Ask an Aussie

(113 Posts)
puthyjip43 Wed 02-Apr-14 13:43:52

Here to help with any q's about life down under for anyone thinking of emigrating

froginthepond Wed 02-Apr-14 15:03:06

Oh this is great thank you smile I have been researching online but i dont know where to start with health care. How much , policies, insurance costs etc. I read about paying for docs visits, meds and ambulace cover. Do you cover all your own costs or does employer contribute? Can you get dental cover?? I am aware its very expensive for dental work. We are looking at Perth for relocation. I read somewhere that health cover is more expensive in Oz than the States is that right?

kerloch Wed 02-Apr-14 16:25:57

Are taxes worse than the UK overall?

puthyjip43 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:54:00

Frog- private healthcare IS a pain- you need it for your dental, hospital, ambulance, physio, optician etc... What it covers depends on your level of cover and the amount of $$ you are willing to spend.
My cover is approx $10/week which is extremely basic.
Never heard if companies paying for health insurance, that sounds like an American deal?

puthyjip43 Wed 02-Apr-14 16:56:46

Kerloch- we pay less tax over here by a few percent (based on my mid range salary which was GBP 21k / now AUS$ 72k

Imsosorryalan Wed 02-Apr-14 21:51:07

Lovely! Are house prices really high? Is it cheaper to rent than buy? Also, food prices - are they loads more expensive?

A rather random q and if you're not in nsw, you may not be able to answer but are there any family friendly ( cheaper) places near Sydney's Coast line ( thinking south rather than north)?

puthyjip43 Thu 03-Apr-14 01:59:45

House prices are very high - the show 'wanted down under' with Phil what's his-name is very accurate .. It's all about location.
I'm in Perth and bought a big house in Clarkson in the northern suburbs- 4 bed/2 bath/double garage/big garden etc for $415k.. But the commute was killing me- an hour to the city and the traffic is terrible.
I then sold and bought 3 bed/1 bath much smaller but only 10 mins from city for $485k. Don't regret it for a second but if you are not working in the city you get much more for your money.
Not much diff between renting and mortgage- our mortgage is $2000 /month and we could rent it out for $500 week but the property market is crazy whether you are renting or buying.
Rental 'home opens' often have up to 50 couples apply for houses and have to try and outbid each other/ huge lack of housing in wa ( bit sure about nsw sorry)

puthyjip43 Thu 03-Apr-14 02:20:03

You would be shocked at the price of groceries, particularly fruit n veg in the supermarkets- but you will pay as low as 1/4 of the price if you shop at growers markets.
I would spend $150 approx for all shopping per week for 2 adults and 1 baby (but I'm always buying what's on offer)
There is not the competition in aus with the big 4 supermarkets.. We only have 2 main ones (coles and woolworths) and aldi is just starting to make an appearance. Prices are improving though- coles is now owned by ex-tesco boss and you can see the specials getting better and prices dropping.
Surprisingly what I have found IS cheaper here- dominoes pizza (from $5 large pizza), Asian type meals (Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Malay) due to large Asian population. But in terms of groceries I've not found anything as cheap or as varied as in the UK

saffronwblue Thu 03-Apr-14 03:12:01

Look at domain.com.au for house prices. Lots of variation between different states and different cities.
Wollongong is generally much cheaper that Sydney if you are thinking NSW South Coast.

saffronwblue Thu 03-Apr-14 03:18:25
ZootAlors Thu 03-Apr-14 09:57:44

We're planning to move to Brisbane, where my DH is from, next year, and I've been looking at house prices in preparation. We have what I thought was a decent budget (around $800-900K), but because I do not want to live outside the city, I have been really disappointed with what we could afford. Having a home that I love was a big part of the deal for me, but it's looking less likely sad.

Sunshineseeker80 Fri 04-Apr-14 10:13:07

Hi,
We are moving to Sydney in June and have been advised to open a bank account with one of the Australian banks over here first to start building a credit rating - are any of them better than the others?
Also is there anything we should stock up on and bring over in the container? I know food items are a big no, but we have a 12 week old so will be bringing some bigger clotted for her, but anything else?
Thanks!

puthyjip43 Fri 04-Apr-14 10:39:27

Sunshine - bring toiletries! As many as you can allow for. Hair care, dental, shower gels, make up etc are soo expensive over here so get down to boots and buy up big.
Baby clothes much more variety and cheaper in the UK so that's a good idea. And also women's and men's clothes and shoes are best taken with you.
Electronics are about the same prices as the UK.
The main banks Austria wide are ANZ, commonwealth, NAB .. I would personally go with nab- never had any problems with them and they have less fees or no fees compared to others. GreT idea to get your credit rating started, I did the same.
Make sure you get 'no claim' certs from your car insurance company as it's transferable to when you get insured in oz
Hope that helps smile

Sunshineseeker80 Fri 04-Apr-14 10:46:54

That's great thanks! A big trip to boots definitely sounds in order... Have also been contacted by an FX transfer company this morning - do you need one of those to move savings etc to Oz or just use services offered by the banks?

puthyjip43 Fri 04-Apr-14 11:02:02

Hmmm I'm not actually sure about the FX companies or what they do.. I just opened my Aussie account and transferred the money from my UK savings electronically - it was pretty simple.
Also tracked the exchange rate for a good month or so and was ready to make the transfer as soon as I saw it was at its highest ( which was sadly much worse then it is now )

