General Information

INSURANCE

Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the Symposium and book your travel you take out an insurance policy of your choice. The policy should include loss of fees/deposit through cancellation of your participation in the Symposium, or through cancellation of the Symposium, loss of international/domestic air fares through cancellation for any reason, loss of tour monies through cancellation for any reason including airline or related services strikes within Australia, failure to utilise tours or pre booked arrangements due to airline delay, Force Majeure or any other reason, medical expenses (including sickness and accident cover), loss or damage to personal property, additional expenses and repatriation should travel arrangements have to be altered. The Symposium managers cannot take any responsibility for any participant failing to arrange their own insurance. This insurance is to be purchased in your country of origin.

AIRPORT AND TRANSPORT

Melbourne Airport is located 20 km or 25 minutes from central Melbourne. A taxi fare is approximately A$40. A shuttle bus service, SkyBus, operates 24 hours a day between the Airport and the city centre. The service runs approximately every 30 minutes at a cost of A$16 each way. Drop off points are located throughout the city centre close to hotels and facilities. For further information, phone: +61 3 9670 7992.

BANKING/CURRENCY

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. 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.

BUSINESS HOURS

Banks generally open from 0930 – 1600 hours Monday – Friday. General office hours are 0900 – 1700 Monday – Friday. Post Offices operate these hours, however stamps are often available from hotels.

CLIMATE AND CLOTHING

Spring (Sep-Nov): 10-20 ºC (50-68 ºF)
Summer (Dec-Feb): 14-25 ºC (57-77 ºF)
Autumn (Mar-May): 11-20 ºC (52-68 ºF)
Winter (Jun-Aug): 7-14 ºC (45-57 ºF)
Generally Australians are informal dressers. We suggest you bring a jacket and tie with you for special occasions. A warm jacket and scarf is recommended for evenings.Please refer to the information on the social program for dress at social functions organised as part of the Conference, as some of these may require formal evening dress.

EATING OUT

Bistros, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offer varied menus, prices and decor. Local specialities 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”. Eating out options in the Melbourne Convention Centre area can be found on the Venue and Host City page of this website.

ELECTRICITY

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)

Since 1 July 2000, Australia has adopted a new taxation system incorporating the Goods & Services Tax (GST). All prices quoted in this brochure are inclusive of GST, unless otherwise specified. As part of this new taxation system, the Australian Government introduced the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). The scheme is administered by the Australian Customs Department and took effect on 1 July 2000. The TRS enables travellers departing Australia to claim a refund of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australia. 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 sited and at that point you can check the large item in 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, however the goods can be used before departing Australia.

LANGUAGE

The official language for the conference is English.

LOCAL TRANSPORT

Melbourne offers a number of different transport options throughout the city, including a free city circle tram service, which will be of particular use when making your way to workshop venues throughout the city. Please click here for a map of this free service.To make your way around Melbourne using Melbourne’s vast train, bus or tram network, Public Transport Victoria offers an excellent Journey Planner site to assist with your travel plans. Click here to access this Journey Planner service.

PARKING

Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre car park
1,060 undercover parking spaces managed by Wilson Parking, open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- Evening rate, Monday to Thursday – A$12.00, entry from 6pm and exit before 6am
- Evening rate, Friday – A$14.00, entry from 6pm and exit before 6am
- Weekend rate – A$14.00, per exit, per day
- Earlybird rate – A$13.00, enter between 6am – 9am and exit between 3pm – midnight Monday
- Friday Fees are subject to change without notice and current rates are listed here.Melbourne South Wharf car park
550 open air parking spaces managed by Wilson Parking, open 24 Hours, 7 days a week.- Day Rates are $4 per hour, with $28 maximum for 6+ hours
- Evening rate – A$8.00, entry after 6pm and exit before 6amFees are subject to change without notice and current rates are listed here.

PASSPORT & VISA INFORMATION

All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia. Welcome letters can be requested from iscas2014@arinex.com.au following completion of symposium registration. For VISA information please download the following information factsheet from the Australian Immigration Office.

VISA FACTSHEET

PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL

Because of time change and jet lag the Organising Committee suggests you consider arriving in Australia by 31 May. This will enable you to relax and familiarise yourself with your hotel and its surrounds before the start of the Symposium.

PRIVACY

Australia introduced the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 in 2001. The Symposium Managers comply with such legislation 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 Symposium will be only used for the purposes of planning and conduct of the Symposium 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 Symposium 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 Symposium. Individuals are also entitled to access the information held by written application to the Symposium Managers.

QUARANTINE

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, which cannot be brought into the country without prior application. Animal and plant products are also restricted.For more information see the ‘Information for International Travelers’ on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website, which you can access by visiting http://www.affa.gov.au.

SHOPPING

Shops open from 0900 to 1900 hours during the week with late night shopping on Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays most shops are open from 0900 to 1900 hours.

TIME

Melbourne is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

TIPPING

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.

VACCINATIONS

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.