Victoria

Victoria is in the south-east of Australia and is Australia's most densely populated state. It is also the second-most populous state overall. Most of its population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay which includes the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Melbourne which is Australia's second-largest city although geographically it is the smallest state on the Australian mainland.

The 2011 Australian census reported that Victoria had 5,354,042 people resident at the time of the census and more than 75% of Victorians live in Melbourne. Leading urban centres outside Melbourne include Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Mildura.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in Victoria and the second most populous city in Australia. It is a leading financial centre in Australia, as well as the Asia-Pacific region and is regularly ranked as the world’s most livable city. Melbourne is rated highly in the areas of education, entertainment, healthcare, research and development, tourism and sports.

It is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip with its City Centre situated at the northernmost point of the bay near to the estuary of the Yarra River. The City Centre is located in the municipality known as the City of Melbourne and the metropolis consists of a further 30 municipalities. Melbourne has a population of 4,442,918.

Climate

Victoria has a varied climate despite its small size. It ranges from semi-arid temperate with hot summers 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. Winters along the coast of the state, particularly around Melbourne, are relatively mild.

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.

Education

Education in Victoria is supervised by the Department of Education and Training (DET).

Education in Victoria follows the three-tier model consisting of primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (secondary schools or secondary colleges) and tertiary education (Universities and TAFE Colleges).

School education is compulsory in Victoria between the ages of six and seventeen. A student is free to leave school on turning seventeen, which is prior to completing secondary education. In recent years over three quarters of students are reported to be staying on until they are eighteen, at the end of the secondary school level.

Government schools educate about two thirds of Victorian students, with the other third in independent schools. Education in government schools until year 12 is free. Independent schools, both religious and secular, charge fees, which are subsidised by the Federal and State governments. Regardless of whether a school is government or independent, they are required to adhere to the same curriculum frameworks.

Post-compulsory education is regulated within the Australian Qualifications Framework, a unified system of national qualifications in schools, vocational education and training (TAFE) and the higher education sector.

The academic year in Victoria generally runs from late January until mid-December for primary and secondary schools and TAFE colleges, and from late February until mid-November for universities.

Housing

Housing in Victoria is characterised by high rates of private housing. Outside of Melbourne, home to 70% of the state's population, housing and rent is more affordable.

The Melbourne metropolitan area median property price was $669,000 in December 2014. For more market information including prices on specific suburbs (including regional areas), advice on purchasing property and properties for sale visit the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) website.

There is also a wide range of rental options available in Melbourne – from basic units to luxury mansions, short or long term and furnished or unfurnished. The median rent for a three bedroom house in the Melbourne metropolitan area was approximately $580 per week in December 2014.

International transport links

Melbourne Airport, also known as Tullamarine Airport, is the primary airport serving the city of Melbourne and the second busiest airport in Australia. Melbourne Airport is the sole international airport of the four airports serving the Melbourne metropolitan area and is 23km from the city centre.

The Melbourne–Sydney air route is the third most-travelled passenger air route in the world and the third busiest in the Asia Pacific region. The airport features direct flights to 33 destinations in all states and territories of Australia in addition to numerous destinations in Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Melbourne Airport is the number one arrival/departure point for the airports of four of Australia's seven other capital cities and reached 30 million passengers for the first time in the 12 months ending July 2013.

Industries

The state of Victoria is the second largest economy in Australia accounting for a quarter of the nation's gross domestic product. 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.

Victoria has the largest manufacturing industry in Australia with approximately 30 percent of the country's manufacturing workers employed in Victoria. It remains a key part of Victoria’s economy, accounting for $30.8 billion or 10.8% of Gross State Product (GSP). It directly employs 295,100 people and is the State’s largest employer of full time jobs.

Victoria’s manufacturing sector encompasses a broad range of industries including automotive, advanced electronics and machinery, aerospace and aviation, defence, chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, fabricated metals, textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) and food processing.

Business opportunities

Most of Victoria’s economic activity is concentrated in metropolitan Melbourne with nearly 75 per cent of all Victorian jobs being based there.

The development of Melbourne as the center of the Victorian economy reflects both the state’s history and the integral role capital cities play in globalised economies. The majority of employment in the knowledge intensive services industries of Professional, scientific and technical services, Financial and insurance services, and Information media and telecommunications is concentrated in Melbourne.

Victoria’s regions account for the remainder of economic activity and are important to the state’s overall economic performance in terms of jobs and economic activity (in industries such as Health care and social assistance, Retail trade, Manufacturing and Agriculture, forestry and fishing).

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