I stumbled across this hilarious comparison of the world's power sockets, from CNet UK.
To give you a idea of the British humor involved:
Your bananas will be this shape, your cucumbers must be this long, your pints need to be litres and if you sell a pound of plums we'll come and rip your plums off. That's right, Europe is the place to go if you want to pass a law of some kind that annoys at least one of the constituent members. Generally it's either working-class British people getting in a flap about pints, or the French getting cross about some cheese legislation. When it comes to a new kind of plug though, we support such outrage because look at the bloody mess that is the Europlug.
Like so much of Australian culture, Aussie plugs take their cues from both the Great British plug socket and that useless slacker, the American power outlet. You can see the confusion in Australia over the origin of its culture. On the one hand they drive cars that are largely American in their hoggish sensibilities. On the other, they drive on the left and have a legal system based on English common law. They also make use of our Queen.
But because the men and women of Australia are real men and women, they also have 240V mains supplies. They need this to power their sheep-shearing equipment, so it's hardly a surprise they didn't consider that laughable 110V system of our friends in the US.