed Outback. Because of its exceptional political and economic stability, Australia has become the nation of choice as a site for international discussion, and Australians are neutral to most aspects of world affairs.
Australia has placed a heavy emphasis on off-world colonization. Australia’s three off-world colonies-on King, Botany Bay, and Kingsland are sources of pride for most Australians, who point to the sky and remember their own origins as a British penal colony. The Australian economy has benefited enormously from off-world colonization, as the mineral deposits of King and the microelectronics factories of Botany Bay have assured Australia’s place in the world economic picture.
Currently, the Australian colonization effort is working to place new settlers on Botany Bay and Kingsland. Large monetary incentives and free space travel are among the perks offered to new colonists. The development of the Outback has, however, restricted the size of the labor pool available for off-world settlement.
In 2300, much of Australia remains sparse desert with almost no population A relatively primitive hydrogen road net stretches across it in many locations, and this is one of the few places on Terra where private vehicles can be run with no speed limits imposed upon them.