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About martincburgess

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  1. martincburgess

    Mooseheads $10 Lunch Meet Up - Saturday 18th August

    Get well soon - hopefully some warmer weather will help in the near future! Martin:ssign3:
  2. martincburgess

    What's not good about Canberra?

    Have to agree with the humidity. Brisbane in the summer is a killer. FIne if you dont need to do anything, but hot AND humid, not good! Canberra is dry and in the summer this makes for an enjoyable climate.
  3. martincburgess

    Been in Canberra for 9 months...the low down!

    Just go to Sydney, driving there is a real test. Dont even mention taxi drivers, they are all pretty manic and I always feel ill after the roller coaster ride. Good old Black Cabbies in London! As for cold housing, we rented in the Metropolitan Towers, a relatively new apartment block in the City, we froze sufficiently due to large areas of signle glazing until we found a double glazed apartment in Kingston - now much warmer. Oz is 10-20 years behind the UK. For a Country that has just brought in a controversial Carbon tax, the lack of double glazing to keep the heat in / out seems rediculous. Be aware of this if you are looking for a property in Oz - find a well designed / constructed modern property if you are looking for a warm property! Martin
  4. martincburgess

    Mooseheads $10 Lunch Meet Up - Saturday 18th August

    Unfortunately Tracey (ex Swansea) and I (ex Exeter) will, be away in Sunshine Coast; keep us posted on future get togethers, we will be there! Well done for taking the initiative, Martin
  5. martincburgess

    Places to live in Canberra for a 30's something couple

    Hi Trisha, Dont panic! A lot of people over here will happily joke about Canberra. It is actually quite a small City and I liken it to Milton Keynes, which gets a bad press in the UK but everyone who lives there seem to like it! We started life in Oz in Sydney - full or romantic dreams about a fantastic City. Visiting a City as a tourist and living there is different and in practice we found Sydney more of a pain than London for getting around. It also is quite polluted and with a mild to warm climate is not that well suited to people with resporatory ailments like Asthma. Whilst Canberra is "inland" you can be back in the Coast within 2.5 hours which, once you have lived in Oz for a while, is a day trip! Canberra is well placed for all capital cities and because all the "pollies" (Politicians) come here for their work, the airpot is fantastic (Sydneys is a poor relation due to being under capacity). Public transport within Canberra is not so good; you will need to pick your location carefully to be close to a bus route - weekend services are very limited. We chose to live in Civic, which is an area close to the city centre. Canberra is known as the civil service capital for Australia, and believe me, its like going back to the 70's in the UK, when the public sector rules - I am staggered the number of public servants over here. Because of this the city is busy between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday...and completely dead at the weekend! We have now relocated to Kingston, which is in an area with plenty of weekend activities; cafes, bars and restaurants. Manuka, within walking distance, is another popular area. Beware though, they just don't do proper beer here, although the wine is good, albeit you can get Oz wine. cheaper in the UK! The accommodation is also more expensive in the City. However if you are prepared to commute 30 minutes then there are good deals for both rented accommodation and if buying. Even if considering buying, I would strongly suggest renting for at least 6 months, to allow you to find your feet and explore. Commuting in Canberra is so much fun! Avoid the rush "hour" between 8.30 and 9am and 5 - 5.30 and you will be anywhere in about 20 mins at the worst. The rush hour is matched by the 9-5 lifestyle in ACT (public sector again!) If coming to Oz beware, the cost of living here is expensive, and in the short three years we have beeen here, its been getting greater. We are heading back to the UK at Xmas and will come back with empty suitcases, to fill up with cheap Tesco Jeans!!! We love Canberra, but still get our City "fix" in Sydney and Melbourne, as work takes us there. Canberra's climate is well suited to Brits and I would fully recommend Canberra for a fantastic lifestyle.
  6. martincburgess

