australia

In a move that sounds convenient and a little terrifying, international travelers to Australia may not need a passport by 2020. Officials say that the country is implementing a system to replace the standard paper ID with biometric technology that recognizes faces, irises and/or fingerprints. If all goes to plan, passengers from other countries will arrive in Australia and walk directly out of the airport just like a domestic traveler.

According to the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection website: “The Work & Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462) is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible partner countries.”

The leaders of Australia and Japan agreed today to boost cooperation between their militaries, as Japan tries to shore up security ties throughout the Asia-Pacific region amid concern over China’s growing military might.

December 26, 2016

After a year dominated by controversy over China’s soft power forays into Australian politics, experts are warning the emerging superpower is using Australian media to exert political influence with implications for press freedom. A recent report argues this “major blind spot in Australia’s… understanding of Chinese-language media” could become “a trigger for social disharmony”.”

Australia has a 64-year history of utilising volunteers in its aid program that has inspired similar programs in New Zealand, Canada and the United States, according to the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. Still, the Australian Volunteers for International Development program is just a small piece of Australia’s aid program. 

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O'Sullivan received the prospect positively that the show will boost Australia's tourism industry. "Our impossibly cute kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats, echidnas, and quokkas already do a wonderful job of luring international travelers, but we're delighted to receive a bit of additional animal advocacy from Peppa Pig and her family," he added.

A social enterprise in Queensland is helping refugee and migrant women gain employment and foster community spirit through cooking. The Spice Exchange sees these enterprising women come together to creates spice blends, condiments and gingerbread. [...] Backed by Access Community Services, the social enterprise in Logan, south of Brisbane, also helps the women practise their English-speaking skills. 

After many months of wrangling between the government and the opposition parties a compromise has been achieved over what has come to be known as the “Backpacker Tax.” Legislation to tax young foreign workers at 15 percent from the first dollar they earn will now pass the Senate. [...] These visas were initially designed as a form of “cultural exchange.” 

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