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Found 642 results

  1. Firstly, hello to all! As a dual Australian/British citizen without a British passport (Expired) I'd like some advice about entering the UK on an Australian Passport on a one-way ticket (We are moving back permanently to the UK) what evidence do I need to show that I'm a UK Citizen - A UK Birth Certificate, National Insurance Card, Driving Licence are these applicable? Or, do we still need a new British Passport? Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. Australian houses among world's most expensive - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Six times income, I think we do not need a survey to tell us that the houses are way over priced.
  3. Hi All Thought I would come on here for some much needed advice. Im an aussie citizen as used to live in Perth for 10years (been living in UK for last 10), but me my british wife and 2 children are going to be heading back to Perth in a few years time :biggrin::biggrin:
  4. I am getting ready for my move to Melbourne and have secured a job. My new employer has asked me to complete some forms and has asked me for my tax file reference. I have not applied for it yet but want to know if I am able to apply for it from the UK without an address in Melbourne? At this moment in time I dont know where I will be living as my plan is to stay in a hotel for the 1st week and then try and find some shared accommodation during my 1st week.
  5. PRAISE ALL ROUND FOR THE CHANCELLOR OECD and ratings agency Fitch complimentary about Britain's fiscal programme G7 intervention gets the Aussie off the hook In the first four days of the week sterling added six cents. On Friday and over the weekend it had to give back half of that gain. A big factor in sterling's favour was a statement by ratings agency Fitch that Britain's triple-A credit rating was safe. So laudatory was the statement about the government's superb management of the UK economy that the chancellor's ears would have been glowing if he were the sort of chap to be embarrassed by praise. There would have been blushes later in the week, too, after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development welcomed the chancellor's deficit-reduction efforts. The OECD reckons they have "significantly reduced fiscal risks, contributing to lower bond yield spreads and diminished uncertainty". It believes the current programme "strikes the right balance between addressing fiscal sustainability... and preserving short-term growth" and urges the government to "continue its difficult fiscal consolidation and structural reform programmes to return the economy to a sustainable path". There was a downside to the OECD report though. Where previously it was forecasting gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 1.7% in calendar 2011 it now looks for just 1.5% growth. That is appreciably less than the 2.1% floated by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility in November. There was a broader negative too, in the form of nervousness that the disaster in Japan would make an appreciable dent in the global economy. Investors feared that the Monetary Policy Committee might lack the backbone to fight inflation with higher interest rates if there was a new external threat to UK economic growth. The week's statistics were not a great deal of help to sterling. Wednesday's employment data painted a confusing picture of more people out of work, more people in work and fewer collecting jobseekers' allowance. Investors did not know what to make of it so they did nothing. The number of mortgage approvals in February was as disappointingly low as usual. Nationwide's index of consumer confidence fell to a record low at 38: That sounds less nasty when you realise it has only been going for seven years. Rightmove, the irrepressibly optimistic estate agents' website, reported a third successive month of rising prices. The average seller is now asking £232k, roughly £65k more than the average buyer is ready to spend. There was one genuine note of cheer in Rightmove's survey though; the average time a property is on the market has fallen from 98 to 89 days. It was the Japanese earthquake and the possible meltdown of the Fukushima power station that drove the Australian dollar lower during the first part of the week. Even had there been any useful Australian economic statistics they would not have mattered. As it was, all investors had to work with was Wednesday's housing starts figure, which was totally unhelpful with a -5.3% fall. All the commodity currencies were adversely affected by the Japanese disaster. It did not just raise the fear of wider economic fallout that could put the global economy, thus demand for their exports, at risk. There was also fear of real nuclear fallout if one of the reactors were to do a Chernobyl. The turning point came on Thursday night when G7 finance ministers agreed on a programme of concerted intervention to hold down the yen, which had clocked a record high against the US dollar. The G7 action would not solve the nuclear problem but it did bode well for stability and that, in turn, was a positive omen for "risky" assets such as the Australian dollar. On this week's list for Australia the only ecostat is the Conference Board's leading index. Sterling has a busier and potentially more eventful week ahead of it. The inflation figures and the minutes of the March MPC meeting will help refine interest rate expectations. The CBI's industrial trends survey and the February retail sales figures will provide a clue as to how the economy is going. The chancellor's budget speech on Wednesday afternoon should include an update of the OBR's growth forecasts but is not expected to include anything that will make people more miserable than they already are. After a brief upward spike sterling is back within the horizontal channel that has contained it since mid-January.
