It’s time for a inquiry into internet data roaming prices

Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, has just announced a A$10-a-day roaming package for travellers to 57 countries.

Before we break out the champagne to celebrate such a groundbreaking deal, can I be allowed to point out — in fact, shout out — that this is still outrageous and unacceptably high given what’s on offer?

Continue reading It’s time for a inquiry into internet data roaming prices

Scoot sets sights on Oz-Europe route

Although it often seems prohibitively expensive, air travel has actually become far more affordable in recent years. A flight from Sydney to London, for example, costs roughly the same as it did 30 years ago, despite inflation.

Scoot economy (

And flying to Europe is about to get even cheaper for Australians, with Singapore-based airline Scoot offering flights from the east coast to Athens for less than $1000.

But cheaper isn’t always better …

Continue reading Scoot sets sights on Oz-Europe route

Liveable or not liveable?

I’m a big fan of Melbourne — indeed, I have friends there and I often advise people planning a trip to Australia to include it on their itinerary.

Brisbane: didn’t crack the top 10

But I can’t say that I’m convinced that it is the world’s “most liveable city”, as it has been declared by The Economist for six years running. (Will it make seven? Wait until August to find out.)

Continue reading Liveable or not liveable?

What’s wrong with Australia?

What’s wrong with Australia? That was the question posted recently on, and it attracted some interesting replies.

Brisbane. Nothing much wrong with that.

As an Aussie myself, I guess I’m expected to say that there is nothing wrong with Australia. But that would be untrue. It’s just that the faults I find are not necessarily the ones others find.

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A smarter way to fly

Smart gates at airports — designed to allow passengers to get out into the arrivals hall as quickly as possible by self-scanning their passports rather than queuing to see an immigration official — may seem like new technology. But the fact is that Australia already has plans to phase them out.


Don’t panic. It’s all good. They will be replaced by even newer tech that promises to make life easier for frequent travellers.

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Being in Brisbane

Brisbane City Hall

It may be hard to be objective to write about your home town, but I’m going to try.

First, it’s true that Brisbane, where I was born and I’ve spent more than half of my life, is not the immediate “go-to” Australian city. Sydney is that — because of the harbour, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Bondi Beach, the Manly ferry and so many other attractions that all would-be tourists associate with the land down under. Continue reading Being in Brisbane