Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher arrived in Australia on Monday to tour a continent celebrating 200 years of nationhood since its origins as a British penal colony.

Thatcher flew into Perth from Singapore for a five-day visit which will take her from this Indian Ocean city eastwards to the desert heart of this vast country and across to its major Pacific ports.Upon arrival, Thatcher went to open a turbine components factory outside Perth built jointly by a local company and Britain's Rolls-Royce Aero-engine makers.