Please provide a general outline of the city and its neighborhoods/boroughs/parts of town, including information about political leanings, police forces, population, income levels, social services, etc.
- 1 Housing
- 2 Food
- 3 Medical Care
- 4 Legal Aid
- 5 Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling
- 6 Play
- 7 Information
- 8 Underground Papers
- 9 Miscellaneous
- 10 Public Transit
- 11 Free Clothing and Furniture
- 12 Assorted Freebies
- 13 Survive
Free housing, shelters and hostels, etc.
Free/low-cost markets, produce, butchers, day-old bakeries, etc.
Food banks, missions, church meals, etc.
Medical and emergencies
Phone 000 for emergency fire, ambulance or police services.
For storm and flood emergencies phone the State Emergency Service (SES) on 132 500.
Search the Yellow Pages for non-urgent services.
Family Planning Clinic
FPQ provides sexual and reproductive health services to the wider community of Queensland.
Education services include:
- parent/carer and family education
- community education
- one to one education
Clinical services include:
- contraceptive counselling and supply on all methods
- preventative health care eg. Pap smears, breast examinations, testicular examinations
- counselling and clinical consultation about STIs, pregnancy planning and options, menopause, sexual difficulties
FPQ ask you for a $5-$10 donation, but its not compulsory, so basically you can get free Planned Parenthood and medical advice for women.
FPQ Main contact
100 Alfred Street Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 Phone: (07) 3250 0240 Fax: (07) 3250 0292
ACLU, free legal aid/counseling, pro bono attorneys, etc.
Armed Forces/Deployment Avoidance Counseling
Legal aid, resources, etc.
See Free Play section, include details for this city.
Beaches, Swimming Pools, Parks, Sports, Museums, Music, Theatre, TV shows, Movies, etc.
General weather, traffic, news resources, etc.
With predominantly hot summers and mild winters the Brisbane climate promotes outdoor activities and a subtropical lifestyle. The table below gives average maximum and minimum temperatures for Brisbane.
It is illegal for people below 18 years of age to be sold alcohol. If you are planning to visit bars, nightclubs or restaurants in Brisbane, make sure you have proof of age (such as a passport) with you.
Brisbane has an abundance of beautiful beaches on its doorstep, but always check that conditions are safe before entering the water. And don't forget the sunscreen!
Electricity in Australia is 220-240V AC 50Hz. The sockets are three pin and you may need an adapter. Universal outlets for 240V or 100V shavers are found in most leading hotels and multi-voltage appliances as well as adapters are readily available in department stores and luggage shops.
Brisbane has one daily newspaper, The Courier Mail, and one Sunday newspaper, the Sunday Mail (both available as print editions and online). There is another other major online newspaper, the Brisbane Times [brisbanetimes.com.au]. There are several free community newspapers.
Prescription drugs are available at chemist shops and pharmacies but you must have a prescription from a doctor to have them dispensed.
In Queensland it is illegal for people under 18 years of age to be sold cigarettes or other tobacco products. Queensland has very strict anti-smoking laws and fines will be issued to anyone smoking in no-smoking zones. Refer to the Queensland Government's website for detailed information about tobacco laws.
Tipping is neither compulsory nor expected in Brisbane, but is nonetheless appreciated for good service in places like restaurants (where 10% of the bill is customary) and bars, as well as taxis
If you are visiting Brisbane from any overseas country you'll need a visa for Australia. If you are from New Zealand a visa will be issued on arrival in Australia. If you're from any other country you'll need to obtain a visa in advance.
Water quality and water restrictions
It is safe to drink water straight from the tap in Brisbane. SEQWater has detailed information about water quality in south east Queensland.
Since 23 November 2007 Level 6 water restrictions apply in Brisbane and south east Queensland. Check the SEQWater website for current dam levels.
Any other freebies
Brisbane Trains, while not as easy to hop as other Australian capital cities, are extremely easy to ride for free. The only places that you have to worry about are the central stations (Brunswick Street, Central, South Brisbane and Roma Street) which have ticket inspectors on the entrance and exit as well as digital turnstiles. But, with a little luck, you can get around them also. Some tips:
- The ticketing system is being phased out in Queensland in favor of a smart card system called a GO card. Money is put on this card via vending machines and station offices. While it is cheaper than paper tickets, it is still an expensive process in the long term. Luckily, this new system makes it very easy for the monetarily deprived passenger to jump on and off trains, even transferring at larger stops such as Central and Roma Street without much issue at all. This trick only works on the outer suburbs which the Queensland government have neglected or where electronic 'translink' turnstiles aren't present.
