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Australian Bushfires - No Impact on Melbourne

On behalf of Congress President Assoc Prof Julie Miller and the Organising and Scientific Committees, we would like to offer our reassurance that, while parts of Australia have unfortunately been severely impacted by bushfires, Melbourne itself and the surrounding areas have luckily not been affected. The closest significant bushfire from Melbourne is over 500 kilometres away, and while we have faced some days of smoke haze recently (mid-January), Melbourne is lucky to not be impacted. The second and third weeks of January has seen significant rainfall across the city as well as fire-affected areas, so within the coming weeks, all will have settled, and we are anticipating calmer conditions for a wonderful Congress. 

Please note the following information and links, which may be helpful in planning your travel to Melbourne in relation to bushfires:

Regional Victoria

There are many regions within Victoria that remain unaffected and will continue to offer visitors incredible tourism experiences, including: Ballarat, Bendigo, the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island, the Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, the Grampians, Daylesford, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, the Murray region and West and South Gippsland, including Wilsons Promontory. You can visit Victoria’s latest update for a summary on regions impacted and not impacted by the bushfires here: https://www.visitvictoria.com/victoria-bushfire-updates 

Areas Impacted by Bushfire

For a list of areas impacted by the current bushfires across Victoria and Australia visit: https://www.visitvictoria.com/victoria-bushfire-updates or https://www.australia.com/en/travel-alerts.html.  

Airports

All international airports remain open, including those in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, and are continuing to welcome international visitors. On the ground, travellers are encouraged to speak with local authorities, tourism operators and visitor information centres, for advice about local conditions and how best to enjoy their time in Victoria.  

Smoke Pollution

Currently, there are areas of Victoria that are affected by intermittent smoke haze however, this is expected to clear if it hasn’t already. It is recommended that delegates monitor the local air quality during their stay, in particular if they have a pre-existing lung or heart condition. We advise that you check Victoria’s AirWatch for any updates  on air quality. 

Other Helpful Information 

Delegates visiting Victoria in the upcoming months are encouraged to seek the most up to date information prior to their departure and stay informed once on the ground. For more information: 

Melbourne in March

March is a wonderful time in Melbourne; in particular the week of the Congress there are a number of festivals and sporting events taking place – all of which we hope you will be able to experience along with a fantastic programme across the three main days. We also hope you will have time to explore regions easily accessible from Melbourne such as the Great Ocean Road, the Yarra Valley, Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsula, to name a few. Weather-wise, we will be officially in the season of Autumn however, it could still be reasonably warm – it is not unusual for March to be warmer than the summer months. As Melbourne has a reputation for four seasons in one day, we recommend that you pack a light coat and an umbrella/raincoat.

If you are concerned or would like updates on the bushfire situation, please contact the Event Manager via email - sally.erickson@erickson@generalsurgeons.com.au.