The Government of Australia has created Australia.gov.au, a national Web site linking users to services and information to aid them at home, work and elsewhere.
As the go-to site for a nation of six states and 10 territories, Australia.gov.au has much ground to cover — literally and figuratively. It's a repository of Web links to services and information that all levels of governments have to offer. The portal features: an internal search engine; more than 800 links to public sites; separate directories of federal, state, territory and city sites and departments; travel information; weather updates; current and historical country information; an alphabetical list of government contact numbers by subject; an e-mail subscription service for news and media releases; and a really simple syndication (RSS) delivery option for news and podcasts. RSS enables people to receive news articles, headlines and other data via XML technology. The United Nations (UN) ranked Australia No. 8 out of the top 35 countries on e-government readiness because of its national portal in the E-Government Survey 2008 — just four places behind the United States. The U.N. designed the survey to gauge how nations deliver e-services to citizens. Australia.gov.au impressed surveyors with its comprehensiveness, information, links to government resources and how it serves as the gateway to other integrated portals, such as the national job search site, jobsearch.gov.au, and the Centrelink citizen information and services portal, www.centrelink.gov.au. Although the Australian portal is ranked slightly behind the United States, the Aussies have an edge in the user-input department. The portal's user-feedback mechanism, the 60 Second Survey, is more comprehensive and a tad easier to find than a similar U.S. application.