>Touching on the Crown Colonies, I haven't seen this mentioned before
>but what's the status of Australia and its colonies post 2406?
Australia, as we've seen, suffered in the Earth Alliance crackdown of 2406; it (along with New Zealand) offered just about the stiffest resistance to the Earthforce "peacekeeping" forces of any country on Earth, and in the aftermath, one imagines the good people of A-NZ were made to pay for their defiance. Still, you can't keep a good set of islands down, so once the unpleasantness with the EA is cleared up, it's safe to expect them to bounce back.
As to the colonies, most of the first-wave colonies settled by Australians were further afield than average, and so, unlike places like Tau Ceti and Proxima Centauri, didn't fall within the Earth Alliance's remit when it was founded in 2389. And no, New Brisbane's not the only one. I expect there was a whole set of colonies named after cities in the home country, as was the usual practice during the first wave of colonization (in the 21st century), with later ones being given somewhat more fanciful names. One constant is that they tend to be among the more extreme environments ever deemed suitable for human colonization by Earth's early colonial authorities. Nullarbor Prime, for instance, is an even harsher desert than Tatooine, and while New Brisbane's climate is moister, the planet does tend to have a rather daunting proliferation of poisonous, carnivorous native fauna. And flora. And silicaceous lifeforms. It's a tough planet that has man-eating rocks. It's no wonder New Brisbane is where one of the galaxy's top ten prisons-you-don't-want-to-find-yourself-in (Butcher Bay) is located.
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