Kaza1 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:26:58

We're thinking of going in the next year. Is it really a better life for families? We've got three girls 9,8 & 5 want them to have a better start in life & more quality family time. Very nervous but excited. Thinking of northern territory xx

chloeb2002 Sat 05-Apr-14 17:19:55

Northern Territory.. Very very brave!
What is your profession? Great rural and remote payments up there but not where I would head with young kids! wink
We are brissy. 800$ for a city pad is an apartment. Even less in Sydney! Similar to living in the middle of any major uk city! Sydney is more $$$ than London now!
We pay more tax here. As citizens. 40% on most of it!
Remember to declare any amount over 10k$ you bring in as it will be taxable. confused
That includes bringing in 10k then 10k... And again .. If the ATo see a pattern they will audit. Then fine you!
No idea about toiletries. But it makes me chuckle. I guess if your moving here to live then suck it up! Plenty if cheap places to shop. SAMs warehouse. Crazy clarks. Etc. Buy in special... Really not a drama. grin
Fruit veg meat. Cheap. Great quality but it's still not a one stop shop. Big supermarkets are still the most expensive place.
Funny really , I think moving is just very subjective depending where in aus you are, what you want, expect etc.
Opening a bank account before getting here? Not sure. They need 100 points plus proof of address. (In aus)

Kaza1 Sat 05-Apr-14 18:31:24

Right might need to rethink location! My husband is a painter & decorator so coming on his points! Don't want something too rural but would like to b near water but not too far from a city for work. Thanks for ur advice :-)

saffronwblue Sun 06-Apr-14 01:19:16

Northern Territory can be a kind of frontier living compared to more urban parts of Australia. What kind of climate do you prefer? Tropical like Northern Queensland and Northern Territory, Mediterranean like Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth, cool/temperate like Tasmania.

CornishMade Sun 06-Apr-14 12:23:56

You need to read up about what the Northern Territory is like - not a common choice, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't suit some!
Also re being near water - you can't swim in the sea there for most of the year anyway shock www.australiasoutback.com/en-US/Travelling-in-the-NT/Useful-information/Safety-information/Wildlife.aspx

Kaza1 Sun 06-Apr-14 20:17:42

Eehh think we'll b changing our destination! Didn't realise about the crocodiles! We seen a migration agentonFriday & he said not to worry too much about location at the moment as my husband should get work pretty much anywhere. So might start the ball rolling with the visa & do some more research. Like the looks of Adelaide. Thanks for the advice :-)

chloeb2002 Mon 07-Apr-14 05:05:50

Painter decorator is a great job! My is a great place to live. Not for sea swimming and better generally for older people. One uni. Not the best schools. Generally low socio economic.
You could really choose anywhere!
Lots of suburban choices! Nsw mid north coast.. North qld..sunny coast..

Kaza1 Mon 07-Apr-14 08:49:06

Chloe thanks really nervous but feel l need to try it as don't want to live & regret something l didn't do! Where in Brisbane are you? I've been looking at Adelaide & brisbane. We want the good weather & to be able to get to beach at weekends with the girls & dog. Feels like the right time lve just applied for voluntary redundancy in my work & been accepted so feels like fate as the money was always a bit of an issue. Hoping to get the ball rolling in the next few weeks. Just need to decide type of visa my husband likes the idea of regional visa so he doesn't need to sit English test as he's dyslexic but willing to give the test a go of we decide it's the best way. I've started a book of research got a lot of homework to do :-)

cryingoutproud Mon 07-Apr-14 12:47:58

It sounds like everything could fall into place for you, Kaza. I hope so. Like you say, one of the reasons that we are making the move to Oz is because we just cannot live with not trying it. We've thought about it soooo much! So whilst we are of course anxious about the move, and realise there will be negatives as well as positives to the experience, we HAVE to try it! And it could be amazing of course. I haven't been to Brisbane but I really liked Adelaide. Great climate, friendly city, gorgeous beaches, not too big a place. Good luck with everything!

Chloe, I hadn't realised you were taxed on money you brought into Oz. What rate of tax is it? So if arrive with a lump sum will we be taxed on that? And then you're taxed on any other amount you bring in over $10k, is that right? blush

PossumPoo Mon 07-Apr-14 14:25:24

happy to be corrected - but I think crying that you aren't taxed on a lump sum if you bring it with you when you arrive and therefore it's not here in the UK earning for you ifykwim. A quick google found the below and I'm very hopeful it's correct as we are making the move home some day and while we are in the UK we are busy saving!

^Will you be taxed on the money you bring?

This is a common question, and the general answer is NO, unless you don’t bring the money with you at the time that you migrate. Even then, the only tax you will pay, will be on any increase in its value since you became resident here. This change in value can be just from the Exchange rate movements, or the interest you have gained from Bank Accounts in the UK, or even property value increases.

An example to try to explain this:

Assume you have a property in the UK valued at 100k, and 20k in the bank.
You move over when the exchange rate is say 2.4 to the A$, therefore you are worth $288,000.
Assume you bring your funds over 3 months later and the exchange rate at the time is 2.45 to the A$.
You bring 120k x 2.45 = $294,000.

