Session files and videos from the conference program are now starting to be made available online. For presentations currently online please see the following pages:
Birds of a feather
If you notice your presentation files are missing please don't hesitate to
To obtain the best possible airfare it is important you book your airfares as far in advance as possible.
Airport And Transport
Sydney : The central business district is 10km north of the International Airport and takes approximately 20 minutes to reach by car. A taxi costs approximately A$25. A regular airport shuttle bus service to city hotels operates from approximately 06:00 to 21:00 hours (not recommended for those with large amounts of luggage). If you have any queries about transfers, please see the Travellers Information Desk at the Airport.
Taxis: Taxis in Sydney operate under two pricing structures. From 06:00 – 22:00 hours the standard fare applies. On the left hand side of the taxi meter, above the word ‘rate’ you should see the number 1. From 22:00 – 06:00 hours, a 20% night tariff applies, at these times the meter should be set on rate 2. Please check the meter is set correctly when you begin your journey.
Trains: There is a train station located at both the Domestic and International Terminals at Sydney Airport. Trains run on average every 10 minutes during the day on a weekday and every 15 minutes on weekends. From the Domestic Terminal, it takes 10 minutes to reach Central Station and 15 minutes to Circular Quay. From the International Terminal it takes a few minutes longer. It will then be necessary to take a taxi to your hotel. Elevators are available at both the International and Domestic Terminals for the easy transfer of luggage. Fares from the Domestic Terminal to the City start at $10 per adult for a single journey. For further information on the service that the Airport Link provides, please see: www.airportlink.com.au
Decimal currency is used in Australia with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents = $1). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10, and $5. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 denominations. When paying by cash (
not with a credit card), prices will be rounded to the nearest 5c.
Currency exchange facilities are available in most banks, hotels and airports and operate normal business hours. Credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops, the most widely used being MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.
Banks generally open from 09:30 – 16:00 hours Monday - Friday. General office hours are 09:00 – 17:00 Monday - Friday. Post Offices operate these hours, however stamps are often available from hotels.
All major car hire companies, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty, operate in Australia and vehicles may be hired at Sydney Airport. Parking is available at the Conference venue.
Climate And Clothing
November is spring and the temperature range is 16º Celsius to 24º Celsius (61º Fahrenheit to 75º Fahrenheit).
Generally, Australians are informal dressers. We suggest men bring a jacket and tie for evening functions and smart casual for the women.
Bistros, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offer varied menus, prices and decor. Local specialties such as seafood and Australian wines are worth trying. At some restaurants you can keep the liquor bill down by taking your own wine or beer. These are called "BYO" restaurants, an abbreviation for "bring your own".
|Electrical current is 240/250V, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from that in many countries, so you will need an adaptor. If your appliances are 110V, check if there is a 110/240V switch. If not, you will need a voltage converter. Universal outlets for 240V or 110V shavers are usually found in leading hotels.||
Goods & Services Tax (Gst) / Tourist Refund Scheme (Trs)
Australia levies a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10%.
The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) enables travellers departing Australia to claim a refund of the GST (and also the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australia and taken out of the country. The refund applies to goods over the value of A$300 when items are purchased in the same shop within 30 days of your departure from Australia. Should an item be too large to take onto the aircraft as hand luggage you will need to visit the TRS clearing office at the international airport with the item and receipt. The receipt will be stamped "TRS sighted" and at that point you can check in the large item with your luggage. Once you have cleared customs you can collect your refund from the TRS desk by showing your receipt or items purchased. It does not apply to services or goods consumed or partly consumed in Australia. Goods which are to be exported can be used before departing Australia.
The official language for the conference is English.
Passport & Visa
AUSTRALIAN VISA APPLICATION
All travelers to Australia, other than Australian and New Zealand citizens, are legally required to hold a valid visa to travel to Australia Visa’s are either issued electronically (ETA) with nothing appearing in the passport or through application where a sticker is required in the passport (Non-ETA). It is advised to apply for your visa as soon as possible to ensure processing time. The minimum time frame stated for an Australian visa application is six (6) weeks.
AUSTRALIAN VISA APPLICATION SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION
Delegates applying for a non-ETA visa may present their paid confirmation letter to an Australian visa office to support their application. No other letters will be issued for this purpose. As a conference delegate, you are not guaranteed to be granted a visa.
TYPES OF VISAS AVAILABLE FOR TRAVEL TO AUSTRALIA FOR ATTENDING A CONFERENCE
A. Short Validity Business Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa
What is the Short Validity Business ETA?
Known officially as the 977 visa. The Short Stay Validity Business ETA is appropriate for visits to Australia for business meetings, conventions, conferences or a short term project requiring a high level of skill. Business visas are subject to a condition prohibiting work that could otherwise be undertaken by any Australian citizen or permanent resident. It replaces the visa label or stamp in a passport and removes the need for application forms. ETAs are issued within seconds of being requested through computer links between the Australian Immigration Department, travel agents, airlines and specialist service providers around the world. In most cases no fee applies to these visas.
