Virgin Australia has announced plans to operate twice-weekly between Perth and Canberra during Parliamentary sitting weeks, with the flights to operate on Thursdays and Sundays.
Flights for sitting weeks in August, September, October and December 2017 are now on sale, while flights for 2018 will go on sale once the 2018 Parliamentary sitting calendar is released, the airline said on Thursday.
On Thursdays and Sundays during sitting weeks in August and September Virgin Australia’s flight VA590 will depart Perth at 1235 and arrive at Canberra at 1825, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1900 and arriving in Perth at 2140.
On Sundays in sitting weeks in October and December VA590 will depart Perth at 1205 and arrive in Canberra at 1855, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1930 and arriving in Perth at 2110.
On Thursdays in sitting weeks in October and December VA590 will depart Perth at 1135 and arrive in Canberra at 1825, with the return VA589 departing Canberra at 1900 and arriving in Perth at 2040.
All flights will be operated by Boeing 737s.
Qantas already operates daily nonstop flights between Canberra and Perth using 737-800s.
The announcement was welcomed by Canberra Airport managing director Stephen Byron.
“This is great news for Canberrans and for the whole region as it will now offer a choice of carrier when flying to Perth,” Byron said.
“It should also lead to more competitive pricing on the route which will encourage more tourists to visit our city and its surrounds.”
Parliamentary sitting weeks are peak – and hence for airlines and Canberra’s hotels high-yielding – travelling periods as federal politicians, staffers, public servants and lobbyists travel to and from Canberra.
The new Qatar Airways flights from Doha to Canberra may include a Sydney leg to “mitigate the risk” of launching in a new market.
It’s understood a final decision won’t be made until after bilateral talks between the Qatar and Australia governments.
Qatar carriers are restricted to 21 flights a week into the major Australian ports of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Adelaide, Canberra and regional airports are exempt from the restriction.
Industry journal Aviation Week recently reported that Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said the proposed new Canberra service would include Sydney.
However, a Qatar Airways spokesman told Fairfax Media a final decision wouldn’t be made until the bilateral talks were concluded.
Federal transport minister Darren Chester said no date had been set for discussions, but the Australia government was looking to achieve a “mutually beneficial” outcome.
“Airlines of Qatar are also entitled to operate an unlimited number of services to regional Australian gateways (airports other than Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth) and Qatar Airways services to Adelaide (currently five per week) are operated under these entitlements,” he said.
In September, Mr Chester said the arrival of international flights to and from Canberra Airport marked “an exciting new era for the Canberra region”.
Aviation Week senior air transport editor Adrian Schofield said it was “only a matter of time” before Canberra hosted more international flights.
“It’s understandable that Qatar would want to minimise the risk on a Canberra flight, at least initially. It’s not a bad way to test the waters, then commit later to a dedicated service,” he said.
“They would be competing with the new Singapore Airlines service on some of the Canberra traffic.
“I would assume it would be a pretty smooth connection if it’s the same plane (Canberra-Sydney-Doha), but it would obviously not be as convenient as a direct flight.
“All of this assumes this is what they do. Things could change before they officially announce anything, but this does seem to be their thinking right now.”
The existing Sydney-Doha service uses an Airbus A380, but Qatar Airways has yet to reveal the aircraft for Canberra.
The Qatar A380 features 517 seats, with eight in first class, 48 in business and 461 economy class. Economy has a 3-4-3 configuration.
Whether they loved 2016 or loathed it, Canberra’s New Year’s revellers were keen to give the year that was a massive send-off.
With a countdown and a cacophony of sound and light, a year of political upsets, sporting underdog triumphs and the celebrity curtain calls disappeared.
Nobody yet knows what the New Year will bring, but the unpredictability of the last 12 months left few in the Canberra crowd willing to name a resolution for 2017.
Those mentioned included a roll call of the classics: working less, travelling more, losing weight and gaining better school grades.
“People call me the Michelin man,” West Australian visitor Hamid Sheriff said, pointing at his belly.
“It’s the resolution every year.”
Thousands of tourists and locals alike flocked to the city to watch the two sets of fireworks — the child-friendly 9pm show and the main event at midnight.
Bronwyn Evans brought her family, made up of locals and interstate visitors, to see the spectacle.
“We came last year with one of our children from Melbourne, so we thought we’d bring the other grandchildren who are visiting from Brisbane and Adelaide this time,” the Jerrabomberra resident said.
