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DISCOVER AUSTRALIA "Your guide starts here"

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Australia is the second best place in the world to live according to the United Nations, with Norway taking the title by a fraction in the annual Human Development Index (HDI). The index compares 187 countries on factors including health, education, per-capita income and life expectancy. Australia attained a scorecard of 93 out of a possible 100, followed by the Netherlands in third. "By some measures we have a longer life expectancy than any other country except Japan, and that's the main thing that lifts Australia higher up in these rankings than we would be if the only consideration was per-capita income," he said. "But overall, the combination of per-capita income, which has done well in Australia compared with other countries more seriously affected by the financial crisis, long life expectancy and reasonable levels of educational attainment have been enough to lift us into second place on this scale - in fact we've been there for a few years now."


Mr Eslake says the report does not capture what constitutes a country's liveability, but it does show why Australia is referred to as the lucky country. "It ought to serve as a reminder that for all the complaints everyday Australians have about different aspects of their lives, this is one of the best countries in the world in which to live and to bring up children," he said.

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For over a hundred years it's been the site of Broome's skeletal lighthouse. But the stories of Gantheaume Point stretch back in time over thousands and even millions of years. Come on a tour of the history and dinosaur footprints that make Gantheaume Point an extraordinary part of Australia's coastline. Gantheaume Point is famous for the National Heritage listed dinosaur footprints found in the intertidal area. Nigel Clarke is a local dinosaur footprint researcher. He says that during the Cretaceous period, Broome was a massive river delta rich with dinosaur life. At least nine species of dinosaur footprints have been identified in the 130 million year old Broome sandstone. At Gantheaume Point you can see good examples of three-toed theropod prints and enormous round sauropod prints.

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The koala is a small bear-like, tree-dwelling, herbivorous marsupial which averages about 9kg (20lb) in weight. Its fur is thick and usually ash grey with a tinge of brown in places. The koala gets its name from an ancient Aboriginal word meaning "no drink" because it receives over 90% of its hydration from the Eucalyptus leaves (also known as gum leaves) it eats, and only drinks when ill or times when there is not enough moisture in the leaves. ie during droughts etc. The koala is the only mammal, other than the Greater Glider and Ringtail Possum, which can survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves.

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Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from India via the "Southern Route" around 50,000 years ago, and arrived in Australia around 45,000 years ago. The Torres Strait Islanders are indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands, which are at the northern-most tip of Queensland near Papua New Guinea. The term "Aboriginal" has traditionally been applied to indigenous inhabitants of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and some of the other adjacent islands.

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Kangaroos are endemic to the country of Australia. Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like most marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development. Larger kangaroos have adapted much better to changes brought to the Australian landscape by humans and though many of their smaller cousins are endangered, they are plentiful.

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Kookaburras are best known for their unmistakable call, which sounds uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter – good-natured, but rather hysterical, merriment in the case of the renowned. Olly the Kookaburra was one of the three mascots chosen for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Although the kookaburra is restricted to a relatively small part of the world, the distinctive sound it makes has found its way onto many "jungle sound" soundtracks, used in filmmaking and television productions

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There are two kinds of crocodile in Australia: the Estuarine, a saltwater crocodile and Johnsons, a freshwater crocodile. Both are found in the hot, tropical northern part of the continent. The Estuarine crocodile, while it can live in salt water, is able to go quite far up river into fresh water. It is one of the most dangerous of all the crocodile family, being the biggest and heaviest. It grows to between 4 and 7 metres long. The Johnsons crocodile lives mostly in freshwater, but can also live in salt water. It grows up to 3 metres long. It is considered to be dangerous even though it is not known for attacking humans. Crocodiles have long narrow snouts, and the 4th tooth of the lower jaw is outside when the mouth is closed. Their scales have modified (changed over centuries) to form thick tough skin.

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Australia experiences Tropical Cyclone’s regularly around the Northern coastline region due to its proximity to the tropics than the remainder of the country. As a result, many people are exposed to cyclones during the cyclone season between November and April, and a major precautionary system has to be working and reliable to ensure their safety. For six months of the year, approximately 20,000 km of Australia’s coastline and 20 per cent of the population are vulnerable to the devastating winds, high seas and flood rains of a tropical cyclone.

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The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi).[4][5] The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. It supports a wide diversity of life and was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981. CNN labelled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland.

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by asdfg

Gold Coast is today known as a major tourist destination and a play ground for the mega rich with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In fifty years, Gold Coast City has grown from a small beachside holiday destination to Australia's sixth largest city. Situated within South East Queensland’s growth corridor, the city is now considered Australia’s fastest growing large city, with a 5 year annual average population growth rate of 3.4%, compared to 1.2% for Australia. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, June 2008 Cat No. 3218.0 – Population estimates by Statistical Local Area 2001–2008)

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The Gold Coast hosts several international theme parks including Dreamworld, Sea World, Wet'n'Wild Water World, Warner Bros. Movie World, WhiteWater World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, David Fleay Wildlife Park, Australian Outback Spectacular and Paradise Country.

by tofusimon

Q1 (meaning Queensland Number One) is a supertall skyscraper located in Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast. It lost its title as the world's tallest residential tower to the 348 metre building The Marina Torch in Dubai on 29 April 2011. As of December 2011 it is the third tallest such building. Q1 is the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere when measured to the top of its spire (second tallest building behind Eureka Tower in Melbourne, when measured to roof and highest habitable floor) and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, behind Auckland's Sky Tower. It opened in November 2005.

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The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Under the directions of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. According to the Guinness World Records, it is the world's widest long-span bridge. It is also the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft) from top to water level.

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There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is a masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent. The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. It is one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world. The Sydney Opera House is among the busiest performing arts centres in the world, hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting the site each year, 300,000 of whom take a guided tour.

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The Twelve Apostles is a collection of miocene limestone rock stacks jutting from the water in Port Campbell National Park, between Princetown and Peterborough on the Great Ocean Road. Tourism activities (including helicopter tours) are conducted from a visitor centre, situated on the inland side of the Great Ocean Road; with parking and viewing areas. Parks Victoria classifies the structure as nationally significant,[1]with the area being one of Victoria's major tourist features; attracting approximately two million visitors a year. Parks Victoria was responsible for the construction of board-walks, tracks, and viewing areas.

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Chadstone Shopping Centre is a major shopping centre located in the inner south-eastern suburb of Malvern East in the city of Melbourne, Australia. The centre is the oldest in Victoria, opening on 3 October 1960, and the largest in Australia with approximately 530 stores and over 9500 free car parking spaces – and is currently claimed to be the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere. The centre boasts major anchor stores such as the Myer and David Jones department stores, an Apple Store, Dick Smith and JB Hi-Fi electronics stores and over 500 specialty stores, of which the majority are fashion related over other categories, with numerous high-end labels being tenants of the centre including Chanel, Chanel Beauty, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Omega, Hugo Boss, Miu Miu, Salvatore, Ferragamo, Emporio Armani. There are also two office towers located at the southern side of the centre as well as two food courts.

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Federation Square (also colloquially known as Fed Square) is a civic centre and cultural precinct in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It was opened in 2002. It is a mixed-use development covering an area of 3.2 hectares and centred around two major public spaces: open squares (St. Paul's Court and The Square) and one covered (The Atrium), built on top of a concrete deck above busy railway lines. It is located at intersection between Flinders Street and Swanston Street/St Kilda Road in Melbourne's Central Business District, and is adjacent to Melbourne's busiest railway station, Flinders Street Station. It is Victoria’s second most popular tourist attraction, attracting 8.99 million visitors in 2011.[1] It is sometimes considered to be one of the world's ugliest buildings or tourist attractions.

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by slow95

Whilst in Australia you may wish to visit National Holden Museum of Australia – one of Australia’s largest car manufactures. GM Holden Ltd is an automaker that operates in Australia, based in Port Melbourne, Victoria. The company was founded in 1856 as a saddlery manufacturer. In 1908 it moved into the automotive field, before becoming a subsidiary of the U.S.-based General Motors (GM) automotive group in 1931. After becoming a subsidiary of GM, the company was named General Motors-Holden's Ltd, becoming Holden Ltd in 1998, with the current name adopted in 2005. Holden is also responsible for the distribution of the Opel brand in Australasia and Pontiac in America.