    Back home after 1 yr in Aus

    Hi all, I think those who have moved to Sydney (like us), have noticed the difference. We are currently on our first trip back to the UK after 8 months in Oz. Both of us work in Building Surveying and at the moment there is more work in Oz than in the UK. The biggest thing we have noticed between Sydney and the UK in the 8 months we have been away is how much CHEAPER the UK has become. The only thing I can say is more expensive in the UK than Oz is fuel. Sydney is SO expensive - house prices, the cost of eating out etc. The congestion is pretty horrendous to! We got jobs in Sydney which meant we had to move there from the UK, that was the good news - our aim is to move away from NSW should an opportunity to arise, this way we may just start "living the dream". Otherwise, the UK may start pulling us back - why go somewhere which is just as crowded and more expensive (along with even more red tape!). Martin and Tracey
  7. martincburgess

    Importing Car - Complete Car Care, Seven Hills, Sydney

    Nicky, I think this may have been addressed but apologieis for all the shortcuts - ACT is Australian Capital Territory, where they sort all the paperwork for car imports and RTA is the Road Traffic Authority (that is what its called in NSW anyway)! The 6k breakdown in the broadest sense was: 2.5k removals (part of a 40 ft container), 2k agency costs, which included servicing, port duties, registration and additional works to car, there was also 1k of GST to pay on the imported car. With extra odds and ends it came to about 6k. Can be done more cheaply if you have the time, patience and tolerance to deal with the red tape!! Fortunately we both found work reasonably quickly, so had some funds (but not the time!)
  8. martincburgess

    Importing Car - Complete Car Care, Seven Hills, Sydney

    Duncan - GST is payable on an imported car - 10% based on the value of the car as assessed by Australian Customs. As the Volvo we imported was a manual diesel... (most cars are automatic in Oz and there are no deisel S60's over here, although the engine appears in other vehicles, making it serviceable - but thats another story!)...the value was actaully less than anticipated. The car was 18 months old and we had assessed it at being worth about 14k pounds - in Oz they thought the equivalent of 11k - which from a tax point was good news. Of course comparisons will need to be made at the current exchange rate. An appeals process applies, but in the scheme of things, unless the valuation is wildly out, it is probably best to go with the flow. I would say that Nissan X Trails are common over here and pro rata car prices are a lot cheaper - if your model is not unique, would suggest considering moving it on and starting over in Oz.
  9. If are one of the numerous people who is emergrating to Australia and are looking to take their car with them, this post is for you. I can honestly say that there was very limted information when I was in the same situation before our move to Sydney in November last year. I am delighted to tell you that my beloved Volvo S60 is now sitting my secure garage in the Western Sunburbs of Sydney. It was very expensive and as I couldn't get a reasonable price for it in the UK, due to it being 18 onths old and Godon Brown introducing a scrappage scheme (devastating second hand values - effectively a negative equity situation!) There was also a sentimental element - so decided to take it with me. My Removal company told me that in the last year that they have seen a 50% rise in people importing their cars. So you maybe likely to go down this route. You will need to ensure that the car is in a good condition and as clean as possible but the Australian Customs will steam clean it whatever happens and it is expensive. You will need a Personal Import Licence via ACT and this takes sometime. DO NOT IMPORT your car unless you have this piece of paper. Your Removal Company should tell you this. We arrived in Oz in Dec 2009 but the container didn't arrive until February and we didn't see the contents until much later that month. See a separte post on this - not best pleased by our removal company - as car and contents sat in the UK for a month before even starting the shipping process. I found Australain rules and regulations very complicated and the RTA in NSW is a complete nightmare. Red tape in Oz is significantly worse than the UK - beware!! Whilst fighting the battle with the RTA I had an agency recommended to me. In short, they were superb and looked after all the paperwork, registration and minor modifications needed to the car (replacement mirror to drivers side and child restraints to rear seats> They were: Complete Car Care, Seven Hills NSW 2147 If you are importing to Sydney mero area or beyond - give them a call - Ask for Robert and I can honestly say that the service was excellent and he will provide the level of service you don't often find in Australia. He was helpful and courteous. All you need to do is sign a Power of Attourney and then he will do the rest, just pay the bill and collect the car. Although it was expensive it was certainly worth it. Good luck. One final thought - unless your car is precious to you - it would be worth offloading before getting to Oz. You can get good value for your Dollars over here (subject to a decent exchange rate!). The total cost to ship my car was about £6,000 - not worth it unless the car is of some value! Happy to answer any further queries you may have on the importing experience. Tracey Burgess (via Martin's log in!)
  10. Presume blokes not allowed! Tracey and I arrived on Xmas - furniture due next week. Still trying to get ourselves sorted. Plan B - I'll stand outside the bar and look through the window if someone would pass me an occasional Coopers beer?!! Martin
  11. martincburgess

