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About Shigella

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  1. Shigella

    Think outside the (city) box

    It’s now 5 years since hubby’s partner visa came through, and 4.5y since we made the move. I haven’t really been back here in this time, but I got a notification about an updated thread and it prompted me to come back and browse the forums. One recurring theme is the high cost of living, and the challenges of securing and/or affording a house (regardless of whether you’re renting or buying) and yet at the same time, almost all the questions are about the major cities, usually Sydney or Melbourne. I realise most people live in major cities, worldwide, but I wanted to raise the profile of the regional centres and let people know how much can be gained by looking outside the major cities to the regional centres. In Australia, regional centres often punch above their weight: they serve a much wider geographical area and a much higher population base than their published population size suggests. This means that facilities and services can be very generous, while at the same time cost of living can be MUCH cheaper. After moving here we weren’t really sure where we wanted to live, so we bought a caravan and set out to travel the country for two years. We stopped to work when we needed money, often in regional centres, and when it was time to settle down we resolved to accept the best job offer that wasn’t in a major city. That job turned out to be in Mildura, a regional centre on the Murray River in NW Victoria. Hubby works in healthcare and secured a package as good as any he could get in a city, but our house cost about a third of what the same house would cost in the city. While property prices are falling in the cities, our town had the biggest increases in property prices in the state last year (12%). There is a housing boom happening here, with a massive housing shortage driving new development all over town. Our British family came to visit 6m ago and were very impressed with our house, saying that their whole house could fit in our front room, and we also have a huge backyard. There is a large selection of schools. And the zoning is not tight, so if your preferred school is outside your zone there is a good chance you’ll get a place. Even if it’s on the other side of town, that’s only 15min away, tops. Sports and activities for kids are abundant (our kids chose to do BMX Racing, but there are all the other options besides). If you like the culture and atmosphere of city sporting or arts events, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide are an affordable 1hr flight away. If you’re a builder, tradesman, or have the skills to run your own construction-related business you can pretty much name your price. Healthcare services are short staffed, and job offers are generous to secure staff and the expanding population means there are many opportunities in education too. If you are concerned about the cost of housing or opportunities in the cities, I urge you to look at the regional centres in whatever state appeals to you. You can find superb lifestyle opportunities for a fraction of the living cost if you are willing to step outside the major cities.
  2. Thanks for your reply. It's this one. http://www.ampeg.com/products/classic/svt610hlf/
  3. Bit of an unusual request! We are looking for anyone who is shipping goods from Devon to Adelaide or Melbourne. Hubby is a bassist and has a electric bass cabinet (speakers) at his Mum's in Devon. He wants to bring it out here, but obviously it's quite awkward to bring it on its own. If anyone is shipping their furniture and belongings and wouldn't mind including the cab we'd be very grateful (and will obviously pay you for the shipping of the item). Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  4. Shigella

    Rental rigmarole.

    We tried to rent for the first time in over 10 years. It was ridiculous.. We ended up buying - it was easier and cheaper. Last time we rented 10 years ago in the UK it was much easier. Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
  5. I have the SnS Platinum SICT Isofix (which can also be belt mounted). But if my kids were younger I would buy the Grandeur, I think, as it will save buying a type G when the A4 is outgrown. Son is now in a SnS MaxiGuard type G. If you're able to, it's worth going into a few stores and trying the different seats with your child as sometimes a child sits lower in one seat or another. Australian retail employees are highly ignorant and uneducated so do not listen to them as they'll probably try to tell you to turn your child FF. There is a Facebook group called 'Child Restraints - is your child restrained correctly?' and they will give you solid info on type A4 seats (there are professional fitters there too). There are many people there who will understand your concerns coming from Swedish ERF seats. Good luck! Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  6. While technically true that you can't legally use your Swedish ERF seats, Australia is not as far behind as it once was. Look for one of the new Type A4 seats. These are height based and our son was RF to age 5y3m and our daughter still RF in the same seat at 4y7m and will hopefully get similar usage from it. If you want Isofix, look at the Safe n Sound (Britax) Platinum SICT Isofix, or if you want to get the longest use get the Infa Secure Grandeur which is a TypeA4/G combination. The type G seats are FF 5 point harnessed boosters with a top tether and far safer than any European FF seat. They will easily fit the average 7yo and there are quite a few 10yos still in them. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. Hubby called Singapore Airlines re extra baggage allowance for migration to Australia. They told him the visa had to be completely unused - ie. you can only get the extra baggage allowance on your activation trip, not when you actually migrate. This was a bit of a surprise to us. So it is really only helpful if you migrate and activate in the one trip. If you make an activation trip and then migrate a few months later you can't get it. Anyone else run into this?
  8. Exciting news! Hubby has handed in his notice at work - he will be flying out to join us 28 November! Kids and I have been here since end of July so 4 months apart has been rough but the end is in sight. Our adventure will begin right after Christmas! See our website for more info about immigration with a twist: http://www.travelatthespeedoflife.com
  9. Shigella

    Tax file number before moving

    Thanks, I'll wait until the TFN application/enquiry form arrives. I have to take kids birth certificates in anyway and I'll try to take all the paperwork. The other bit of silliness is that it said the system will use the Medicare card to check whether kids are vaccinated, which of course will come back negative as they were vacs in the UK. So hopefully they'll accept the records in the Red Book. Anyone else had this?
  10. Shigella

    Tax file number before moving

    Apparently not :err:
  11. Shigella

    Tax file number before moving

    The online application is saying I have to show that we have made a TFN application or enquiry form for hubby by 7 October. I have asked for the form to be posted to us. Totally ridiculous. I checked the box that said we're not able to live together at the moment for work reasons. Those reasons being that hubby is still working in the UK until 30 November to serve out his notice. Surely they know you can't get a TFN for someone who is not in the country?? Maddening! Has anyone else experienced this??
  12. I am trying to apply for Family Tax Benefit. I am in Australia and the kids are in Australia, but hubby is still in the UK. I have a Tax File Number, but because hubby is still in the UK he does not have one yet. I am an Australian Citizen, hubby has a PR spouse visa. It is activated but he will not move here physically until 30 November. I cannot proceed with the application because hubby does not have a Tax File Number. Is there any way he can apply for a TFN now, before he moves here physically?
  13. Shigella

    Pom in Oz or Not (PIO demographics Poll)

    It's complicated: I'm an Aussie who was living in the UK for 9 years and returning with my Pommy husband and kids to Oz.
  14. Shigella

    No fixed address!

    We are officially now of no fixed address. Flying out to Oz a week today in a move of a slightly different kind. http://www.travelatthespeedoflife.com
  15. Shigella

    Cleaning for shipping

    Do I need to clean children's toys, like Lego?