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Everything posted by Cerberus1

  1. Pic of one of the Saturn V rockets at Kennedy Space Center when we went a couple of years ago.
  2. Cerberus1

    Temp accommodation when you first land

    We secured a housesit for 5 weeks (the family were off touring round Europe),
  3. What's Next ? .. What's Next
  4. Thanks to @The Pom Queen who got myself and @Squarepants tickets for Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo at Brisbane City Hall last night. The film screening was followed by a talk / Q& A with Apollo 16 Astronaut & Moonwalker Charlie Duke and Mission Control Flight Director Gerry Griffin
  5. Cerberus1

    Australian Citizenship - Is it worth getting?

    $20 for federal elections,. State elections differ, QLD is $126, not sure for other states.
  6. The Australian government will scrap its controversial changes to parent visa sponsorship rules. The climbdown follows weeks of backlash from migrant communities and will completely reverse the changes, less than a month after they were introduced by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan. Mr Tehan sent a letter to Greens senator Nick McKim on Wednesday, confirming the government would undo the regulation rather than face a narrow defeat on the floor of the upper house. Labor and a group of key crossbenchers had agreed to back a Greens disallowance motion to torpedo the change. The changes, which took effect in April, meant residents needed much higher salaries to bring their parents to Australia on a visa. An individual trying to sponsor their two parents would need to prove they earn an annual income of $86,607, up from $35,793 under the previous rules. The government will revert to the old rules and will “reassess” any migrants who applied since the April change. Mr Tehan plans to rewrite the legislative instrument before May 23, the letter confirms, and will “replicate the circumstances as they were prior to April 1”. “Any individual that has had an assessment under the new provisions will be reassessed,” Mr Tehan writes. The backflip represents a substantial departure from Mr Tehan’s previous argument. Last month, the minister said changes were needed to ensure migrant parents did not become a drain on the welfare system. “The Australian Government wants to ensure newly-arrived migrants have the financial capacity to support themselves, while also ensuring the social security system remains sustainable,” Mr Tehan said at the time. The change would have impacted thousands of migrants on Australia’s long waiting list for visas, who were yet to have their sponsors in Australia submit their proof-of-income documents to Centrelink. Discuss Parent Visas at https://www.pomsinoz.com/topic/50481-the-brand-new-pio-parents-visa-thread/
  7. No, it's been reported on SBS - https://www.sbs.com.au/news/exclusive-coalition-backflips-on-parent-visa-crackdown
  8. Cerberus1

    shipping insurance

    Letton Percival insure for moves in both directions (UK->Aus, Aus->UK)
  9. Cerberus1

    Sunset/sunrise Photos

    Sunset this evening
  10. https://www.pomsinoz.com/settings/signature/
  11. Housing investments, not flashy infrastructure projects, are needed if Australia is to successfully manage a migration program supercharged by international students, according to experts. The call follows news last week that Australia has taken in 525,000 international students this year, a 12% increase compared to last year, itself a record. Glen Searle, honorary associate professor in planning at Sydney University, said the Federal Government's response to immigration so far has been "totally inadequate" and it now has a "moral responsibility" to deliver investment required by Australia's immigration program. In the case of international students, he argues that means more affordable housing. "There's been quite a build-up of student accommodation, but it's nowhere near enough," he said. "Universities, perhaps with some Federal Government funding, should be directing some of their fees into providing their own accommodation." Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released this week revealed how the highest concentrations of Australia's newest migrants can be found around university campuses and the inner suburbs in Melbourne and Sydney. Only Melbourne and Parramatta centres attracted more migrants in 2016-17 than the suburb of Clayton in south-east Melbourne, site of Monash University. Mayor of Monash Council, Paul Klisaris, said he didn't want international students to be made "scapegoats" for Australians' frustrations with congestion and the cost of living. But he said there had been major impacts for his council area "as a result of this mass movement". International students driving migration Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the rise in foreign students has been the biggest driving factor of immigration growth. "There are around 200,000 more foreign students in Australia today than there were a few years ago," he said earlier this month. "That is the single biggest driving factor (of immigration growth). "So if you feel there are more foreigners on the tram and you can't get a seat on the tram, that is because of that, if that's your perception." The new ABS figures are the first to provide local migration breakdowns, providing an insight into how fast some neighbourhoods are changing. Liz Allen, a demographer at the ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods, said infrastructure development had not kept pace with the migration program in the past 20 years, and the blame fell on politicians. "I would be strongly urging people to be considered when they look at these figures," she said, "and not blame migrants, but rather hold politicians to account". A spokesperson for Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who has responsibility for population issues, said the Federal Government was working with its state counterparts to address competing challenges prompted by population growth. "Future population growth, busting congestion and investing in projects to ensure people can get to home, university and work and back again sooner and safer is a key focus of the Government," they said. Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-27/international-students-infrastructure-migration-housing/9693256?section=politics
  12. Cerberus1

