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Australia - what you need to know

Australia - what you need to know

Old Jan 24th 2010, 11:08 pm
  #1  
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Default Australia - what you need to know

From one UK expat to another - for those who are considering a move Down Under.

I've lived in Australia for 20 years, citizen etc. IM honest O ..

On the plus side:
- beautiful countryside\beaches
- great lifestyle
- good place to raise a family
- clean air
- lovely weather most of the year
- into their sports
- pretty good healthcare system

Not so good:
- super expensive, houses\rents in particular, Carries thru' to the supermarkets, airlines, mobile phone, petrol, whatever companies. No competition, monopolies running left & right. The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
- Customer service is not existant. Moody & unhelpful by and large unless they are selling you opals or trickets at the Rocks.
- A long where from anywhere unless you call NZ home
- hate to say it but yes there's a lot of latent rascism, not in the City but drive 20 clicks out and welcome to the Bogan. News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
- All cities are just getting more and more clogged up with traffic & no new housing development. Almost like SE England coming home.

Most UK expats are reasonably happy in Sydney, Melbourne etc. but there are unfortunately a lot of compromises. Not really much going on in AUS compared to the UK. Forget Bondi Beach which is a real cliche and hardly the 7th wonder it's painted to be. Australia is 2-3 times more expensive than the US with 1\4 of the options.

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 12:55 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by tevez View Post
From one UK expat to another - for those who are considering a move Down Under.

I've lived in Australia for 20 years, citizen etc. IM honest O ..

On the plus side:
- beautiful countryside\beaches
- great lifestyle
- good place to raise a family
- clean air
- lovely weather most of the year
- into their sports
- pretty good healthcare system

Not so good:
- super expensive, houses\rents in particular, Carries thru' to the supermarkets, airlines, mobile phone, petrol, whatever companies. No competition, monopolies running left & right. The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
- Customer service is not existant. Moody & unhelpful by and large unless they are selling you opals or trickets at the Rocks.
- A long where from anywhere unless you call NZ home
- hate to say it but yes there's a lot of latent rascism, not in the City but drive 20 clicks out and welcome to the Bogan. News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
- All cities are just getting more and more clogged up with traffic & no new housing development. Almost like SE England coming home.

Most UK expats are reasonably happy in Sydney, Melbourne etc. but there are unfortunately a lot of compromises. Not really much going on in AUS compared to the UK. Forget Bondi Beach which is a real cliche and hardly the 7th wonder it's painted to be. Australia is 2-3 times more expensive than the US with 1\4 of the options.

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.
Yawn, heard it all before Turbo.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:38 am
  #3  
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Question Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by tevez View Post
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
Tasmania? NSW?

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.
I've got a nice big house with a $157k mortgage and I'm not being held hostage by anyone. Am I doing it wrong?

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Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:47 am
  #4  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by tevez View Post
News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
Actually wasn't it more like 52% of the country believe there is racism in Australia ?

What was the actual question asked in the survey?

I feel the answer should actually be "100% think there is racism in Australia". No country is immune to racism.

The real question is: How many racist people are there in Australia ?
 
Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:50 am
  #5  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by tevez View Post
From one UK expat to another - for those who are considering a move Down Under.

I've lived in Australia for 20 years, citizen etc. IM honest O ..

On the plus side:
- beautiful countryside\beaches
- great lifestyle
- good place to raise a family
- clean air
- lovely weather most of the year
- into their sports
- pretty good healthcare system

Not so good:
- super expensive, houses\rents in particular, Carries thru' to the supermarkets, airlines, mobile phone, petrol, whatever companies. No competition, monopolies running left & right. The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
- Customer service is not existant. Moody & unhelpful by and large unless they are selling you opals or trickets at the Rocks.
- A long where from anywhere unless you call NZ home
- hate to say it but yes there's a lot of latent rascism, not in the City but drive 20 clicks out and welcome to the Bogan. News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
- All cities are just getting more and more clogged up with traffic & no new housing development. Almost like SE England coming home.