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Population: 4,137,432 (3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010–11". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2012)
Total Area: 227,600 sq km (6th)
Premier: Ted Baillieu (Liberal)
Capital City of Victoria: Melbourne
Established: 1834
Timezone: Australian Eastern Standard (10+/ 11+ DLS)
Visit Victoria - Official tourism guide
Thats Melbourne - Extensive guide to Melbourne
Victoria Online - Gateway to Victoria
City of Melbourne - Melbourne CBD council
Live in Victoria - Information on living, moving to Melbourne and the state
Study Melbourne - Information on studying in Melbourne
Melbourne Pubs - Guide to pubs, nightclubs etc throughout Melbourne
The Age - Latest news, sport and local issues
Herald Sun - News Limted newspaper
Walking Melbourne - Architectural resource for buildings in Melbourne

Australia Victoria Falls Creek

Melbourne wakes to coldest May morning in three years
Nathan Mawby l June 2012 l Herald Sun

MELBOURNE shivered its way through the coldest May morning in three years today - and tomorrow will be colder.

The Bureau of Meteorology recorded temperatures as low as -1C in some Melbourne suburbs.

The dose of early winter weather saw the mercury in the city fall to 3.5C at 5.41am. It isn't expected to rise past 15C for the rest of the day.

At Viewbank in Melbourne's north the temperature fell to -0.3C.

At 6am, the coldest suburbs were Viewbank, Essendon and Scoresby at -.03C, 1C and 1C respectively.

Around Victoria the temperature dropped below 0C, with Coldstream shivering through a frosty -1C Charlton dropped just below 0C at 4.30am, while Stawell hit -0.5C at 5am.​

Melbourne Chinese New Year Parade by Br3nda

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Population: 4,627,345 (3218.0 - Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010-11". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2012)
Total Area: 800,642 sq km (5th)
Premier: Barry O'Farrell (Liberal)
Capital City of New South Wales: Sydney
Established: 1788
Timezone: Australian Eastern/Central Standard (10+/ 9.5+ | 11+/10.5+ DLS)
Visit NSW - Official tourist website - Visitor Guide
NSW Government - Gateway to New South Wales
City of Sydney - Sydney CBD council
Restaurant Guide - Extensive guide for Sydney and NSW
Sydney Bars - Entertainment/Nightclub guide
ABC New South Wales - NSW section on ABC
Sydney Morning Herald - Latest news, sport and issues
Daily Telegrath - News Limited newspaper

Sydney Central Station

Western Sydney set for light rail link

May 16, 2012 - 9:04AM - Sydney Morning Herald

Suburbs in western Sydney could be connected by a light rail system after Parramatta Council announced a $1 million study to kick-start the project. The proposed light rail line would improve access to Westmead, Parramatta city centre, Macquarie Park and have links to the University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University. A feasibility study will kick-off next month and the council expects to select a successful tender for the project in July. Parramatta Lord Mayor Lorraine Wearne said light rail in Western Sydney would go a long way towards relieving congestion.

It would also integrate with existing transport infrastructure such as heavy rail. "There's always plenty of talk about transport matters, whether it's the congestion on Parramatta or Victoria roads or lack of efficiency and service on our public transport networks," Cr Wearne said. "Unfortunately there's not enough action." The Western Sydney Light Rail Network is planned to be segregated from the existing road and train networks, with virtually no sharing of road space.

The council is calling on state and federal governments to get behind the project it says will support the growth of western Sydney. Cr Wearne said the Western Sydney Light Rail proposal had already received widespread support from state and federal government authorities, the University of Western Sydney, neighbouring councils and state and federal MPs. The council would also like to see the light rail improve connections to Castle Hill, Bankstown, Liverpool, Blacktown and Sydney Olympic Park.

Paddling into the day by murrayhenwood

The Harbour City by mornnb, on Flickr

by microbicides

Sydney Harbour - Version 2 by mornnb, on Flickr

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Cheers to Mornnb for his set of amazing shots!
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by bee_rocks

Population: 2,074,222
Total Area: 1,852,642 sq km (2nd)
Premier: Cambell Newman (Liberal)
Capital City of Queensland: Brisbane
Established: 1859
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard (10+)
Visit Queensland - Official tourism website
Queensland Government - Gateway to Queensland
Brisbane City Council - Official Brisbane council website
Gold Coast City Council - Official G.C council website
Move to QLD - Information on moving to QLD
Study Queensland - Information on studying in Brisbane & QLD
OurBrisbane - Everything you need to know about Brissy
Translink - Brisbane Public Transport
ABC Queensland - Latest news, sport and local issues
Courier Mail - Courier Mail/Sunday Mail (QLD)

Brisbanites offer their brilliant ideas as part of 'Make My City Work' campaign

Christopher Herde l The Courier-Mail

BRISBANITES have grabbed the chance to tell the world of their "bright ideas" for the city.

The Property Council officially launched its Make My City Work campaign in King George Square with the goal to gather 1000 ideas to create a "brilliant Brisbane".

Queensland executive director Kathy MacDermott said Brisbane residents have been asked for their brightest ideas for the city.

And they were not shy in talking about their ideas big small and inbetween.

Ms MacDermott said the campaign would eventually be rolled out to include the Gold and Sunshine coasts as well as Townsville.​

Cheers again to Mornnb
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The Australian Football League (AFL) is the highest-level professional competition in the sport of Australian rules football and is the largest and most followed sporting event in Australia. The league currently consists of 18 teams spread over five states of Australia, although the majority are still based in Victoria (10 as of the 2012 season). The AFL season currently consists of a pre-season competition (currently the NAB Cup), followed by a 23-round regular or "home-and-away" season, which runs during the Australian winter (March to September). The top eight teams then play off in a finals series culminating in the AFL Grand Final, which is held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground each year. The winning team in the Grand Final is termed the "premiers", and is awarded the premiership cup. The AFL is the most attended sporting league in Australia, averaging 36,428 per game in 2011.

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The National Rugby League (NRL) is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership, is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand. It is regarded as the world's elite rugby league championship and, per season, is the single most viewed and attended rugby football competition in the world. NRL matches are played throughout Australia and New Zealand from autumn until spring. The season culminates in the premiership-deciding game, the NRL Grand Final, traditionally one of Australia's most popular sporting events and one of the largest attended club championship events in the world. In addition, the NRL premiers also play in the World Club Challenge, a pre-season match against the champions of the European Super League competition.

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The A-League is the top Australasian professional association football (soccer) league. Run by Australian governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA), it was founded in 2004 following the folding of the National Soccer League and staged its inaugural season in 2005–06. It is sponsored by Hyundai Motor Company Australia and Qantas, and is officially known as the Hyundai A-League. The league is contested by ten teams: nine in Australia and one from New Zealand. Related leagues include a National Youth League and the Women's Westfield W-League.

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The National Basketball League, also known as the iiNet NBL Championship, is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in Australasia. There are currently 9 teams in the league, with teams in Adelaide, Auckland, Cairns, the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Townsville and Wollongong. The 2010–11 season saw the return of the Sydney Kings. Most teams have historically featured at least one and usually two American imports; teams are limited to having two non-Australasians on the roster at any one time. Some of these players have moved to Australia permanently and become Australian citizens; a few have even played for the Australian national team (under a rule that allowed one naturalised player to compete for a national team).

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V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category based in Australia and run as an International Series under Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) regulations. V8 Supercar events take place in all the states of Australia, which is one of the only professional sports in Australia to boast such a feat. Overseas rounds are also held in New Zealand and Abu Dhabi and, up until 2010, Bahrain. V8 Supercars have drawn crowds of over 250,000 spectators. The 2010 season was held over 14 race weekends at purpose-built racetracks and street circuits. Race formats include sprint races, with either a 100 km or 200 km race on Saturday and one 200 km race on Sunday, two 250 km races over the weekend (Adelaide and Sydney), two 300 km races over the weekend (Gold Coast) or endurance races such as Bathurst, which runs over 1000 km race distance, and Phillip Island, which runs over 500 km. The V8 Supercars themselves take as their basis either the Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon. From 2013, Nissan will provide a third manufacturer, providing a V8 Sedan to Kelly Racing. Although they bear some resemblance to the production models outwardly, they are built from the ground up to suit the motorsport application. The reason these two cars are used is their historical significance: Commodore and the Falcon are two of the most popular passenger-cars in the Australian car-market.

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The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia with a capacity of 100,040, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light towers at any sporting venue. The MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is serviced by the Richmond railway station, Richmond and the Jolimont railway station, East Melbourne. It is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.

Stadium Australia, currently also known as ANZ Stadium due to naming rights, formerly known as Telstra Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct of Homebush Bay. The stadium, which in Australia is sometimes referred to simply as the "Olympic Stadium", was completed in March 1999 at a cost of a $690 million to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. The stadium has since hosted the annual National Rugby League grand final and New South Wales' home games in the State of Origin series, as well as the 2003 Rugby World Cup finals and Bledisloe Cup matches. The stadium was originally built to temporarily hold 110,000 spectators, making it the largest Olympic Stadium ever built as well as the largest stadium in Australia.

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by twonline

Lang Park is the original name of the site located in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, Queensland, Australia, now occupied by the major sports facility known by its sponsorship name, Suncorp Stadium. Lang Park is also known as Brisbane Stadium for its use in the Asian Champions League competition. The current facility comprises a three tiered rectangular sporting stadium with a capacity of 52,500 people. The enclosed stands situated on the sidelines make it arguably the best rectangular stadium in Australia for spectator viewing and atmosphere for rugby league, rugby union and association football (soccer). The top tier is closed for events less than 30,000 enhancing the intimacy.

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by mong789

Football Park (currently also known by its sponsored name of AAMI Stadium) is an Australian rules football stadium located in West Lakes, a western suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. It was built in 1973 by the South Australian National Football League and opened in 1974 and is now the home ground of both the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power who play in the Australian Football League (AFL). With a seated capacity of 51,515 Football Park is the fourth largest Australian Rules Football stadium in Australia in terms of crowd capacity, behind Docklands Stadium in Melbourne (56,347), Stadium Australia in Sydney (81,500) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (100,018).

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Subiaco is a stadium located in Subiaco, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. The highest capacity stadium in Western Australia, seating a maximum of 43,500 people, the ground is mainly used for Australian rules football matches, being the home ground for the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Football Club, the two Western Australian teams in the Australian Football League. The ground is also occasionally used for West Australian Football League matches. The stadium has also hosted National Soccer League grand finals, rugby union Test Matches (including games in the 2003 Rugby World Cup), International rules matches and sometimes, rock concerts. It became the home ground for Perth's Super Rugby rugby union team, the Western Force, in 2006.

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by TroyWitte

New Holden Commodore revs up US

AUSTRALIA'S Holden Commodore is to become a race and showroom star in the US, despite sliding car sales in Australia. A Commodore V8 will be exported to America to be sold with the Chevrolet SS Performance badge. In that guise, it also will star for the heartland brand in the Nascar stock car racing series, second only to Formula One in global popularity. Holden has been testing left-hand drive cars on public roads in Victoria in recent weeks and running them head to head against one of its strongest potential rivals, the Dodge Charger.

Motorsport sources in the US said the VF Commodore's V8 engine, big body and rear-wheel drive would appeal to American muscle-car enthusiasts and suit Nascar. The Chevrolet connection is a revival of the major export deal under which the Commodore sold in the US as the Pontiac G8 until General Motors was forced into bankruptcy in the global financial crisis.

Sunrise At Sea Cliff Bridge 1 by ralphb58

Australia, Best Driving Roads
by TopGear

Australia was never meant to have nice roads. By being the size of 58 Englands, and with about 17 people living here, there simply aren't enough people paying tax to afford roads that aren't made out of mud and bits of hair. Well, we used to think that. But actually, we're wrong. We have 810,000km of roads in Australia and while most of them are rubbish, there are many driving oases awaiting discovery if you look hard enough (or if you have Google Maps and no life). Which is what we did.

But we didn't want to stop there. Like Delta Goodrem and your TV's mute button, some things were meant to go together. So for each road, we've picked the car we think would suit it best, kind of like a waiter recommending a wine to go with your meal (except that you should never eat food that we've given you). So sit back, and enjoy. And naturally, you might think we're wrong or missed a few. So tell us which road we've missed in our discussion blog. We might even go and drive it ourselves.

by Luke-rative

State of Origin game one

NSW will be out to put a dent in six years of Queensland dominance in tonight's State of Origin blockbuster at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria. State of Origin, the biggest rugby league match in Australia, some would say the WORLD. Two states battle it out in a best of three series to see who will be named the supreme state. Queensland have won the past six series will they make it an unprecedented seven in a row? This years series kicks off Wednesday, 23rd. If you’re in Australia make sure you are watching Channel 9, if you are oversees check it out somehow (I’m sure there are ways)!

by kmracingvideos

Gold Coast company to debut futuristic flying machine JetLev at Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show
by Couriermail

MOVE over George Jetson - here comes the JetLev. Like a scene straight out of a Jetsons cartoon or James Bond movie, Greg Weige flew across the water at the Gold Coast's Sanctuary Cove Resort today to the amazement of crowds. Mr Weige was test-piloting the JetLev Flyer which makes its Australian debut at this weekend's Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. His company, Jetpack Adventures, has launched the futuristic flying machine with the aim of starting up joyflights for the public on the Southport Broadwater.

The device was invented by Chinese-born Canadian Raymond Li, who was inspired after seeing Sean Connery flying a jet pack in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball. Mr Li unveiled a prototype in 2008 and spent three years perfecting his invention before it was commercialised last year. NSW-based Mr Weige and business partner Peter Vail bought two of the JetLev jet packs which can be used to soar about 10m above the water and skim along at up to 45km/h.

The $150,000 machine is powered by a small jet ski-like unit attached to the jet pack by a long tube. Water is thrust up the tube and into jet nozzles, lifting the wearer into the air with the turn of a hand-held throttle. "I feel a bit like an astronaut,'' said Mr Weige, who was trained to fly the JetLev in Europe where the machine is made. "It's a wonderful feeling and the only way to fly.'' Mr Weige said he could fly for up to 32kms "without my feet touching the water".

"Everyone likes going high and the crowds egg you on,'' he said. "It's definitely an adrenalin rush.''Mr Weige said Sea World was planning to introduce the JetLev as part of its jet ski show. Jetpack Adventures is negotiating with Maritime Safety Queensland to get approval for public joyflights.

The Essence Of Melbourne 011/365 by Hellblazer!

Australia world's happiest nation
by Yahoo

A new report has named Australia as the happiest industrialised nation in the world with the country's economy set to outperform the US and the UK. A new report has named Australia as the happiest industrialised nation in the world based on various criteria like job satisfaction, income and health. The study released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris last night says Australia is set to grow at just about the fastest pace in the developed world for decades to come. Australia is set to grow at 3.1 per cent this year, with the US growing at 2.4 per cent, Britain 0.5 per cent and Italy and Greece sliding further into recession.

Australia's high rank is based on data from the United Nations, individual governments and other sources and is due to its strong economic performance despite the eurozone crisis. "Australia's economic fundamentals remain strong, with our economy expected to grow more strongly than every single major advanced economy over the next two years," Treasurer Wayne Swan said in statement. The report has also issued a dire forecast for the eurozone, warning the crisis poses the biggest single risk to the global economy. The eurozone economy is expected to shrink by 0.1 per cent this year. In November, the OECD warned if the eurozone did not tackle its debt crisis, there could be a deep recession with global implications.

by Sean Kelly Aus

Queensland win State of Origin opener
by ninemsn

The Maroons are one win away from a stunning seventh straight series win, with a Darius Boyd double and a controversial Greg Inglis try seven minutes from time proving the difference at Etihad Stadium. Queensland were clinging to a 12-10 lead when Inglis was awarded a try by man in the box Sean Hampstead - who ruled NSW hooker Robbie Farah had kicked the ball from his grasp before the Maroons' centre regathered to score an Origin record 13th try. Blues' skipper Paul Gallen - who had a running battle with the referees all night - expressed his bemusement as the Maroons pulled out by more than a converted try.

"How the hell is that a try?" he asked. "This is ridiculous, where this is getting." Gallen was referring to the decision, but he might as well have been referring to Queensland Origin dominance - with the Blues staring yet another series defeat in the face. Boyd's opener came with the Blues reduced to 12 men midway through the first half after Jennings - dropped from his club side Penrith due to alleged attitude issues - unleashed a wild haymaker as he came flying into a scuffle.