  6. Hi All, Just been to see midwife today and asked regarding what will happen when my baby is born in August. we are here on a 457 business visa so we are temporary residents and i thought we had read that if we have a baby it will be English as we are not permanent here, but she seemed to say today that the baby will be australian??? Can anyone clarify on this? also we are looking into going home at xmas and now babies in the UK need their own passport but travel on their parents when australian?? so where does this leave us? as i have a british passport?? so what would we do regarding getting baby and a passport ??? Its all so confusing and i haven't a clue what i am to do and seem to get mixed responses by different people i ask. So anyone who has been in the same situation please let me know what happens and what i need to do when baby is born regarding passports and citizenship ect?
  7. [img2=right]http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/../images/moneycorp-graph-pio.png[/img2] Australian dollar – review from Moneycorp Following the spike in autumn 2008, which took it to a five-year high at $2.70, sterling spent two years on the retreat, losing more than half its peak value in the process. It bottomed out at $1.51 in late December, an all-time low, rebounding to $1.60 in early January. Since then it has gone nowhere. For eight weeks the pound has inhabited a five-cent-wide channel between $1.5750 and $1.6250, moving up and down through the $1.60 midpoint two or three times a week. There is no particular reason for the Aussie's temporarily high correlation with sterling. If anything, the dollar should still be making hay while the sun shines on its 4.75% Cash Rate as it snows on the pound's 0.5% Bank Rate. The two currencies are subject to different pressures even apart from the interest rate differential. The UK economy is heavily dependent on the contribution from financial services, a sector that was hard-hit by the crisis and precipitated the recession. Australia's mining and agricultural sectors are big exporters of products for which there has been consistent demand from, among others, China. That steady flow of exports helped Australia to avoid recession entirely. Britain's economy grew by 1.5% in 2010 while growth in Australia pushed ahead by 2.7%. Investors are under no compulsion to keep currencies on the move, even though that is what they usually do. With the goings-on in Egypt, Libya and the Gulf they see no reason to send GBP/AUD one way or the other, hence this temporary stability in the exchange rate. But that it what it is likely to be; temporary. The next chapter For more than twenty years the pound spent the vast majority of its time wandering between $2 and $3. Against that background the Australian dollar's current strength could be a fluke, soon to be corrected. It could also reflect a fundamental change in the world order. The pain felt by Britain's economy is far from over. Negative growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 was a reminder that there is no simple choice between forward and reverse for an economy. America has shown that growth does not necessarily bring more jobs and greater spending power. UK government spending cuts and tax increases will be felt more deeply as the months go by and it will be years before things get back to "normal". House prices are stagnant and there is a yawning gulf between bid and offer. The indices from Halifax, Nationwide and the Land Registry that plot transaction prices show an average property changing hands at £162,854. The one from Rightmove that plots asking prices shows sellers asking £233,121 for that same average house. Another problem is the inflation that eats further into people's spending power. At 4% it is twice as high as it should be. Without January's VAT increase and high oil and food prices inflation would be fairly close to its 2% target but that's like saying without all this rain we would be able to sunbathe. It looks as though the Bank of England is beginning to lean towards an interest rate increase, if only to prove to the world that it is not asleep on the job. That prospect is helping the pound. The Australian dollar has already done that legwork. With no recession to worry about the Reserve Bank of Australia has raised its cash rate from 3% to 4.75% over the last 18 months. The rate could go higher still in the second half of this year. There has been no fall in house prices either, despite warnings of a bubble. The Economist said recently that Australian house prices are the most inflated in the world, 56% above fair value. It is not a new argument but it does make you wonder whether the 5.8% increase in 2010 reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics will be repeated in 2011. The other bubble faced by the Australian economy and the dollar is the one inflating in Southeast Asia. Beijing has so far been reluctant to lean too heavily on the rising commodity and asset prices that are fuelling inflation there but analysts worry that the longer the authorities do nothing, the bigger the problem they lay in store. If demand from China were to slow sharply it would dampen appetite for the Australian dollar and other commodity-related currencies. Summary After more than two months steady around $1.60 the only reason to expect the GBP/AUD exchange rate to move is because it cannot remain static forever. Still close to its all-time highs against the US dollar, the euro, the yen and the pound the Aussie is undoubtedly overvalued. That suggests the next move for sterling will be upward but it does not indicate when, nor does it prevent the Aussie becoming even more overvalued in the meantime. Click here for more information on the Australian dollar and receiving the best exchange rates.
