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  1. The Aussie dollar managed to avoid the spotlight last week. That task was made easier by the market's obsession with developments in Euroland, where prime ministerial resignations were coming thick and fast. Italy's premier followed his Greek colleague out of the back door, making way for another non-political economist to take the helm. Having been less than enthusiastic about the Australian dollar during the early part of the week, investors rediscovered their appetite for it on Thursday and Friday. Australian economic indicators were close enough to forecast that investors paid them little attention. Business confidence improved from -1 to +2, even though (current) business conditions apparently deteriorated from +2 to -1. Consumer confidence was up by 6.3%. Home loans rose by 2.2% in September. Employment grew by 10.1k in October, with only half as many new jobs as the previous month – but the unemployment rate was steady at 5.2%. There was nothing there to distinguish the Aussie, but nothing to trip it up either.
  2. When the Greek prime minister announced out of the blue that he would hold a referendum on the second EU bailout plan, it reawakened investors' fears for the global economy. They retreated from the ‘risky’ commodity-oriented currencies, including the Australian dollar, and headed for the safety of the yen, the US dollar and the British pound. The AUD and NZD roughly kept pace with each other, lagging sterling by more than 2% over the course of the week. The Australian economy did not help the Aussie's case. Residential property – a sector which for years has resisted the force of gravity – was showing more signs of strain. The government's house price index fell by -2.2% in the year to September, half of which decline came in the third quarter. New home sales fell by -3.5% in September and building permits were down by -13.6. Bucking the trend, the construction sector purchasing managers' index improved by nearly five points in October, but still looked anaemic at 34.7 on a 0-100 scale where anything below 50 means shrinkage.
  3. I thought it was time to give our first update from Australia! Quick recap of our situation: I’m an Aussie and OH is the Brit. I already had a house in Adelaide so we haven’t got much to tell that would be useful in regards to finding accommodation when you first arrive I’m afraid. We flew in last Thursday morning. Soooo glad I used my frequent flyer miles to upgrade the Singapore to Adelaide flight to business class. Being able to use the business class lounge during our 9 hours in Singapore was fantastic (we managed to have a snooze and helped ourselves to the food and drinks) and it certainly was nice to have a seat on the plane that went flat (well, almost flat). We're currently staying with my parents in Port Elliot (coastal town about 1.5 hours drive south of Adelaide) until we're ready to move into my place. So after a couple of days of falling asleep in the middle of the day and waking at strange times we got stuck into the furniture shopping on Sunday. It's a bit of a tough slog as we have to drive into Adelaide each time (not many shops down here and they wouldn't deliver that far away anyhow) to look at places, so we've tried to do a fair bit of research on the internet to narrow things down a bit. Had a very successful day today, having ordered a lounge suite and a bed. Once the bed is available (we've been told 7-10 days) they will both be delivered and we can actually move into the house. Also put a deposit down on a fridge on the weekend and that will hopefully be delivered soon too. I was quite pleased with my bargaining abilities and managed to get the price down on all the items. It's not like the UK where you pay whatever the price tag says. Here it's more of a guideline so if you're prepared to stand your ground (or smile sweetly!) you can often get a better deal. Also stumbled on a home wares sale at the local department store so we grabbed as much as we could carry! OH's also been busy making himself "official", registering for Medicare, tax file number, getting a phone etc. He applied online for a bank account with the NAB before we got here and has a meeting with them on Thursday to pick up his cards. Can’t help much with cost of living information yet as we haven’t had to pay for much of that type of thing while we’re staying with my parents. Will try to provide an update once we’ve moved into our house. Happy to answer any questions though!
  4. The Australian dollar was in the top currency division for the week, strengthening by more than 1% against the pound. That was twice as much as the euro achieved, even with the benefit of the latest agreement to resolve the southern Euroland debt crisis. The AUD is sensitive to economic activity on China because exports of coking coal and iron ore to that country (among others) are a significant part of Australia's economy. Were Europe to falter and slow it would dampen global demand for China's exports, so reducing China's demand for the materials that go into their production. Because Europe has apparently taken a major step towards getting its act together, the risk of a return to recession is lower – and the Aussie is higher. On Monday of this week, problems in Europe resurfaced along with an interest rate cut (first cut since 2009). In addition, new home sales fell 3.5% in September from August their lowest level since December 2000 – a combination of these factors led to a weaker dollar.
  5. Guest

    The move (update)

