12 Primus, 10527
“Vivat Aurora! Vivat Concordia! Vivat Atlantium!”
With those words His Imperial Majesty George II today issued the Executive Decree creating the Province of Aurora, the Empire’s long-planned permanent territorial homeland and global capital.
The creation of Aurora is the culmination of nearly 27 years of planning by His Imperial Majesty and the Imperial Administration, and constitutes a significant milestone in the continuing evolution of the Empire as a global commonwealth of citizens.
Above: View from central Concordia across southwestern Aurora. The Via Concordia is currently the Province’s sole public roadway, and bisects it from south to north.
Aurora consists of a 0.76 square kilometre enclave – largely comprised of rare remnant native eucalypt forests and grasslands – located approximately 350 kilometres southwest of Sydney, Australia, in the scenic, pastoral Lachlan Valley, on the southwestwern slopes of the Great Dividing Range, within the Australian state of New South Wales.
The landscape is rugged and consists of a series of east-west-aligned hilly prominences bisected by valleys. The latter form an extensive northwest-draining catchment that currently terminates in a small man-made lake. The extensive expansion of that facility into a large recreational wetland zone is planned, in order to ensure Aurora enjoys both a reliable source of water during periods of extended drought, and can more effectively serve as a haven for threatened native amphibian and bird species whose habitats in the districts surrounding Aurora have been rendered unviable by more than a century of wholesale land clearances and pastoral activity.
The Province posesses a 4.5 kilometre border, and is approximately twice the size of the Vatican City State, and about half the size of Monaco. Its aquisition thus robs Atlantium of its status as the world’s smallest sovereign state.
Aurora is divided into three administrative divisions – the District of Hickey, the District of Duggan and Concordia Capital District. Simultaneous to the creation of Aurora, today’s Decree also transferred the Atlantian Caput Mundi, or Global Capital, from the former Imperium Proper Territory in the inner Sydney suburb of Potts Point, to Concordia.
The Imperium Proper itself has been renamed the Prefecture of Idalia, and is now considered an exclave of Concordia for administrative purposes. The Province in its entirety is initially to be administered under the direct personal authority of the Emperor.
Human habitation and development of Aurora will be limited entirely to Concordia, as Hickey and Duggan Districts have been gazetted as permanent Nature Conservancies. The development of Concordia will adhere to strict environmental controls intended to ensure the Province’s self-sufficiency, and the minimisation of its carbon footprint, wherever practicable, and to the greatest possible extent.
Above: Flagstaff Hill, near Aurora’s easternmost border, is the Province’s highest elevation.
Resident wildlife is abundant throuought Aurora, and includes the Empire’s totemic animal – the majestic Wedge-Tailed Eagle (Aquila Audax), which with a wingspan of some 2 metres, is among the world’s largest birds of prey. “Wedgies” as Australians affectionately term them, can be seen year-round, soaring on thermal currents high above Aurora. Other resident wildlife includes common Australian marsupial species such as kangaroos, wallabies and echidnas, various species of native lizard (including metre-long goannas) and dozens of smaller, visually spectacular native bird species. Introduced pest species such as red deer, pigs, dogs, cats, foxes and rabbits are also present to various degrees; the systematic eradication of these species from Aurora is reportedly a key priority of the Administration.
The Office of the Emperor has foreshadowed the release of an Imperial Capital Development Plan later in the year, for which wideranging public input and comment will be sought. It is understood that this will outline a modest, several decades-long programme of construction intended to adorn Concordia with such structures as an Official Residence for the Emperor, a Senate House, a Throne Hall, a Post Office, various other Government Offices as well as a number of State Monuments designed to serve as the focus of solemn public ceremonial events, affirmations and commemorations. General accommodation, conference and service facilities are also envisaged, as tourism is viewed by the Administration as a key contributor to the Empire’s longterm economic sustainability.
Further information, photographic images and Google Maps data concerning the Province of Aurora, and Concordia, can be found here.