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NicF last won the day on March 19 2021

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About NicF

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  1. NicF

    Still here and still feel the pull

    Have to agree. I don't have a mortgage but support myself, husband, two kids at Uni and a dog on about $4k a month. And we have only just put solar on, don't get free bus travel and don't have anyone giving us meat occasionally to reduce our costs either. I do however agree with Quoll that parents should not move over just because the kids want them to.
  2. NicF

    Hecs loans

    In Australia at least this isn't entirely true. If a student is getting a HECS loan then they are a commonwealth supported student and the government fess a portion of the fees and the HECS loan pays the rest. Even if someone was to pay the HECS loan back in full as soon as they left, or was to pay the fees rather than taking a HECS loan (as students with PR would do) the government will still pay a portion of the fees.
  3. NicF


    Umm, not in my experience. I've never had a refund back in a week, it's usually more like 3 weeks. And my tax return is usually no more complicated than submitting what has been prefilled for me. OP how quickly you get your refund will probably depend a bit on when you submit your return and how busy the ATO are at the time and maybe how complicated your return is and if there are any queries. I've never used a tax agent though so maybe they get refunds back sooner, but they also have longer to submit returns.
  4. NicF

    Citizenship vs resident return visa

    The other advantage of citizenship over a PR visa is that they will be eligible for loans for University fees in Australia (PR visa holders are not eligible for loans) and they will be eligible to apply for jobs in defence (and other federal government roles where you have to be a citizen).
  5. NicF

    Trans World Sports

    There is a good opinion piece on the ABC today about trans women in sport and how it’s actually not the issue right wing bigots (my words, not theirs) make it out to be. Link for anyone interested in some actual reality around the subject instead of hysterical speculation https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-15/trans-women-in-sport-politicised-and-weaponised/100989438
  6. NicF

    Trans World Sports

  7. NicF

    Australian and UK Covid Responses

    I also supported the mandates, especially for health care workers (I believe vaccine mandates are nothing new for healthcare workers anyway). I do however think there are some serious questions around vaccine mandates, especially away from the health care sector and longer term. However when people protesting against vaccine mandates are questioned on what the problems with it are they start spouting all sorts of conspiracy rubbish about the actual vaccines at which point they loose my support. It's like they are saying if it was an established vaccine they would be happy to take it but because it's new they want to choose not to. If someone could come up with a decent, coherent argument as to why vaccine mandates are bad in general without referring to any vaccine in particular I would be far more supportive.
  8. NicF

    Australian and UK Covid Responses

    This is not strictly true. With the earlier variants of Covid the vaccines were very effective at reducing transmission (note - not stopping transmission, reducing it). It's only with the newer variants of the virus that the vaccines are less effective at reducing transmission, although they do still have a small effect. As an individual though your reason for getting the vaccine should be about reducing your risk of needing to be hospitalised if you catch the virus. While it's true that younger people are at less risk of serious disease it is also true that a small minority still require hospital treatment to recover from it (there are cases of young people dying from the virus because they did not seek help when they got really sick). You have no way of knowing if you will be in that small minority until you catch the virus.
  9. NicF

    Smart meters - good, bad or neutral?

    We have a smart meter but it was installed when we got solar panels put on so our tariff changed anyway. I love it - our daily usage gets loaded to our supplier and I can see how much electricity we have used down to each hour and how much it has cost us. It also shows me how much excess solar power we have used. Our old meter was really old (think moving wheels old) so was due for an upgrade anyway. It seems a bit weird that they would change your tariff just because your meter changed, especially if they are the ones wanting to change it.
  10. NicF

    Bringing over house plants

    Bio security is really strong on Australian borders - you can’t even bring in soil on your shoes or dried pine cones so there is no way they would let you bring a live plant in.
  11. Including by yourself. Where do DIBP state that they do keep processing citizenship applications while you are out of the country?
  12. NicF

    Cost of Living.

    I haven't noticed price increases on an individual item level other than a few items where I'm more aware of the price, but I have noticed my weekly trolley full of shopping seems to always cost more than it used to.
  13. NicF

    Moving back to the UK with teenagers

    If your oldest would only have 3 months before GCSEs finish I'd just skip it and send her off to the local 6th form college or technology college the following school year to do some GCSEs. It's a long time since but I had a friend who did badly in her GCSEs and redid them at the local technical college in a year. Your eldest could potentially do the same. She would only need to do what ever the minimum was to then do A levels or what ever she wants to do (BTEC could be a possibility as well). It all feels like it's critical to get a good education and get it now but to be honest it's not the end of the world of they don't get all the results you would like right now. As long as they can get what they need to do what they want to do next the qualifications they do or don't get at 16 will be irrelevant by the time they are in their 20s.
  14. NicF

    Australian and UK Covid Responses

    I'm not sure it's what the people wanted, not really. Some people maybe but not the majority. It's what tourist and hospitality businesses wanted and it's backfired on them massively. The CBD, outside of Rundell Mall, is pretty much dead as the vast majority of people in offices are working from home and even Rundell Mall is quiet. Other areas are suffering even more as people avoid eating out or going anywhere that might be high risk. I'm one of about 6 people in the office at my work in a space designed for more like 150. It's like being in lockdown without the lockdown.
  15. NicF

    The Ashes 2021-22

    I actually came back to thread to ask if anyone watched the women's match last night? While Australia won it definitely didn't go all Australia's way and the English women are looking good. Could actually be a bit of a fight for the women's ashes.