Your worth has increased by $294k – $288k = $6,000 and this is the figure that is taxable as part of your income for the relevant tax year. If the value of the house had gone up or down it would affect the taxable figure accordingly.^

PossumPoo Mon 07-Apr-14 14:27:36

PS punthythis is a great idea, and would be great to have one for all the commor destinations that come up for people to ask! smile

Although I'm Australian it's been a fair while since I've lived there and if I ask my DP anything they just tell me how good it is there so we'll move home sooner!!

chloeb2002 Tue 08-Apr-14 05:37:05

I am not a tax expert wink I have friend who has just been audited last year as her mother has sent over a few multiples of $11000. They have had to pay back tax on this sum as it's deemed to be income not a gift. As it was a "regular" event.
You have to declare amounts over 10000$ at the border but that's money laundering concernsgrin

chloeb2002 Tue 08-Apr-14 05:37:30

We are near bribe island in qld

Essel Tue 08-Apr-14 06:11:03

Froginthepond - there is free healthcare too. It's called medicare. Lots of people dont have private healthcare they just use medicare which is like the NHS. Not everything is covered for free but you can see a dr and go to the hospital for free treatment. I think everyone needs ambulance insurance though? And dental. People on benefits might be entitled to more free services and treatment.

Most people have private health insurance because there are tax incentives, it can be quite affordable and you can avoid waiting lists for non essential surgery (eg: grommets). Also Australians love going private for things like education and health. Lots of my Australian friends spend thousands to go for private obstetrics but you can have a baby at a public hospital for free. They just like paying for stuff.

Hazchem Tue 08-Apr-14 06:23:43

If you are a UK citizen you don't need private health insurance. You can access medicare. However it doesn't cover dental and ambulance. Ambulance cover is cheap! We pay $80 per year.

I hate hate hate praying for health care. it makes me angry that successive governments have rolled back medicare introduced levies and propped up a failing insurance industry. Many Australians feel as I do. Oh and if you are on benefits you still have to pay for pretty much everything in terms of healthcare.

Kaza1 Tue 08-Apr-14 13:09:11

Is it a good idea to use a migration agent?.....thinking of doing it myself but don't want to mess anything up xx

froginthepond Tue 08-Apr-14 16:17:07

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone that has offered advice! smile

Imsosorryalan Tue 08-Apr-14 21:36:51

I've been looking not an Ozzie move for years! I'm hoping that my five year plan will see us over there soon.

Just thought, check what you get on certain visas as if you go over on a 457 you can't access Medicare I think and you pay for schooling. Much better to get there on a pr visa. I could be wrong though!

Hazchem Thu 10-Apr-14 07:33:05

Kaza1 the advice from Australia immigration is you should be able to complete the forms yourself. Why not download the forms and have a look. Depending on visa you are applying for you need different evidence. Friends of mine who have used visa agents have regretted it because it doubles the cost of your visa and you still need to find the evidence yourself.

Imsosorryalan Health care is based on your citizenship not visa. If you apply for a 457 and are UK citizen (and a couple of other countries) you just write reciprocal when they ask what health insurance you have. There is at least one MNer that has done this if not more.

chloeb2002 Thu 10-Apr-14 11:16:15

Definitely you can fill the forms in by yourself.
In qld now you don't pay ambulance insurance. It was part of the electric bill. But it's now part Medicare.
Medicare is citizenship linked. Not visa schooling in some states is fee based on a 457. Our kids were in school in qld on a 457 and no fees.

Hazchem Fri 11-Apr-14 07:29:44

It was you chloeb2002 I was thinking of above but I couldn't remember how to spell your name.

chloeb2002 Fri 11-Apr-14 12:14:31

A few of us on mn haven't taken out private health. Interestingly dh is working of immi at the mo and he asked if we were meant to have private cover and the answer was that .. No .. If you are eligible for reciprocal healthcare this covers the brief of do you have healthcare cover for the duration of your stay. 457 visas are available for all nations. Many are not eligible for reciprocal healthcare. Even my German au pairs are not! Sweedish one was tho! So yes answer is yes.. British citizen reciprocal health. Dentist cover is good idea tho! shock

ChrisPeaNuts Sat 12-Apr-14 11:37:41

Yes, there's no need for private health insurance if you're entitled to healthcare by reciprocal arrangement (which applies to UK citizens), just register for medicare when you arrive. Ambulance cover isn't needed in QLD but is in other states.

There are some tax advantages to having private health cover if you earn over $100k.

If there's any way you can afford it I'd advise coming over and visiting the places you're looking at setting in. The various areas are very different, and getting it wrong can be an expensive mistake.

chloeb2002 Sat 12-Apr-14 11:55:45

One thing we did that was also a huge help was to come across for interviews. Line up the job .. Then we arranged the house we rented at first so we knew exactly where we were coming too. And ordered furniture to be delivered the day we arrived! In general it worked very very well. One months rent was money well spent! We did have a hiccup with the furniture as amart didn't have some stuff in stick even after two month of ordering it! We just went out and ordered the rest else where and cancelled the rest! wink

froginthepond Sat 12-Apr-14 20:42:10

I did an online food shop with Coles putting in shopping to do 7 typical meals, household, toiletries and some beer and wine. This shop would normally cost me £60-90 here depending what store i go to. Bill at the end of Coles shop £282.77 sterling shock I knew things were more expensive and i was planning on double but not expecting it to be this high. hmm

Hazchem Sun 13-Apr-14 07:28:31

Dental can be really expensive. Instead of taking out insurance we put aside money each fortnight in a high interest saver then when we need the dentist just pay in cash from that.

