I'm having trouble coming to a conclusion to my answer.
I'm in charge of the development of a potentially large site for Australia. The task now is choosing a server. We will need a a powerful server to cater for the system being built with all its features.
Personally I've have had better experience with hosts outside of Australia. Also the cost of services in Australia is considerably higher that other parts of the world.
Hence my questions is does the distance form a server to a client machine really matter when serving a website? From what I had read it does not make a huge impact.
Considering that we would need 24 hours support we could host anywhere. Also by sourcing externally from Australia we can get more for our money. Hence afford a server of increased power.
The site will run on a .com.au so it will need to point to that domain. Do we need to host in Australia?