Still settling in...

Many of you appear to like the look and feel of the new site, which is good. I do, too. Admittedly, I did not know that word rationing was about to be introduced to the commentary section, but I suspect this has more to do with the austerity measures taking effect across BBC News rather than an attempt to muzzle the online commentariat.

The BBC copped some flak last week from ABC's Media Watch for contributing to the silencing of the comedy troupe, The Chaser, during the royal wedding, but I promise that we are not trying to silence you. Principally, the change is designed to reduce the workload on the moderators - with whom I have absolutely no contact, by the way.

Admittedly, I have spent more time this past week talking about Afghanistan and Pakistan than matters Australian, but it has been quite a busy few days on the Antipodean newsfront. On the asylum seeker issue, Julia Gillard has come up with a Malaysia Solution after trying to find an East Timor Solution and a Papua New Guinea Solution. The opposition has accused it making panicky policy.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption World War 1 veteran Claude Choules, who died last week in western Australia

Australia also said good-bye to two legends. Claude Choules, Britain's last living link to combat in World War I, died in his sleep last week at his nursing home in Fremantle. Oddly, I was one of the last journalists to interview him, and he was an absolute delight.

Lionel Rose, who made Australian sporting history in 1968 by becoming the first indigenous boxer to win a world title bout, has also passed away. That year, he also became the first Aboriginal person to be named Australian of the Year.

Over the coming months, I'm going to try hard to be more responsive to comments. So let's start right now.

Some of you asked whether we reported from Australia during the AV debate in Britain, when the Australian model was appropriated by both camps? We did, and you can hear it here.

For the Yes campaign, Australia offered proof that MPs work harder to mop up preferences, which no doubt many people here will find laughable. The No campaign claimed the Australian public is agitating for a return to the return past the post system, which is ludicrous. For what it is worth, I thought that the main lesson from Australia concerned constitutional inertia, and the difficulty in getting a referendum passed when the prime minister of the day is urging a 'no' vote.

And finally, do I get paid in sterling or Australian dollars? Alas, there are some questions that are simply too painful to answer.