  8. NO SURPRISE RATE RISE FROM THE BANK OF ENGLAND · Disappointed investors sell sterling · Australian employment change much worse than expected For most of the week sterling pottered around in a range of less than two cents. On Friday it dipped sharply, falling two and a half cents, and in early trade this morning it rebounded by a similar distance. It opened in London about a cent and a half worse off on the week but looking positive. All things considered, Britain made a decent fist of the week's economic statistics. The only disappointment was a weak retail sales number from the British Retail Consortium, which had sales down by -0.4% in February compared with a year earlier. The RICS house price balance moved in the right direction, improving from -31% to -26%. January's trade deficit came in lower than expected and the ex-EU deficit turned out to be only half as wide as forecast. The figures were in no way good but there was relief that for once the word "record" was not involved. UK industrial and manufacturing production were stronger than expected in January, up by an annual 4.4% and 6.8% respectively. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research estimated the economy grew by 0.2% in the three months to February; not bad considering it included a horrible December performance. Factory gate prices rose at a faster pace, up by 5.3% in the year to February. So what did sterling do wrong to leave it at the bottom of the pile on the week? It was the Bank of England again. The Monetary Policy Committee left the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5%. Although that was exactly what most people had expected, many investors had prepared for the announcement by buying sterling, just in case the MPC were to spring a surprise increase. When it didn't, they sold off any excess holdings, sending sterling lower. There will be no more solid information on the interest rate situation until 23 March when the minutes of the meeting are published. That also just happens to be the day the chancellor unveils his 2011 budget. The economic data from Australia were an unprepossessing bunch. The only one that looked reasonable was NAB's survey of business confidence in February, which jumped from 4 to 14. It was at odds with Westpac's take on consumer confidence; that fell from 1.9% to -2.4%. Home loans were down by -4.5% and investment lending was -6.8% lower. The big disappointment came with February's employment data. After reporting 24k new jobs in January the Australian Bureau of Statistics was expected to come up with another 21k in February. It did no such thing. The January figure was slashed to 7,700 and 10,100 jobs disappeared in February. What should have been a total of 45,000 new jobs over the two-month period turned into the loss of 2,400 jobs. The Aussie took another hit a couple of hours later when China reported a US$7.3 billion trade deficit for the same month. On this week's agenda from Australia there is nothing with any huge significance, only vehicle sales, housing starts, consumer inflation expectations and the minutes of the Reserve Bank policy meeting. A short list of UK statistics will focus on employment, public sector net borrowing and mortgage approvals. Sterling is going nowhere fast in what is now its eight-week-old horizontal channel.
  9. i am at the start of my journey and do not want to get ripped of i am a paint sprayer they said that i do not have to give them any money un till i have signed a contract of employment . the fee is £1200 . they put me in tuch with a company that will sponser me 457. any help or advice please
  10. I have a quick question just for knowledge is that can someone land directly to NZ after getting Australian PR? or it is necessary to land on Australia first to validate the visa?
  11. I hope someone can help me with this as I don't really know where to begin finding out. I'll give you the background first. I am married with 2 daughters, (1 in year 10 who is 15yrs and another in year 7 who is 12yrs). We have decided to return to the UK but have given ourselves 3-5yrs to get things sorted. We want to go back in a good financial position so we are going to save like mad in the mean time. I don't really understand the qualification system over here apart from after year 12 you can go to Uni. My eldest is doing ok in school but wants to leave next year to do a course in Beauty and get a VET (?) qualification. I have told her that she will have to keep doing her English and Maths also though. Will her qualification be recognised in the UK? Will it be equivalent to 5 GCSE usual requirements for a job in the UK? My youngest won't be starting high school until next Feb. By that time, her old school friends back home will have already been in high school for about 18 months. If we stay for the full 5 years and she completes yr 12 would this allow her to go and do another course? She has always wanted to be a vetinary nurse. I suppose I am panicking really but I want things right for them for when we return. Another worry of mine is that if we leave it too late then they might not want to come with us.:unsure:Any help or advice would be appreciated.