Most revellers watched the fireworks from Civic Square, though parks, plazas and apartment balconies brimmed with spectators as well.
The Potbelleez headlined the free concert at Civic Square, joining the Brass Knuckle Brass Band, Nostalgia and Heuristic.
A short walk down the City Walk, Bass in the Place took over Garema Place, as Tyson, Exposure, Odd Mob and BNDR helped revellers party their way into 2017.
Bars, pubs and nightclubs buzzed as party animals raged well into the night.
Themed nights were popular, including a speakeasy party at QT Canberra and the “Dick Tracy and The Beer Factory” at Bentspoke, which transformed its upper floor to resemble a scene from Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Restaurants across the city, meanwhile offered set menus and cocktails in quieter surroundings.
Police were out in force and targeted anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and dangerous driving.
ACT Policing Criminal Investigations Superintendent Ben Cartwright said police would focus on the roads on New Year’s Day as well.
“Safety on our roads will be a strong focus for police, with dedicated patrols targeting all drivers who disobey the road rules across the ACT,” he said.
“If you have a big night, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover before getting behind the wheel the next day.”
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is adding extra flights to its already-hefty Australian schedule in 2017, with Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney set to receive more services.
Melbourne will increase to 31 flights a week from July 17 2017, from 28 currently, with a fifth daily service to operate on Monday, Friday and Saturday with Airbus A330-300s as a red-eye from Singapore and lunchtime departure from the Victorian capital.
Meanwhile, SIA is switching one of its four daily Melbourne-Singapore flights to a four-class Boeing 777-300ER featuring first, business, premium economy and economy from January.
On the Brisbane-Singapore route, SIA said it grow its schedule to 28 flights a week, from 24 currently, from August 22 2017.
And the Star Alliance member will have 35 flights a week (or five flights a day) on the Sydney-Singapore route during the peak travel period between June and September 2017. Outside of this peak period, SIA operates 33 times a week between Sydney and Singapore. Separately, SIA said it would have double-daily A380 flights to the NSW capital during the peak winter period.
The planned capacity increases comes after SIA launched its new Capital Express service linking Singapore, Canberra and Wellington in September.
The Virgin Australia shareholder and alliance partner had planned a new Sydney-Jakarta-Singapore flight that was due to launch in November. However, the launch was postponed due to what SIA said was runway maintenance works at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
And the airline has also boosted its premium passenger offering with a new SilverKris lounge at Brisbane Airport.
SIA regional vice president for South West Pacific Tan Tiow Kor noted 2017 marked the airline’s 50th year of operations to Australia.
“We are looking forward to the year ahead and are excited by the prospect of celebrating our 50th anniversary flying to Australia,” Tan said in a statement.
“The increase in services and capacity announced today reinforce our longstanding commitment and investment to Australia and the South West Pacific region.”
Figures from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics showed SIA was Australia’s second largest foreign carrier in the 12 months to June 30 2016 with an 8.4 per cent share of the market in terms of passengers carried.
At its peak, SIA and its regional wing Silkair have 145 flights a week between Singapore and Australia, serving Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Proud Canberra Olympic boss Frank Cachia says his side’s close-knit relationship is the reason behind their incredible run to the Westfield FFA Cup semi-finals.
A 10-man Olympic confirmed themselves as this year’s fairytale story, making the last four after Tuesday night’s last-ditch 1-0 quarter-final win over Green Gully.
They did it the hard way after Adam Rogic was sent off early in the second half before skipper and keeper Angelo Konstantinou became the hero with his 95th minute penalty.
And Cachia says there’s no secret to why the club has tasted so much success in 2016, winning all three trophies on offer in the ACT.
“They are a bunch of mates. When we bought this team together a couple of years ago we picked boys that had good connections with other players,” the Olympic coach told Fox Sports.
“It’s built around friendship and they are a really close-knit group. We’ve really forged a culture here and it’s a very accepting and accommodating culture.
“Anyone that comes in is really a friend as well as a team-mate and you can see it.
“Even when Adam [Rogic] got sent off, they stuck to their guns and they didn’t give up. We’ve gone three games in the FFA Cup without conceding yet.”
Olympic have seen off Surfers Paradise Apollo, Redlands United and now Green Gully to make the semis, with Hyundai A-League powerhouses Sydney FC their next opponents.
Asked about that match-up, Cachia said with a smile: “I think [our players] will fancy themselves.
