Officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Neighbouring countries include Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the northeast and New Zealand to the southeast. Australia has three time zones; Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST = GMT +10), Central (ACST = GMT +9 ½) and Western (AWST = GMT +8). The Eastern seaboard of Australia is ten hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +10) from early April to early October (autumn, winter and Early Spring months). The national capital of Australia is Canberra. There are six states; Queensland (QLD), New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), Tasmania (TAS), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA). The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is now self administrating with it's own legislature. The Northern Territory (NT), despite being self administering, can still have it's state laws overturned by the Federal Government.
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of 1,659,000. Perth became known worldwide as the "City of Light" when city residents lit their house lights and streetlights as American astronaut John Glenn passed overhead while orbiting the earth on Friendship 7 in 1962. The city repeated the act as Glenn passed overhead on the Space Shuttle in 1998. Perth is tied for eighth place in The Economist's 2010 list of the World's Most Liveable Cities.