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Eera last won the day on August 4 2012

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About Eera

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  1. Both of mine were in Aus so can't comment on the UK system, but my experience was thus: went through the public system, no complaints, no expenses. First one was in the old "you breed 'em, you feed 'em" system where I returned to work after 3 months as there was no support at all and company didn't offer maternity pay (nearly killed me). Second one came in under the 18 weeks at minimum wage system, plus my company had introduced a 6 week maternity pay by then. These, plus my tax rebate meant I could take 6 months off and not be financially penalised. Increasingly companies are becoming more generous with their maternity leave; mine currently offers 20 weeks at full pay, and in my industry (engineering consulting) companies are tending to offer more to retain trained staff. Of course, these are discretionary payments and aren't in legislation so will depend on how long you've worked for and whom. I have no complaints about the Aus system, but then, have not experienced the UK one.
  2. Eera

    Can I bring - Clay and Glazes ?

    Pure mineral clays are not organic and are not deemed a biosecurity risk. AQIS are the people who deal with this. This link contains the import conditions which basically states that if you have a manufacturer's declaration or commercial invoice it's not subject to quarantine: https://bicon.agriculture.gov.au/BiconWeb4.0/ImportConditions/Conditions?EvaluatableElementId=315442&Path=UNDEFINED&UserContext=External&EvaluationStateId=f2d38f7a-8606-4fca-80d4-f32732704182&CaseElementPk=865361&EvaluationPhase=ImportDefinition&HasAlerts=True&HasChangeNotices=False&IsAEP=False We import rock soil and sand an awful lot for geochemical testing, it is kind of hard to navigate the system.
  3. Eera


    Contact Engineers Australia directly; they have a specific resource for helping with assessment of qualification for potential migrants. Start with this page :https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/For-Migrants/Migration-Skills-Assessment/MSA-StepByStep-Guide and take it from there. they are actually quite helpful and will point you in the right direction.
  4. Eera

    Mackay honest opinions

    In terms of..? Climate wise, fairly similar, not as sticky as Cairns. There's more industrial-type jobs in Mackay, and like Bobj says, more beaches. Rental situation is getting a bit tight at the moment as there are some large construction projects going on. What are you concerned about / interested in the most?
  5. Eera

    Job Agencies - Sydney

    As above. Also bear in mind that some companies will not deal with recruitment agencies as they charge something like 15% of your salary as a fee. We are one of them, and we have our own recruitment and HR departments so aren't going to pay for third parties to do their job. Check out who is actually recruiting on Seek and other job sites, there's no harm in firing off a letter of interest; previously we've ended up employing some people who weren't in the country when they applied as we liked the sound of them and were willing to wait, so it can happen.
  6. Eera


    We've found from experience that ongoing irritations like you describe maybe symptomatic of an underlying problem: OH developed really watery eyes and ongoing cough / aches and pains. We did the anihistimine and codrel thing but nothing would shift it. Eventually he went to the docs for a blood test to find out what he was allergic to. Turned out to be no allergies but really high cholesterol, Started on statins, after six more months of blood tests turns out he has hypothyroidism. Since starting on thyroxin all his other symptoms have cleared up. If it's really affecting you get it further investigated; we had no clue about this chronic immune system thing until we dug deeper because of fairly innocuous symptoms.
  7. Eera

    Brits living in Oz, returning to UK for Uni

    It's true that universities have the authorisation to make the decision as to whether a student is Home of International - that was my job for a time - but it's generally based on whether the parents are basically *forced* to move overseas, rather than make the choice to do so. For example, there's no issues with military families stationed overseas, and if the parents were seconded overseas we would look at it sympathetically. If the parents are basically moving out of their own volition then we wouldn't charge Home fees. Bear in mind that the previous post regarding government attitudes is (was) correct - for student loans the three year residency rule sits. However, in terms of the three years, they took residency in the UK on a certain date as being one year regardless of how long the potential student has been in the country - used to be 1st September. So if you turn up on the 30th August, as far as fees were concerned you met one years'residency a day or so later. So if you were to move over to do A Levels under this ruling, there's not necessarily any need to do a gap year - though check this is still the current rule, though I was in International Students for a good time, that was also a number of years ago. There's also another part of the ruling that gets overlooked a lot ; for home fees to be charged the student has to be resident for three years for reason *other* then higher education. Effectively this means that if they were to move over to attend university, their fee status would not change after three years if they chose to do post-grad.
  8. I find it really frustrating that people seem to refuse to consider "regional" areas - even when those regional areas can be excess of 300000+ people. We have huge, I mean HUGE problems recruiting employees - to the extent we offer wages 30% higher than they'll find in Metro areas, and still they bugger off at the first opportunity. It's a waste of our time training them up when we lose them as soon as they become assets. In the IT field we are sick to death of having to wait days to get someone flown up from Brisbane or whatever to do something to the server: there are regional opportunities, especially for companies who don't have a statewide presence and no IT pool to call on. I also recall the recent thread from an IT professional who could not get a job in Melbourne despite the impression it was a golden area in the field. Of course there are different areas within IT, all of which use acronyms I don't understand and may be based in localised areas, but the point is there are opportunities out there which don't involve waiting tables if you are willing to consider them.
  9. "Regional" does not necessarily equal "countryside". It's pretty much all of Australia outside a few metro centres. Here is Queensland everywhere apart from the south-east corner counts as regional, and funnily enough we have systems engineering needs as well.
  10. Eera