Most UK expats are reasonably happy in Sydney, Melbourne etc. but there are unfortunately a lot of compromises. Not really much going on in AUS compared to the UK. Forget Bondi Beach which is a real cliche and hardly the 7th wonder it's painted to be. Australia is 2-3 times more expensive than the US with 1\4 of the options.

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.
Sorry to say I disagree with a few of your "not so good" comments!

1- My bank doesn't fleece me at all...small monthly fee waivered if you have a certain amount of money going in each month, mortgage arrangement fee was only $600 compared to 1000GBP in the UK, staff are always chatty and helpful.

2- You get more for your money house wise compared to the SE of England where I am from.

3- I have never found a shop assistant that, if spoken to in a friendly respectful way, is not willing to help me with my queeries.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:55 am
  #6  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by Vash the Stampede View Post
Tasmania? NSW?



I've got a nice big house with a $157k mortgage and I'm not being held hostage by anyone. Am I doing it wrong?


NSW can be boiling in summer Not just outback, the sydney burbs can be stinkers the big day out was 42 degrees this year.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:56 am
  #7  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by Vash the Stampede View Post
Tasmania? NSW?
Our local record temperature is about 36°C , but averages a lot less, even in summer.

Mean maximum temperature between 20.5°C in July and 28.9°C in January (based on 1953-2009 averages)

This months highest (Jan 2010) is 33.2°C Jan 2009 was 32.6°C
In December we hit 32°C while Dec 2008 hit 31.5°C

It seems this year is a bit hotter, for our local maximum temps.

It all varies around Australia.
 
Old Jan 25th 2010, 1:57 am
  #8  
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by jad n rich View Post
NSW can be boiling in summer Not just outback, the sydney burbs can be stinkers the big day out was 42 degrees this year.
I'll agree with that, having lived there for about 10 years.
Much nicer up here though
 
Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:02 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Oh Dear

Twenty years of having to suffer this overheated and overpriced hell hole, my heart bleeds. It seems that you must suffer from the same deficiency in navigational skills that effects my poor wife. She can't find the exit from a shopping centre car park without four orbits of the entire complex, and you apparently can't find the nearest international airport and and the exit to pommyland despite being here for "twenty years"

Super expensive rents ???

I'm presently paying $160 a week for a one bed roomed unit close to town, with ground maintenance, water and hot water charges thrown in. My previous unit was two bed roomed, again within easy walking distance to town with a double garage and ground maintenance and cost $200 per week.

Now this might be extremely expensive by your reckoning but I think it's very reasonable. When I check the present price of rental accommodation in UK, I can't say that I'm immediately impressed by how "cheap" it is. Are you still using the prices that were current when you left "twenty years" ago as a benchmark ?

As for relatively high prices for some goods and services compared with other countries ? I really don't want to shock you, but the reason that Oz is a twenty-four hour flight from Europe, is because it's a very long way from Europe to OZ

Despite what you might have heard on internet forums, it's got nothing to do with Qantas flying really really slow so that their useless, ignorant, racist staff have more time to subject their once colonial masters to every imaginable indignity.

As a result of this relative isolation, some products have to travel a really long way to get here. Especially HP sauce, Branston's Pickles, tripe, pigs feet, Danish Bacon, black pudding and of course 'real' beer and 'real' fish and chips. Even when they are available, many of these delicacies will attract a high cost premium, making them outlandishly expensive and out of the financial reach of many UK immigrants.

As for " The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.". May I suggest that you change banks ? This is not quite the challenge that finding the exit to this country obviously presents you with, and the good news is that the staff at your new bank will be happy to guide you through the process.

I have a total of six accounts with the CBA and none of these accounts attract charges of any kind apart from my credit card's annual charge ( I'm working on that one ), so I can really recommend their service. Their branch service, internet service and support, plus 'free' use of their ATM network and all for 'nothing', just can't be beat as far as I'm concerned. Though I suspect that you have a long list of pommie banks that will provide a far better service for less

It does seem from the tone of your post that you are most unhappy here and as an Australian I can only emphasise and hope that you will eventually learn to adapt to Australian ways and the Australian people. Though as you have been a guest of this country for over twenty years without apparently finding one redeeming feature in your whole experience, perhaps it might be better if you called it a day, and returned to UK's green and pleasant land.

