It turned out that I had to pay around $250 in GST and fees (a 'handling fee' of $50 is charged by customs!) - apparently they used the total payment amount (which included the $500 I'd paid for the Meade DSI CCD that had previously arrived last December - without any GST being payable) when calculating the GST liability. As far as I could tell from the information on the Customs website the two amounts could have been assessed individually, since they arrived several months apart (it says that if several items arrive within a few days of each other they can be treated as one order). But I probably should have placed two separate orders for the items, rather than paying for both at once (even though the PST was on six months back-order!). Next time I'll know better and make sure I order items individually unless they are going to be shipped together.
I'm still happy though - even with the $150 airfreight charge and $250 GST and customers fee the total price is about half what I'd have paid if I went to a local telescope dealer. Either the local telescope dealers apply more than the usual 100% mark-up on the wholesale price, or else they don't have any relationships with the suppliers and are actually buying their stock retail from US dealers.
Now I just have to wait for the weather to clear up enough to see the sun - it's been raining in Sydney for the past three weeks...
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