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Newcastle, Australia

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Newcastle New South Wales Australia, is an industrial city 160km north of Sydney, by the mouth of the Hunter River[?].

The first European to explore the region was Lt. John Shortland[?] in 1797, and in 1798, coal mined from the area was the New South Wales colony's first export. An attempt to establish a permanent settlement in the area (then called Coal River) failed but in 1804 the current city (briefly called King's Town) was established. Initially this was a penal settlement, with agriculture the only industry.

Coal mining began in earnest in the 1830s. In the 1890s a zinc smelter was built by Cockle Creek[?] and in 1915 the BHP steelworks opened. From then Newcastle began a period dominated by heavy industry and coal mining, however with the steel works closing in 1999 and the expected closure of the Sulphide Corporation[?] works by 2006 the era of heavy industry is passing.

In 1989 an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale killed 13 people. Ironically, a small island now known as Nobby's Head was joined to the mainland, a distance of about 50 metres, with rubble from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. Newcaslte is also widely recognised by outsiders as having a similar culture of that city.

In 2000 the city of Newcastle had a population of 140,934 while the adjacent City of Lake Macquarie had a population 184,319.

It has one university, the University of Newcastle[?], which was formerly part of the University of New South Wales

Residents of Newcastle call themselves "Novocastrians", a word not widely understood elsewhere.

External Links

Newcastle city council website - http://www.ncc.nsw.gov.au/ (http://www.ncc.nsw.gov.au/)

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