We would like to thank you for your efforts, we share your disappointment that this venture did not have a more fruitful outcome and we wish you all the best for the future.

If you are strapped for the return ticket price, I'm sure the forum would be able to arrange a 'whip round', though failing that, I believe that Centerlink are able to arrange emergency repatriation for desperate cases such as yours.

Please ensure that the door doesn't hit you on the arse on the way out.














Originally Posted by tevez View Post
From one UK expat to another - for those who are considering a move Down Under.

I've lived in Australia for 20 years, citizen etc. IM honest O ..

On the plus side:
- beautiful countryside\beaches
- great lifestyle
- good place to raise a family
- clean air
- lovely weather most of the year
- into their sports
- pretty good healthcare system

Not so good:
- super expensive, houses\rents in particular, Carries thru' to the supermarkets, airlines, mobile phone, petrol, whatever companies. No competition, monopolies running left & right. The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
- Customer service is not existant. Moody & unhelpful by and large unless they are selling you opals or trickets at the Rocks.
- A long where from anywhere unless you call NZ home
- hate to say it but yes there's a lot of latent rascism, not in the City but drive 20 clicks out and welcome to the Bogan. News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
- All cities are just getting more and more clogged up with traffic & no new housing development. Almost like SE England coming home.

Most UK expats are reasonably happy in Sydney, Melbourne etc. but there are unfortunately a lot of compromises. Not really much going on in AUS compared to the UK. Forget Bondi Beach which is a real cliche and hardly the 7th wonder it's painted to be. Australia is 2-3 times more expensive than the US with 1\4 of the options.

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.

Last edited by Hino; Jan 25th 2010 at 5:32 am. Reason: I love to edit :)
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:17 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by Hino View Post
If you are strapped for the return ticket price, I'm sure the forum would be able to arrange a 'whip round', though failing that, I believe that Centerlink are able to arrange emergency repatriation for desperate cases such as yours.

Please ensure that the door doesn't hit you on the arse on the way out.
Same old dumb shit that is slowly but surely turning the Aussie boards into a total waste of space.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:41 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by tevez View Post
From one UK expat to another - for those who are considering a move Down Under.

I've lived in Australia for 20 years, citizen etc. IM honest O ..

On the plus side:
- beautiful countryside\beaches
- great lifestyle
- good place to raise a family
- clean air
- lovely weather most of the year
- into their sports
- pretty good healthcare system

Not so good:
- super expensive, houses\rents in particular, Carries thru' to the supermarkets, airlines, mobile phone, petrol, whatever companies. No competition, monopolies running left & right. The banks are shockers and fleece Aussies big big time.
- Can get stinking hot in Summer ie. 40C+ especially Perth, Melbourne & Adelaide .. actually pretty much all of Australia.
- Customer service is not existant. Moody & unhelpful by and large unless they are selling you opals or trickets at the Rocks.
- A long where from anywhere unless you call NZ home
- hate to say it but yes there's a lot of latent rascism, not in the City but drive 20 clicks out and welcome to the Bogan. News.com.au or smh just published a survey that 52% of Aussies believe the country is rascist (as demonstarted by Pauline Hanson ..)
- All cities are just getting more and more clogged up with traffic & no new housing development. Almost like SE England coming home.

Most UK expats are reasonably happy in Sydney, Melbourne etc. but there are unfortunately a lot of compromises. Not really much going on in AUS compared to the UK. Forget Bondi Beach which is a real cliche and hardly the 7th wonder it's painted to be. Australia is 2-3 times more expensive than the US with 1\4 of the options.

If you're ok with a $500k+ mortgage round your neck and being held hostage by the banking system you'll be right.
You make some excellent points.

