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DH been offered a job in Brisbane and accepted subject to details etc

(70 Posts)
Naetha Thu 23-Jun-11 20:24:28

shock

The whole emigration idea only started on monday so it's a bit shock shockshock.

I know there's another couple of threads about moving to Brisbane that I've been avidly reading but I really am completely new to the whole thing (but very much up for it!).

Any advice, or any advice on where to get advice will be very much appreciated smile

Am a little bit excited grin

Ooh, me too please! I'm waiting for confirmation of a final interview (in Brisbane), having only applied for the job just over 3 weeks ago. shock

Any ideas on areas to live in would be hugely appreciated. I'd be working just south of the river, I think, so had looked at Bulimba and Balmoral, and at Manly and Wynnum. DS is 8, just finishing Y3 here in the UK.

Also, on an antipodean style & beauty tack, the firm is quite laid back, dress code is jeans and "thongs" (which I do know are flipflops, unfortunately they make my skin crawl!) so if/when I go for interview, I was thinking new jeans and a smartish top and boots or new canvas trainers. Sound ok?

Thanks so much!

gotobedsleepyhead Fri 24-Jun-11 11:36:09

Hello and welcome to Brisbane! There are getting to be quite a few of us here on mumsnet so you've come to the right place.
A useful website for local info is www.ourbrisbane.com.au and realestate.com.au is where you need to look for accommodation. (hope the links work)
Bulimba & balmoral are both quite pricey as they're close to the city and rather trendy (lovely though), manly and wynnum a bit further out and therefore a bit more affordable. Aussies are obsessed with having acreage so if you're not do bothered about a massive garden the areas closer to the city are pretty good.
Also for the job interview - dress codes do tend to be more laid back here although personally I would wear trousers. What about jeans with a more casual shirt and some ballet flats?
Will post more as I think of things, feel free to ask lots of questions!
Dept of education (Queensland) and also medicare would also be worth a good look at.

gotobedsleepyhead Fri 24-Jun-11 11:38:55

Just had a thought - when looking at places to live in the south or west, make sure you do a thorough check on whether that area was flooded. I would not want to move into a flood affected house - it would get mouldy every time it got hot I think.

Naetha Fri 24-Jun-11 16:25:05

I have no idea where we're going to be able to afford to live - I think a lot of the places closer in will be too expensive for us - we were hoping to rent for about $350-$400 a week (4 bedrooms ideally) but I don't think it's at all possible unless you're way out of the centre.

DCs are 3.5 and 18mo so no need to worry about schools just yet, just a nice area with a couple of parks and places to go.

What's public transport like there? DH will be working in the CBD, and fingers crossed will be able to commute on a motorbike (which is what he does now) which leaves me free to have the car for pootling about.

What's the work culture like for mothers returning to work once kids are in school? Are places open to flexible/part time working? A million years ago I was a qualified environmental consultant, and wouldn't mind going back into that line of business if I can a) fit it in around family commitments and b) get my mojo back. Not least it would be lovely to be earning money again!

What tips do you have for moving over? DH's company will pay for most of the transfer stuff (visa, flights, 20ft container etc) but tbh I just don't know where to start!

WHen you moved, did you sell all your possessions you weren't going to take lock stock and barrel? I'm in the process of ebaying all our motorbike gear (doesn't fit and it's all cold and wet weather gear!) and trying to get rid of the 4 (yes 4!!) pushchairs we currently have. A neighbour will buy our trampoline and camping equipment (the thought of camping with all those spiders and snakes terrifies me!).

Did you sell your houses before moving, or rent them in case it all went pear shaped? I think we'll rent for 2 years, then make the decision to stay or come back after that. Our current feeling is that we don't want to come back though! Rent will cover the mortgage, so it makes sense not to sell until we want to buy a house in oz.

How did you arrange the rental/sale to coincide with going? Did you have to stay in a hotel for a few days before you flew, did someone else finish up for you after you'd left, or were you superhuman and manage to get all the timing precise?

