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EMBASSY/CONSULATE ADDRESSES

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

Ambassador: Kim Beazley
Chancery: 1601 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
20036
Telephone: (202) 797-3000
Fax: (202) 797-3168

Consulates General are in:
New York
Australian Consulate General
150 East 42nd Street, 34th Floor
New York NY 10017-5612
Telephone: ((212) 351 6500
Fax: (212) 351 6501

Atlanta
3060 Peachtree Road NW
Suite 970, One Buckhead Plaza
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 880-1702

San Francisco
575 Market Street, Suite 1800
San Francisco CA 94105
(415) 536 1970.

Honolulu
1000 Bishop Street, Suite PHOUSE
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 524-5050

Los Angeles
Century Plaza Towers
2049 Century Pk. E., 19th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 229-4800

Pago Pago
Australian High Commission,
Apia, Western Samoa,.

US Diplomatic Representation:
Ambassador: Jeffrey L. Bleich
Embassy: Moonah Place, Yarralumla ACT 2600
Telephone: (02)-6214-5600 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)

Consulates General telephone numbers in
Sydney (2-373-9200),
Melbourne (3-526-5900),
Perth (9- 202-1224).

Embassy and Consulate Web Sites for Australia
U.S. Embassy in Australia
U.S Consulate General in Perth
U.S. Consulate General in Sydney
U.S. Consulate General in Melbourne

Australian Embassy in Washington DC
Australian Consulate General in New York
Australian Tourism Offices
Tourism Australia
Northern Territory
New South Wales
Queensland
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia


FOREIGN RELATIONS

Australia has been an active participant in international affairs since federation in 1901, and Australian forces have fought beside the United States and other Allies in every significant conflict since World War I. On January 8, 1940, the governments of the United States and Australia announced the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. In 1944, Australia concluded an agreement with New Zealand dealing with the security, welfare, and advancement of the people of the independent territories of the Pacific (the ANZAC pact). After World War II, Australia played a role in the Far Eastern Commission in Japan and supported Indonesian independence during that country's revolt against the Dutch. Australia was one of the founding members of the United Nations, the South Pacific Commission, and the Colombo Plan. In addition to contributing to UN forces in Korea--it was the first country to announce it would do so after the United States--Australia sent troops to assist in putting down the 1948-1960 communist revolt in Malaya and later to combat the 1963-1965 Indonesian-supported invasion of Sarawak. The United States, Australia, and New Zealand signed the ANZUS Treaty in 1951, which remains Australia's pre-eminent formal security treaty alliance. Australia sent troops to assist South Vietnamese and U.S. forces in Vietnam, and joined coalition forces in the Persian Gulf conflict in 1991, in Afghanistan in 2001, and in Iraq in 2003.

Australia has been active in the Australia-New Zealand-U.K. agreement and the Five-Power Defense Arrangements--successive arrangements with Britain and New Zealand to ensure the security of Singapore and Malaysia. Australia participates in a Trilateral Security Dialogue with the United States and Japan. One of the drafters of the UN Charter, Australia has given firm support to the United Nations and its specialized agencies. It was last a member of the Security Council in 1985-86, a member of the Economic and Social Council for 1986-89, and a member of the UN Human Rights Commission for 1994-96 and 2003-2005. Australia is seeking a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2013-2014. Australia takes a prominent part in many other UN activities, including peacekeeping, nonproliferation and disarmament negotiations, and narcotics control. Australia also is active in meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Pacific Islands Forum, and has been a leader in the Cairns Group--countries pressing for agricultural trade reform in World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations--and in founding the APEC forum. In 2002, Australia joined the International Criminal Court.

Australia has devoted particular attention to relations between developed and developing nations, with emphasis on the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the island states of the South Pacific. Australia is an active participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), which promotes regional cooperation on security issues, and has been a member of the East Asia Summit since its inauguration in 2005. The Rudd government argued that the Asia-Pacific area needs a regional body that addresses both security and economic issues. In September 1999, acting under a UN Security Council mandate, Australia led an international coalition to restore order in East Timor upon Indonesia's withdrawal from that territory. In 2006, Australia participated in an international peacekeeping operation in Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor). Australia led a regional mission to restore law and order in Solomon Islands in 2003 and again in 2006. Australia is part of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which also includes the United States.

