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Australia is competing at this year's Eurovision Song Contest

AUSTRALIA is set to compete in this year's Eurovision Song Contest, as part of the competition's 60th anniversary celebrations.

The nation's contestant, who is yet to be chosen, will fight it out in the semi-final and grand final to be held in Vienna, Austria, alongside 39 other countries.

Despite not being in Europe, Australia has a long tradition of broadcasting the Eurovision Song Contest, and a loyal fan base who watch the event each year.

Organisers believe inviting Australia to take part also fits nicely with this year's Building Bridges theme.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the contest on behalf of the European Broadcasting Union, said: "It's a daring and at the same time incredibly exciting move. It is our way of saying; let's celebrate this party together!"

The Australian public will be allowed to vote in both the semi-finals and the grand final.

Viewers from the other 39 participating countries will also be able to vote for the new competitor.

A jury is currently considering letting the public have a 50 per cent stake in the Australian vote via televoting.

As the invite is a one-off, the contest won't take place down under if Australia wins this year's contest, but it will be allowed to send a participant to the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Australia has until 16 March to decide who will represent them at the show.


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