    New house add ons.

    check carefully what site classification the package is based on - a lot of the ones I've seen are based on Class S soil which is basically the thinnest slab they can put in. Adelaide particularly is notorious for highly expansive soil and you may be looking at Class H2 or even Class E soil which would potentially add $20k+ to the house build cost. Same if you're on a slope or they've filled the site: footings then may be non-standard and add many thou to the cost. These prices will be determined by the composition of the soil and how much works have been undertaken. If you're not on town sewerage an effluent will cost $5-$20k, depending on the system. If the site has been cut / filled check that there's a Level 1 Certificate (might also be called an Engineering Certificate) for the lots, otherwise you're going to have to pay for compaction yourself.
  11. Eera

    Tsunami in Australia

    I remember years ago seeing a Horizon program that found evidence of tsunami something like 200m high on the east coast; they linked it to catastrophic failures on the flanks of Hawaii. Years following that I was a PhD student studying volcano sector collapse (think Mt St Helens) and had a great deal of dealings with various people who were studying the tsunami implication of island collapse on Tenerife. Only two months ago I had to write a report fro the Asian Development Bank about the potential of catastrophic flank collapse on a pacific island where we are currently doing a large job. It's something that is considered in risk assessments on a commercial scale, though frankly having been working in that field as a professional geohazard assessor I can't say it's something that bothers me too much: the stats of fatal injury driving to work are far, far worse. I noticed that my last insurer had an automatic tsunami premium that they added to my house insurance: I asked them to remove it as I live on a hill and frankly, if there was ever the need to claim on it I'd have far bigger things to worry about.
  12. Eera

    Moving to Mackay_Good Suburbs??

    You're hard pushed to say there are suburbs which are safe or unsafe - you tend to find there are bad streets or local areas and the next road over is fine; when I first bought a house in Mackay the neighbour two doors up had a meth lab, the lady over the road was a known dealer and there were hoons a couple of roads down. However, over a year they all variously moved away or got incarcerated and there has been absolutely no issue since. It's the same most places; traditionally Andergrove, South Mackay and Blacks Beach had bad reputations, but there are thousands of people living there and there aren't barricades and barbed wire on the streets so it tended to be very localised parts within those areas There is violence around town late at night; the consequence of too many young people on high wages blowing it on booze and maybe stronger stuff, but does that generally spill over into the suburbs? no. The largest proportion of crime (according to police reports) is vehicle theft. There are areas which have a higher proportion of less desirables (the local nickname for one such area is Ice Island), you can generally tell these by seeing where the really cheap rents are, and having a drive around you'll see the same ones tend to be unkempt and overgrown. Take all the normal precautions of being stringent about your home security and you are very unlikely to have problems; in the 15 years I've lived here the only incident that has ever occurred to me personally was when a drunk teenager mistake my house for his, came in through the unlocked back door and fell asleep on the sofa. Of course crime happens as it does in every city, but take some responsibility for your personal security and you are very unlikely to have issues. In terms of flooding, look up the Mackay storm surge evacuation maps online. If your house is not in an evacuation area you don't have much to worry about. For reference my first house was in Zone 3 of the 5 zones, and during the floods of 2008 (which people are still talking about; it doesn't happen very often), I got maybe 10cm of water through the bottom story of the house. East Mackay and the lower suburbs particularly south of the river are the ones that would be most at risk.
  13. Eera

    Driving test in the UK...

    The online application for provisional licences has a section on eligibility where it states that you must be resident in the UK - by that they mean live in the UK for at least half a year. Apparently they ask for addresses you've lived at for the last 3 years and your NI number to speed up identity, though it's a bit vague as to whether they ask for proof of current residency in the UK - that sort of thing would likely be flagged by the identity check. This is a screenshot of the bit that might prove sticky for her:
  14. Eera


    As above. I've had fairly tokenistic medicals, I've had ones where I had to show I could pickup weights and do sit-ups, I've had full on ones that involve chest x-rays and hearing tests. They probably just want to establish that you can are fit for the job and aren't likely to get injured and claim compensation.