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EDITOR'S BLOG

Odds 'n Sods

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Democracy in Australia

definition. A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

Need to take your power back?

They Vote For You website
I am so very impressed with this website. It gives you a wealth of info without taking sides in any issue. That's very rare today.

You can look up policies like carbon price, ABC funding, fishing restrictions, HECS debts, compensating terrorism victims, renewable energy, and so much more.

It shows you how each politician voted, how every party voted, what was in each bill, and the outcome. All with links to even more information. If you're really interested in what the government (all political parties) is doing in your name, TheyVoteForYou is a must see website.

Planning Alerts website
Is your favourite store, cinema or restaurant a few blocks away being converted into something you don't want in your neighborhood?

PlanningAlerts is a free service searching planning authority websites for development applications in your area and then emails you their details.

June 2015 a group of Google volunteer engineers teamed up with the OpenAustraliaFoundation volunteers to help PlanningAlerts expand their coverage to 2 million more Aussies. Bravo Google.

Right to Know website
A very interesting read from average Aussies making over 1,100 Freedom of Information Requests and the replies they received from the Australian government.

Contacting Australian Elected Representatives
Angry about what's going on in Australian politics, have a question or need help? Try these links.

  • Parliament of Australia - Members
   includes email, facebook and twitter accounts
  • Parliament of Australia - Contacting Members
   includes postal addresses, phone and fax.

Dual Citizenship in Australia

Brenda J asked, "Does Australia have dual citizenship?"

Before 4 April 2002 Australian citizens lost their Australian citizenship automatically if they became citizens of another country.

Australia now allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship (dual nationality). Other countries may not allow dual or multiple citizenships. You must contact your embassy or consulate in Australia to find out. You can also learn more at the Australian government Citizenship site

 

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Oprah & Friends Come to Australia

Oprah Winfrey celebrated the 25th and final season of her hit TV show by taking 300 lucky fans on Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure in December 2010. With that in mind, we thought you might enjoy reading some typical questions we get from Americans.

Is English spoken everywhere in Australia? Yes, but there are definite differences you should know about. Start with the word "root" in our Slang section and you'll understand.

Why does it take 2 days to fly to Sydney from LA? The distance from LA to Sydney is 12,049 km (7,487 miles) and flight time is about 15 hours. Leaving LA on Qantas at 10:30pm on a Monday, means you'll arrive in Sydney around 7:30am on Wednesday.

A 15 hour flight turns into 2 days because Sydney is 18 hours ahead of LA. During the flight you cross the international date line.

No worries mate. When you return, you'll arrive before you've left. Read our Help for Americans page for more info. And yes, we also have Daylight Savings here too that will change the arrival time as well.

Do I need a visa to travel from Melbourne to New Zealand and Tasmania? Yes and no. You do not need a separate visa to travel to Tasmania because it's an Australian state. New Zealand, however is a completely different country. So yes, you need a visa for New Zealand.

Will I see kangaroos when I'm in Brisbane? Do you see deer running around in New York City? Seriously, you can see a lot of our wildlife like kangaroos when you drive around Australia. However, you won't see them in the city or in heavily populated areas. But check our golf courses. Kangaroos seem to enjoy eating and relaxing while watching the golfers.

And finally ... while there are huge differences between the US and Australia, we do have many things in common. Yes, we have lots of ATMs, taxis, modern hospitals, modern supermarkets, shopping from the basics to the gloriously expensive.

You'll find in Australia your US chains: Kmart, Target, The Gap, Subway, KFC (since 1968), McDonalds, Sizzler, Burger King (Hungry Jack's since 1971), Domino's Pizza (since 1983), Pizza Hut (since 1970). Wendy's and Arby's are said to be coming here too. We also have our own fast-food chains: Red Rooster and Eagle Boys Pizza. However, to really experience our food try a local take-away shop.

 

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