Australia the continent is a vast desert surrounded by fertile land next to the southern and eastern coasts. I’ve travelled to all the capital cities and done the North-South journey so I have a clue about the broad biomes and areas of Australia. The other important fact is the vast distances between points of interest and the isolation this causes. Perth is the most isolated city in the world and the only reason it I part of Australia is our extensive transport system, which is highly dependent on fossil fuels, and our centralized government. The large distances also characterise the position of Australia to other countries, yes, Indonesia and New Guinea are close but only to the relatively unpopulated and sparse northern coast. This forms Australia’s greatest defence, similar to Russia’s winter (think Napoleons invasion), and any invasion or mass migration will have to first overcome this obstacle.
Australia’s resource situation is fairly good on non-agricultural or biological resources (wood, fish etc) with a large amount of natural gas, coal reserves, iron and rare earths such as samarium, cerium or lanthanum. We have good wind power and lots of sun. this puts a theoretical eco-technic (based on renewable) industrial complex based on windmills and solar furnaces that could be worked into a sustainable economy, hydropower is also available in some spots for either electricty or mechanical energy generation at various scales. Coupling with a sustainable agriculture, possibly based on Permaculture, would allow a fairly stable and relatively high tech society to exist. We also contain a world class education system, that’s main deficit is the current slashing of TAFE (vocational education), and Permaculture was started here, so the necessary human skills could be created and maintained.
Our current governmental system is built around three levels; local, state and federal. Each state is centred on the capital cities of; Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin and Perth. Canberra fills more of a federal role as the ACT isn’t very big. Regions have their own centres as well but the main centralisation is around the capital cities. The coastal cities have the best access to transport since most of Australian society is based close to the coast, since the interior is a desert, and as coastal country our dock cities are vital. In the future dividing along city state lines based on the current capital cities would be quite easy and if the situation demands it quite an adaptable choice.
Australia is a vast continent with plenty of mineral, energy and the human skills necessary for an economic restructuring, voluntarily or not. Agricultural resources are adequate and despite the wishes of our government and major agro businesses we won’t be able to become the ‘bread basket of Asia’, this is probably for the best. And our governmental system’s are fairly resilient with the next step down into city states already set up and prepared to go. Our isolation will affect everything and will both help, in the case of invasions or mass migrations, and hinder, in the case of trade. These are the basics of Australia’s situation