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Australia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

The Liberal-National coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison faces an unco-operative Senate, a slim majority in the House of Representatives, and increasing unpopularity following the internal disunity that triggered the removal of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August 2018. The government's new energy policy, aimed at reducing consumer prices – which includes the implementation of a new regime to monitor prices and enables the government to order the divestment of energy company assets – is likely to be delayed by parliamentary negotiations. A general election will almost certainly be called in the first half of 2019. Major policy changes are highly unlikely within the next six months, as Morrison is unlikely to shift policy direction without an electoral mandate. Nevertheless, the government will benefit politically from the economy's performance, although we expect GDP growth to slow from 3.2% in 2018 to 2.8% in 2019. In 2019 slower economic expansion is likely, given slower export growth and decelerating household consumption amid elevated levels of household debt. Monetary policy is likely to remain unchanged until the first quarter of 2020, given weak inflation reflecting gradual wage growth, retail-sector competition, and lower housing rents. Fiscal spending has been bolstered by strong revenues, while approved adjustments to personal income tax brackets could provide minor fiscal stimulus. The government judges the risk of a terrorist attack to be probable. The most likely threat is from low-capability, domestically based single or small groups of actors inspired by social media perpetrating attacks in Melbourne or Sydney. Such individuals and groups would probably attempt to carry out small-scale attacks requiring limited planning and expertise, aimed at causing civilian casualties. However, police counter-terrorism capability is robust, and most plots probably will be disrupted during the planning stages. © 2018, IHS Markit Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Last update: November 22, 2018

Operational Outlook

Australia's operational environment is attractive and welcoming to potential investors overall, although there is political sensitivity over the foreign ownership of Australian assets. The bureaucracy is efficient, and the country is perceived to be one of the least corrupt in the world. Larger resource-based projects encounter opposition from environmental campaigners – the most prominent example in 2017–18 concerns environmental opposition to the Carmichael coal mine in Queensland, which has been the subject of peaceful protests in capital cities, as well as legal challenges. Labour-relations risks to business have declined substantially since 2012 but can still cause disruptions, particularly in the mining, construction, and transportation sectors.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Terrorism

Elevated

The government judges the risk of a terrorist attack to be probable, although in the wake of the bombings against an Indonesian police station in May 2018, then-prime minister Turnbull stated that the terrorism threat had further increased. Australia has experienced several bombing attempts; for example, in July 2017, the police arrested four individuals in Sydney allegedly in connection with a plot to smuggle an explosive onto an aircraft. However, police counter-terrorism capability is robust and plots will probably be disrupted during the planning stages. Attack targets include the security services or people in public spaces in cities such as Melbourne or Sydney.

Last update: September 4, 2018

War Risks

The risk of interstate conflict affecting Australian territory is low. Australia's defence strategy is founded on its long-standing military co-operation with the United States, and Australia will support US policy on defence and security matters, as exemplified by former prime minister Turnbull's statement in August 2017 affirming that Australia would aid the United States in the event of a conflict with North Korea. The government intends to increase defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2021 – bringing estimated expenditure to USD147 billion – and both major political parties will probably continue to support this policy.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Social Stability

Moderate

Small protests motivated by diverse social concerns occur almost monthly in Australia and usually attract several hundred participants. Larger protests occur several times per year and typically relate to union demands for improved working conditions. For example, on 9 May 2018, about 100,000 union members peacefully protested in the Melbourne Central Business District to demand improved working conditions. Most protests will probably remain peaceful. Although protests occasionally cause disruption to central business districts and local traders, the likelihood of property damage is exiguous.

Last update: September 4, 2018

Health Risk

Low

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: There is no risk of contracting yellow fever in Australia. However, the government requires proof of vaccination for travelers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Japanese encephalitis: Japanese encephalitis is typically only present in rural areas. Discuss travel plans with your doctor to decide if you need the JE vaccine, which is administered in two doses spaced over a month. The last dose should be administered at least ten days prior to departure for an at-risk area to be fully effective.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: August 22, 2018

Natural Risks

Severe

First, Australia is home to an array of diverse climates (equatorial, tropical, arid, etc.) and therefore a variety of natural hazards.

Between late October and early May, tropical cyclones strike the northern and western coasts of the country, sometimes violently.

In addition to storms, the country is also regularly afflicted by forest fires in the summer months (December to February).

Furthermore, large-scale floods resulting in extensive material damage are not rare.

It should also be noted that Australia is located in an active seismic zone.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Low

Finally, the quality of medical, hotel, and road infrastructure is high. Public transportation systems are well-developed and health conditions are good throughout the country.

Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Due to its vast size, Australia experiences a variety of diverse climates. Along the eastern coast the climate is temperate: summers are hot and winters are mild. The area receives rain throughout the year.

In the north and the northeast of the country the climate is tropical (summers are hot and humid, winters mild) and the majority of rainfall comes in the summer.

The interior of the country and portions of the western coast are semi-arid.

Temperatures are generally lower in the south although they never fall below freezing in Melbourne.

Finally, in the southeast (Perth, Adelaide), the climate is Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot and dry summers.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +61
Police: 000
Fire Dept.: 000
Ambulance: 000

Electricity

Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: October 21, 2013