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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

    House building

    Waffle slabs work, but generally under very specific conditions - do you have access to the site classification? If you do and it's and A or S and the site is flat and free-draining, there's no real issues. If you're on H or some M (since 2011 H has been divided into H1 and H2) you may potentially have problems. I say potentially, because if the house is 12 years old and the slab hasn't cracked you're probably in the clear; we see most structural problems arise in the first year or two as the house settles. There have been problems in some reactive clay areas where waffles were thrown in (cheap to build) during a prolonged dry spell, then when the rains returned and the soil expanded, they cracked. What's the local geology? if it's sandy or non-reactive fill then you should be alright. If there's clays around then really go over the walls and see if there's evidence of cracks that have been bogged up. You can normally expect fine ones around windows but anything a couple of mm wide is cause for concern. Don't instantly dismiss the place because of the slab - as a geotech we hold engineering liability for 13 years from construction, but make sure that the slab fits the land it's on.
  2. Eera


    That's fighting talk around here! Mackay is weirdly proud of the fact that the population is bigger than Rocky, though they have the edge when it comes to random cow statues. I do a fair amount of work in Rocky and have to say I'm impressed with the amount of investment and beautification that they've done, particularly along the river front. it's also the seat of a number of local government offices (if you are looking for Department of Mines and Department of Main Roads, I generally am). Plus as PQ says, there are some wonderful spots around there - Mt Morgan, the caves (whose name escapes me), good camping areas). But as previously mentioned, avoid the flood areas; they have been working on a levee in recent times but I can't say how far they've gotten with construction.
  3. Please don't take offence. I lived in Sydney, I was looking in Brisbane, and had the same experiences as you - couldn't get a foot in the door and literally two interviews in six months and moving to regional town is what I had to do to get employment. The cringe remark wasn't directed at you personally - you'll see loads of posts on here from people who are determined to live in a very specific area where there isn't necessarily the jobs they seek in the area. I've found very much that Australians value Australian experience, regardless of whether the acronyms and minutia of the job are applicable internationally. Once someone has that foot in the door - which may be gotten by living regionally, then doors open and people get a much broader area to choose from. You've had some positivity here so hopefully something will come your way soon
  4. I was unemployed for 6 months when I came over, couldn't get interviews as my experience was not local, in the end had to move to a regional city as in general they have trouble filling vacancies from Australian candidates. I cringe when i see posts saying "we want to move to X suburb"; you move where you can get a job and worry about where you actually want to live further down the line. I'd also be very wary about recruitment agencies, sorry to any genuine people who might be here, but I've found they tend to advertise and re-advertise the same job (at least in my field, which is not IT) to get people on their books which they will then occasionally hawk around; I read an advert from one once which effectively was one I had put on a jobsite a year or so before; they had taken off the logo but used the company slogan and everything - we weren't looking at the time either.
  5. I only have a 10GB plan, once they use it up speed drops to painful levels so they've learned to self-regulate pretty well.
  6. Eera

    Hay Fever down under

    Never had hay fever at all in the UK, have it bad here. Turns out my triggers are wattle, eucalyptus and sugar cane flowers. I'd be fine in the desert.
  7. Eera

    Flights to UK

    Bangkok has a huge airport. We had a long stopover (7 hours) between our flights from Yangon to Brisbane, and I knew they had a spa there so thought I'd google to see what therapies they did. Suffice to say putting in "massage Bangkok" brings up a whole amount of websites my company's smut filter doesn't like.
  8. Eera

    Once you have migrated where do you go on holiday?

    Because we live in the tropics and have white sand, blue sea, palm trees blah blah I avoid places like that to holiday like the plague; no point paying to go somewhere when I can get it for free five minutes away. We tend to save our leave and go long haul, particularly Asia but also the various Americas. Haven't yet managed to get the husband to Europe but he's starting to show interest. I suppose you holiday in places you are interested on regardless of where you live; when I was in the UK I never took a single beach holiday; heat and sand has never been high on my list, but I went to some very interesting former soviet countries and saw a lot of history. Same here; I work on a lot of Whitsunday Islands and to me, those are work places (in a year or two, when you're marvelling over the lovely sweeping view over Whitehaven beach from the spanky new lookout, remember, I vomited doing the fieldwork for it), but going along the various sites of the Thai-Burma railway was sobering and brilliant at the same time. It has to be said though, I don't appreciate all that Australia has to offer. I'm in a couple of photography groups where people from overseas talk about where they are going to go in Australia, and that makes me think that we do have a great country and I should go and see it a bit more. Though I'm still going to Patagonia next year.
  9. Eera

    Flights to UK

    Always use them, then if the resultant agent for ticketing has a good reputation I'll buy, if not (and there are some duff ones out there) I take the quote from them to Flightcentre who then match it. For reference, I saved roughly $200 per person on flight to Japan over the airline's own prices, and currently watching flights to Korea which are about $250 cheaper on skyscanner over the airline's prices. I've flown Thai, very good airline; staff couldn't do enough for us.
  10. Which course, the JD one or the Cilex one? Here's a link to the online JD through ANU, I was seriously thinking about doing it at one point. it is post-grad and for domestic students, but it means you wouldn't have to rush through everything before getting PR https://law.anu.edu.au/study/study-programs/juris-doctor-online
  11. A friend I went to school with has just gone the Cilex route and is now a legal executive, rather than a full solicitor; the difference she said is that she can only deal in a limited number of jurisdictions rather than the full gamut, however, most solicitors specialise too so there's effectively little difference. But no, there isn't an equivalent in Australia, though some universities offer a Juris Doctor post-grad course which you do part time and with work experience in law practice.
  12. Eera

    University loans

    No. You pay home fees but you're going to have to pay them up-front. Permanent residents can only access FEE-HELP for very specific professional recognition programs. If s/he is a top student the university may have scholarships that could be investigated. My uni had hardship funds which you could apply for if the course had additional costs over and above what student in other courses were charged.
  13. Eera

    School changeover

    International students are a massive cash cow in the UK; each university has a department specifically there to deal with them, and the British Council (from memory) publishes a tome which lists the equivalent UK qualification for every country. I recall the volume that was on my desk actually went into detail as per the rigour of many overseas universities - there was always issues with diploma mills so we had information as to whether the institutions were actually legitimate or not. Based on that, there's no real problem presented by having Australian year 12 qualifications; the issue would be as presented above - your daughter would be assessed as an overseas student and charged accordingly. I was never aware of anyone being turned away for not having an IB or anything - all we did was go to the book, check they had the equivalent for admission and let them in.
  14. Eera

    After school options

    We use OHSC like Snifter. Ours is an independent (though still registered for child care rebate). The PCYC also does a scheme at another school. Our fees are $25 for after school - we don' use the before school option which I think is and additional $18, with 50% rebate, so it works out at $25 per day for two kids. Full day during school holidays is something like $60 per child before rebate. Our scheme is good also in that it lets me book them in only the days we need it - OH is a shift worker so is home half the time. It's been a nice saving over the cost of daycare fees! Whether you get child care benefit / rebate will depend on your visa status and income. There's a new system coming in July for fee assessment.
  15. Eera

    Starting NDIS application before arriving

    Wow, my brother was either very lucky to get on it, or the area he lives (Gosford-ish) is well served. I was talking to a lady who was after the same kind of thing he gets for her daughter - a part time carer to come in a couple of times a week and make sure he doesn't stink and get him out of the house every now and again, and she was turned down. It seems that postcode might be the determining factor!