"This is your first Origin - it's different you know," Gallen told referee Matt Cecchin as he voiced his disgust at the decision. Boyd scored his second just before the break, but it didn't take the Blues long to get back into the match with Jennings going some way to making up for his binning when he crossed three minutes after the restart. NSW made a timid decision to go for a long-range penalty goal to level the scores soon after, but Carney's attempt from the 40-metre line sailed wide.

There was another near miss as a loafing Sam Thaiday just grounded the ball before a flying Brett Stewart, the Blues failing to get close again as the Maroons triumphed. As was anticipated, NSW came flying out of the blocks before a 56,021 full house, Akuila Uate giving the Blues an early lead after Boyd had spilled a bomb into the back and, eventually, the arms of his opposite winger. The Maroons were having troubles with the high ball as Billy Slater came up with fresh air to give NSW consecutive sets, Robbie Farah almost taking full toll only to be held up over the line.

The Blues were on top before the momentum dramatically shifted, push and shove between Matt Scott and Greg Bird escalating into an all-in brawl as Mitchell Pearce put one on the chin of Sam Thaiday and Jennings was given a spell in the sheds. Queensland attacked the short-staffed NSW left-side defence with Jarryd Hayne pushing Brent Tate into touch just before the tryline, but it only delayed what seemed the inevitable as Slater put Boyd over in the opposite corner. NSW were rattled as debutant Todd Carney failed to find touch from a penalty and, even when Jennings returned, the Blues were flagging from the amount of defence they had been exposed to - a poor misread from Uate and precision work from Thurston providing Boyd's second.
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Population: 1,738,807 (3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2010–11". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2012)
Total Area: 2,529,875 sq km (1st)
Premier: Collin Barnett (Liberal/National)
Capital City: Perth
Established: 1826
Time Zone: Australian Western Standard (8+)
Visit Western Australia - Official tourism website
Western Australia Government - Gateway to WA
City of Perth - Perth CBD council
Go West Now - Information on moving to Perth and WA
Perth Education City - Information on studying in Perth
TransPerth - Perth's Public Transport
WA Gig Guide - Showcasing upcoming gigs and local talent
ABC Perth - Local news, sport and issues
The West Australian - Perth's main daily newspaper
Future Perth - Development website for Perth and WA

Resources investment hits record $261b

by Perthnow

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former Woodside chief executive Don Voelte during a visit to the Pluto LNG project in Karratha, which underpinned Australia's resources investment record. INVESTMENT in the resources sector has hit a new record and will boost Australia's future supply of key commodities as the nation's mining boom continues, a new government report shows.

Committed investment rose to $260.8 billion in the six months to the end of April, up 12 per cent from the prior half year, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) found. The total accounts for 98 projects at the advanced stage - including 39 minerals projects, 38 energy projects, 19 infrastructure projects and two mineral-processing projects. Oil and gas, iron ore, and coal and related infrastructure accounted for about 95 per cent of committed capital expenditure. "The continued growth in committed capital expenditure will result in significant increases in Australia's supply capacity of LNG, iron ore and coal,'' said BREE executive Quentin Grafton today.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said Australia's pipeline of investment in the resources sector continued to go from strength to strength. "This is a resounding vote of confidence in the future of our economy and our region and Australia's status as an excellent place to invest,'' he said in a statement. Of the $260.8 billion, more than 60 per cent was linked to just seven LNG projects. When they are complete and operating at full capacity - which is expected in the second half of this decade - Australia will be one of the world's leading LNG exporters.

``The majority of the investment to expand the world's LNG supply capacity is taking place in Australia because of our relatively large gas reserves and proximity to the Asian markets,'' Prof Grafton said in a statement. Meanwhile, in the six months to April, 25 resources projects were $23.6 billion were completed. The outcome was underpinned by the completion of the Pluto LNG project near Karratha at a capital cost of almost $15 billion, along with the $3.4 billion expansion to the Worsley Alumina refinery, also in WA.​

by Blake Flinkier photography, flickr[email protected]/7182119420/sizes/l/in/photostream/

by pbowdidge, flickr

by zavierloh, flickr

Professional Photography18 by Sky Vision, on Flickr

[email protected]/7248866268/[email protected]/7232876078/

Some of the collection by matt.perth
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Population: 1,212,982
Total Area: 984,000 sq. km (4th)
Premier: Jay Weatherill (Labor)
Capital City: Adelaide
Established: 1836
Time Zone: Australian Central Standard (9.5+/ 10.5+ DLS)[/SIZE]
Visit South Australia - Official tourism website for SA
SA Central - Gateway to South Australia
Adelaide City Council - Adelaide CBD council - Information on investing, living, projects etc in SA
Study Adelaide - Information on studying in Aust's emerging university city
Atlas SA - Maps of South Australia
Onion - Leading gig/street press magazine
ABC Adelaide - Latest news, sport and local issues
AdelaideNow - The Advertiser/Sunday Mail (SA)
Sensational-Adelaide - SA's main construction and development website

Radelaide? South Australia does it ‘need a new name'?
by Herald Sun

SOUTH Australia needs a new name and the public should choose it, the state's peak business group says. The State Government has committed to rebranding our international image, but Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan wants to take the make-over a step further and rename the state in a public contest. "Instead of mucking around with branding, if we're going to be bold and rethink our brand how about thinking of a new name for South Australia," he said.

However, Mr Vaughan stopped short of giving his suggestion for a new name, instead saying authorities should tap into the creativity of the public. What do you think South Australia should be called? Let us know During a recent trade mission to London, Premier Jay Weatherill revealed he has asked the Economic Development Board to come up with a new brand to market South Australia to the world.

However, the brief does not include renaming the state itself. "It's not necessary for us to rename the state to find a new brand for South Australia," he said. Mr Vaughan disagreed, saying that trying to market the state under its current name was not making an impact; like "trying to write with white ink in snow". "The main fact (is) the words South Australia cause a problem," he said. "I've been with two Premiers on three overseas trips and whenever we go somewhere that's not familiar with Australia the words South Australia are impossible to understand.

"(It) means to everybody from overseas the whole of the south of Australia. And the initials SA mean South Africa to most other people in the world." Mr Vaughan is not the first to suggest a name change for the state. In 1999, advertising guru John Singleton suggested it be renamed "Bradman" after legendary local cricketer Sir Donald Bradman. "Honestly, look at the name South Australia - it's pretty boring isn't it?" he said at the time, but conceded the chance of it changing was "about one in a million".

SA Economic Development Board chairman Raymond Spencer recently told The Advertiser he would support a debate over the state's name. "Even if the name of the state stays the same, or if it got changed to Adelaide or something else, the very process itself would really raise the profile," he said.​

by Adriano_of_Adelaide

by MM_Andamon

by MM_Andamon

by MM_Andamon

Adelaide Torrens River by James Yu Photography, on Flickr

IMG_0052 by sc2100, on Flickr

IMG_0055 by sc2100, on Flickr

North Terrace by sc2100, on Flickr

North Terrace, Adelaide by sc2100, on Flickr

IMG_0050 by sc2100, on Flickr

these are from eastadl's flickr page[email protected]/with/5245779723/

from a carpark of Rundle Mall

Hindmarsh Sq

Rundle Mall

ok moving along to east end

Rundle Street now has some trees

very Georgian shops

the perched outhouses

The Exeter

the former treasury buildings are now a boutique hotel, and one rip-off bar

Victoria Sq

the new building in the distance is Adelaide's latest architectural marvel. Another student accomm tower straight out of commi block Russia.

coke tram

whoops, again

while us here aren't all that impressed with its beauty, its amazing how well it fits in:lol:

just cant stop taking pictures of it

some pedestrian friendly areas, with no pedestrians

looking through some out of place palm trees

bit deserted on a Sunday

this is where everyone was, the ice skating rink in the mall

malls balls[email protected]/4759236947/

Waymouth St

one of the new trams[email protected]/4759781288/

North Tce/King William St

Grenfell Street

Tattersalls club could do with a wash

state bank/SA bank building

Currie Street

the orginal Elders headquarters

T & G building

my favourite

King William Street

former CBA building, now student aptmnts

former Westpac/bank of NSW building

North Terrace

North Terrace

Pulteney Street

grand lodge of the Freemasons

University of South Australia

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by Dylan-K

Melbourne soaked in wettest and coldest May day in 17 years
by The Herald Sun

MELBOURNE has had its wettest May day since 1995 - and the downpour isn't even over. Commuters are facing a long cold journey home as Melbourne shivers through its coldest day since 2000. VicRoads has advised traffic is crawling along Footscray and Smithfield Roads outbound down to half their capacity as water floods over the road. Other road closures are in effect in the state's southeast and around Phillip Island and Flinders - but all roads are suffering from extremely wet conditions.