I think food is a bit more expensive here but I think that is because the lower range stuff is better quality.

chicaguapa Sun 13-Apr-14 07:57:37

It's not related to living in Australia but I've always wondered what an Aussie barbie is like? As in what you cook and have on the side. I'm curious how different it is to a British BBQ.

InfiniteJest Sun 13-Apr-14 08:11:16

An Aussie bbq will typically have sausages, hamburgers, potato salad, pasta salad, and a general salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, etc). Sometimes fried egg, tomatoes, onion and mushrooms on the bbq with the meat. And sliced bread, butter, and tomato sauce! And probably a lot of cold beer.

saffronwblue Sun 13-Apr-14 08:34:57

The sausages and burgers may be kangaroo meat. smile
I went to a bbq a few weeks ago where they served wallaby burgers.

giggly Sun 13-Apr-14 15:58:47

My experience of Aussie BBQ are exactly the same as Scottish ones.grin

chloeb2002 Mon 14-Apr-14 11:17:56

Steak.. Not been to or had a BBQ here in 7 years with out a good chunk of steak! Can't best Aussie beef!
As for grocery shopping... I think it depends what you buy. I am a home brand queen. Something's no but mostly home brand. There are less lower quality foods. Food standards in aus are higher than the UK. No hormones in meat. No 1 pound chicken. Not forced chicken for breast meat. Even the $1 bread has crept up fast as it's unsustainable.
Milk is still $1 a litre. But it's permeate loaded so personally we don't buy it ��
Swings and round abouts. Grocery more than UK. Fuel cheaper. Running a car cheaper. No tv licence. Insurance cheaper even for young adults.

Hazchem Mon 14-Apr-14 11:44:29

The other thing is aussie BBQ happen a lot. I think over December January February I maybe cooked 10 times inside! We have a hooded gas BBQ so I even do full roasts on it. That is a bit of a life saver when the house is super hot. Oh an Aussie's seam to have many more gas bbq's
Rissoles are also common on BBQ, I can't remember eating them in the UK

Chloeb2002 did you see the checkout episode on permeate? It doesn't seam like such a bad thing. I was bit worried but after that i feel ok about sticking with the $1 milk.

froginthepond Mon 14-Apr-14 12:37:52

I have moved away from looking at supermarkets and am now looking at Asian food markets and shops as i buy a lot of Asian food. Going by reviews online these shops offer cheaper foods and a lot fresher. Does anyone have any experience of shopping in them of normal food markets? Are they better value? I live somewhere that has a farmers market but the stuff sold there is more expensive than the shops as its all specialist meats, fancy breads, chutneys and veg.

Kaza1 Mon 14-Apr-14 21:58:41

Thanks for all the advice. Can someone recommend a pet carrier firm? Is anyone on here from Northern Territory? Keep going bank to it as it looks lovely & was wondering about job prospects fir painter & decorator. Thanks x

Hazchem Tue 15-Apr-14 09:45:07

Not sure about important animals can be a lengthy process with potential stays in quarantine, although the stay has been shortened recently. www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs

I've not been to NT would love to go. It is remote. Some of it is very very remote. I mean having fruit and veg flown in on a plane that you have to pre order, being several hours flight away from a hospital (although a lot of places have clinics with nurses ect) It would be an amazing adventure. as for jobs the local paper www.ntnews.com.au/ looks like it links in with Career One so have a search for that.

chloeb2002 Tue 15-Apr-14 10:33:47

I would totally not go to nt to live without a visit first! It is lovely. Generally low socio economic and eye wateringly expensive as above everything is flown in!
Large indigenous population with the associated health and education issues that go along with that! ( no I'm not racist but it's a fact)

Permeate milk. I have watched a couple of programmes about milk and permeates. My gut feeling is that it's a way of producing milk in a cheap manner. At the end of the day it's like making fruit juice from conventrate�� I just want my milk to be milk. Not that I think permeate loaded milk is "bad" but we mess with everything we eat now! Don't get me started on artificial sweeteners.. Or even worse the "natural" sweeteners.. Off the soapbox now.,

Hazchem Tue 15-Apr-14 12:19:49

I get where you are coming from with the milk. I'm sick of sugar substitutes that are actually just sugar eg dehydrated cane juice.

Kaza1 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:32:04

Thanks ladies for the advice. We've defo decided to go for South Australia & were thinking of going for the 489 visa & it means my husband wouldn't need to sit the English test which with being dyslexic he's a bit anxious about. I've downloaded the forms & going to start going through it .....just need to get my head round it all

saffronwblue Tue 15-Apr-14 23:24:24

South Australia is lovely. If you are not compelled to be in Adelaide
(which is a great place anyway) look at Mount Gambier for a nice small town.

saffronwblue Wed 16-Apr-14 01:25:45

Just wanting to say that life in NT would be a really different experience to life anywhere else in OZ. Year round heat and humidity, great cultural mix, full on drinking culture, huge distances to drive, great scenery and crocodiles. If you are more of a bookshop/theatre goer/latte drinking type you would feel more at home in Sydney or Melbourne.