  12. Guest

    Dublin Australian expo

    Hi just wondering anyone travelling to dublin this weekend to Australian expo in RDS in Dublin???:err:
  13. ANOTHER WEEK CLOSER TO A RATE INCREASE? No change expected from the Bank of England this week but no promises either No change from the RBA either Sterling continued its rebound, adding nearly cents by midweek. It spent most of the week in a cent and a half range, starting in London this morning a good two cents higher on the week. A good news, bad news set of UK housing saw Nationwide with a 0.3% increase in February and the Land Registry a touch behind at 0.2%. No problems there then but Halifax came out with a -0.9% fall, which put a dampener on Friday's proceedings for sterling. Looking beyond the percentage changes it is instructive to compare the average transaction prices in the indices. The Land Registry's average of £163,177 for January was remarkably similar to Nationwide's £161,211 and Halifax's £164,173. Rightmove, the estate agents' website, also compiles an index; it looks not at transaction prices but at asking prices. For the same month its average was £223,121. With a gap like that it is not particularly surprising that the residential property market is moving so slowly. Sellers don't want to offer 27% discounts and buyers don't want to pay 37% over the odds. The mortgage approval figures are not low only because banks do not want to lend, it is also be because the gulf between bid and offer is so wide. The governor of the Bank of England was on the interest rate peacepath again. He told parliament's Treasury Select Committee that, whilst inflation would remain abnormally high through the coming year, "I don't believe we've yet seen significant evidence of a pickup in medium-term inflation expectation." Nor did the governor offer any hope that the economy would return to normality any time soon. In response to a question about living standards he told the committee "You may not get [a normal standard of living] back for many years, if ever." But Mr King did have some words of consolation for the pound. Although he did not agree with MPC colleague Andrew Sentance that an interest rate increase would take sterling higher he did imply that the worst of the damage is over. He saw the sell-off in 2007-08 as "a one-off re-evaluation of the likely level of sterling necessary to ensure we can achieve rebalancing of our economy" and that "we are not seeing a continuously declining exchange rate." Among the smattering of Australian economic statistics the performance of manufacturing index (purchasing managers' index) managed to climb above the boom/bust barrier to 51.1 and retail sales went up by 0.4% in January. Gross domestic product grew by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, a better than expected result that was cancelled out by an equivalent downward revision to the Q3 number. On the negative side, the performance of services index remained in bust territory at 48.7 and building permits plunged by -15.9%. Nothing new emerged from the Reserve Bank of Australia's board meeting. The RBA kept its cash rate steady at 4.75% and the governor's statement was uncontroversial. In what will be another slow week for ecostats the Australian offerings are limited to business and consumer confidence, lending and employment. The employment change number on Thursday morning is predicted to show another increase of more than 20k jobs. In Britain the balance of trade and industrial production will tee things up for the Bank of England's monetary policy announcement on Thursday. No change is expected to the 0.5% Bank Rate so the event will probably be as much of an anticlimax as usual. There is an outside chance that the committee will make a move but most analysts think nothing will happen before May. Sterling is going nowhere fast in what is now its seven-week-old horizontal channel.
  14. Will this affect the applicants from Pakistan in any way?
  15. STERLING INTEREST RATE CARD MAXED OUT · And UK economic shrinkage in Q4 was worse than expected · Announcement on Australian Q4 growth this week Sterling was the second worst performer among the major currencies, only avoiding the bottom slot as a result of the tragic earthquake that consigned the New Zealand dollar to last place. The Aussie dollar struggled at the middle of the field, first weakening by two cents against the pound then strengthening by four and a half. Sterling opened in London this morning off its lows but still down by a net two cents on the week. Wednesday morning was a last hurrah for the sterling interest rate story. After weeks of anticipation that had included a 4% inflation rate and multiple calls for the Bank of England to be seen to be doing something about the situation the Bank of England published the minutes of the February Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. Investors were not disappointed by the minutes. The number of votes for a rate increase had risen from two to three. One of the members, Andrew Sentance, had gone for a showboating half percentage point rise. He and Martin Weale had been joined on the hawks' bench by Bank chief economist Spencer Dale. But that was it. No bullets left. Sterling had maxed out its interest rate card for the time being. And there was worse to come. The CBI's distributive trades survey was a disappointment, at least in terms of sales achieved. Thirty six per cent of retailers reported a rise in sales between 28 January and 16 February compared with the same period last year, an eight-year low, while 30% said sales were down. It was a far weaker outcome than expected. Balancing that disappointment, at least from sterling's standpoint, was the news that 77% of shops put prices up in February. Retailers might not be selling much but at least they are stoking inflation. On Friday the first revision to fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) showed that instead of shrinking by -0.5% the UK economy shrank by -0.6%. The news cost sterling half a cent there and then against the US dollar and the euro. The Australian dollar's poor early showing was principally collateral damage suffered by all the commodity-oriented currencies as a result of the slow-motion revolution going on in Libya. Investors worried that it would mean an interruption in oil supplies, especially when industry analysts estimated that production in Libya itself had already been cut by a half or more. After a promise by Saudi Arabia to make up any global shortfall and an admission that the estimates of Libyan output had been unduly pessimistic allowed a relief rally in the later part of the week. The Australian economic data did not bring much to the party. Construction work done in the fourth quarter of 2010 was up by 0.8% and went some way to offsetting the third quarter's -1.5% fall. The wage price index was on target, rising by 0.9% in Q4 and the Conference Board's leading index improved from a downwardly-revised 0.2% to 0.7%. The coming week will deliver another two dismal and unhelpful UK house price indices together with three purchasing managers' indices - for the manufacturing, construction and services sectors - which might be less damaging. Australia offers its own purchasing managers' indices, building permit numbers and balance of trade. Most important will be the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy decision on Tuesday morning and the fourth quarter GDP figure on Wednesday. No change is expected for interest rates and GDP is expected to have grown by 0.6%% on the quarter. Last week has changed nothing for sterling's relationship with the Aussie. It is still in the five-cent-wide channel that has held it for six weeks and ends the month unchanged from its position at the beginning.
