Australia is now more biggerer

The Age and ABC Science sites are reporting on the news that Australia’s claim to the UN for land off the coast, on the continental shelf, has been recognised.

This has, in one fell swoop, increased the official size of the world’s largest island by almost 35%! The extra 2.5million square kms is being variously described as 5 times the size of France, 10 times the size of New Zealand or equivalent to the area of Western Australia.

Economic considerations and benefits are high on the list of topics to discuss: these areas are thought to be rich in mineral and fossil fuel deposits, although CSIRO has been quick to emphasise the importance of protecting these undersea environments.

Millions of AUD were spent to collect the data to support this claim; a fact that underlines a certain unfairness… It would be difficult to imagine how smaller Pacific island nations could pursue the same course.


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