Kaza1 Wed 16-Apr-14 09:05:21

Thanks ladies. Defo have a look at Mount Gambier x

IpanemaMeisje Wed 16-Apr-14 14:27:49

I have a random mundane question as we are moving to WA later this year.

Is Aus the same voltage as the UK? I'm just wondering if I should sell my electrical items here or bring in the container. Most items I would be happy to part with but I'm quite attached to my kitchenaid mixer!

blueberry2310 Wed 16-Apr-14 22:04:08

Ipanema I bought all my electrical items. Just changed the plugs. Actually I don't know what the voltage is here but all my uk stuff works. I'm sure it's the same. Hope that helps.

Strokethefurrywall Wed 16-Apr-14 22:46:36

Hi OP (and other Perth residents)

DH and I are planning a move from Grand Cayman to Perth in the next year/18 months I think.

The cost of living here in Cayman is extortionate and it seems Perth is very similiar so I don't think cost of living will come as a shock to us - we'll be taking home less due to taxes and probably slightly lower salaries in our professions but can anyone tell me if a household salary of $150,000 is enough to live comfortably? (comfortable = not living in ridiculously expensive neighbourhood, driving ferraris etc.)

Not really knowing what suburbs to look at, we'd like somewhere relatively close to the CBD but good for families - I heard Ferndale was pretty good and homes in the decent range - we'd be looking for a family home between $400 - $700k after about a year or so (once settled and earning). We have a 2 1/2 year old and newborn baby so somewhere great for families would be good, not worried about being near the beach but enough so a commute wouldn't kill me. I guess anything up to half an hour on public transport would be ok, but don't really want to move too far out and have a bitch of a commute, especially with small children in childcare.

Does anyone know if there are rental properties that allow dogs or rental agencies that would allow pets? We have 2 dogs that we'd be shipping over (after we've arrived, settled and can send for them) and would love somewhere they can stay after they are released from quarantine if we haven't bought a house by that point.

Sorry, I realise I'm totally rambling but I have too many questions in my head - to sum up:

1. Is $150,000 a doable household salary (not living extravagantly)
2. Which suburbs are good for young families, looking at family homes in the $400-$700k region but not too far out. Don't need a beach or river view.
3. Any rental agencies that can assist with finding pet friendly rentals?

Chances are DH will have a job before we fly over and I will start looking once we're on the ground and the kids are settled.

Any information anyone has would be very gratefully received!!! Thanks in advance!

Strokethefurrywall Wed 16-Apr-14 22:46:58

Christ that was epic... sorry!

saffronwblue Wed 16-Apr-14 22:56:48

Don't know Perth well but in a tight rental market most landlords say no pets.

shellybr Wed 16-Apr-14 23:23:56

We are in perth. The rental market is getting a lot better there are alot more properties then even 6 months ago. The rents are dropping too. You can get rentals that take dogs. It can be a little harder but they are there. We have just negotiated with our landlord so we could gwt a puppy. The closer you are to the city the more expensive it is. $150000 is a good wage what sort of visa are you on as you get no rebate for childcare if you are on a 457 visa. Don't know Ferndale so can't advise.

Hazchem Thu 17-Apr-14 08:23:35

stroke Be aware that importing pets takes ages and they need to be held in quarantine in either sydney or melbourne for a some time. www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs

We are on about a third of that income and surviving it's not amazing but we fine although in a much cheaper city rent wise then perth.

Strokethefurrywall Thu 17-Apr-14 15:03:26

Thanks Hazchem - yes, my main concern is importing my dogs, not really because of the amount of time it takes but the logistics of importing from Grand Cayman via USA instead of from London. At least here, they will be less stressed and we can take our time and do it properly.

We always knew they would have to be quarantined for a month before release and from that point of view I don't mind but it's more the stress of travel. One of our dogs loves people but hates crates, the other loves crates but is fearful of people so I'm more concerned for their emotional well-being than anything. I plan on having our dog trainer work with both of them before travelling to try and alleviate any nervousness with the crate.

Friends of ours moved back to Melbourne from here with their dog and although a lengthy process, it went well but they sent him ahead of themselves - we don't have the luxury of having a rental property in advance so it may mean that I have to travel back to Cayman to make sure they get on the flight ok, and then meet them in Sydney/Melbourne to make sure they settle at the quarantine centre.