    Property Bubble in Australia

    Hi, thought I would chip in with my two penneth (or half a cent due to a crap exchange rate!). We moved out to Sydney just before Xmas. We moved from Bicester in Oxfordshire (in rented because when we moved to Bicester in 2007 we couldnt afford to buy). Right decision to rent in Oxford and I am staying put in rented in Sydney until things have settled. Prices seem rediculously high for property - you wont get much for $1m near the CBD. You would be looking at at least an hours commute to get a smallish 3 bed detached house on the outskirts of the City for $750,000. We spotted what we thought was a nice four bed detached house in Turramurra, which is about 45 mins NW of the CIty. When we saw it we found that whilst it was a nice house, it was wedged in the back garden of an existing property, overlooked and obviously a small plot. Price: $1.2m. My wife and I have no kids and even if we both earned a reasonable wage we could not afford a mortgage and have anything like a decent lifestyle. So this does beg the question how Sydneysiders are coping. Interest rates are creeping up - employment is ok but it isn't a great as people make out. On our part we will try a save some Bucks for the next 12 month and wait and see. At least there is some consistency - Estate Agents over here continue to try and talk the market up!! Keep your heads down and keep plugging away!! Martin
  12. martincburgess

    who`s in sydney

    ...and we arrive on the 8th Dec from a wet and windy UK! Martin and Tracey
  13. Hi all, We are arriving in Sydney in December and after the Xmas break we will be aiming to track down a 2/3 bed rental property (apartment or similar). My base of work will be north of the airport but south of the CBD - office location not decided yet, but likely to be Alexandria or nearby. We would like to have a reasonably decent rental accommodation and are prepared to venture a little further out of the city (say about 30 min commute - ideally by public transport). However, I see if you head south you are getting dangerously close to the airport. My aim would not to have numerous aircraft passing overhead all day (although I guess this would potentially keep the rent down). However, it would be good to be close to the airport, as I will be required to fly to Brisbane quite oftern in my new role. Toughie, but anyone "local" to Sydney - any thoughts as to potential good areas to start looking for somewhere? Thanks all, Martin
  14. Hi all, Its getting close for us. Skilled visa achieved and two job interviews whilst currently on hols / recci in WA, SA, NSW and QLD. Its been hectic. However a job in the centre of Sydney looks pretty hopeful (Kent St - Town Hall Station). Notwithstanding the cost of living in Sydney (ouch) - I would be grateful for feedback on good areas to rent an apartment, which is within 30 minutes commute to the centre, by public transport - either train, bus or ferry. Prepared to venture out a bit to get better value rental properties. Ideally would like a 2+ bed rental close to amenities (local shops, cafes etc) at a price of less than $650 - $700pw. Any advice on areas to look at (or indeed avoid) would be appreciated. Thanks, Martin
  15. Hi all, Recently received quotes from a range of removal companies to assist with the moving of our household "stuff" and a car to Australia. They provide the usual sales speak and provide reassuring words. No doubt there are questions I should ask but am not aware of (its the "unknown unknowns"!). Anyone have an experience where they wished they had known in advance so they could have found out. I guess I am trying to learn from others misfortunes - so apologies in advance. Any hints and tips would be well received. Thanks, Martin:spinny: