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Eera last won the day on August 4 2012

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About Eera

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  1. Eera

    What do I do for Xmas day?

    Most of the hotels and clubs have some kind of christmas lunch on if you don't want to spend the day by yourself. Magpies always does a pretty good one. I'd imagine Airlie would have a pretty good thing going on with all the backpackers away from home, though you'd probably want to book accommodation; I know the island tour boats are running (got a mate getting triple time as a first mate that day) so you could spend the day cruising the Whitsundays in company and have christmas lunch on board?
  2. Eera

    Keep studying (PhD) or trying to work

    Ahhh, I fully understand what you mean now, yes study and work is horrible. I did mine as I wanted to get into full time academia, long story short - no jobs, no prospects, went into engineering consulting instead. I was 27 when i left full time study but I got my job on the strength of having run a testing laboratory for the last two years while doing research, the actual PhD was irrelevant and TBH I've never referred to it since. You are totally right about the local experience thing; we've found that to mean far more to Australian employers than actual qualifications. When we are looking at resumes from people applying for jobs, we look at their work history first, then their qualifications. We favour someone with say, a Masters and work experience over someone with little experience but higher degrees..
  3. Eera

    Keep studying (PhD) or trying to work

    I can assure you from personal experience that doing a PhD is *not* a restful time. I'm sure others will disagree but again, speaking from personal experience in engineering consultancy and industry, a PhD is really not necessary unless you're in a field that emphasizes research capability; research and development - maybe, general consultancy or trade, no. It's a difficult decision; once you've been in industry and are earning a decent wage it's very hard to step back and go back to the low amount funding pays you. You could do a PhD part time if you so felt inclined (though it takes forever and adds to your workload). if you leave entering the workplace too late then you're going to be behind with building up a career and other stuff like superannuation. If you really want to do a PhD because you have a passion for research then go for it, just don't be under the illusion that's it's 4 years of not having to do much, the stress can be horrendous.
  4. Eera

    Buying a used car Queensland

    If you buy through a dealer they do the transfer paperwork for you, it's if you go private you need to go to the TMR (equivalent of the DVLA) to do it yourself, not the council. If you don't have a permanent address there's a Form F4408 that you can fill out which effectively says as much, but the dealer should be able to best advise you - they would have seen people in your situation a thousand times before. I guess rego is pretty much like the road tax in the UK, it's the fee you pay for using your car on the road and varies as per the size of vehicle and whether it's a classic or limited use. Rego comes with compulsory third party insurance, which covers damage to people, not property, so you'd be best advised to get proper insurance coverage as well (it's not compulsory here!). There's no such thing as an annual MOT in Queensland either - you get a roadworthy inspection done when you sell the car, and you'll need the certificate to register the car in the first place, but no yearly trip to the mechanic. You can be slapped with a defect notice by the police if you're belching black smoke or something, so maintenance is still recommended.
  5. Eera

    Four cats to Brisbane: am I mad to even consider it?

    In QLD the agent / landlord isn't allowed to take more than 4 weeks' rent for a bond (caveat rental amount <$700 per week), so effectively there's no point offering extra for a pet bond - legally they can't take it anyway. I once had a tenant do up a pet CV but generally the agent won't pass on anything like that anyway, the agent mentioned it in passing and said it was cute, but it didn't make any difference as I had said a potential renter could have two outdoor dogs and two cats which were not allowed in the bedroom. My agent basically doesn't advertise pets as welcome, but doesn't exclude them and will ask the landlords if it's acceptable to them.
  6. If you're still thinking about novated leases I've had four cars that way. They aren't the great deal they used to be as the rules around them were changed a couple of years ago and they are now done by a portion before tax, a portion after tax (mine is roughly 50/50 by the looks of it). What they are good for, however, is if you don't have the deposit, plus you can novated secondhand cars as well - check with the individual company favoured by your company what their rules are surrounding that, some will only let the car be a maximum 7 years old at the end of lease, some 13. There will be a balloon payment at the end of the lease which is set by the ATO, something like 40% after 3 years and 37.5% at the end of 4. trick is to get a vehicle that doesn't depreciate too badly as you pay the balloon and pocket the difference if you sell it (or lose money if it is a high depreciation car) While they aren't a fantastic tax saving, they are convenient as most things are taken care of - lease, fuel, tyres, tax, insurance etc. Downsides are that you are largely stuck with whatever fuel company the lease people decide (my last car was Caltex only, current one is Shell), and with insurance as well. When you go for a service or whatever you say it's a novated lease and the company takes care of it. Generally they will work by you pay into a budget every month, and the fees for each line item will be taken out. My leases tend to be based on 25000km per year, but I've never done that, and any money left in the account at the end of the lease gets refunded.
  7. A few years back when I was a minor I went to visit Australian relatives but when I entered the UK again I mistakenly used my Australian passport and got it stamped with 6 months. All my dad did was to ring up immigration, show them a copy of his birth certificate and residency and that was it. They just changed whatever was registered on the system and there was no comeback. I don't imagine your situation would be any different - they'd be dealing with this sort of thing all the time.
  8. Are the motorhome people saying you have to get a different licence? Both Qld Main Roads and NSW Transport and Maine Roads state explicitly on their websites that "If you’re driving in Queensland on an overseas car licence, you may drive vehicles allowed under a Queensland class C licence. This includes vehicles up to 4.5 tonne gross vehicle mass that may carry up to 12 people, including the driver." I'd read into that you can just use your British licence unless you've been told otherwise by the hire people.
  9. Eera

    Asthma ?

    Depends what your triggers are; for me cold, dry air sets it off. Since moving to the humid tropics haven't had a single attack, but instead have really bad hay fever.
  10. Eera

    Mackay, Townsville or Cairns

    Mackay. been here 15 years so if you want to know anything please PM me
  11. Eera

    Mackay, Townsville or Cairns

    I'm in geotech and enviro consultancy as well, do a fair bit with TMR so I'll probably see you around the tracks somewhere!
  12. Eera

    Mackay, Townsville or Cairns

    With the affordability thing, Mackay is on the cusp of another big upswing in housing prices: there's been a dramatic downturn in vacancies for rentals particularly. We always say we pay over the odds for stuff because of the "mining tax" - the assumption that everyone's working out west and has spare cash to burn. I don't know what industry you're in but I've seen friends who appear trapped a bit in Cairns - the jobs market seems to be quote small from what they've said, and to progress they've been forced to move out of town. however, if you're within a company structure that might not be a major concern for you. Enjoy the glorious winter weather here, it must be really cold for you compared with Darwin!
  13. Eera

    6 reasons that you came to live in Australia

    I had only one reason - I was doing fieldwork in the sleet and my fingers were too frozen to hold my pen - one of those "screw this for a game of soldiers" moments. I was a citizen, single, had nothing to stop me and got on an aeroplane 6 months later.
  14. Winters are glorious in the tropics: 25 degrees nearly every day, 15 at night, very little rain and no humidity. Summer sucks big time though, but winters are near perfect.
  15. Eera

    Living in MacKay

    Crocs are rare but do periodically turn up on the beach (mainly Blacks Beach where they come out of McCready's Creek, and the harbour). Every time a beach is closed due to croc sightings it makes headline news here so that tells you how uncommon it is. Stingers only come in at specific times of year and with particular winds from the north. There's several patrolled beaches which are dragged daily and have lifeguards present so really not that problematic.