It's amazing that I'm more concerned about getting my dogs over there instead of my family! Definitely going to be logistically harder for sure!

froginthepond Thu 17-Apr-14 20:01:57

Can i ask please what do kids do during the school holidays if both parents work? Are there sports clubs that are run that kind of thing? I had a look online but all i could find were camps that had accomodation. I read somewhere that the banks have a lot of charges is that right? Can anyone give me an average weekly shop bill for 2 adults and a child? when i done an online shop with Coles it came up at just over $650 for a week is this normal? I even missed the cats food off that and other stuff hmm

chloeb2002 Thu 17-Apr-14 21:46:13

Unless it's changed you don't get to meet your pets are the arrival airports . We sent our dog out here. It wasn't too bad , just very very expensive �� but she was collected from the airport and taken directly to Eastern creek. I don't think visits are encouraged as if stresses the dogs out. However our dog did escape .. Just as far as an outer run �� she was a great bolt opener �� but by the time she came home 3 weeks? Was in great shape!
Why Perth?not that there's anything wrong with Perth but behind Sydney it's the most expensive place. 150k post tax? Is good. Pre tax as two wages is ok. Depending on what you want for it grin

giggly Fri 18-Apr-14 13:39:04

You will struggle to get a nice family home in a nice area for less than $600 a week here in Perth. We spend around $300 a week on food which includes free range chicken that's for 2 adults and 2 kids not including alcohol. Public transport is dire in Perth, the trains are full from 6.30 am onwards so be prepared for a squash!

Also if you are not near a bus stop, most of which have no sun shadeconfused it can be a very hot walk to one! also the parking at the train stations are usually full very early7.30 am.

If you do not have your heart set on Perth I would look elsewhere.
I am heartbroken that I ended up heresad was supposed to be in Brisbane.

froginthepond Fri 18-Apr-14 16:57:03

Thanks giggly. Im also looking at Houston in the US. Public transport was a selling point for me for Perth as in the US you have to drive everywhere. smile

chloeb2002 Sat 19-Apr-14 08:40:50

$650 a week on shopping ... No way! I spend about $1000 a month for three adults and 4 kids �� I could spend far more.. But I do limit myself.

chloeb2002 Sat 19-Apr-14 08:41:25

Not sure why my posts have odd signs symbols and numbers in them!

froginthepond Sat 19-Apr-14 15:16:43

Chloe i did think it was high but i done it on Coles website. I wrote a shopping list based on 7 meals i would make on a regular basis here also had alcohol. I do know shopping here can very cheap as we have Lidls for sth sruff and meat, I go to home bargains for toilertries and then a deli to splash out on specialist stuff. I really like the look of the asian food shops they look amazing and the variety of food is right up my street. Are the butchers and fishmongers there more expensive than the super markets or cheaper?

froginthepond Sat 19-Apr-14 15:17:50

sorry typos on my phone and bloody hate the keyboard. angry

chloeb2002 Sun 20-Apr-14 07:25:32

I am a fruit barn and butchers shopper. I go to places like clarks or SAMs warehouse for toiletries. It's often import stuff but just as good! But cheap as chips. SAMs warehouse has a website for examples. our fruit barn is far cheaper and fresher than Coles etc. Asian stores are great. Love them too! Our fruit barn has loads of deli stuff too!
I do buy far less "produced" stuff here than the UK. Anything manufactured costs more. Chocolate crisps.. $$$ wine however is good value! Yesterday my dh bought me two bottles of black label at $10 each.
I use mcn's not disposable nappies now. Cheaper too! Lots of home brand stuff. Coles and woollies now both have ex uk bosses. Which is providing a revolution! Coles now sells bulk stuff ... 4 kids an au pair that makes me happy!
Costco... I can't wait!
It is more expensive than the uk but lately with a wage cut for dh and my desire to spend more time at home .. Plus renovations.. Car loans.. Etc.. We have belt tightened! I remember when I had our second christmas here i spent $900 on Christmas shopping! Just food and drink ... Now it's about $400!

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 07:56:41

What's Perth like? Are you enjoying it?

We are Aussies (from Brisbane & Melbs) looking at heading back with our three DC. The recruiters keep trying to sell us on Perth (DH is a lawyer).

It just seems so remote. And seems a backward step for us. We'd be moving back to Oz to be near family (all on East Coast) but still wouldn't see them very often.

Is there a good vibe in Perth? Like, an exciting, the future is bright, vibe, given how well, economically, the city is doing??

froginthepond Sun 20-Apr-14 08:22:06

Thanks Chloe thats a great help smile Im also concerned about how remote perth is. I love to travel i know Asia is close which is where i would love to holiday. Will have a go at costing flights from Perth to places i would liks to travel to to get an idea.

saffronwblue Sun 20-Apr-14 08:26:56

cranky from an East coast perspective I have never wanted to live in Perth. IMO it always feels far away and is a 4 hour and expensive flight. Whenever I go there for work or inlaws I always leave with a sense of relief. I know people have a great lifestyle there but I always feel a bit trapped.
Google Senator Scott Ludlam's recent speech for a non mining based perspective on WA.

saffronwblue Sun 20-Apr-14 08:27:52
BuntingintheSunshine Sun 20-Apr-14 09:00:58

ChloeB - try Dan Murphys for Black Label wine (I presume you mean the MvGuigan one) - it's currently $6.60 a bottle, has been down to $5.60. And it's £8 in the UK - result!

Perth - we're here and to us it's fine, it is limited if you want nightlife and lots of variety, but the beaches are lovely and within walking distance of (relatively) affordable houses, which I think is different from most of the other states. But it is a Looooong way from anywhere.