“Look, they [Sydney FC] are not A-League for nothing. We’ll give it our best shot and if we play with the same fortitude and bravery we did tonight then the players will give a good account of themselves and they’ll do the club proud.
“You can dream about it all you like but I don’t think anyone thought we would get as far as we have.
“Winning a treble here in Canberra and doing what we did here [against Green Gully], it’s just unbelievable.”
Distância de Hong Kong para Canberra A distancia é 7364 km ou 4576 milhas ou 3976 milhas náuticas A distância é a distância do ar teórica (distância ortodrómica). Voar entre aeroportos dos dois locais pode ser uma distância diferente, dependendo da localização dos aeroportos e via real escolhida. Mapa – caminho mais curto entre Hong Kong e Canberra
Hong Kong Canberra O mapa é usando uma projeção que faz a terra e oceanos muito mais amplo perto do pólo sul e pólos norte. O título / curso / rolamento durante um voo varia na maioria dos casos. Roteiro com base na imagem da NASA. Hong Kong Latitude: 22 ° 19 ‘Norte Longitude: 114 ° 11 ‘do leste posição inicial: 149,3 ° Sul-sudeste título final: 144,7 ° Sudeste Canberra Latitude: 35 ° 17 ‘Sul Longitude: 149 ° 08 ‘do leste posição inicial: 324,7 ° Noroeste título final: 329,3 ° Norte-noroeste
Shrewd travellers can squeeze far more value out of their holidays just by comparing the performance of the Australian dollar against the local currencies.
You will get a bigger bang for your buck in Peru compared to neighbouring Chile, South Africa over Morocco and South Korea over Hong Kong, according to an analysis of exchange rates by online travel company Expedia.”People usually focus on the price of flights and accommodation, and overlook and underestimate the value of the dollar,” said Expedia’s Australia and New Zealand head, Georg Ruebensal.
“Instead, the answer should be to travel smarter by keeping an eye on currencies to give you the most value out of your trip.”
If your eye is on Central America, opt for Mexico over Guatemala. The dollar has shot up 14 per cent against the Mexican peso in the past year.
On top of that, the average airfare to Guatemala has increased by 25 per cent and the average nightly hotel room price has gone up by 26 per cent.
To compare, Mexico’s hotel rates have remained stable at $127 on average per night.
Another destination swap to consider is China over Japan. While they offer vastly different experiences, it’s worth taking into account the value of the dollar has dropped by 19 per cent against the Japanese yen but grown by 4 per cent against the Chinese yuan.
Thrifty travellers will also save on accommodation, with the average cost of a hotel room in China just two-thirds of the cost in Japan.
“Each and every destination is unique. But sometimes it’s about timing – if you’re flexible and can swap China for Japan, now’s a good time to do it,” said Mr Ruebensal.
Al Jedlin, 24 from Newtown, is planning a beach holiday escape for the end of the year. On his list is Vietnam and Indonesia.
But on finding out that the dollar has grown 5 per cent against the Sri Lankan rupee, and hearing his friends rave about the travel spot, Sri Lanka is now a contender.
The average price of hotels in Sri Lanka has nose-dived by 14 per cent to $152 a night, and the average return airfare has gone down by 7 per cent to $576.
In contrast, the price of flights to Vietnam have shot up by 29 per cent in the past year.
“I’ve gone to Japan three times to ski, and during the latest trip to Niseko earlier this year, there was definite bill shock,” said Mr Jedlin.
“I don’t usually consider the value of the Aussie dollar, but it’s something I want to be more cautious of.”
Expedia’s other swap suggestions, based on the fluctuating value of the Australian dollar and the prices of flights and accommodation, are:
More than one hundred Canberrans are expected to join a protest in Sydney on Tuesday in an outcry against NSW Premier Mike Baird’s decision to shut down the NSW greyhound racing industry.
A spokesperson from the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club said speakers will point to “the many errors in the McHugh Report” referring to the damning report of the Special Commission of Inquiry in NSW Greyhound Racing by former High Court judge Michael McHugh.
The report found as many as 68,000 greyhounds were slaughtered as “wastage” in the past 12 years “because they were considered too slow to pay their way or were unsuitable for racing”.
The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club spokesperson said the rally would allege that many supposed ‘expert witnesses’ falsified qualifications to present misleading evidence.
The ‘Fair Go Rally’ at Hyde Park, organised by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance, will coincide with the joint Liberal-National Party room meeting considering the proposed ban.
More than 1000 people from Canberra and regional NSW were set to attend the protest, the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club said.
It comes after Liberal and Nationals MPs thrashed out Baird’s decision during marathon party room meetings.
Queanbeyan-based Liberal MP Peter Phelps drew parallels with banning the greyhound industry to banning rugby league due to the scandals that have surrounded the sport.
He said it was unfair to ban an entire industry without first enforcing stronger regulation.
“The argument that there is an industry that is so irredeemable that there is not a single person on the earth, or group of people on the earth, who could be appointed to administrative positions with a regular regime enforced by the government which wouldn’t clean it up, strikes me as quite ridiculous,” Mr Phelps said on ABC radio.
“My view would be to give them two years or three years or whatever interim period to prove that they can change, and if they can’t, well then so be it. But to ban an industry outright is a rather illiberal thing to do.”
Mr Phelps said many greyhound racing trainers had not been sufficiently educated on how to use scientific methods for their control and training.
Racing industry representatives, expert veterinarians, animal welfare specialists and greyhound racing enthusiasts will likely share a similar view when they defend the industry at the rally on Tuesday.
The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club spokesperson said speakers would present a petition with 25,000 signatures to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley at Parliament House.
“The petition recognises the significant reform in greyhound racing industry that has already delivered large amounts of positive change in the sport,” they said.
“It calls for the reform process to continue with government support, and for the implementation of recommendations from the Special Commission of Inquiry that would see greyhound racing continue under a new regulatory regime.”
The ACT continues its reign as the most affordable jurisdiction for housing, according to a new report by the Real Estate Institute of Australia.
REIA and Adelaide Bank’s Housing Affordability Report for the March 2016 quarter showed the average ACT homeowner spent 19.3 per cent of their family’s income on mortgage repayments – well below the national average of 30 per cent.
The national average is propped up by the substantially higher mortgage repayments in Australia’s two most populous states. NSW and Victorian homeowners spent 35.4 and 32.7 per cent of their family income on loan repayments.
While Sydney and Melbourne’s median house price remains higher than Canberra’s, affordability levels in the ACT are also buoyed by the country’s highest median income.
In 2016’s first quarter, ACT’s household income averaged $2580, which is almost $1000 more than the national average.
Inner south resident Charlie Alliott lives with his wife and youngest child in Griffith and runs Fox Antiques in Fyshwick.
Mr Alliott said most Canberrans don’t realise how lucky they are.
“We have a wonderful environment, great institutions, high wages and employment and excellent schools,” he said.
“We’re able to have a large backyard with swimming pool and menagerie – chooks, dogs, cats, finches and quail – while being able to walk to excellent restaurants and cultural institutions. You wouldn’t find that combination in the inner suburbs of Sydney or Melbourne.”
However, while Mr Alliott said he enjoyed the relative affordability of Canberra when compared to other Australian cities, he believed ACT house prices still seemed high by international standards.
“The current low interest rates certainly help, though,” he said.
While the figures bring good news to those earning an average to high wage, it’s a different story for those at the other end of the spectrum.
ACT Shelter executive officer Travis Gilbert said those on low to moderate household incomes still struggle with housing costs in Canberra.
“What [the report] states is true when based on average incomes, but the ACT has quite a different income distribution to other states, because about one-third of people are employed in the Australian and ACT public service,” Mr Gilbert said.
“For about half of all Canberrans, the housing market is very affordable and saving while renting on higher incomes is not a problem. This makes saving a home deposit easier as well.”
Mr Gilbert said about 40 per cent of Canberra households earned more than $3300 a week. However, for the bottom 40 per cent who earn less than $78,700 a year, the scenario is quite different.
“There is simply very little capacity to save in private rental in the ACT for people on below-average incomes as our rents are the third highest in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne,” Mr Gilbert said.
Do not adjust your set. Your set is adjusting itself.
From July 1 when you switch on your television set to watch Offspringor MasterChef, you will find them on channel 8 on your remote control, not channel 5 as they are now. And the regional network showing the programs will be WIN, not Southern Cross Ten as it is now.
Likewise, when you flip over to watch The Voice and The Footy Show from Friday, you will find them on channel 5 on your remote, not channel 8 as they are now. And the network showing them will be called Nine, not WIN as it is now.
Welcome to The Regional TV Switcheroo – the biggest realignment of commercial free-to-air TV since the aggregation of regional services in the early 1990s and the biggest change of channels for viewers since the free-to-air networks launched digital channels like GO!, One and 7mate.
Here’s what you need to know about how, and why, your favourite TV shows are changing channels.
WHO IS AFFECTED
Viewers in: the ACT and southern NSW centres of Wollongong, Wagga Wagga, Orange, Dubbo and the South Coast; Victorian regions like Ballarat, Bendigo, Albury/Wodonga, Shepparton, and Gippsland; Queensland centres like Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba; and Tasmania.
WHY THE CHANGE
Regional broadcasters WIN Corporation and Southern Cross Austereo have swapped feeder networks.
For the past 30 years WIN has broadcast Nine’s programs and Southern Cross Austereo has broadcast Ten’s. WIN’s five-year affiliation agreement with Ten comes into effect the same day that Southern Cross Austereo switches to Nine under a $500 million deal.
Nine’s deal forced WIN, owned by Bermuda-based billionaire Bruce Gordon, to sign a content supply agreement with Ten. Gordon, with holdings in Nine and Ten, has since moved to increase his Ten stake.
The winners out of the swap appear to be Ten, which gains access to WIN’s strong market penetration in regional areas, and Southern Cross Austereo, which gets the generally higher-rating Nine content.
Southern Cross Austereo is dropping the “Southern Cross Ten” brand to carry Nine’s name, its primary channel with shows like The Voice,Love Child and 60 Minutes, and offshoot channels GO! and Gem.
Viewers in regional Victoria, Queensland, ACT and southern NSW who currently press channel numbers 8 and 80 to 84 on their remote control to find those shows and channels will, from Friday, find them on channels 5 and 50 to 54.
Southern Cross Austereo’s relay of Nine’s primary channel will be on channel 5. Gem will be on 52, GO! on 53 and 9HD – a high-definition simulcast of Nine’s main channel – on 50.
Lifestyle and reality TV channel 9Life will be off-air from the July 1 switch-over until “mid-August” when it re-appears on 54. Shopping channel Aspire is on 56.
After 30 years with Nine, WIN will pick up Ten’s primary channel, which will be named WIN and show the likes of MasterChef, The Project and The Bachelor, and Ten’s offshoot channels ONE and Eleven.
Regional viewers currently press numbers 5 and 50 to 55 on their remote controls to find those shows and channels. But from Friday they will be found on channels 8 and 80 to 84.
WIN’s relay of Ten’s main channel, including the local bulletins of WIN News at the new time of 6pm, will be found on channel 8. The ONE channel will be on 81, Eleven on 82 and WIN HD – a high-def version of WIN’s main channel – will be on channel 80. Shopping and lifestyle channels TVSN and GOLD will be on 84 and 85.
WIN News will still be found on channel number 8 on your TV remote but it will come on at 6pm, after Ten Eyewitness News First At Fiveand before The Project.
Family Feud fans will have to switch over to ONE (81) or Eleven (82) for their daily dose of Grant Denyer.
Meanwhile, if you flip over to channel 5, National Nine News at 6pm will be followed by A Current Affair, hosted by Tracey Grimshaw, who for years has been banished to Gem so WIN could find a prime slot for its local news.
WIN says it’s committed to retaining its 16 local weeknight news bulletins in regions, despite the lower ratings, and therefore revenue, Ten’s programming is expected to deliver for WIN.
The timing of Friday’s switch – the day before the federal election – is awkward for WIN which swaps its proud association with Nine’s news credentials – think the Today show or Laurie Oakes – for the Ten Eyewitness News format.
Southern Cross Austereo is launching into the new Nine arrangement with its existing local news updates in commercial breaks, which the company points out meet the legal minimum local content requirements.
But Southern Cross Austereo CEO Grant Blackley has said expanded local news bulletins are planned.
On June 30 rugby league fans will press channel 8 on their TV remote to watch the Sydney Roosters play the Canterbury Bulldogs on WIN. The next night they will need to switch to channel 5 to watch the Broncos play the Storm on Nine.
As well as NRL, WIN loses Nine’s Test cricket coverage but picks up the Big Bash cricket, a ratings hit for Ten.
YOUR TV SET
WIN and Southern Cross Austereo say you don’t need to retune your TV but there’s a chance your set will need re-tuning to receive all channels.
If you record using the series link function you’ll need to change the recording on your PVR. For example, season six of Offspring begins on Southern Cross Ten – channel number 5 on your remote – on June 29 but moves to WIN from its second episode on July 6. If you series linkOffspring, make sure you change your PVR after July 1 so you are recording channel 8 for Offspring on WIN.