Over the last few years I have made blog posts concerning the shortage of Arbiters for Australian events, and possible causes for this. A couple of example posts are here and here. So when FIDE released the list of Licensed FIDE Arbiters, I was somewhat surprised at the length of the Australian section. Under the new National Arbiter classification, there were 40 names listed. As a comparison, England only has 11 NA's, although to be fair, Denmark has about 80.
Of course the most obvious reason for the size of the list is that FIDE rated events require a NA (at a minimum) to be the Chief Arbiter. Also, there is no formal qualification method, so it is pretty simple to become one.
Given the sudden upsurge in the interest in arbiting, I hope to see 2 things. Firstly, everyone on the list goes through a formal training course, both to upgrade their qualifications to FIDE Arbiter, at a minimum, and secondly, every one on that list directs at least one FIDE rated event in 2013.