Crankypants - I can't see a lawyer getting much action over here, offices seem to be outposts rather than big centres, although again I'd imagine you'd have less of a commute and again you'd be close to the beaches whereas I guess DH wd have to be working in Sydney/Brisbane CBD which are pretty major commutes I think, always depending on how many megabucks the firm is paying of course wink But regular travel over East would be a killer, it's a 5 hour flight, and a 2 hour time difference, so it knocks out a day in one direction, plus the cost of tickets is rarely cheap.

Oh, and trains are ok as long as you live further out, I always get a seat on my train at 8am, and I'm 30 mins out from the CBD, although I admit I look up in horror at the scene of sardines when we get to within 10 mins of the city. Trains are amazingly reliable though, as there are no lines crossing like in the UK, and they stop and go quickly - they're like very long overground tubes really. Driving is uniformly horrendous however, the freeway is chocker from about 7am at the latest, and from 4pm onwards and parking is a fortune. And the locals are really bad drivers. Really bad. That's why I stick to the train!

crankypants Sun 20-Apr-14 10:49:06

Thank you Saffron, will take a look at that. As an East Coaster, that's how I've always felt too re Perth.

Thanks too to Bunting. More for DH & I to chew over. There do seem to be a lot of legal jobs out there, with the top firms too, but I wonder if he will have to do regular trips back to Sydney/Melbs. That would not be fun. Many thanks for the advice.

saffronwblue Sun 20-Apr-14 23:17:03

If you like fiction read the new Tim Winton novel, Eyrie. Different view again of the West and brilliantly written.

chloeb2002 Mon 21-Apr-14 01:39:04

San murphys here I come.

chloeb2002 Mon 21-Apr-14 01:39:24

Stupid auto correct
Dan
Murphys

giggly Mon 21-Apr-14 18:26:25

I honestly believe that many migrants coming to Perth get stuck here as they cannot afford to go back "home" I know 4 families in that boat.

Others I think are too embarrassed to go back as in "it did'nt work out and then there are the ones in mining type work who earn shit loads of money and go to Bali 3 times a year to get away.

Of course there are loads who genuinely like itconfused and thens theres me who is poorer! gone back 10 years in my career and really miss my mammy.

giggly Mon 21-Apr-14 18:27:37

Oh and Margaret River wine is cheaper in Tesco in GLasgow.

Kaza1 Mon 21-Apr-14 21:09:58

Giggly are you originally from Glasgow? That's where we are. Do you regret your move? My hubby having a bit of a wobble about emigrating & l was going to start the ball rolling with our agent but l suppose another few weeks thinking & research won't do any harm.:-)

shellybr Tue 22-Apr-14 01:27:05

We are one of those families who genuinely like living in Perth. Our boys are thriving we have a lovely lifestyle and my husband doesn't work for the mines. We also don't see need to go to Bali when we have awesome beaches less then 5 mins from our house. It depends what you are looking for.

shellybr Tue 22-Apr-14 01:27:23

We are one of those families who genuinely like living in Perth. Our boys are thriving we have a lovely lifestyle and my husband doesn't work for the mines. We also don't see need to go to Bali when we have awesome beaches less then 5 mins from our house. It depends what you are looking for.

chloeb2002 Tue 22-Apr-14 05:47:14

I would be turning my nose up at using any "agent" ... Lots of money for nothing

Kaza1 Tue 22-Apr-14 09:15:58

Chloe is it easy enough to do myself? I was of the opinion as we are a really busy family that it would be one less pressure on us :-)

crankypants Tue 22-Apr-14 13:41:22

Yes shelley, the Perth beaches look amazing!

chloeb2002 Wed 23-Apr-14 06:03:42

Very very easy. Tick and flick form �� we did both 457 and pr ourselves and citizenship. Also busy. Both working. Just a couple of nights in front of the computer. grin
If you do it yourself then dimca liaise directly with you .. Far better wink

Imsosorryalan Wed 23-Apr-14 10:26:35

We were thinking of using an agent, rethinking that now though, although we'd need some advice re my mum coming over once we got pr. is it best to use an agent for this. Our situation would be slightly trickier in that we'd be supporting her ie living with us. She also hasn't got any assets to put towards a parents visa so we need to do this as cheaply as poss.!

chloeb2002 Wed 23-Apr-14 16:27:47

I think you can navigate that too. It will just mean speaking to dept immi. Parent visas are a right pain the the bum. But possible! Especially if you start temp and apply perm following. Kind of prove you can support her then continue. The dimca page has an ask us person on there too. Who I used recently about an au pairs visa. Very helpful! wink

Kaza1 Wed 23-Apr-14 22:43:19

Thanks Chloe lve registered & l'll start gathering the evidence l need. Was looking on the SA web page earlier today & average visa process time is 3.5weeks! Wish me luck. Thanks for ur advice x

giggly Thu 24-Apr-14 07:28:33

Kazza1 yes we are from Glasgow. I do regret moving here for many reasons. Main one is we were always meant to go over East however QLD health had a freeze on overseas applicants when we were ready to come.

I had a senior role in the NHS with good pay and conditions and an autonomous role, none of which I have here or likely to get as there simply is a limited market here and I fundamentally believe in free health care and detest the private market here, money rules here.

We also love travelling however it is too expensive to do so on a regular basis,, the beaches are lovely and we love surfing but honestly get a bit bored of it every weekend because it's that or a park.

