Australia's patent search system is becoming quite user-friendly and is now an important tool for us patent attorneys. I recall the days of having to go down to the local branch of IP Australia to carry out manual searches on microfiche readers. Not only was this time consuming, but it also created complications for those of us distant from the local branches.
AusPat also has a subscription service that anyone can use to be notified of any changes in the patent register. This is very helpful and any tool that helps us to avoid missing critical dates is to be welcomed.