  16. Very Useful info... Looking to increase no of migrants according to the West newspaper... See... Officials push for boost in migrants - The West Australian
  17. Hello Everyone! I am an Australian citizen currently living in Pakistan for the past 4 years. I have a husband here and 2 daughters aged 3 and 2. I am trying to apply for spouse visa for my partner. We couldn't apply before due to family problems but now I have conceived for the third one and I just want to go back. Everyone says it will take 6-9 months but I want to go in another 3-4 months, because I have to my baby there. I am just so fed up of living here and in so much tension. I had another question which is regarding my passport, Australian passport which is expired. Can I send in the application and send the passport later when it arrives? I think I shouldn't have to wait for the new passport because after all I am a citizen. Assurance of support is not a problem, because my husband has an okay bank balance needed for living in Australia for at least a year. And I also have my husband's and kids' passports ready. Please help me out here. I don't know if I have left out anything. I am just so stressed out. :wideeyed:
  18. A new series looking at Australian art (this is not an oxymoron) starts tomorrow on BBC2. The first episode coming from FNQ and Torres Strait Islands... BBC - BBC Two Programmes - Hidden Treasures of..., Australian Art
  19. I won't go into too much detail, :embarrassed:, but I am a firm believer in 'destiny' to an extent, yes, I admit that certain things in life ARE influenced by us, but in the main I reckon destiny plays a huge part, I hope so anyway. So with this in mind I thought I would put why I 'think' I was destined to end up in Australia. Yep, some of it I imagine was coincidence, but in the main I think that 'maybe' something bigger was at play,:eek:. Seven years old paddling about on a Great Yarmouth beach with my grandparents, out of the corner of my eye I spied a weird looking object, as I picked it up I was bemused, as I ran up to my nan and granddad I breathlessly asked my pop what it was, 'It's a Boomerang son', now come here and dry yourself off. Never seen one before and that that time NO Boomerang makers in the UK, (I have checked), I like to think that the Boomerang in question made its way several thousands of miles toward an excited and rather idiotic boy on a beach in the UK, coincidence or destiny? As a kid I was OBSESSIVE about fishing (still am) and from the age of around eleven I had always been fascinated with the more exotic and far flung places that held many different species of fish. At about 17, just as I was about to leave school there was an article in the Angling Times that dealt specifically with Australia and the different kinds of fishing there was out there. I and a few mates were enthralled and within a week I had decided that one day I would get out there, within two weeks of reading that article my dad was offered a years contract in Perth, and as a family we went out there for a year, coincidence or destiny? After coming back,:cry:, I made it a resolution that one day I would get out there, after several years training I fulfilled the criteria. Went out to Perth, came back again for personal reasons. But the next time I wanted to go I had very little money. I was at that time a subscriber to a very popular Australian newspaper. I entered a competition to win return flights to Vanuatu, including a stop off in Sydney. I won, out of 28,000 entries I WON,:jiggy:. I had no money to pay for accommodation so I asked the paper if I could just take the single flight to Sydney, they said as long as I wrote an article about my experiences, three weeks later I landed in Sydney, never won a competition in my life, coincidence or destiny. I was fortunate enough to bid successfully for a seat on the very first (commercial) flight by the A380 Singapore Airlines, from Singapore to Sydney. I was the ONLY (out of 600 odd) person on the flight who had the seat next to me vacant, (they hadn't shown up) it happened to be a window seat, and I was fortunate enough to sit next to the fella who organised the bids on EBAY, the view of Sydney Harbour Bridge just (because of fog) was spectacular, coincidence or destiny. My youngest daughter was born on the same day that me, Ruth and my eldest daughter had gone to see the replica of The Endeavour at Cairns Pier market Place. The ship that discovered Australia (arguably) happened to be there for two weeks, and this Sunday was the ONLY day we could go as a family, surely that says something. I was the only one to go on board as Ruth was heavily pregnant and couldn't manage the tight areas , etc. I had just finished looking around Captain Cooks quarters when Ruth shouted to me to get off and get to the hospital, coincidence or destiny. I was asked by a very popular Australian magazine if they could have my permission to print several posts/threads I had previously put up on PIO, out of several thousand articles that the magazine look at, they picked mine, through no skill of mine by the way, maybe this was luck, I don't know, coincidence or destiny. I was the first person to catch a fish called Oyster Cracker (Australian Permit) from Broome Jetty on the fly, and following that catch I was in the local paper. Oh, how I did get ripped to shreds