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End of isolation?

Tourist brochure, 1954 Perth is still one of the most isolated cities in the world. Western Australia consists of a third of the continent of Australia yet contains barely 10% of the population. Many communities throughout the State are remote from Perth, from Canberra and from each other.

As we enter the 21st century the sense of physical and psychological isolation which has been a part of the Western Australian identity remains strong, despite huge developments in transportation and communication.

The completion of a safe Fremantle Harbour facility around the turn of last century was a milestone in connecting Western Australians with the outside world. When the international mail steamers began calling at Fremantle, the world's passenger and cargo ships also became connected with the State's largest population centre bringing with them trade, people and ideas.

Since then the development of rail , road and air with eastern Australia and international destinations has seen an end to the sort of isolation which marked Western Australia in the late 19th century. Many of these changes have occurred only in the last 30 years. Rapid improvements in communications have contributed to ending the isolation of communities within Western Australia, and of Western Australia in the world.

With increased immigration and transmigration, the sense of Western Australian identity has changed considerably since Federation and Secession. But in spite of improvements in transportation and communications, Western Australians are still subject to the 'tyranny of distance'.

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