And with the mercury yet to pass eleven degrees today people commuting home by train will need to rug up. Bizarrely, temperatures are set to rise across the evening as a low pressure cell over Melbourne clears and brings in slightly warmer temperatures that could see the mercury spike to 13 degrees later this evening, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. “It looks like at this stage it’s the coldest since the year 2000, but we’re expecting it may warm a couple of degrees as we head into the evening,” said Bureau duty forecaster Michael Efron. And while only a few sprinkles of rain are still expected in Melbourne’s west for the rest of the day, the central and eastern parts of Melbourne can expect more solid falls across the evening.

Already the deluge has seen a little over 30mm fall on the CBD for the day, up to 38mm in Clayton South and up to 35mm in Altona. Meanwhile. high winds have assailed Melbourne’s bayside suburbs, with Frankston enduring gale-force gusts up to 83km/h just after 4pm and blasts up to 72km/h hitting Melbourne Airport. The last of the wet weather is expected to fade at about midnight. Mr Efron also noted that sub-zero temperatures and rain conditions over Victoria’s alps had the potential to put some good snow falls on our mountains ahead of the ski-season. Weather bureau forecaster Scott Williams said the city received its heaviest downpour between 2pm and 3pm and the rain would being to ease as the low-pressure system drifted east.

“In the city, from about 5pm to 6pm the rain will be easing, it will be light to moderate, rather than the torrential rain that we’ve had," he said. “But it could be raining until 7pm or 8pm in the Dandenong Ranges." Mr Williams said 27mm had fallen in Melbourne so far, with the original 50mm forecast unlikely to be fulfilled. Geelong has received 32.4mm since 9am. Essendon Airport is close behind with 32.2mm, followed by Avalon at 31.2mm. “The key thing now is the wind. If there’s going to be any damage in Melbourne its likely to be in the next few hours. Now, having had a lot rain we’re facing a lot of risk of damage from the wind, especially around the eastern bayside. It's very exposed south-westerly winds,” he said.

SES spokeswoman Lachlan Quick said volunteers had received more than 160 calls for help, with minor flooding and property damage widespread throughout Melbourne and the Geelong region. “We’ve had quite a few trees down, which have become traffic hazards. We expect there to be a spike in call-outs once people start to get home,” Mr Quick said. Commuters could face a longer-than-usual trip home tonight, with Yarra Trams spokesman Jake Hatton warning customers to brace for heavy delays. “In extreme weather conditions like this, commuters need to be aware of extra time being added to their journeys,” he said. Metro trains spokesman Daniel Hoare said trains were currently unaffected by the extreme weather. However, the subway walkway at Oakleigh Station was flooded.​

by Dylan-K

Perth's coldest May morning in almost a century
by ABC News

Did you have trouble getting out of bed this morning? You could be forgiven as the mercury dropped under 2 degrees celsius in Perth metro overnight. Perth recorded its coldest May morning for 98 years with parts of the metro greeted with frost as the temperature dropped to 1.3 degrees just before 7am this morning. That equals the record low set on May 11, 1914. Spare a thought for those waking up in Jandakot where the temperature dipped below freezing with the Bureau of Meteorology recording -0.6 degrees. The duty forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, Mark Paul, says the cold mornings are being caused by a high pressure system to the south of the state. Keep rugged up because the Bureau says the chilly mornings are set to continue through the weekend.​

by Dylan-K

Thrills and chills
by Sydney Morning Herald

Baby, it’s cold outside - but the city's entertainment is starting to heat up. Follow our guide to enjoy the best of it from June to August.


If you thought winter was going to stop the finest artists on the planet from coming to Sydney, you'd be sorely mistaken. Not only is the world's biggest pop star set to take over the country this season (Lady Gaga, June 20-24, 7.30pm, Allphones Arena, Olympic Park,, 8765 4321, from $79), one of the greatest contemporary rock musicians will also be playing a rare Sydney show (Jack White, July 26, 7.30pm, Hordern Pavilion, Moore Park,, 9921 5333, sold out).

The erstwhile White Stripes frontman is in town for Splendour in the Grass (July 27-29, Belongil Fields, Byron Bay,, sold out) and is one of a handful of thrilling artists who have so far announced sideshows. The pick of the others includes two smouldering but sonically different American acts making their Australian debuts.

After her no-show in February - and underwhelming appearance on US TV show Saturday Night Live - many are looking forward to seeing if Lana Del Rey lives up to her phenomenal hype (July 26 and 27, 8pm, Enmore Theatre,, sold out). Meanwhile, those of us who have been waiting a quarter of a century to see alt-rockers the Afghan Whigs finally get our wish (July 26, Factory Theatre, Marrickville,, 9550 3666, $60.50).

Of course, the winter festival season starts long before Splendour, with Vivid Live (today-June 3, Sydney Opera House,, 9250 7777, from $29), during which breathtaking artists such as funk diva Janelle Monae (Saturday and Sunday, 9pm, from $59) and Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O will perform special shows (the latter's being Stop the Virgens, Wednesday-June 3, 8.30pm, from $59).

After that there are two big events on the Queen's birthday long weekend, showing off the funkier side of Australian music. James Morrison and the Cat Empire's Harry James Angus star at Darling Harbour's Jazz & Blues Festival (June 9-11,, free), while some of the domestic hip-hop scene's most exciting artists, including Horrorshow and Thundamentals, join forces at Come Together (June 9, Luna Park Big Top,, sold out). Headliner 360 has his own show mere weeks later (June 29, 8pm, Metro Theatre,, sold out).

June is a big month for Australian alternative rock, too, with three of our fastest-rising acts playing their biggest gigs yet: the ever-compelling the Jezabels (June 9, 7pm, Hordern Pavilion, $50), the relentless Matt Corby (June 12-14, 8pm, Metro Theatre, sold out) and, though you might question her presence in such emphatically established company, Lanie Lane (June 2, 8pm, Metro Theatre, $22) - but know that that's Lane's second Metro show, the first, the night before, having long since sold out.

If the Aussies are giving Gaga some fierce (but always friendly) competition as to who owns June, some of our friends across the ditch are staking a strong claim to July. With Jemaine Clement featuring as the bad guy in Men in Black 3 and Bret McKenzie brandishing an Oscar for one of his songs in The Muppets, you can fairly call New Zealand's ingenious comedy-folk duo Flight of the Conchords ''all-conquering heroes'' (July 5 at Opera House, sold out; July 6, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Haymarket,, 1300 883 622, from $50).

It'll also be fun to see their fellow Kiwi Pip Brown play Anxiety, the follow-up to her ARIA Award-winning eponymous debut as Ladyhawke (July 18, 8pm, Metro Theatre, from $43.90). Finally, just as any good playlist winds down after a big opening and a strong middle, August brings winter to an attractive close with a couple of fine singer-songwriters. Brit success story Ed Sheeran (August 1, 8pm, Enmore Theatre, sold out) caps off a remarkable year or so playing to a full house before Kate Miller-Heidke (August 23, 8pm, Metro Theatre, $49.95) points us prettily towards the joys of spring.
George Palathingal


People who think winter is a time to stay in and rug up in front of the TV are misguided. It's summer for the world's largest moviegoing audience (the US), which means, in an age when the films that keep Hollywood going are released almost simultaneously across the globe, your cinema will be overflowing with blockbustery goodness.

You can safely bet that if any flick is going to challenge The Avengers for most box-office records obliterated this year, it'll be The Dark Knight Rises (July 19). The third in Christopher Nolan's flawless reinvention of the Batman legend pits Christian Bale's Caped Crusader against his toughest adversary yet: the terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy), who broke Batman's back in the Knightfall comic-book series.