by my work colleagues, coincidence or destiny. My citizenship ceremony was on my wedding anniversary, even though myself and Ruth at the time were not together. I didn't pick the date, just the first available, coincidence or destiny. There are LOADS of other example I could list, but I am now very boring (again). But just thought it was worth mentioning is all. As I said, all could be coincidence, BUT, some of the scenarios I have mentioned are way to strange to be pure coincidence, IMO anyway. I sincerely believe that from the minute I came whaling and screaming into this world my 'relationship' with Australia was 'destined' to be so. Holding onto a dream maybe, I will leave that up to you, but all I do know is that Australia and its people have always been there for me and hopefully will continue to be so, :notworthy:. Cheers Tony.
  20. THE GREAT RATE DEBATE CONTINUES Everyone has a view about where UK interest rates should go and when Aussie dollar saggy but not seriously so Sterling struggled to add a cent over the seven days. It looked promising on Tuesday but gave back nearly all of its gains on Wednesday. Since then it has done nothing. All the action took place within a two and a half cent range. Sterling was not entirely driven by interest rate hopes and fears but it was that outlook that accounted for most of the action. Virtually every day brought some new revelation or rebuttal. Investors dutifully reacted to each one in turn, paying most attention to whatever happened or was said most recently. Britain's business secretary set the ball rolling when he sided with the doves. Vince Cable told news agency Bloomberg that domestically-fuelled inflation is not an issue; "It's virtually deflation." As for a decision by the Bank of England to raise interest rates, he said it was "potentially very difficult". It looked a lot less difficult the following day when consumer price index (CPI) inflation came in at 4.0% and retail price index (RPI) inflation - the one that really eats into people's buying power and savings - hit 5.1%. In his quarterly letter to the chancellor explaining what's gone wrong and what he intends to do about it the governor appeared to hint that the Bank Rate would be up to 1.25% or even higher by the end of the year. Sterling went up. It went down the next day when the governor explained that the Bank's projections of inflation have to be based on some interest rate or another. It might as well be the market's expectations as anyone else's. That did not mean rates were going up this year. They might; they might not. Sterling went down. The following day monetary policy committee (MPC) member Andrew Sentance, the committee's arch-hawk, gave a speech explaining why higher rates are needed now. Gilding the lily, he also threw in a comment that a modest appreciation of sterling "...would mitigate the impact of global inflationary pressures in the short term and help to steer inflation back to the target over the medium term." Yes, somebody at the Bank of England (admittedly a part-timer but an important one) was talking sterling higher. Friday's contribution came from shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who told the Financial times that a 0.5% Bank Rate is appropriate. As Mr Balls will be in no position to do anything about it for a while his remark left sterling unmoved. Beyond the rate debate, the only UK data of any consequence were those for January's retail sales. Increases of a monthly 1.9% and an annual 5.3% were appreciably stronger than investors had anticipated and they responded by buying sterling. Estate agents' website Rightmove announced early this morning that its house price index had gone up by 3.1% in the year to February. Investors giggled. Even Rightmove admitted it had received 1.3 million new listings last year while lenders made little more than half a million mortgage loans. Rightmove expects that imbalance to continue this year. If the Aussie owes last week's modest losses to anything it is to the growing nervousness about how the spate of revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East might push up the already lofty prices of food and energy, global inflation and, in turn global interest rates. China is feeling the pinch, raising interest rates and increasing the reserves that banks must set aside for the loans they make. Whilst higher commodity prices are in one way good for Australia's exports, they also have a negative impact on demand and act as a brake on the global growth that drives that demand. There was minimal input from the Australian economic data. Westpac's leading index improved from flat to a positive 0.8% in December. Motor vehicle sales were down by -1.9% in January and by -2.8% compared to a year earlier. There is little more to come this week apart from construction work done, the Conference Board's leading index and private capital spending in the fourth quarter. Sterling's two challenges are the MPC minutes on Wednesday (how many members voted for a rate increase; was it more than two?) and Friday's first revision to fourth quarter GDP (was it really that bad - or worse?). Sterling interest rates are going up. That's for sure. But when? And how quickly? The last week's data and comments have left investors no wiser than they were before. Sterling/Aussie still appears to be in a holding pattern.