Does anyone here work in IT over there? That's DH's line of business, and seems to be fairly in demand there.

I think I need to start making lists...

zzlondongirlzz Sat 25-Jun-11 05:45:40

Hi there Naetha, its all very exciting but very daunting. We moved not long ago out here and did it super fast (cos hubby's job wanted him straight away). That left us with little choice about when to ship/rent out etc so if you have a bit more time on your hands I think a little planning would make things alot easier when you get here. We gave some stuff to charity in the UK like old kids' clothes and lots of baby stuff, but we brought everything else bar the fridge which we left for renting our place out and our car which we sold. Most rentals are unfurnished so you will need to bring/or buy kitchenware and white goods. Its been 8 weeks since we left the UK and we don't have our shipment yet - its been very hard keeping the children entertained with virtually no toys and our DD has found it very hard this month having an empty bedroom which I think makes her a bit homesick really. DH's company rented us furniture whilst we wait but when I saw the invoice I was shocked - over 250AUD per week and the stuff is cr*p - plus I have the stress of having to keep the kids from wrecking/staining it. I would really recommend that if you can ship your stuff earlier than your actual leaving date (and borrow/beg stuff in the UK for your last few weeks) then you could coincide getting a rented house here with when your shipment arrives. You will no doubt have a gap between the two but you could use a furnished short let/holiday let for that.

MrsDistinctlyMintyMonetarism Sat 25-Jun-11 07:03:31

Oh yes, containers can take an age. Mine took over 14 weeks (had Easter and Anzac Day in that time though!)

Don't forget that IKEA is down in Logan and that is a great source of cheap kitchen stuff/emergency toys.

Things are expensive over here, especially cosmetics/smellies - it's well worth shipping over as much as you can.

Don't ship over anything with pine cones! (even artificial ones)

Naetha Sat 25-Jun-11 15:32:44

Currently trying to find a car boot sale where we can flog all the stuff we're not taking with us! (How many ride-on toys do kids really need???).

Also just started the process of trying to get our four cats rehomed. One is going next door, but my 3 other babies will need loving homes before we leave. sad sad sad

I think we'll assume that in the first week we'll have a big trip to Ikea - furniture, crockery, toys, bedlinen etc will all be needed before the container arrives.

What is north Brisbane like to live in? I'm thinking suburbs like Wooloowin, Stafford, Kedron, Chermside. I like the idea of being partway between the CBD and the Sunshine Coast. Having said that, maybe the Gold coast would be better, and we go for the south side? Mr Gravatt (heights, east etc) Holland Park, Greenslopes etc.

It looks like DH's Aus salary will be $60k - how easy will this be to live on if we're spending $450 a week on rent? We currently have a UK income of £30k with a £500/month mortgage and manage OK, but we don't go on foreign holidays etc.

Naetha, will your DH get LAFHA - Living away from home allowance? It's up to the employer if they want to offer it (I don't think it costs them much, just the bureaucracy of doing it), but basically it seems you deduct your rent and a sum representing food per week from your pay before you get taxed. I think you can only take your taxable income down to $47kish, but it would save paying tax on $13k, and might make a difference to your finances?

MrsDistinctlyMintyMonetarism Sat 25-Jun-11 23:28:20

LAFHA is a god send.

North siders would say that north side is much better while South siders go for the south side!

As far as I can tell the two coasts have a fairly split personality. North towards the Sunshine coast is more like Brighton. Affluent, some very affluent, quieter family resorts. We like Caloundra particularly and Redcliffe.

South towards Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise is like a Miami lite. Very built up, lots of night life, most of the amusement park places are on this part of the coast. (Sea world, Movie world etc).

Chermside has an enormous shopping centre that lots of people have used for parking for commuting (according to the papers this weekend that's going to stop as they want to start charging).