The government is committed to increasing official development assistance to 0.5% of gross national income by 2015-2016. Australia budgeted $A4.35 billion (U.S. $3.9 billion) for FY 2010-2011 and $A3.82 billion (U.S. $3.4 billion) in FY 2009-2010. The Australian aid program is currently concentrated in Southeast Asia (Papua New Guinea and Indonesia are the largest recipients) and the Pacific Islands. Selected aid flows are allocated to Africa, South Asia, and reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq. Contributions to global programs and other expenses account for 39% of the foreign assistance budget.


ANZUS AND DEFENSE

The Australia, New Zealand, United States (ANZUS) security treaty was concluded at San Francisco on September 1, 1951, and entered into force on April 29, 1952. The treaty bound the signatories to recognize that an armed attack in the Pacific area on any of them would endanger the peace and safety of the others. It committed them to consult in the event of a threat and, in the event of attack, to meet the common danger in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. The three nations also pledged to maintain and develop individual and collective capabilities to resist attack.

In 1984, the nature of the ANZUS alliance changed after the Government of New Zealand refused access to its ports by nuclear-weapons-capable and nuclear-powered ships of the U.S. Navy. The United States suspended defense obligations to New Zealand, and annual bilateral meetings between the U.S. Secretary of State and the Australian Foreign Minister replaced annual meetings of the ANZUS Council of Foreign Ministers. The first bilateral meeting was held in Canberra in 1985. At the second, in San Francisco in 1986, the United States and Australia announced that the United States was suspending its treaty security obligations to New Zealand pending the restoration of port access. Ministerial consultations (AUSMIN) alternate between Australia and the United States. The U.S.-Australia alliance under the ANZUS Treaty remains in full force. AUSMIN meetings are supplemented by consultations between the U.S. Combatant Commander, Pacific and the Australian Chief of Defence Force. There also are regular civilian and military consultations between the two governments at lower levels.

ANZUS has no integrated defense structure or dedicated forces. However, in fulfillment of ANZUS obligations, Australia and the United States conduct a variety of joint activities. These include military exercises ranging from naval and landing exercises at the task-group level to battalion-level special forces training to numerous smaller-scale exercises, assigning officers to each other's armed services, and standardizing, where possible, equipment and operational doctrine. The two countries operate joint defense facilities in Australia.

As a result of terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, then-Prime Minister Howard and U.S. President George W. Bush jointly invoked the ANZUS Treaty for the first time on September 14, 2001. Australia was one of the earliest participants in Operation Enduring Freedom. The Australian Defence Force (ADF) participated in coalition military action against Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Australian combat forces began their withdrawal from Iraq in mid-2008 and forces were fully removed by July 2009. Australia has approved the deployment of approximately 1,550 troops to Afghanistan and also provides significant development and capacity building assistance to the country. The Australian Army is projected to grow from 28,811 in FY 2010-2011 to 30,098 in FY 2013-2014. This will enable the establishment of two Army battalions.

The Australian Government has stated its intention to maintain its investment in future capability of the ADF. To do so, the government has committed to a 3% annual growth in real defense funding through 2018--and 2.2% annual real growth beyond--to ensure the ADF can continue to meet capability and interoperability goals. The 2010-2011 budget projects $A6.3 billion (U.S. $5.7 billion) for approximately 57,000 full-time ADF personnel, plus 6,000 new recruits. The Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) front-line fleet currently includes 12 frigates, including 4 of the Adelaide class and 8 Australian-built ANZAC class. In August 2004, Australia selected the Aegis Combat Control System for its three air warfare destroyers (AWD), which will start coming into service in 2014. In a joint venture with the U.S. Navy, Australia is upgrading its Replacement Combat System (RCS), and its associated support infrastructure, for its six Collins class submarines. The F/A-18 fighter, built in Australia under license from the U.S. manufacturer, is the principal combat aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force, backed by the U.S.-built F-111 strike aircraft. In October 2002, Australia became a Level III partner in the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Additionally, the Australian Government signed the JSF Production, Sustainment and Follow-on Development memorandum of understanding in 2006. Australia is projected to buy up to 100 JSF aircraft with deliveries starting in 2014. Australia’s first operational JSF squadron is planned to be ready for operations in 2018. The F-111 strike aircraft are scheduled to exit service by the end of 2010 and be replaced by 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters as an interim strike capability, with deliveries commencing March 2010. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) took delivery of the last aircraft in its buy of 4 Boeing C-17 strategic airlift aircraft in 2008. In addition, Boeing will provide the Commonwealth of Australia's RAAF with an Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system based on the Next-Generation 737-700 aircraft as the airborne platform. Recent U.S. sales to the Australian Army include the M1A1 AIM tank, as well as Hellfire and JAVELIN munitions. Future opportunities include CH-47 helicopter replacements, navy helicopter replacements, light and medium cargo aircraft replacements, and artillery systems.