Who can apply for this type of visa?
Applies to individuals from the following countries
|Hong Kong SAR||Norway||San Marino|
a) Taiwan passport holders can be processed for an ETA only if resident in and applying in Taiwan.
b) UK passport holders whose nationality is British National (Overseas) can be processed for an ETA only if resident in and applying in Hong Kong SAR.
How long is the visa valid for?
The ETA or 977 visa allows multiple visits (for up to 3 months for each visit) within 12 months of visa grant.
Visas can be applied for either online or through participating airlines and travel agents. In most cases, eligible applicants do not need to go to an Australian mission overseas or fill in forms to apply for an ETA.
When the DIMIA website www.eta.immi.gov.au is accessed, the visa applicant will see the following heading: "Welcome to the Australian Government's Electronic Travel Authority System." At the top left hand side of that screen, the visa applicant will see a tab suggesting that they "Apply for ETA". The visa applicant should click on that tab and then proceed to lodge their visa application online. When asked to choose the kind of ETA for their needs, they should indicate that they are applying for a short stay validity Business ETA.
Once visa processing is complete, the visa applicant will be provided with a personalised reference number to keep. There will be no visible visa in their passport but their visa will exist electronically and will be visible when read at passport control, on their arrival in Australia. For more information visit: www.eta.immi.gov.au
B. Non-Electronic Travel Authority – Non-ETA
Know officially as the 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa.
The 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa can be applied for by completing the Form 456. This form can be obtained from an Australian mission or it may be down-loaded from the Department’s website: www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/456.pdf. A fee applies for this visa.
This visa can only be applied for outside Australia.
When applying for a 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa at an Australian overseas mission, nationals of non-ETA countries, will be expected to provide adequate documentation about their background, financial situation and other relevant details as required, regardless of their professional / social status or standing.
What is the 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa?
The 456 Business (Short Stay) Visitor visa is the appropriate visa for individuals who wish to visit Australia to attend a conference and do not come from one of the ETA countries, listed above.
Who should apply for this type of visa?
Individuals from countries other than those listed in the table above, non-ETA countries.
How long is it valid for?
The 456 Business (Short Stay) Visa is valid for up to 3 months.
To lodge an application, the invited event participant must provide the following documentation along with the completed Form 456: * Two recent passport photos; * The visa application charge payment, or evidence of payment – eg: bank deposit slip (if it was deposited in the embassy’s bank account) or credit card receipt (if it was paid by credit card); * A valid passport.
Additional information may be requested and you will be advised by the Mission if this is the case.
Where can I find an Australian mission?
For information on locations and contact details of Australian missions visit the World Index at www.immi.gov.au/contacts/overseas
You will be required to substantiate all information provided in your application You can expect to come under a certain amount of scrutiny as a normal part of the visa assessment process. As a conference delegate, you are not guaranteed to be granted a visa. If you unable to obtain an Australian visa through the Department of Immigration for the purposes of attending the FOSS4G 2009 Conference, the Conference Managers will refund your paid registration upon sighting written notice of your denied visa application.
Planning Your Travel
Because of time change and jet lag, the Organising Committee suggests you consider arriving in Australia by 15 October 2009 or earlier. This will enable you to relax and familiarise yourself with your hotel, its surrounds and Sydney before the start of the conference.
The Conference Managers comply with the Australian "Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000" which is designed to protect the right of the individual to privacy of their information. Information collected in respect of proposed participation in any aspect of the Conference will be only used for the purposes of planning and conduct of the Conference and may also be provided to the organising body or to organisers of future events. It is also usual to produce a "Delegate List" of attendees at the Conference and to include the individual’s details in such a list. Consent for publication of the individual’s information may be withheld when completing the Registration Form for the Conference. Individuals are also entitled to access the information held by written application to the Conference Managers.
Australia is free from many plant and animal diseases prevalent in other countries. Very strict quarantine rules apply to the import of animals and plants, including most food products, which cannot be brought into the country without prior application. Animal and plant products are also restricted.
For more information see the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website .
Sydney Shops are typically open from 09:00 to 17:30 hours during the week with late night shopping on Thursday. On Saturday, most shops open from 0900 to 1600. On Sunday Darling Harbour shops are open from 10:00 to 18:00 and major department stores in the centre of the city are open from 10:00 to 16:00.
Sydney is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world. Tipping is your prerogative, a reward for service. It is customary to tip hotel porters and a gratuity of about 10 per cent is usual in restaurants if good service is received. Tips for taxis are regarded as optional.
A current valid international certificate of inoculation against yellow fever is required if passengers come from, or travel through, infected areas. Check this carefully with your airline or travel agent.