Have a look on some of the websites over here to get an idea of prices.

here is the Coles website. Just to illustrate I've used our postcode which is 4061 The Gap . It will give you an idea of prices.

chloeb2002 Sun 26-Jun-11 06:04:43

Northern suburbs vary.. for mid way to suuny coast od go burpengary, caboolture, bribie island all good commuter belt... we have friends in kedron but chermside is highly ethic ( if that bothers you? ghetto like) North lakes is little britain...if thats your scene? Bribie is also a bit that way but maybe not as bad!
The lafha is only any good if you are on a temp visa and really intend going 'home'. we looked into with the comapny and the ins ad outs of it get very complex if aus becomes your home... very complex at tax time too!
$60k is certainly not alot to live on.... and is very poor for an i.t position, Dh works in it and his gross is pretty much double that and as a nurse if i was ( shivers) full time i'd earn more too.

savoycabbage Sun 26-Jun-11 06:55:50

We packed up our house in a very short space of time as my fool of a dh accepted a job that started in two weeks.

$60 is not a lot I don't think. I only say that as I know that's what my friend earns as a teacher but she only works three days a week. I live in Melbourne though. The average rent where I live is $450.

Take any help your dh's company gives you. Ours gave us none at all but my friends put them up in a hotel for a couple of weeks until they got themselves together. They even got their dog paid for!

You should keep your camping stuff! Camping is AMAZING here. I have never seen a snake since I got here and have only seen a couple of spiders. If you camp, you must camp here.

Two weeks, Savoycabbage??? Good grief! My head is whizzing with options and we've (hopefully) got over 3 months to plan!

Out of interest, did any of you buy new stuff to bring out eg. sofas, furniture, TVs/electrical etc and then have to pay import tax.? My company (fingers crossed!) have said they'll pay towards relocation, which could either mean shipping say a 20ft container over and buying basics to tide us over until it gets there, or buying new when we arrive, although I guess there'll be order periods and delivery delays just like here so that might be no more convenient. But I'm worried that if we buy stuff new to bring over we'll get stung for tax?

We're looking at southside purely because my office is based there, although it's only just south of the river. Manly and Manly West are definitely appealing, does anyone know those suburbs in particular? Obviously we'll have to look around when I come for my final interview, as well as when we actually arrive, but I'd like to know we're not barking up the wrong eucalyptus, or whatever the vernacular is! I presume the Miami lite is much further south???

Naetha Sun 26-Jun-11 10:47:26

I don't think we'll get LAFHA as we'd be on a different visa? I'm not sure though as DH's work haven't offered up any details yet.

Frustratingly in limbo at the moment - we know we're going but we don't know anything about salary, what the company will pay for relocation wise etc.

Fingers crossed, tomorrow we'll get the info we need.

AllThreeWays Sun 26-Jun-11 11:15:49

Hi I earn around 60000 and pay $420 per week in rent I survive but it is not a lot, and I have no other debts. Also I am not supporting a partner and share the care of my son.

Naetha Sun 26-Jun-11 15:01:14

Thanks AllThreeWays - good to know. We have no debts (and not intending to build any up) and will have approximately $24k to buy a car, furniture and an emergency fund. I'm hoping we can live fairly frugally.

We currently live comfortably on a UK salary of £30k with a mortgage of £550/month and no other debts.

chloeb2002 Mon 27-Jun-11 00:50:15

as long as you know what you have etc... you will get by! just be aware your pay currently equals about $80k a year... we like many found the first 4 years the tough ones financially... just learning what needs paying and when took a bit of juggling!

gotobedsleepyhead Mon 27-Jun-11 01:47:56

It is definitely a bit of a shock when you do your first supermarket shop, but you do get used to it & work out where to find the bargains. If you have a bit set by to buy a car & big furniture that's a big help (it's what we did too). Ship as many toiletries as you can as they are crazy expensive over here. I have a dettol hand soap habit & I want to cry every time I buy one here!
I think it will depend on the type of visa you're on but you may be entitled to some help with childcare costs - have a look on the centreline website, I think you can do a questionnaire & it will tell you. We pay just under $400 for a 3 bed townhouse with 2 bathrooms plus a downstairs loo, and there's a tennis court and a pool in the complex. We're about 25 mins south west of the city - so it is do-able on a smaller budget.

gotobedsleepyhead Mon 27-Jun-11 02:49:52

That should be the centrelink website

Naetha Wed 29-Jun-11 08:40:14

Got some more details at last smile

Salary will be $70k plus super, and we'll be going on the 457 visa, so will be eligible for LAFHA, so looking good on that front.