In May 2009, the Australian Government released its Defence White Paper, outlining Australia’s long-term strategic outlook. In addition to buying the JSF aircraft, the White Paper proposes to double Australia’s submarine fleet to 12, replace the ANZAC class frigates, and replace the army’s armored personnel carriers.

The U.S. and Australia signed a Defense Cooperation Treaty in Sydney in September 2007. This treaty, when implemented, will facilitate the trade of defense equipment and technology between the countries.


U.S.-AUSTRALIAN RELATIONS

The World War II experience, similarities in culture and historical background, and shared democratic values have made U.S. relations with Australia exceptionally strong and close. Ties linking the two nations cover the entire spectrum of international relations--from commercial, cultural, and environmental contacts to political and defense cooperation. Two-way trade reached almost $A53 billion (U.S. $47.7 billion) in 2008-2009. Around 488,300 Americans visited Australia in the 12 months to March 2010. In September 2007, the United States and Australia signed an agreement launching a 12-month exchange student work and travel pilot program. While Australia enjoys a similar program with approximately 20 other countries, this was the first program of its kind for the United States. The pilot program will facilitate the hands-on experience of Australian and Americans working in each others' country and will deepen and enhance our bilateral relationship even further.

Traditional friendship is reinforced by the wide range of common interests and similar views on most major international questions. For example, both attach high priority to controlling and eventually eliminating chemical weapons, other weapons of mass destruction, and anti-personnel landmines; and both work closely on global environmental issues such as slowing climate change and preserving coral reefs. The Australian Government and opposition share the view that Australia's security depends on firm ties with the United States, and the ANZUS Treaty enjoys broad bipartisan support. Recent Presidential visits to Australia (in 1991, 1996, 2003, and 2007), a Vice Presidential visit in February 2007, and Australian Prime Ministerial visits to the United States (in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009) have underscored the strength and closeness of the alliance.

The bilateral Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) entered into force on January 1, 2005. This comprehensive agreement, only the second FTA the U.S. had negotiated with a developed nation, substantially liberalized an already vibrant trade and investment relationship. The AUSFTA also creates a range of ongoing working groups and committees designed to explore further trade reform in the bilateral context. Both countries share a commitment to liberalizing global trade. They work together very closely in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and both are active members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

A number of U.S. institutions conduct scientific activities in Australia because of its geographical position, large land mass, advanced technology, and, above all, the ready cooperation of its government and scientists. In 2005, a bilateral science and technology agreement was renewed. Under another agreement dating back to 1960 and since renewed, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) maintains in Australia one of its largest and most important programs outside the United States, including a number of tracking facilities vital to the U.S. space program. Indicative of the broad-ranging U.S.-Australian cooperation on other global issues, a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) was concluded in 1997, enhancing already close bilateral cooperation on legal and counter-narcotics issues. In 2001, the U.S. and Australia signed a new tax treaty and a bilateral social security agreement. The U.S. Studies Centre was launched in 2006 at the University of Sydney with Commonwealth funding of A$25 million (U.S. $20 million). In April 2010, Australia and the U.S. signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen emergency management cooperation including during bushfires, major storms, and other severe natural disasters.


Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Jeffrey L. Bleich

Deputy Chief of Mission--Jason P. Hyland

Consular Affairs Coordinator--Thurmond Borden (resident in Sydney)

Economic Counselor--Jonathan Fritz

Political Counselor--Nan Fife

Management Counselor--Chris R. Riche

Public Affairs Counselor--Judy A. Moon

Defense and Air Attache--Col. Gavin Ketchen, USAF

Agricultural Counselor--Grant A. Pettrie

Senior Commercial Officer--David Murphy (resident in Sydney)

The U.S. Embassy in Australia is located at Moonah Place, Yarralumla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2600 (tel. 2-6214-5600; fax 6214-5970). Consulates General are in Sydney (tel. 2-9373-9200; fax 2-9373-9125); Melbourne (tel. 3-9526-5900; fax 3-9510-4646; and Perth (tel. 9-202-1224; fax. 9-231-9444).




TRAVEL ADVISORIES

To obtain the latest Travel Advisory Information for Australia check the U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheet


TRAVEL TIPS

Driving U.S Driving Permit accepted
Currency (AUD) Australian Dollar
Electrical 230 Volts
Telephones Country Code 61, City Code, Central East 2+8D, South East 3+8D, Queensland 7+8D, Central and West 8+8D





Climate and clothing: Most of southern Australia has warm summers and mild winters (seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere). Light-weight clothing can be worn year-round except in the more temperate regions during winter; warmer clothes and an overcoat are then required.

Customs and Visas: In general, when visitors arrive in Australia they must present a visitor's visa issued by an Australian Embassy or consulate or an Electronic Travel Authority issued by the travel agent or airline to eligible nationalities, including United States citizens.

Immunizations are not usually required for travelers when arriving directly from the United States, New Zealand, or Europe. Health requirements change; before departure, check with an airline ticket office, the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC, or the nearest Australian consulate general.

No restrictions are placed on bringing U.S. dollars into or out of Australia. No more than 5,000 Australian dollars in Australian currency notes may be taken out. Letters of credit, travelers checks, and U.S. currency are freely negotiable. A tourist's personal property generally is exempt from customs duty. Pets are allowed entry only after long periods of quarantine outside Australia, if at all.

Health: Australia has no unusual health problems or serious endemic diseases, and no special health precautions are necessary for tourists. Hospitals are modern.

Telecommunications: Reliable international telephone, telegraph, telex, and postal services are available. Tourist attractions: Australians are great sports enthusiasts. Horse racing, cricket, tennis, rugby, and Australian football attract large crowds. The Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race commences December 26; the yachting armada streaming out the majestic Heads of Sydney Harbor is a magnificent sight. Surfing carnivals are staged by Surf Life Saving Associations on summer weekends in many parts of Australia. Melbourne is renowned for fine race and golf courses and for its Royal Botanical Garden. Sites of interest include the National Museum (natural history) and the Old Melbourne Gaol and Penal Museum -- a prison built in 1841, with relics from the more colorful chapters of Australian history.

In Sydney, favorite attractions are the tour of its breathtaking harbor; the Sydney Opera House, with its striking architecture; the Rocks area, often referred to as "the cradle of Sydney;" and the Taronga Park Zoo. The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, is renowned as well.

Time zones: Australia has three time zones. When the U.S. east coast is on daylight saving time, the Australian east coast is 14 hours ahead, i.e., 6 p.m. eastern daylight time is 8 a.m. the next day on the Australian east coast. When the U.S. resumes standard time and Australia assumed daylight savings time, the difference generally becomes 16 hours.

National holidays: New Year's Day, Australia Day (Jan. 26 or the first Monday after that date), Good Friday, Easter Monday, ANZAC Day (April 25), Queen's Birthday (second Monday in June), Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Dec. 26).


CUSTOMS/DUTIES

Note--passengers under 18yrs are allowed 1/2 quantities listed.

Up to $100 usd or equivalent:

Tobacco.....200 cigarettes or 250 grams tobacco or cigars

Liquor......2.25 litre of any alcoholic beverage

Articles for personal hygiene, not including perfume

Gifts/souvenirs/ other goods...Within $900; $450 limit if under 18

Prohibited items:

N on-prescription drugs, weapons, firearms, wildlife and certain foodstuff and other potential sources of disease and pestilence.



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