    Best performing states - Q1 2018

    If you're moving to Australia and haven't decided where to want to live yet, it may be worthwhile keeping an eye on CommSec's 'State of the States' reports. The quarterly report attempts to find out how Australia’s states and territories performing by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth retail spending equipment investment unemployment construction work done population growth housing finance dwelling commencements. Just as the Reserve Bank uses long-term averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; CommSec do the same with the economic indicators. For each state and territory, latest readings for the key indicators were compared with decade averages – that is, against the “normal” performance. The latest State of the States report also includes a section comparing annual growth rates for the eight key indicators across the states and territories as well as Australia as a whole. This enables another point of comparison – in terms of economic momentum. FIRST - New South Wales SECOND - Victoria THIRD - Australian Capital Territory FOURTH - Tasmania FIFTH - South Australia SIXTH - Queensland SEVENTH - Northern Territory EIGHTH - Western Australia NSW has retained top rankings on five of the eight economic indicators: retail trade, dwelling starts, equipment investment, construction work and unemployment. NSW is in third spot on economic growth, population growth and housing finance. Victoria is second on the economic performance rankings for five of the eight indicators and in third spot on the other three indicators. The biggest improvement has been the job market with unemployment now almost 3% below the decade average. The ACT has held on to third spot on the rankings. The ACT is top-ranked on housing finance, in second spot on the job market and in third position on dwelling starts and retail trade. Tasmania has held fourth position on the economic performance rankings and it can be broadly grouped with the ACT. Tasmania is top-ranked on relative population growth and is second placed on equipment investment. Population growth is the strongest in 7 years. South Australia remains in fifth position on the performance rankings and it can be broadly grouped with Queensland. South Australia is ranked fourth on dwelling starts and fifth on three other indictors. Construction work done is at record highs. Queensland remains in sixth position on the performance rankings. But annual employment growth is the fastest in the nation. Population growth is at 4-year highs. And the annual total of export receipts is up more than 26% over the year. The Northern Territory retains its seventh position on the economic performance rankings and can be broadly grouped with Western Australia. The NT is top ranked on economic growth and second-ranked on construction work done. But it lags all other states and territories on five of the indicators. The good news is that exports are growing strongly, up 22% on a year ago. Western Australia is seventh on five indicators and lags other economies on the other three indicators. But equipment spending and exports are posting firm annual growth.
  13. After years in the doldrums, Queensland's economic tide has finally turned as more people flee high interstate property prices, the latest Deloitte Access Economics quarterly business outlook has concluded. The report noted that in the past year Queensland had overtaken Victoria as the state receiving the highest number of interstate migrants. "The rate of population growth is still faster in Victoria than Queensland, but the trends have turned," Deloitte partner Chris Richardson said. "Sydney house prices are begging people to sell up and move to Brisbane." The number of overseas migrants also has risen, but the report found the Queensland economy was "still running well below full speed". It concluded "many of the interstate migrants to Queensland may be mainly fleeing the mind-blowing cost of housing in Sydney — that is, the key is the push factors rather than the pull factors". LNG projects boosting export income Exports had risen thanks to new LNG capacity that, while it lagged, was still an "800-pound gorilla", Mr Richardson said. "Finally, the big spend on building these mega gas projects is turning into export earnings." The report found Queensland was through the worst of the economic slowdown with a "surging" jobs market that had created nearly 130,000 net new jobs in the past year alone. "The bottom line? There's good job growth, but the economy needs a lot more of it, because to date it hasn't put much of a dent in unemployment," the report said. The report also found retail spending was "pitifully weak" but on the improve, while the Brisbane housing market remained soft. The winding down of $66 billion in LNG construction developments was now "safely in the rear-view mirror" with new works projected on Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine, as well as the Brisbane Cross River Rail scheme. "All up, there are $28 billion worth of projects under construction in Queensland," the report said. Acting Queensland Treasurer Steven Miles said he was not surprised by the report's buoyant predictions. "This report projects that Queensland will be at the top of the growth rate in gross state product as well as the upper end of the population growth rate," he said. "I think people in other states are seeing that Queensland is a great place to live, that there are jobs being created here and people are moving here for that reason." Queensland's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ) said that while the headline was positive, there were still several key imposts holding small and medium businesses back. "High energy prices, payroll tax and of course punitive levies which we've seen in the last four months," CCIQ spokesman Dan Petrie said. He said it was crucial for regional and rural Queenslanders to have more support for continued economic growth. "Regional Queensland needs to come up … to have a robust Queensland economy. "Without the regions there's no point even having a good discussion about Queensland."
  14. Cerberus1

