General Information

Once you have paid your registration it's time to plan your journey to Australia.

Firstly we encourage you to determine if you require a VISA to enter Australia. Australia is a very warm, friendly and inviting Country but has strict laws about what you can bring with you and where it has been sourced from. In this way the Australian people hope to preserve the thriving and unique flora and fauna Australia has to offer.

Below you will find some general information to assist you in planning for your time in Brisbane.

Currency

Decimal currency is used in Australia - units are dollars and cents. All major credit cards are widely accepted in Australia. Visit www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Banks

Normal banking hours are Monday to Thursday 9:30am-4:00pm and Fridays 9:30am-5:00pm, excluding public holidays. 24 Hour Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found throughout the City and Shopping Centres.

There are four major banks in Australia which offer a full range of banking services including currency conversions and sales of travellers cheques including Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Bank, ANZ Bank and the National Bank.

Time

Local Brisbane time in July is 10 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+10) . It uses the AEST – Australian Eastern Standard Time.
View the Time Zone Map.

Electric Plugs

You may need an adapter in order to plug your appliances into the power sockets: the adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. The plugs in Australia have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre.The electrical current in Australia is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz.

Climate

The weather in Brisbane is comfortable and sub-tropical. The city of Brisbane enjoys a very enviable climate of brilliant hot summers and clear mild winters. These enticing attributes ensure that Brisbane is idyllic for visitors all year round.

In July (winter) it is mild and very pleasant. Most winter days are sunny with average temperatures of around 17°C. Average monthly rainfall over the year is around 96 millimetres. With an average of 8 hours of sun per day.

Grocery Shopping

Most stores and outlets are open from 9:00am to 5:30pm during the week with late night shopping on Thursdays to 9:00pm. On Saturdays and Sunday shops are open between 9:00am and 4:00pm.

For general day to day items that you may require during your time the nearest grocery stores include:

All three supermarket chains offer a variety of mixed goods, food, fruit and vegetables.

Travel & Health Insurance

The Congress does not provide insurance to delegates. We strongly recommend that you take out insurance policies to cover medical and travel expenses. If necessary, consult your travel agent.

Health & Safety

Australia is generally a safe destination with travellers enjoying unhindered travel experiences in terms of their personal safety and security. Our stable political system, well-maintained roads, low crime rate and high standard of health make it a safe and easy country to explore.

Australia's public health care system is called Medicare and Australian hospitals provide world-class medical facilities and standards of care. The Australian Government has reciprocal healthcare agreements with some countries for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia, however it is best to check your eligibility before you leave home and have appropriate travel insurance to cover your stay in Australia.

No special immunisations or vaccinations are required to visit Australia. However, regulations and medical advice can change at short notice, so check with your doctor and the Australian Department of Health (http://www.health.gov.au/) before you leave home.

Emergency number in Australia

The emergency number for police, ambulance and fire brigade is 000.

Pharmacy

The nearest Pharmacy (Chemist) in South Bank is Chemmart - Shop 2, 189 Grey Street, South Brisbane.

Other Pharmacies include Amcal Chemist, Priceline Pharmacy and Chemist Warehouse:

Be sure to check for the Pharmacy Guild sign when looking for your pharmaceutical requirements.

Wheelchair access or other mobility disability access

When you register, please notify the Congress Secretariat of any mobility disabilities you have so that any venue access challenges can be addressed.

Transport from the airport

All delegates must make their own transport arrangements from the airport. A train is available direct from the airport to the Congress Centre (South Brisbane Station). The following are estimates only of travel costs from the airport to the central business district.

  • Taxi: $35 - $45
  • Train Link to Central Station: $15

Public transport around Brisbane

Getting around South East Queensland using public transport is easy. On http://translink.com.au/travel-information you'll find timetables, maps and destinations, plus everything you need to know about catching a bus, train and ferry. There is also information about late night services and safety and security.

One of the easier ways to orientate you with the city of Brisbane is to catch a City Explorer. You will become familiar with your surroundings and have the opportunity to take in some of the key sites around the Brisbane city and surrounding areas. http://theaustralianexplorer.com.au/brisbane-explorer.html

Taxes

A Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10% applies to all consumer goods and is included in retail prices. All fees are quoted in Australian Dollars and are subject to GST.

Australia offers a Tourism Refund Scheme which enables travelers to apply for a refund on the Goods and Service Taxation on items you purchase in the Country. Tourist Refund Schemes facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals. For details and how to claim please visit https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Tour/Are-you-a-traveller.

Tipping

Tipping is not the general custom in Australia and service charges are not added to accounts by hotels and restaurants. However, you may tip hotel porters and food and drink waiters in restaurants (up to 10% of the bill) for special service. At any time, tipping is at your discretion.

Eating Out

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is located in South Bank, a unique riverside cultural and entertainment precinct where an array of restaurants and cafes offer varied menus, prices and décor. Local seafood delicacies are recommended and include Oysters, King Prawns, Queensland Mud Crab, Balmain Bugs and Barramundi. These are delicious when accompanied by Australian wines, many of which have won major international awards.

Mobile Phones

Australia operates on a digital network.

Things you cannot bring into Australia

Australia has very strict importation laws and like most countries we place great emphasis on protecting out native fauna and flora from infectious diseases and other hazardous substances. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) provides quarantine inspection services for the arrival of international passengers, cargo, mail, animals, plants or their products exported from Australia. For more information regarding specifically what you are able to bring into Australia visit the Australian quarantine and Inspection Service website at www.aqis.gov.au.