The Department

Information Available from the Internet

The Department’s Internet site provides comprehensive and regularly updated information about government policy, departmental services and general information on Australia. It provides full contact information for the Department in Canberra, as well as state and territory offices and overseas posts. The site attracted an average of 90 000 hits per week during the year, a significant increase over the previous review period.

Table 66: DFAT Website Information

The site describes a wide range of the Department’s operations, including trade and foreign policy public documents, information concerning Australia’s representation overseas, a comprehensive list of international treaties to which Australia is a signatory, as well as details of, or access to, the Department’s extensive range of publications. Also the consular branch provides regularly updated useful information for travellers. General information about Australia, such as the Fact Sheet and Olympic Countdown series is available at the site. These key additional services were offered during the review period:

  • a ‘hot issues’ site to provide hourly updates during emergencies and regularly updated information on issues such as the trade implications of Asia’s economic crisis
  • online publication of the complete set of Economies at a Glance, Country Fact Sheet and Quikstat trade statistics
  • more information on graduate and general recruitment
  • support material for recruitment, tenders and other requests for information
  • more DFAT- administered overseas diplomatic posts with www sites; consequently, Beijing, Beirut, Bonn, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, Paris, Seoul, Stockholm, Tokyo and Washington DC all now offer public information on Australia and the respective bilateral relationships. Some of these sites are in the host country language and all are cross- linked to the Department’s website in Canberra.

The website also helped disseminate information on several departmental activities; information sites were established during the fiftieth South Pacific Commission meeting in Canberra and the Iraqi and Indonesian crises. Increasingly, the Department used its site to communicate with clients, notably through the New Silk Road initiative and as host of the APEC electronic commerce discussion site. (See also sub-program 1.6.)

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