    Visa Consultants

    Hi Ben. There are many good registered migration agents who post on the forum who I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. @Richard Gregan http://www.overseas-emigration.co.uk/ @Alan Collett https://www.gmvisas.com/ @wrussell http://www.pinoyau.com/ @Raul Senise http://www.ozimmigration.com All MARA registered, many years experience as agents, all have contributed on the forum for around a decade or more.
  15. Cerberus1

    Post a random picture of your day

    Clear moon this evening.
  16. A snippet from last night
  17. Cerberus1

    Post a random picture of your day

    Brisbane this evening
  18. Cerberus1

    World Happiness Report 2018

    The Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations has just released 'The World Happiness Report 2018', which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. The annual report weights in at 172 pages and can be viewed here - https://s3.amazonaws.com/happiness-report/2018/WHR_web.pdf As well as looking at the overall happiness of a countries population, it also looks at happiness of the immigrant population.
  19. Chinese state media has issued a "red alert" advising students not to enrol in Australian universities after a series of public accusations that Canberra was delaying visas for politically motivated reasons. Many Chinese students and scholars have said that their Australian visa applications have been taking "oddly long" since 2015, with most of those affected from an engineering or technology background. "Australia thinks we are academic spies, or that there is some kind of grand conspiracy behind us," one student said. "Isn't that ridiculous? We just want to go there to study. It's not that complicated at all." Earlier this month, the China Scholarship Council under the Chinese Education Ministry also alerted students that "in order to avoid unnecessary losses caused by Australian visa applications, we'd like to remind students going to Australia to make plans in advance". "Research Australian visa policies, and carefully choose the country and institution you want to study in," it added. The accusation of delays in processing visa applications follows an increase in tensions between the two nations. Last October, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued a blunt warning to Chinese university students affiliated with the Communist Party, urging them to respect freedom of speech in Australia. China also reacted furiously to proposed foreign interference laws, accusing the Australian Government of making "irresponsible" comments which have hurt "political mutual trust", after Australia unveiled the biggest overhaul of espionage and intelligence laws in decades amid growing concerns over international interference in Australia. The Global Times, a state-owned Chinese newspaper, recently blamed the "anti-China rhetoric" in Australia for the prolonged visa processing time for Chinese students. The newspaper also told students "do not go to Australia" for the time being: "It's not worth it to let the narrow-minded Australian Government sabotage your future!" Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-22/chinese-students-angered-by-visa-processing-delays/9574838?section=politics
  20. Cerberus1

    Let's Go Global Migration company

    As previously mentioned, if it were me, I'd be questioning the lack of available company information, especially if I was going to be handing over thousands of pounds potentially.
  21. Cerberus1

