What are the positive and negative effects of Australia's geography?

Expert Answers
paepin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Australia is a country (and continent) largely driven by its geographical limitations and advantages. Some of the world's most prominent geographical features exist in Australia. In addition, the island country is geographically very diverse - rain forests, coastal areas, urban sprawls, and the outback region all have very different geographies. 

One of Australia's driving geographical features is the Great Artesian Basin, which is the major source of freshwater. Of course, the existence of the basin is a huge benefit to Australia and the water in the basin is critical for the country's population; however, the importance of this single geographical feature means that the country would greatly suffer if anything were to threaten this resource (i.e. climate change). Additionally, laws and regulations driving the division of groundwater form the basin breeds contention among aboriginal and non-aboriginal stakeholders, adding another dimension of complication surrounding the geography. In this way, the basin has both a positive effect (resource) and a negative effect (instability, social issues) on Australia. 

Another prominent feature of Australia's geography is the Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Queensland. This feature is the largest reef on earth and hosts a plethora of life. As such a famous land form, tourists visit from around the world to see the reef and interact with the wildlife (turtles, octopi, stingrays) that depend on the reef. The importance of this feature is evident in the tourism economy - a lot of money is brought into the country from visitors to the reef. On the other hand, this geographical feature that attracts so much money into the economy also attracts accidental damage from visitors - just visiting the reef is extremely harmful, even under the guise of ecotourism. In this way, the reef has both a positive effect (money, growing market) and a negative effect (wildlife) on Australia.

Visit the link below for an interactive infographic of Australia and click Queensland for more detail.