The other unmissable superhero film of the season is The Amazing Spider-Man (July 4). It feels soon for a reboot of the franchise (even if Tobey Maguire's third and final outing in 2007 was terrible) but the trailers suggest a wittier, thoroughly refreshed take on the web slinger - and that the film is going to make exceptional use of 3D technology.

You don't need a mask and a garish costume - or even characters from the original - to have a successful franchise, though, which is where The Bourne Legacy (August 16) and Prometheus (June 7 - like The Dark Knight Rises worth seeing on the Imax screen) - come in. The former has Jeremy Renner as a kind of successor to Matt Damon's uber-spy Jason Bourne, while director genius Ridley Scott revisits the universe of his sci-fi classic Alien for the latter (although he has denied that Prometheus is a prequel).

Over in the world of animation, the fourth instalment in the Ice Age series, Ice Age: Continental Drift (June 28), cashes in on 21st-century cinema's obsession with pirates, when the prehistoric posse gets lost on the ocean. Those reliable folk at Pixar take a chance on an uncommon type of celluloid hero - a heroine - with some of Scotland's finest actors (Billy Connolly, Robbie Coltrane and Kelly Macdonald in the lead role of Princess Merida) lending their brogues to new-school fairytale Brave (June 21).

For something completely different - for its star, let alone the viewer - Tom Cruise sings Bon Jovi and Def Leppard when playing a hair-metal divo alongside Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones in an adaptation of hit stage musical Rock of Ages (June 14), which could be hilarious in ways other than intended. Robert Pattinson endured such an experience when he left his Twilight comfort zone for the risible Little Ashes; he'll be hoping his collaboration with the masterful filmmaker David Cronenberg, the thriller Cosmopolis (August 30), fares better. Not that there won't be intentional laughs this season. The cream of the comedy crop looks like being Ted (July 12), the big-screen directorial debut of Seth MacFarlane, who created TV's much-loved Family Guy. It's about a man (played by Mark Wahlberg) who has a teddy bear that comes to life. The irreverent MacFarlane also voices the toy, so expect something closer in tone to Wilfred than Play School.
If you pine for something more highbrow, there are three promising film festivals to cater for your needs. There's a smorgasbord of world cinema, quality docos and art-house fare, amounting to more than 150 features, at the Sydney Film Festival (June 6-17, various venues, 9690 5333,
Over at the Spanish Film Festival (July 4-15, Chauvel and Palace Norton Street, see Salma Hayek in As Luck Would Have It while keeping your eyes peeled for the new Almodovar.


Winter is chock-a-block with theatre, comedy and dance, starting with Belvoir's production of Matthew Whittet's exquisitely personal play about growing up, love and loss and fathers and sons, Old Man (June 7-July 1, various times, Belvoir St Theatre Downstairs, Surry Hills, 9699 3444,, $42/$36/$32/$25). Directed by Anthea Williams, the show features Peter Carroll and Gillian Jones.

In a coup for the Concourse, the English National Ballet will play an exclusive 2012 Australian season in Chatswood (June 8-June 17, various times, Performing Arts Centre, the Concourse, 1300 795 012,, $85-$195). The repertoire features George Balanchine's Apollo and Serge Lifar's Suite en blanc, the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake Act III, Kenneth MacMillan's Manon and Hans van Manen's Trois Gnossiennes.

Comedy duo Drew Fairley and Kate Smith return with another furious whirl of snappy dialogue, modern farce and pop-culture references in The Unspeakable Itch, with songs by Phil Scott (June 13-July 8, various times, Darlinghurst Theatre, Potts Point, 8356 9987,, $38/$33/$28).
''In theatre … the writer is lying. The actors are lying. The audience is lying, too. The whole effect is one monumental idiotic lie.'' So says Bruscon, the megalomaniacal protagonist in Austrian novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard's The Histrionic (Der Theatermacher). Translated by Tom Wright, this Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company production was called ''appallingly funny'' by The Age. It features Bille Brown as Bruscon, with Barry Otto, Josh Price and Jennifer Vuletic (June 15-July 28, various times, Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, 9250 1777,, $79/$40).
Arthur Miller's great classic Death of a Salesman is reworked by director Simon Stone and features Genevieve Lemon and Colin Friels, who returns to the Belvoir boards after 30 years (June 23-August 19, various times, Belvoir St Theatre, Surry Hills, 9699 3444,, $62/$52/$42/$29).

Lenny Henry's ode to music's role in his life, Cradle to Rave, traverses his devotion to Elvis, first love, learning the piano at 40 and frustrated musical ambitions (June 28 and 29, 8pm, State Theatre, city, 1300 139 588,, $109/$89/$84/$79). Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery The Mousetrap, which holds the title of the world's longest-running show in its current season on London's West End, has an all-Australian production (June 30-July 27, various times, Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, 9250 1999,, $100/$85).

Australian living treasure Dame Edna Everage unveils her farewell stage tour Eat, Pray, Laugh! The Dame, and cohorts Sandy Stone, Sir Les Patterson and Barry Humphries, are not leaving showbiz - just dropping the touring life (July 5-July 14, various times, Capitol Theatre, city, 13 61 00,, $199/$159/$99).

Face to Face, Ingmar Bergman's extraordinary film about the psychological maelstrom of one woman, has been adapted for the stage by Andrew Upton and Simon Stone. Kerry Fox plays the lead role, Jenny, alongside John Gaden and Wendy Hughes (August 7-September 8, various times, Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, 9250 1777,, $130-$45).

Australia's annual international festival of dance, Spring Dance, is this year curated by Rafael Bonachela, the artistic director of Sydney Dance Company (August 20- September 2, various times, Opera House, Circular Quay, 9250 7777, And the Pucci-clad, acid-tongued trolley dolly Pam Ann, alter ego of comedian Caroline Reid, takes off with Around the World (August 3 and 4, 8pm, State Theatre, city, 13 61 00,, $60).


As every parent knows, hibernating through winter is no longer an option when you have kids going crazy inside. Thankfully, there are plenty of fabulous activities on offer to distract the tribe. It's not winter without skating shows, and this year there are two big ones - Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate (July 11-16, 11am and 2.30pm, Allphones Arena, Olympic Park, 13 28 49,, $24.50-$69.50) and Nutcracker on Ice (June 6-10, 1pm and 7.30pm, Capitol Theatre, Campbell Street, Haymarket, 13 61 00,, $69-151).

If you prefer to do the skating, visit the Bondi Winter Magic outdoor rink (June 29 to July 15, noon-10pm, 8362 3408,
Junior builders should get to the Sydney Brick Show (June 2-3, 10am-5pm, Powerhouse Museum, Harris Street, Ultimo, 9217 0111,, $12 adult, $6 child, $30 family), which showcases fabulous Lego creations by Australia's best builders.

Meanwhile, aspiring little adventurers will love Dora the Explorer Live! (July 4, 10.30am and 1pm, Concourse Theatre, Victoria Avenue, Chatswood; July 6-7, Theatre Royal, King Street, city, 13 28 49,, $23-49).
For something truly out of this world, the winter holiday program at the Sydney Observatory (July 2-13, Observatory Hill, The Rocks, 9921 3485,, various prices - see event schedule) features telescope and pizza nights, simulated archaeological digs and 3D space films.
But if you truly want to blow the kids' minds, take them to the Toy and Game Expo (June 9-11, Sydney Showground, Olympic Park, 6287 4567,, $15 adult, $10 child).


There's no bigger art event in winter than All Our Relations: The 18th Biennale of Sydney (June 27-September 16, 8484 8700, Featuring the work of more than a hundred international and Australian artists, BOS18 is spread across venues including the Art Gallery of NSW, Carriageworks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Pier 2/3 and Cockatoo Island. What better way to spend a winter afternoon? While the behemoth of the BOS rolls on, there's plenty else to see. Australian Symbolism (until July 29, daily, 10am-5pm, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, 1800 679 278) is the strange tale of 19th-century Australian artists experimenting with mystical European visions in a local setting.

Marc de Jong's latest show tries to make sense of modern landscapes of shopping malls and hardware barns bigger than castles (July 10-August 4, Sullivan+Strumpf, 799 Elizabeth Street, Zetland, 9698 4696).
Meanwhile, Chris Langlois's landscapes have always had an old-world calm and his latest show demonstrates the artist's consummate skills with paint and classical composition (July 24-August 18, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, 38 Queen Street, Woollahra, 9363 3212).