    Let's Go Global Migration company

    I did read this on our sister site: https://www.perthpoms.com/topic/17466-lets-go-global/?do=findComment&comment=136653
  22. Cerberus1

    Let's Go Global Migration company

    Never heard on 'Lets Go' or seen them mentioned on the forum before. Looking at the website it seems hard to work out who they are / where they are? Couldn't see a business/company registration number anywhere, no contact address, the domain registation details are hidden etc. Says "We work with a select number of MARA Consultants in Australia matching the right agents & lawyers to your unique circumstances on a case by case basis. We don not work with any affiliated third parties" but doesn't tell you which agents they use etc (Alexander James is presumably not the MARA agent as there doesn't appear to a MARA registered agent by that name - https://www.mara.gov.au/search-the-register-of-migration-agents/?location=&keyword=)
  23. The Australian government will create a new visa to compete with other countries for “high-tech skills and talent”, with companies allowed to sponsor migrants for jobs paid more than $180,000. There will also be a new visa for start-up companies seeking talent in STEM fields like biomedicine and agricultural technology. Both visas will require the migrant to have three years of relevant experience, while the sponsor companies will need to demonstrate they tried to hire Australians first. “The Government recognises there is fierce competition globally for high-tech skills and talent, and that attracting these people helps to transfer skills to Australian workers and grow Australian-based businesses,” a Turnbull government media release reads. There will not be a cap on the overall number of visas, but individual companies will have a limit on how many migrants they can employ. Businesses will be able to take up to 20 skilled migrants under the new stream per year, while start-ups will be able to take up to five. The visas for jobs paid more than $180,000 will only be available to businesses with a turnover of more than $4 million. The start-up visas will be available to any that is authorised by an industry body, yet to be chosen by the government. The migrants will have the option of a "transitional pathway" to permanent residence after three years in the country. The details of the scheme will be ironed out over the next few months before a 12-month pilot begins on July 1. The need for visa changes to attract high-value employees from overseas has been the “number one priority” in the emerging startup sector, according to an industry group. StartupAUS chief executive Alex McCauley said the government’s changes to 457 temporary work visas last year, which restricted the list of occupations and cut off the path to permanent residency for many jobs, had made it harder for start-ups to compete. “The single biggest challenge for Australian start-ups is getting access to the best talent in the world,” “It got more difficult when the 457 visa announcements were made last year and start-ups in this country are really crying out for a way to get access to talent.” “Everybody’s looking to hire product managers, software engineers, digital growth specialists, data scientists.”
  24. Cerberus1

    Near misses / this is it

    Any near misses in your life or a feeling of 'this is it'? I can think of 3 or 4 occasions. Most recent would have been 4 years ago when I rolled the 4wd on a dirt road in the outback. The feeling of total helplessness as the card slid off the road towards the boulder (pictured) before hitting it and overturning. We didn't realise at the time until help arrived, how lucky we'd been, because if we hadn't hit the boulder, we'd have gone down a big drop a few feet behind the boulder. The other occasions are when I was young. I'm guessing at around age 7, I was in bed with an electric blanket on. I woke up in the middle of the night coughing due to fumes. At some point after, the electric blanket caught fire and caused a fair amount of damage to the bedroom. I know the fire brigade came out. I beleive it was in the local papers, but couldn't find it as it was pre-internet and older searchable archives stop at 1955. Maybe a couple of years older, I was walking at the side of railway lines (they ran behind the local park going towards the power station). There was some sort of uncovered shaft with grass overhanging, so I hadn't seen it. I fell down the shaft and landed on a ledge around 20ft (maybe) down. If i'd missed the ledge it was probably a similar distance again to the bottom, which was covered in rocks. Last thing I can think of is not really a near miss, but something I remeber vividly. Maybe aged about 11, had gone exploring what I think was an old Air Raid shelter in a park. It was absolutely pitch black, no light coming in. I remember throwing stones in front of me to try and give me an idea which way to walk. As I threw one of the stones a voice said "come any closer and you'll get a 6 inch blade through your chest", something I've never forgotten.