General Information

INSURANCE

Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the congress 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 congress, or through cancellation of the congress, 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 congress 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$50. A shuttle bus service, SkyBus, operates 24 hours a day between the Airport and the city centre of Melbourne. The service runs approximately every 10-15 minutes during the day at a cost of A$18 one way or A$36 return trip. Transfers from the main city bus terminus to major hotels are included. For further information, please visit www.skybus.com.au or phone + 61 3 9335 2811.

Public Transport in Melbourne
Melbourne is well serviced by trains, trams, buses and taxis both in the city and surrounding suburbs. It is one of a few cities in the world that has a low cost electric tram network, as well as an underground train system. Melbourne city also offers two free-of-charge ‘hop on/hop off’ tram and bus services for tourists:- The ‘City Circle’ is a free historic tourist tram that runs regularly around the perimeter of the Melbourne CBD. This free historic tram is designed for visitors to Melbourne and has high-quality maps and tour guides on board – a most recommended means of getting around the Melbourne CBD. The tram has a conveniently located stop at the corner of Flinders and Clarendon Street, which is only a 10minute stroll to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.- The Melbourne Visitor Shuttle has 13 stops, stopping at key tourist attractions and destinations in and around the city, a 2 day pass is $10. On board you can view the city in comfort, while listening to an informative commentary about the city’s attractions. You can hop on and hop off at any of the 15 stops. For more information visit www.thatsmelbourne.com.au.For more information about Melbourne visit the VIC Tourism website www.visitvictoria.com.
The City of Melbourne also provides free tram transport in the Central Business District. Click here for the map.

BANKING/CURRENCY

Banks generally open from 0930 – 1600 hours Monday – Friday. Some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.Several international banks have offices in the CBD.

Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are available within the MCEC adjacent to the Hilton hotel entry and on the concourse outside door 3. Additional ATMs are plentiful throughout the city.

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

CUSTOMS

Average maximum temperature 16°C
Average minimum temperature 5°C

For more information on average temperatures, rainfall and lots of other great information about Victorian destinations, visit www.visitvictoria.com

Generally Australians are informal dressers. We suggest you bring a jacket and tie with you for special occasions.  A light jacket is recommended for evenings.
Please refer to the information on the social program for dress at social functions organised as part of the congress, as some of these may require formal evening dress.

Please ensure that along with your passport and visa, you also pack your registration confirmation letter within your carry-on luggage.  You may be asked to produce this when going through customs at your arrival airport.  In addition to this, please be sure to fill out your Incoming Passenger Card with all details and answer each question honestly.

EATING OUT

Bistros, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops offer varied menus, prices and decor. Local specialties such as seafood and Australian wines are worth trying. At some restaurants you can keep the liquor bill down by taking your own wine or beer. These are called “BYO” restaurants, an abbreviation for “bring your own”.

ELECTRICITY

EXCHANGE RATE

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. 

Australian currency fluctuates on the international monetary exchange. Therefore we recommend checking with your local bank for the exchange rate just prior to your arrival in Australia.

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 Congress is English.  

PARKING

Melbourne Exhibition Centre car park
1,060 undercover parking spaces managed by Wilson Parking, open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
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: A$10.00 per hour, with A$40.00 maximum for 3+ hours.
– Evening rate: A$10.00, entry after 1800 and exit before 0600.
Fees 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. It’s recommended to allow at least 6 – 8 weeks for visa processing. For VISA information please download the following information factsheet from the Australian Immigration Office.

VISA FACTSHEET

A welcome letter can be downloaded following completion of the congress registration and payment. To complete the welcome letter, please click here to download the welcome letter and then select ‘Highlight Existing Fields’ to show the fields that need to be completed. Then then fill in the following fields at the top of the letter which must match your paid registration: 

Date

Delegate First Name Delegate Last Name
Delegate Organisation Name
Delegate Address Line 1
Delegate Address Line 2
Delegate Suburb / City / State
Delegate Postcode
Delegate Country

After you have completed the above fields, unselect ‘Highlight Existing Fields’ and then save the PDF to your computer.

PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL

Because of time change and jet lag the Organising Committee suggests you consider arriving in Australia a couple of days prior to the congress. This will enable you to relax and familiarise yourself with your hotel and its surrounds before the start of the congress.

PRIVACY

Australia introduced the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2012 in March 2014.  The Congress 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 Congress will be only used for the purposes of planning and conduct of the Congress and may also be provided to the organising body or to organisers of future events.  Further information on Privacy Laws in Australia can be found here: http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-act/privacy-law-reform

It is also usual to produce a ‘Delegate List’ of attendees at the Congress 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 Congress.  Individuals are also entitled to access the information held by written application to the Congress 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 Travellers’ on the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) website, which you can access by visiting http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/travel/cant-take .

SHOPPING    

Shops in Melbourne are open from 0900 to 1730 hours during the week with late night shopping on Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays most shops are open from 0900 to 1600 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.