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Australia to host world's largest scientific project, The Square Kilometre Array

by The Australian

AUSTRALIA will share with South Africa the rights to host the world's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array, after a meeting of the SKA organisation's members in the Dutch city of Schiphol last night. The instrument - which consists of 3000 15m-wide dish antennas, with half to be built in each country -will be 50 times more sensitive than today's most powerful radio telescopes. Australia has spent about $400 million in state and federal funds to win the right to build the $2 billion SKA at Mileura Station, about 100km west of Meekathara in Western Australia, at the site of the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory.

New Zealand will host a smaller array of antennas. By connecting the antennas, the result will be a powerful radio telescope a square kilometre in size. This will enable scientists to study cosmic phenomena such as dark energy, magnetic fields and extraterrestrial signals with greater precision than ever before, and will hopefully shed light on fundamental questions about the universe, including how it began, why it is expanding and whether it contains life beyond our planet. "We have decided on a dual-site approach," SKA board chairman John Womersley said of the decision to split the rights for the $2bn telescope.

Leading politicians from Australia and New Zealand welcomed the news, which they said would keep both countries at the forefront of global radio astronomy. "This is an outstanding result for the Australia-New Zealand bid after many years of preparation and an intensive international process," said Chris Evans, Australia's Science and Research Minister. "Importantly, it will give us the opportunity to showcase to the world our ability to successfully deliver scientific projects at this scale." The SKA Organisation has agreed that phase one of the project should be split between South Africa and Australia-New Zealand, with phase two to be dependent on satisfactory performance in the first phase.

Construction of the internationally funded telescope is due to begin in 2016, with full operation set for 2020. In phase one, additional dishes will be added to the CSIRO Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in Western Australia, bringing the total antennas to 100. CSIRO SKA director Brian Boyle, speaking from Schiphol last night, said he was pleased to have confirmation the project would go ahead with Australia. "I am delighted the competition is over and we will begin a global collaboration. It's a very good outcome," he said. "It builds on infrastructure in both Australia and New Zealand and South Africa. It will build on Australia's current project and this will be incorporated into the SKA."​
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QANTAS world's safest and oldest airline, fatality free since 1920

Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, New South Wales, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It is Australia's largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall. Qantas still retains a 65 percent share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.

Qantas has operated a number of passenger airline subsidiaries since inception including:

• Australia Asia Airlines—operated from 1990 to 1996 to allow Qantas to serve the Taiwanese market
• Impulse Airlines—an established airline bought by Qantas in 2001, ceased operations the same year and its assets used to establish Jetstar Airways
• Australian Airlines—an international budget airline operated from 2001 to 2006[17]
• QantasLink—Qantas' regional airline brand encompassing the operations of two Qantas subsidiary airlines and a contract carrier
• Jetstar Airways—currently operating as Qantas' low-cost carrier
• Network Aviation—an established air charter carrier in Western Australia bought by Qantas in 2011; fulfills fly-in fly-out contracts with mining companies

Qantas also operates a freight service under the name Qantas Freight. Qantas operates a total of 149 aircraft with 65 ordered mainly being the 787, A380, 737-800 and has a well maintained fleet.

Qantas is the world’s safest airline, being the oldest in the world it has not had one fatality since operations began in 1920.​

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia Airlines, formerly Virgin Blue Airlines - the airline was re-branded in late 2011. It is Australia's second-largest airline as well as the largest by fleet size to utilise the Virgin brand. Now based in Bowen Hills, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the airline was co-founded by British businessman Sir Richard Branson and former Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey. It was established in 2000 with two aircraft operating on a single route, and suddenly found itself catapulted to the position of Australia's second airline after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. The airline has grown to directly serve 29 cities in Australia from hubs in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, using a fleet of narrow-body Boeing and Embraer jets and Airbus & Boeing widebody jets.

After several years operating as a low-cost carrier it improved its services to become a so-called (self-described) "new world carrier" – essentially a business model with aspects of the "no frills" approach of low-cost carriers but offering services more in line with full-service airlines – in order to compete more effectively with Qantas in the business travel market. In 2011 it took the strategy further with new uniforms; new catering on board; new widebody aircraft to compete with Qantas on Perth – Sydney services; and the concurrent introduction of business class; together with a new livery and a renaming to Virgin Australia.

Old liveries

Current liveries and fleet

- Airbus A330

- Boeing 777

- Boeing 737

- Embraer's


Jetstar Airways is an Australian low-cost airline headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It is a subsidiary of Qantas, created in response to the threat posed by low-cost airline Virgin Blue (now known as Virgin Australia). The airline operates an extensive domestic network as well as regional and international services from its main base at Melbourne Airport, using a mixed fleet of Airbus A320 family and Airbus A330 aircraft. Parent company Qantas also has stakes in sister companies Jetstar Asia Airways and Valuair in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific Airlines in Vietnam and new upcoming carriers in Asia Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Hong Kong. Jetstar shares its parent's strong competition with Australia's biggest low-cost carrier Virgin Australia. Both Tiger Airways Singapore and Tiger Airways Australia are also major competitors to Jetstar in the low-cost market.​

Tiger Airways

Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd, operating as Tiger Airways Australia, is a low cost airline which commenced services in the Australian domestic airline market on 23 November 2007. It is a subsidiary of Tiger Airways Holdings, aSingapore-based company, which is owned partially by Singapore Airlines. The airline is based in Melbourne, Victoria, with its main base at Melbourne Airport. The airline's secondary base, Adelaide Airport, commenced operations on 1 March 2009. A smaller "virtual base" was opened in Sydney on 29 October 2009. Tiger also opened a third operational base at Melbourne's Avalon Airport, in November 2010. After the 2011 CASA grounding, the airline has shut down its bases at Adelaide and Avalon and initially only operated out of its Melbourne base since returning to the air. On 7 March 2012, Tiger Airways announced that they will reopen a second base at Sydney Airport

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Australia - Gran Barrera de Coral = Great Barrier Reef by oo Felix oo

Australia to create world's largest marine park
by the Telegraph

Australia has unveiled plans for the world's biggest marine park, creating a 1.2 million square mile reserve that will limit fishing and oil and gas exploration in waters surrounding the entire continent. The series of 60 reserves includes the Coral Sea, around the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef in the country's north-east, and will provide enhanced protection of threatened species such as the green turtle, dugong and blue whale. The announcement comes a week before 130 world leaders meet in Rio de Janeiro to discuss sustainable development at one of the biggest conferences in United Nations history.

Australia's environment minister, Tony Burke, said on Thursday he wanted the reserves to set a global benchmark for environmental protection and ensuring food security. The reserves cover about a third of Australia's marine territory – an area as large as India. "This is the biggest step forward the globe has ever seen," he said. "We have an incredible opportunity to turn the tide on protection of the oceans and Australia can lead the world in marine protection. This new network of marine reserves will help ensure that Australia's diverse marine environment, and the life it supports, remain healthy, productive and resilient for future generations."

But the move drew an angry response from commercial and sports fishermen who claimed it would cost jobs and lead to price hikes. It was also severely criticised by environmentalists who said it did not place enough limits on offshore mining and provided the "bare minimum of protection". The Australian Marine Alliance, which represents commercial and recreational fishermen, said the plan was "devastating" and would place a heavy burden on coastal communities.

Another group, the Gulf Commercial Fisherman's Association, said Australia had a plentiful supply of fish and would now have to rely on imported seafood.
"I can't understand it at all and I can't understand the general public wanting to eat imported fish over local fish," said Gary Ward, the group's chairman.
Responding to concerns about the impact on recreational fishing, the prime minister, Julia Gillard, told ABC Radio that "people will still be able to go and take their young son fishing." The Government has flagged a £65 million compensation package for commercial fishermen. The Australian Marine Conservation Society said the reserves were a landmark achievement which would protect atolls in the Coral Sea from bottom trawling, oil and gas exploration and seabed mining.

