General Information

Transport Options

There are a variety of options to travel around Sydney and its surrounds.

New South Wales offers a range of public transport options such as buses, trains, ferries and the light rail. To plan your travel using the public transport network, click here.

Opal cards makes  getting around on public transport easy. They are smartcard tickets that you keep, top up and reuse to pay for travel on public transport. For more information on opal cards, click here.

There is a range of companies such as 13cabs and Premier Cabs offering taxi services, which is a convenient way to travel.

Ride-sharing services such as Uber is also an available option to easily get around.

For more information on getting around New South Wales, click here.

Banking and Currency

Decimal currency is used in Australia with the dollar as the basic unit (100 cents = A$1). Notes come in A$100, A$50, A$20, A$10 and A$5 denominations.  Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, A$1 and A$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 and American Express.

Business Hours

Banks and post offices generally open from 0930 – 1600 hours Monday to Friday.  Business office hours are 0900 – 1700 hours Monday to Friday.  Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are available 24 hours in many locations.

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

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 and Services Tax (GST) / Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS)

All prices quoted in this brochure are inclusive of 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax), unless otherwise specified. GST applies to most goods and services in Australia.

The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) is administered by the Australian Customs Department and enables travelers departing from Australia to claim a refund of the GST and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) paid on goods bought in Australia.  For detailed information on the TRS visit the website of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Services of the Australian Government.

Insurance

Registration fees do not include insurance.  It is strongly recommended that at the time you register for the GA2020 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 Conference or through cancellation of the Conference,
  • 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,
  • Medical expenses.

The General Assembly 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.

Language

The official language for the GA2020 is English. Translation services will be offered throughout the GA2020 in French.

Passport and Immigration (VISA)

All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia.  Welcome letters can be requested by emailing the General Assembly Managers (contact details in footer of the website) following completion of GA2020 registration.  For VISA information please download the following information factsheet from the Australian Immigration Office.

VISA FACTSHEET

Note – it is strongly recommended that Australian visa applications are lodged at least two months prior to departure from your point of origin.

Photography

The General Assembly Hosts and General Assembly Managers have arranged for photography onsite throughout the event.  The images may be used for post-event reports, case studies, marketing collateral and supplied to industry media if requested.  If you do not wish for your photo to be taken, please inform the photographer and move out of camera range.

Planning your Travel

Because of time changes and jet lag we suggest you arrive in Australia a few days prior to the commencement of the GA2020.  This will enable you to relax and familiarise yourself with your hotel and its surrounds before the start of the GA2020.

Privacy

Australia introduced the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 in 2001. The latest updates were published in 2014.  The General Assembly 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 GA2020 will be only used for the purposes of planning and conduct of the GA2020 and may also be provided to the organising body or to organisers of future events.  Information may also be used for advice of future Conferences/Symposiums/General Assemblies in a related area.  See here for more information on Privacy Laws in Australia.

It is also usual to produce a ‘Delegate List’ of attendees at the GA2020 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 GA2020. Individuals are also entitled to access the information held by written application to the General Assembly 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.

Tipping

Tipping is not as widespread or regulated in Australia as it is in other parts of the world.  Tipping is at your prerogative; a reward for service. A gratuity of about 10% is usual in restaurants if good service is received.  Tips for taxis are regarded as optional.

Vaccination

There is no vaccination required for entering Australia.  However, if you enter Australia from a yellow fever declared country but do not hold a vaccination certificate you will receive a Yellow Fever Action Card for further information.  More information can be found on the Department of Health of the Australian Government website.

Time

Sydney is 10 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Climate and Clothing

In Sydney, the average temperatures in October are 11-24 ºC (52-75 ºF).

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 GA2020 as some of these may require formal evening dress.

Shopping

Sydney shops open from 0900 to 1730 hours during the week with late night shopping on Thursday until 2100 hours.  On Saturday, most CBD shops open from 0900 to 1700 hours.  On Sunday, Darling Harbour shops and major department stores in the centre of the city are open from 1000 to 1800 hours.