My issues with Australia are as follows:

* Less diverse in terms of range of things on offer.
* Long way from absolutely everywhere.
* Curiously 'dull'; Australia sort of 'flatlines' - nothing is happening. A friend likened living in Australia to sitting at the back of a concert or event as opposed to being up near the front. More leg-room but less fun.
* Characterless - you can drive for hours and it'll all look the same. Tasmania is an exception to that though - much more like England/Scotland/Ireland in terms of ever-changing scenery. Otherwise it can be very flat and barren looking.
* Australians seem obsessed with ''cheap'' - quality is almost irrelevant at times as long it doesn't cost much. They hate parting with their money, almost as if they want everything for free. Ironically, Australia is much more expensive than many people expect/realise.
* Aussies (I think) are complacent; the ''she'll be right'' attitude - based on nothing other than a blind-faith in Australia and Australians.
* Christmas sucks in Australia. Even people who love it seem to have an issue with Christmas in summer.
* Weather is not automatically better in Australia. If you don't like weather in the high 30s or low 40s then you will find much of Australia too hot. There is also less seasonal variety in Australia. Nights can be very hot indeed.
* Aussies have a cocky ''school bully'' attitude whereby they can dish it out but can't take it. They'll criticise other countries and nations but get quite huffy and defensive when the joke's on them.
* Presentation doesn't matter in Australia - so many shops and buildings in the suburbs are dreadfully run down and scrappy looking. Tagging and graffiti everywhere.
* Overrated as a living experience; the things about Australia that are truly great (wildlife and scenery - the natural world) have little to do with most people's daily lives here.

Just my opinion. I'm sure ABCDiamond has some stats to show that I am wrong.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by mono View Post
You make some excellent points.

My issues with Australia are as follows:
* Long way from absolutely everywhere.
If people want to move here, they should first check the location of Australia.

If they don't do that first, and then find that it is too far from what THEY call everywhere, then more fool them.

Most people realise where Australia is, thank goodness.

Where is EVERYWHERE to you ? Obviously not New Zealand, or the South Pacific islands ?

How about Los Angeles in the USA ?
Approx flight times.
Brisbane to Los Angeles 14 hr 30 mins
London to Los Angeles: 13 hr 41 mins

Is 40 minutes difference really a deal breaker ?
 
Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:49 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Incidentally, had an interesting chat with a top Doctor in Melbourne today. Discussed the prescriptions that are available in Australia. Noticed that I can't get the creams that really helped me with my psoriasis back in the UK here in Australia. She said that Australia is 7 or 8 years behind with this stuff (they were using stuff in London when she was working there 8 years ago that is only just becoming available in Australia now) and that it is because the companies that make the stuff have a hard time getting things past the government's generally quite over-the-top stringent rules and regs. It costs them so much to do so and the market in Australia is relatively small for a lot of things (all sorts, not just medicine) that companies don't bother cos it won't be worth it for them.

She also said NZ takes the view that if it's okay in the EU it'll be fine for them too, so you can actually find a much bigger range of medicines and treatments on prescription in NZ than in Australia.

Just thought it was vaguely on topic and interesting.
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Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by mono View Post
If you don't like weather in the high 30s or low 40s then you will find much of Australia too hot. There is also less seasonal variety in Australia. Nights can be very hot indeed.
I don't like weather in the high 30s or low 40s, but I live somewhere that it doesn't reach that, but it is still in Australia. And my weather is better than the UK weather was for me. I see no problem..
 
Old Jan 25th 2010, 5:51 am
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Default Re: Australia - what you need to know

Originally Posted by ABCDiamond View Post
If people want to move here, they should first check the location of Australia.

If they don't do that first, and then find that it is too far from what THEY call everywhere, then more fool them.

Most people realise where Australia is, thank goodness.

Where is EVERYWHERE to you ? Obviously not New Zealand, or the South Pacific islands ?

How about Los Angeles in the USA ?
Approx flight times.
Brisbane to Los Angeles 14 hr 30 mins
London to Los Angeles: 13 hr 41 mins

Is 40 minutes difference really a deal breaker ?
This is the kind of thing that makes you look silly and defensive about Australia. Of course people know where Australia is but perhaps when they live there they begin to find that it's a pain to have to fly several hours to pretty much any destination.

Also, I wasn't talking about a comparison in flying time to LA. If you are not aware that the UK is near a lot more places than Australia is then you are fool. If you are aware of that, then you have to realise that you have no point.
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