  21. POTENTIALLY EXCITING WEEK AHEAD FOR STERLING Inflation expected to rise above 4% Bank of England Inflation Report due on Wednesday Australian employment data less impressive than they initially appeared A cent and a half drop at the beginning of the week, a three-cent rally through to Thursday and a subsequent setback saw sterling open in London this morning almost unchanged on the week. As the range and change suggest, it was not the most exciting week for sterling. Meaty data were in short supply. The British Retail Consortium opened the batting with a 2.3% monthly increase in sales for January. At the same time the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reported an improvement in its house price balance from -39% to a slightly less dismal -31%. Wednesday's trade figures were less enchanting with another record monthly deficit in December, this time of an overall -£5.8 billion. Thursday's industrial and manufacturing production figures were a slight disappointment too. Overall industrial production was on target with a 0.5% increase but the narrower manufacturing figure clocked a -0.1% decline in December. On the year manufacturing production grew by 4.4% and industrial production by 3.6%; both of those numbers were lower than expected. The producer price index data on Friday were all higher than forecast. In January manufacturers' costs rose by 1.7% while factory gate prices went up by 1.0%. Costs outstripped revenues over the 12 month period as well, by 13.4% to 4.8%. The Bank of England's monetary policy announcement on Thursday was exactly as had been expected. The Bank Rate remains at 0.5% for another month and the quantitative easing asset purchase programme stays on hold at £200 billion. The wording of the Bank's statement was identical to that of the last seven months. What the Bank failed to do was to allay suspicion that a rate increase is in the offing. Figures this week are expected to show consumer price index (CPI) inflation above 4%, more than double its target level. It is fair to acknowledge that a good half of that inflation is the direct result of a second January VAT increase. Putting up Joe Public's mortgage payments through a higher Bank Rate will not bring VAT down - or, for that matter, the global price of oil. But there is growing pressure on the Bank of England to be seen to be doing something about well-above-target inflation. Persistent inaction would bring accusations of dereliction of duty. Australia's economy had only a little more to say for itself than Britain's last week. NAB's business conditions and business confidence figures cancelled out each other; conditions deteriorated from +6 to -6 while confidence also almost reversed itself from -3 to +4. Westpac's consumer confidence measure was clear enough; it went up by nearly six points from -5.7% to +1.9%. Consumer expectations of inflation over the coming 12 months faded slightly from 4.6% to 4.3%. Thursday's employment data were slightly confusing, at least at first. The announcement of 24k new jobs and an unemployment rate unchanged at 5.0% was, ostensibly, good for the Australian dollar but after a moment's consideration investors decided they did not like the details. Their problem was that all the new jobs - and more - were part-time positions. Full-time employment went down by -8k in January. Although the eventual reaction of the Aussie was negative it was not excessively so: Investors are aware that the floods in Queensland are muddying the waters but they don't know by how much the employment data are being distorted. This morning's announcement of a 2.1% increase in mortgage lending in December was a positive for the Aussie. Yet to come are the minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's last monetary policy meeting, Westpac's leading index and January's new vehicle sales. Sterling's challenges will be Tuesday's inflation numbers, Wednesday's unemployment and Friday's retail sales. Wednesday also brings the Bank of England's quarterly Inflation Report, complete with a speech from the governor. With so many balls in the air it is impossible to predict how the pound will manage this week.
  22. Guest

    Australian Mortgages?

    Hi there We are applying to move to Perth at present. Our plan would be to rent and then after the required time in employment we hope to buy. As we are still in the initial stages we haven't delved too deeply, but we really need some facts about buying property. Our main concern is - can we qualify for an Australian mortgage (what is the criteria, what history is needed - do they look at UK mortgages, etc) and when can we start applying. We are aware that there are various schemes for buyers - again we don't know if we would qualify - we would ideally like to buy a new build/build our own home. Any comments/suggestions/tips would be very much appreciated. Many thanks:smile:
  23. Australian Refrigeration and Air Conditioning books Volume 1 and Volume 2, good as new and bought last year. These retail at $125.00 each. Will sell for $150.00 ono for the pair. For anyone who needs to do the course, these are a must. PM if interested. Liz
  24. Guest

    Best Australian Film Ever.