Relocation wise they will pay for a 20ft container, and a "standard" relocation package.

So were looking good smile Having had a look at the coles website (thanks for the link) I can't see that average food prices are much higher than here - fruit and veg is a lot, but meat is much cheaper, so we'll just tailor our diet a little. Is it possible to grow your own fruit and veg over there?

I have a question about mossies - hour bad are they? I'm one of those people that is irresistable to them, but also react really badly to the bites - is the insect repellant better over there than over here?

Also in terms of things to bring with us in bulk - what would you recommend other than

Naetha Wed 29-Jun-11 08:41:15

Got some more details at last smile

Salary will be $70k plus super, and we'll be going on the 457 visa, so will be eligible for LAFHA, so looking good on that front.

Relocation wise they will pay for a 20ft container, and a "standard" relocation package.

So were looking good smile Having had a look at the coles website (thanks for the link) I can't see that average food prices are much higher than here - fruit and veg is a lot, but meat is much cheaper, so we'll just tailor our diet a little. Is it possible to grow your own fruit and veg over there?

I have a question about mossies - hour bad are they? I'm one of those people that is irresistable to them, but also react really badly to the bites - is the insect repellant better over there than over here?

Also in terms of things to bring with us in bulk - what would you recommend other than Dairy Milk and liquid soap?

alphamummy Wed 29-Jun-11 09:07:13

Wow so its really happening.smile How exciting.

But what about all your mummy friends? wink

smile

beanlet Wed 29-Jun-11 09:25:32

I grew up in Brisbane and moved to the UK 15 years ago. Things have changed massively in that time. Went back to visit in March and my parents are now living in Woody Point, which is on the Redcliffe Peninsula. It's absolutely lovely, and I was ASTONISHED how fast it is to get to the CBD now - about 40 mins. Twas 1.5 hrs in my youth before the Gateway. Also only 20 mins from the airport.

Having said that, I would want to live at Sandgate or Shorncliffe because they are lovely and still on the shore, but they are on the trainline into the CBD - about 30 mins. Unless you want to drive your children absolutely everywhere, you do need to be near public transport if you can. Train IME preferable to bus.

I'm a Northern and Western suburbs girl myself, but Southsiders do love the South!

beanlet Wed 29-Jun-11 09:28:34

The other good thing is you really don't have to be anxious about schools in quite the same way as you do here. There seems to be a lot more flexibility in the state system, and private schools are infinitely cheaper in Oz than they are here - really quite affordable.

gotobedsleepyhead Wed 29-Jun-11 10:50:46

What more is there to life than liquid soap and dairy milk? grin
If your little one is still in nappies I'd chuck a few boxes in the container - we only ever bought them wherever & whenever they were in special back in the uk & I was shocked when I got here - not massively more expensive but they rarely go on special here & even then they're more.
Toiletries & make-up definitely.
Marks and Spencer underwear
Decent bedding (or 'manchester' in Aussie speak) is v expensive here so bring whatever you can.
It does get properly cold in the winter (only at night & 1st thing) so bring some warm
things to wear.

Put all your wooden items, shoes & toys with batteries in their own boxes that way if customs do want to look everything is easy to find - label them too - I was sooper dooper organised with the shipping & put my own inventories in the top of each box (anal, me? Noooo) - but I didn't have any issues with customs. Oh and you have to clean the bottoms of all your shoes (so no trouble then)

Will post more as I think of it.

How exciting for you!!

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