"It's got a long chain of coral atolls which are very important for the corals themselves and also the fish and shark species that they support," said the group's director, Darren Kindleysides. "There is a gigantic weight of scientific evidence that shows that marine reserves work in terms of protecting wildlife but also in terms of benefits to biodiversity." But the Greens party, which holds the balance of power in the upper house of Parliament, expressed reservations about the plan. "The boundaries the minister has determined have been very strongly determined on oil and gas prospectivity, and clearly determined by lobbying from the oil and gas sector," said an MP, Rachel Siewert.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the plan exposed marine life in the north west region to continued threats from oil and gas exploration.
The announcement today followed a scathing UN report last month which warned the Great Barrier Reef's heritage listing could be restated as "at risk" unless greater care was taken to protect the area, particularly from the gas and mining boom.​
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Cheers man, Without a shadow of doubt - Australia and New Zealand are the best kept seceret in the modern world today. Truly some of the best places to live on earth. Amazing weather, scenery, economies.

by on the water photography

'1 Bligh Street' One of the Worlds greatest Skyscrapers

by The Sydney Morning Herald

A pair of curvaceous towers dubbed the "Marilyn Monroe" and an Australian skyscraper that breathes are among those named as best new tall buildings in the world. The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a group of architects and structural engineers that monitors tall building projects around the world, said there had been a "renaissance" in skyscraper development. The 28-storey elliptical tower at 1 Bligh St in Sydney was named Best Tall Building Asia and Australasia for offering tenants a breath of nature amid boxy skyscrapers with its ventilated skylit atrium, a ventilated glass facade, and a green roof.​
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by Picture This Ballooning

Magnitude 5.4-strong earthquake shakes Victoria
by Herald Sun

An earthquake hit Victoria last night with millions feeling it when it struck just before 9pm (AEST), lasting up to 20 seconds in some areas. Reports started coming in from residents in suburban Melbourne, and then spread to the northeast and southeast of the state. Windows were rattled, floors rocked and roofs shaken as the quake struck at 8.53pm. The Geoscience Australia website was in meltdown as people flocked online to find out what occurred and Twitter went wild. So wild, in fact, that Tweeps reacted in that most Australian of ways - by making jokes on the #melbquake. How did the earthquake affect comedian Chris Lilley and actor Steve Bastoni?

A spokeswoman for Geoscience said its recordings showed it was a magnitude 5.3 earthquake, which was more accurate than international seismologist estimates. Geoscience identified the epicentre 16km southwest of Moe, at the Latrobe Valley in Victoria’s east. “Our preliminary information is that it’s a 5.3,” she said. The US Geological Survey reported the earthquake was almost 10km deep with an epicentre between Trafalgar and Moe in the southeast. The USGS registered it as a 5.2 quake, but Geoscience Australia clocked it at 5.3, down from an initial 5.5 reading. The SES said it had more than 30 calls for help. Readers swamped the Herald Sun with calls reporting significant tremors from everyone from the suburbs all the way across the state to country Victoria.

The quake was felt from Kilmore, Gippsland, Drouin, Rowville and inner-Melbourne. Reports came in from all over the city - from the Dandenongs in the east, Bentleigh in the southeast, Pascoe Vale in the west and through the inner city. Seismologist recorded the quake – almost 10km deep - at 8.53pm. The earthquake spread itself statewide, reaching as far as 10km across southwest of Moe in the state's south-southeast, 18km west of Morwell, 30km off Traralgon and 78km southwest of Sale. The SES says there were no major reports of damage or injuries.​
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IMG_9388 by Jian Kuang, on Flickr​

See how we've changed, Australia - 2012 census reveals new information about us​

We're paying more in rent, becoming more multicultural, less religious, and moving to West Australia and Queensland, the latest census reveals. The resources boom has changed the face of Australia with Queensland and Western Australia experiencing a population boom, the latest census reveals. The 2011 census reveals Western Australia and Queensland are leading the way in the population increase, especially in small rural communities.

Nine out of 10 of the biggest increases in local government areas were in rural Western Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. While people's incomes have increased in Australia, the average rent has jumped 49.2 per cent - but in WA it's even higher at 76.5 per cent. In terms of Australia's cultural makeup, there have been huge increases in those coming from India, China and the Philippines, and a decline in post-war countries such as Italy. "This is fundamentally shifting the cultural mix of Australia,'' the 2011 census executive director Andrew Henderson said. Females just outnumbered males - 10,873,704 to 10,634,013 - and the median age was 37. In total 21,727,158 people were counted in Australia on census night, including 219,440 overseas visitors.

Of the states and territories, Western Australia experienced the biggest proportionate increase in its population at 14.3 per cent, to 2,239,169, while Tasmania's was the lowest at four per cent, to 495,352. At local government area level, East Pilbara in WA had the largest proportionate growth with its population jumping by 82.6 per cent to 11,950 in 2011. Brisbane had the biggest jump in the number of people among local government areas, with its population growing by 85,712 or nine per cent to 1,041,842. The state with the biggest increase in the number of people was Queensland, with 428,209 or 11 per cent more to 4,332,739 in 2011.

The 2011 census counted same-sex married couples for the first time, rather than the previous classification as a de facto partner. Yet the vast majority of same-sex couples - 96 per cent - still described their relationship as de facto. There were 1,338 same-sex couples who identified themselves as married, compared to 32,377 same-sex de facto couples. Meanwhile, the average rent in Australia has risen to $285 a week, from $191 in 2006, while the median monthly household mortgage repayment jumped to $1800 from $1300. The median weekly household income jumped to $1234 in 2011, up from $1027 in 2006. About one in four Australians were born overseas and 43.1 per cent of people had at least one overseas-born parent.

While the majority of Australia's migration came from Europe, Mr Henderson said there were increasingly more people born in Asia and other parts of the world now calling Australia home. The leading birthplace for those who arrived since 2006 was India (13.1 per cent), closely followed by the United Kingdom (12.1 per cent). The census showed more Australians are identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation, with that number rising to 22.3 per cent from 18.7 per cent of the population in 2006. Christianity remained the most commonly reported religion in Australia with 61.1 per cent of the population, down slightly from 63.9 per cent in 2006. More same-sex couples claiming to be married

Data released today from last year’s Census reveals that 1338 same-sex couples claim to be formally married, with almost equal numbers of gays and lesbians tying the knot. Another 32,377 same-sex couples live in de facto relationships but have been prevented from marrying due to the government’s controversial decision to continue its ban. NSW is home to almost 13,000 of those same-sex couples, with Victoria and Queensland the next most prevalent states. The total number of people who have never been married rose steeply compared to the previous Census in 2006 - up 13 per cent to 5.93m. The proportion of people married in NSW fell from 50.1 per cent in 2006 to 49.4 per cent last year, while those who were divorced or separated increased from 11 per cent to 11.3 per cent.​
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by Ben Heine

Sydney is world's second favorite city with gays, Melbourne also in Top 10
by New York Daily News

The The Big Apple is the world's favorite gay destination vacation, according to a study, which asked gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travelers from all over the world where they would most like to visit in the next three years. New York City was the big winner. Sydney placed second, Rio de Janiero third, Paris fourth and San Francisco fifth. Out Now Consulting noted that the huge desire for South Americans to see Paris helped it to beat the British capital to become Europe's top LGBT destination.

1. New York
2. Sydney
3. Rio de Janeiro
4. Paris
5. San Francisco
6. London
7. Buenos Aires
8. Tokyo
9. Hong Kong
10. Melbourne
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Superb posts, really nice to see so many street level photos of Australian cities. I really will have to pay a visit sometime.
Superb posts, really nice to see so many street level photos of Australian cities. I really will have to pay a visit sometime.
It's worth every cent, if you have the time make sure you check out New Zealand as well.

by chriskara

Brisbane to host G20 summit
by Sydney Morning Herald

Brisbane will host the G20 summit of world leaders in 2014, multiple Australian government sources have confirmed. Prime Minister Julia Gillard was preparing to make the announcement Wednesday, but a government source said word had leaked out late Tuesday due to the number of people involved in negotiations. Gillard and most of her cabinet were in Redbank Plains, near Brisbane, on Tuesday night for a community forum but refused to comment on the G20. None of the ministers or senior staff would speak on the record when asked about the G20 announcement, and Ms Gillard and many of her cabinet left straight after the forum without stopping to talk to community members or the media.

The G20, which takes in the world’s 20 major economies including the European Union, has previously announced the 2014 summit would be in Australia. Numerous high-profile world leaders would descend on Queensland, including the President of the United States and Prime Minister of the United Kingdon, if the state hosts the G20 event and the summit would be expected to focus on economic issues. Current US President Barack Obama will face an election in November against Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.​
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