Unless we want a 30 year mortgage, buy a crap 1960's house or move to the sticks buying a house is not going to happen.

Perth really is a small town with a vast suburb population with millions loving living here just not us.
Doing the visa yourselves is a bit time consuming but easy, if you use an agent you still have to do half the work for them anyway.

Please don't let our experience put you off, but please consider wisely what you are leaving behind. Good luck.

Hazchem Thu 24-Apr-14 08:13:57

wow that is fast Kaza1 OH took 7 months although his is national.
Oh and really you don;t need an agent. You will still need to collect all the evidence yourself even with an agent.

Kaza1 Thu 24-Apr-14 09:07:01

Thanks Ladies for all advice defo going to do visa ourselves. We need to wait 7 months for our dog & not got anyone who can take home means we can get sorted & save as much as possible. SA here we come getting really excited xx

Kaza1 Thu 24-Apr-14 20:20:05

Hazchem where abouts are you? Taking my dog on Monday for his rabies vaccine on Monday. Just waiting for our passports to come through then lm going to lodge our EOI. Looked through everything that we need to gather & looks east enough! Still not told my parents that we're going that's a conversation lm not looking forward to xx

Kaza1 Thu 24-Apr-14 20:25:02

Hazchem where abouts are you? Taking my dog on Monday for his rabies vaccine on Monday. Just waiting for our passports to come through then lm going to lodge our EOI. Looked through everything that we need to gather & looks east enough! Still not told my parents that we're going that's a conversation lm not looking forward to xx

chloeb2002 Fri 25-Apr-14 00:24:09

Not sure why it's 7 months for the dog? Something must have changed? Ours had blood test. Repeat blood test as lepto I think is not present in aus and vaccinated in uk so shows positive 2nd test proves its a stable vaccine level.
We started in September and she was on a plane end if October
grin
Remember test results do have be within a number of weeks if travel. Rabies is not required. To enter aus again unless it's changed. Just to renter uk.
Giggly. Yes nursing is far less autonomous here.
And private land is the place to be. Coming from the uk if you feel the nhs "works" it would be tough.

Hazchem Fri 25-Apr-14 07:53:53

Chloeb There has been a change for bring dogs and cats in recently . It means less time in quarantine but more time in the home country.

Kaza1 I'm in country NSW. In large town near a bigger city. We like it. It means lots of expenses are cheaper. Rent for example is $300 p/w. We are on well below the average aussie income too. I find it easier to live cheaply here then in UK (london) as there is lots of free or cheap stuff out there. EG yesterday we went for a walk in a gorge then used the free BBQ in near the play ground and cooked some sausages for lunch. we had some salad bread ect and i think lunch would of cost us $15 for 2 adults and a child.

Kaza1 Fri 25-Apr-14 08:48:39

Hazchem NSW is second on our list! What's the weather like? That's really good for rent. Sounds perfect enjoying the great outdoors xx

Kaza1 Fri 25-Apr-14 10:13:15

How long have you been in NSW Hazchem? Xx

Hazchem Fri 25-Apr-14 10:20:30

18 months now. I'm originally an aussie and grew up near here. It's cold in winter smile We have had the heating on for about a week now. Although just heat to 18 degree as that keeps the edge off. It is hot in summer. we had about quite a few days over 35 and a couple of 40. Our house isn't insulated and we don't have air con. So spent a fair bit of time going to malls, museums ect to escape the summer heat.
Yes our rent is cheap. Regional Australia has a lo to offer and it is much cheaper then the big cities. depending on what sector you are in if regional australia is worth the move. I've got a fondness for mildura which is in vic but close to the SA border. It's hot dry dusty and a bit rough around the edges but has some of the most beautiful country I have seen and truely wonderful food. It is however a good 5 or 6 hours to the next big city.

Kaza1 Sat 26-Apr-14 09:32:23

Quick question please. Will my husband need a skills assessment for visa 489? He has his trade papers & job on list. Thanks xx

Hazchem Sat 26-Apr-14 10:01:20

I think so. here is the page from immigration on 489 have you check the skill list for the states you are applying for?

Hazchem Sat 26-Apr-14 10:07:28

Here is SA's list [[https://www.migration.sa.gov.au/SNOL_data ]]

Hazchem Sat 26-Apr-14 10:07:55
Kaza1 Sat 26-Apr-14 18:01:30

Thanks Hazchem l must have missed that bit....l"ll get it sent off as soon as passports came today so full steam ahead xx

Kaza1 Sun 27-Apr-14 09:30:09

Is anyone in Adelaide or SA been hearing that it's hard to get a job & if thats the case might need to do dome more research into other area's? My husband is a painter & decorator. Thanks x

HowsTheSerenity Sun 27-Apr-14 23:06:08

Northern Territory? Look at the NT newspaper headlines online. They are hysterical.
Everything is more expensive up north. Don't expected to get the latest shows, concerts etc there. Actually don't expect any.
It would be an amazing adventure if you are game. I'm not sure how many job opportunities for you there would be though.

saffronwblue Mon 28-Apr-14 08:48:24

kaza look at seek.com.au for jobs in SA

Kaza1 Mon 28-Apr-14 13:24:23

Thanks l'll have a look x

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