    I tend to like the more personal and unique feel of Aussie film making, none of this Hollywood rubbish that is around at the moment. I love the 'feel' of Aussie films, unique, gentle and very heart warming, well apart from 'Chopper, and Wolf Creek,:biglaugh:, but they were great films of their genre too. My list could go on and on, but my outstanding nominee would be 'The Dish', brilliant. Very gentle in its comedy, great characters, (Sam Neills) best role as far as I am concerned by far. And it is absolutely 'Australian' if you know what I mean. And besides this, it has the one of the funniest scenes I have EVER seen in a film, link below: Sorry about the captions, but couldn't find a link without them.:embarrassed: Cheers Tony.:wink:
  25. UK INTEREST RATE DECISION THIS WEEK · Probably no rate increase yet but expectations are rising · Australian interest rates steady for a while longer. Sterling zigzagged higher through the first four days of the week, adding more than five cents. It gave back three cents on Thursday before making most of the loss back on Friday and over the weekend. When London opened this morning the pound was trading five cents above last Monday's starting point. (The Aussie dollar moved above US$1 on Tuesday and spent the rest of the week above par.) Sterling's two bastions of support were the unexpectedly strong UK purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) and ever-louder talk of higher interest rates. PMIs provide a standardised measure of economic activity. They are based on a questionnaire that asks selected companies about such things as output, new orders, stock levels, employment and prices. In Britain they cover the manufacturing, construction and retail sectors. A reading of 50.0 is neutral; above that level business is getting better, below 50 means activity is slowing. Britain's manufacturing PMI has been doing well in recent months. In January a three-point improvement to 62.0 showed it was doing even better. The construction PMI, which had been struggling below 50, went up by more than three and a half points to 53.7. The reading for services was nearly five points higher at 54.5; that result was as unexpectedly good as the previous month's result had been unexpectedly bad at 49.7. The only two other UK ecostats of any consequence were December's typically poor mortgage approvals (42,563) and an unexpected 0.8% monthly rise in the Halifax house price index. The talk of higher interest rates came from three Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members. Martin Weale wrote in The Guardian newspaper that there is "a compelling case for an increase in the bank rate". Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean told the Western Mail that if inflation remains high "we may well have to respond to that by keeping domestically generated inflation lower". Andrew Sentance, the notorious hawk, said in a separate interview that negative growth at the end of last year should not be an obstacle to tighter policy. He repeated his long-standing call for higher interest rates, saying "we need to be prepared to look through fluctuations in GDP growth when we're recovering from recession: growth figures are never linear and smooth in recoveries." The Independent's economics editor even speculated on Monday morning that the first increase could come as soon as this week. It was a slightly different story from Australia. After 12 month during which the Reserve Bank of Australia raised the cash rate by 175 basis points it has kept it steady at 4.75% since November and repeated the exercise at Tuesday's policy meeting. The latest monetary policy statement, published last Friday, suggested it might remain there for a few months more. Whilst the RBA still speaks of a bias towards higher rates, analysts do not reckon there will be any move until the second half of the year and they are not even sure there will be a hike at all. Among the week's steady flow of Australian data, it felt as though half related to real estate. The Bureau of Statistics announced a 0.7% increase for house prices during the last three months of 2010 and an annual rise of 5.8%. Although it was not a big rise it was bigger than the 0% that investors had been expecting and considerably better than the downwardly revised -0.3% fall in the third quarter. New home sales were down by -0.6% in December while building permits were up by a healthy 8.7%. Permits were down by -5.0% compared with a year ago though. The AiG performing of manufacturing and performance of services indices - PMIs by another name - remained unimpressive, stuck in the shrinkage zone below 50. The manufacturing index edged up from 46.3 to 46.7 while the services index fell by a point to 45.5. the construction index was even more dismal, down by nearly four points to 40.2. NAB's index of business confidence dropped from +6 to -3. After Wednesday's trade figures the highlight for sterling this week will be Thursday's MPC policy decision. It could be anti-climactic, given the great likelihood that there will be no change to the 0.5% Bank Rate. But that might not prevent investors second-guessing the voting pattern. If any MPC members offer their opinions to the media they will receive even greater attention than usual. For the Australian dollar this week will be less statistically lively than the last one. Thursday's employment figures will provide the most important pointer.