- ALWAYS have a GOcard with you with at least $5 on it. If an inspector catches you and you are without both a ticket or GO card, then you are liable for any fines they will want to pin on you. It is easy to feign ignorance due to the deeply flawed GO card system due to card read errors, timing of trains, obscurity of toll points and other such issues. Inspectors know of this and will let you off with a warning or if you are lucky (or at the beginning of their inspection) they will just let you off with a stern talking to since they do not want other potential revenue to escape. Use these excuses sparingly, as it is likely that inspectors will catch on eventually. If all goes well, the $5 you spend on this GO card will be easily make its worth in the hundreds of dollars worth of free fares you can get with the safety net of a GO card.
- If you have a student I.D, always get the concession GO card. This makes it a lot cheaper to use the system in comparison to the adult cards.
It is helpful to know where the GO card toll points end and where the turnstiles start on every line. They are:
- Caboolture, Shorncliffe, Ferny Grove, Doomben and Airport line(s) to City: Bowen Hills station
- Gold Coast, Beenleigh and Cleveland line(s) to City: South Bank station
- Ipswich and Richlands line(s) to City: currently researching
Knowing these spots well and how to get to places from them make travelling around Brisbane and the surrounding areas that little bit cheaper.
- While riding the train, the best place to ride for free is close to the door, one car closer to the front of the train from the centre divide. This way, you can look at the station when you are pulling up, checking to see if any ticket checkers are getting onto the back carriage (from experience, they only ever get on the back and front carriages, but most likely the front), and you can easily see if there are any inspectors approaching through the front, by the just checking through the glass doors dividing the carriages.
- It's extremely rare to see inspectors on packed trains, so traveling during peek hours is pretty safe. Other than that, from experience, they seem to be on the Ipswich line the most.
- It isn't uncommon to see inspectors monitoring the trains travelling over longer distances, regardless of whether it is peak hour or not. Therefore, it is always best to remain wary when travelling on the Sunshine Coast, Gympie North, Gold Coast, Beenleigh and Cleveland lines for inspectors looking to fine you.
- The bathrooms on older trains running on these long distance lines (the ones without the digital engaged lights) are a good way to escape if word gets around that there are inspectors further up the train and there isn't any incoming stations.
- The inspectors like to collect money for your overlords, so they are commonly found on the night trains, terrorizing the young, going out crowd. Know your rights and make sure they know that you know them. Always be hesitant of them taking advantage of you.
- Make people aware that inspectors are making their way up or down the train. They are often too preoccupied checking tickets and GO Cards to see who is moving about in front of them so it is rather easy to go to another carriage of the train to warn fellow passengers. Do not allow an inspector to keep you stationary with their words or physical force. They do not have this right and if you let them know that, they will back off.
- Don't forget that there are security guards on the night trains. They DO NOT check tickets, they just tell you to take your feet of the seats, to stop swearing, and other such things to protect us all. Usually the same guards are on the same trains, so for the sake of diplomacy and providing perks such as friendly conversation and overlooking rules, stay on their good side. These guys are here to uphold general law and keep you and your environment safe, unlike the inspectors who exist to make sure you have wasted your money.
- Usually, after finishing a sweep of train, the inspectors will get off, and get on a train going in the opposite direction. This means that travel between outer stations is pretty safe, as the inspectors will usually base themselves at Central station.
- The usual tricks, such as faking details like name and address, also work. Make sure you have no ID in easy to find places though. If you do get busted and they ID you, don't worry too much, as everyone gets a warning for their first offense. Just don't let it happen again!
- Now, as mentioned earlier, the central stations have inspectors checking tickets at the entrances. The best way to get around this is to just use an old ticket, (one that isn't completely faded); flash it at them while you go past. For best results, walk in at the same time as another group (I find that a group of teenage girls works the best, their chattering and giggling would distract Big Brother himself).
- During the day the tunnel under Central station to Anzac Square is often unguarded. Just have a quick glance, and go down there if it's safe.
- When there is a sporting event on, public transport is free for people going to the game. The rule is that they must have their ticket on them, so just say that you are picking up your pre-ordered ticket up from the stadium or, if it's later in the night, that you chucked it out after you left the game. For reference, the closest stations to Suncorp Stadium is Milton and Roma Street, and the closest to the Gabba is South Brisbane. They usually don't check tickets during the rush before and after the games. If they insist on you having a game ticket, just do a Bogan-style, A Current Affair-watcher-style blow up ("This is MY country, my taxes, blah blah blah") and they'll usually either just kick you off the train without a fine, or just let you keep riding.
Free Clothing and Furniture
See Free Clothing and Furniture section, provide details for this city.
Any Brisbane resident can apply to get free plants from the Council. You can either go to the Council Website, or just drop into a library for details.
Go to the Survive section and provide any city-specific details, including new topics.