- 2.1Aboriginal History:
- 2.2Early European Exploration:
- 2.31803 British Settlement:
- 2.11834 Permanent Settlement:
- 2.2Separation From New South Wales:
- 2.11850s Gold Rush:
- 2.21901 Federation:
- 4.2Service Industry:
- 6Flag of Victoria:
Machinery and equipment manufacturing is the state’s most valuable manufacturing activity, followed by food and beverage products, petrochemicals and chemicals. Prominent manufacturing plants in the state include the Portland and Point Henry aluminium smelters, owned by Alcoa; oil refineries at Geelong and Altona; a major petrochemical facility at Laverton; and Victorian-based CSL, a global biotechnology company that produces vaccines and plasma products, among others. Victoria also plays an important role in providing goods for the defense industry.
Historically, Victoria has been a hub for the manufacturing plants of the major car brands Ford, Toyota and Holden; however, closure announcements by all three companies in the 2010s has meant Australia will completely lose their car manufacturing industry by the end of 2017.
Mining in Victoria contributes around A$6 billion to the gross state product (~2%) 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 centered off the coast of Gippsland in the state’s east, while brown coal mining and power generation is based in the Latrobe Valley.
The service industries sector is the fastest growing component of the Victorian economy. It includes the wide range of activities generally classified as financial and professional services; health care and social assistance, education, transportation, IT and communication services, government services and wholesale and retail trade. Most service industries are located in Melbourne and the state’s larger regional centers.
As of 2015–16, service industries employed over three-quarters of Victorian workers and more than three-quarters of the state’s GSP. Finance and insurance as a group provide more value-add to the economy than any other economic activity in Victoria while health care and social assistance employ the most workers.
Victoria has the highest population density in any state in Australia, with population centers spread out over most of the state; only the far northwest and the Victorian Alps lack permanent settlement.
The Victorian road network services the population centers, with highways generally radiating from Melbourne and other major cities and rural centers 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 centers, as well as long distance services on other lines; Great Southern Rail which operates The Overland Melbourne—Adelaide; and NSW TrainLink which operates XPTs Melbourne—Sydney.
Melbourne has the world’s largest tram network, 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.