    :jiggy:Hi all, just an update. Well i (Jim) have been here in Western Australia now for 6 months and want to share my feelings with anybody out their like myself who didnt no what to expect. The housing is excellent and comparing quality etc to back home pretty much the same price to rent an average three bed. The cost of living....second hand cars are expensive but new jap cars are the same as home. Food Costs are a bit more expensive but not alot, however everything tastes so much fresher and better. It seems that all luxury's are more expensive here for example a packet of hand rolling tobacco is 14 pounds at home and double here. Ah and beer! 7.00 pounds a pint!!!!! The living standards are excellent with quality work/living standards. i live now in rockingham WA, the place is like little England but i love it never the less, your never more than 5 mins from the beach and housing is very reasonable here. I rent a room and share of beach house for 85 pounds a week inclusive for one person. (2 Sharing) I came out here as a Bricklayer but soon realised that it wasnt all it was cracked up to be, paying 200 pounds a day S/E and you really had to work hard, then you were lucky if you got paid on time! I retrained in Health and Safety which took a few weeks as i had previous experience and do that now full time for a better salary than busting my back. In my spare time i ride motorcycles, Triumph of course! I joined the ulyesses club which is nationwide and for over 40s only. I would say 99% of my friends i have made are from that club, it is lonely when you get here on ya own but a bit of forward thinking joining clubs etc really makes life easier, Aussies are very friendly people who are always willing to help and give sound advise, they seem to me a very laid back nation Public transport!!! Excellent on time services. I used the bus for a while and soon realised you actually dont need a car!! (i never bought one) The bus services are unbelievable and cheap, Fiver for a day ticket use train or bus around perth etc. I wish anybody thinking or making their way out to OZ the very best of luck for the future. JIM:mask:
  6. The Australian dollar took fourth place in the hierarchy of major currencies but was only a little down from the top three; the franc, the yen and the pound. While investors were not afraid of the antipodean commodity dollars, neither were they eager to stock up with them while the Euroland debt resolution was in the balance. The Australian economy had almost nothing to say for itself during the week. The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting offered no guidance as to how the coming meeting might go. Analysts believe this week's core inflation figures, for the September quarter, could be the deciding factor. At least as important to the Aussie, however, will be that Euroland summit meeting on Wednesday. If it rekindles worries about a return to recession the AUD will feel the downward pressure.
  7. The Aussie dollar was last week's top currency performer. Investors excited at the prospect of an overdue solution for the European debt crisis forgot their concerns about global growth and went in chase of those currencies linked to commodity exports and high interest rates. The Australian dollar ticked both boxes. Adding to its attractions were a couple of positive economic data. NAB's business survey found firms more upbeat about current and future trading conditions while Westpac reported another improvement in consumer confidence. The employment figures for September were better than expected, with more than 20k jobs created and a fall in the rate of unemployment to 5.2%. The minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting come out on Tuesday morning. They might shed more light on the likely direction of interest rates. Otherwise, it will be developments – or the lack thereof – in Europe that have the most influence on the AUD's direction.
  8. Global economic sentiment drives the Aussie dollar, just as it does everything else in financial markets. When the outlook is positive, the (potential) increase in demand for Australia's coal and minerals takes the currency higher. And vice versa. There was a bit of both last week, but mostly it was an extension of the AUD's retreat that cost it 6% of its sterling value in September. Nervousness about a bankrupt Greece – and about what that might mean for the world economy – has dampened demand for the Australian dollar. Nor has the dollar received much help from the Australian ecostats. New home sales showed a 1.1% improvement in August but, after a cumulative fall of -16.2% in the preceding three months, it wasn’t much consolation. More worrying was a further one-point decline in the AiG performance of manufacturing index to 42.3. Anything below 50 means falling activity – and 42.3 is a worryingly low number, that increases the likelihood of an interest rate cut before the year is out. From the UK perspective, it is worth bearing in mind the possibility of quantitative easing (QE) – if the Bank of England release further QE in the near future, this is likely to have an adverse effect on sterling against all major currencies. Thursday’s monetary policy committee meeting will confirm if (or when) QE is occurring.
  9. legoman

    update a month in perth

    Well ben a whirlwind month, arrived and within 10 days sorted transport schools rental etc, furnished the place now and more or less settled, love the package deals for furniture, bedrooms suites complete with mattress tallboy bedside cabinets etc for around 1k,bought a lot of electrical eqpt at 'the good guys and had a 400 dollar discount for cash, unbeatable after i check around. son now settled into school, lotsa work about and i have a choice of jobs, be aware that just applying for anything here at the moment could bite yer on the backside as some called me about work and more or less offered job on phone yet i couldnt remember even applying . cost of living is expensive, especially when you arrive with english pounds converted to dollars on the poor exchange rate, at first you cannot help converted prices to punds, however, once earning dollars here its all proportionate so dont worry too much. weather is deffo uk at mo, sun storms hail and wind and rain, but we know that when summer comes we will have a decent summer, my son booked us in for the city to surf walk, 12km !!! caught me offguard when i had jetlag still i think. my passion for cars will be sated here, hotrod show end of august, cat arrives same time along with oh, so all in all very well. oh forgot, had a punt on lotto, and won 22dols first time . must admit, stress from my trade work in uk seems to have faded and confidence in getting work was already high, i want away from the gas plumbing here and may even do bus driving to experience something different until i can figure out what i would like to do , :cool:
  10. Hi all We have been here 7 months now. We arrived on the 29th December 2010. In case you missed it here is our first arrival report: http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/reccie-arrival-reports/104518-luvpants-have-landed-our-arrival-report.html Well things are going great. I graduate in 4 weeks and have been posted to Bribie Island as my first posting. The Police academy has got to be the hardest thing I have ever done but I have feel that I have achieved something. I still get a bit jealous when I see a Fire engine but that will pass. I was talking to one of my mates the other day who was over here visiting his sister and he said the UK fire service is in big trouble financially and pension wise things are not looking good. Lisa has decided that she wants promotion and is now doing what she has to do to get on with that. She says that nursing here is different (not better but different) to the Uk and she feels that she wants to go the whole hog. She also gets paid nearly double than what she did in the uk so get in!!! We are moving to a nice house in Buderim in August as it will cut down my commute. So was the move to oz a good thing? FOR US yes. We miss our kids and friends but skype helps a great deal. We are gradually building up a friend base and things will be easier when I get out of the academy as I will be home. We have only had a couple of moments when we were home sick but not enough to make us get on a plane and come back to the Uk. Yes the exchange rate is pants, yes food here can be expensive but we did not come here for that, we came to enjoy ourselves and relax a bit. Also this is a bit of a good bye. I have been active on this board for over 4 years but there are quite a few names on here that I have not heard before and the visa rules are now totally different to what I know and therefore I cant offer any help to anyone who is stuck and needs advice. I think my time here has run its course and so although I may pop in now and again, I am cooked as far as PIO is concerned.I thank everyone on here who has helped me as TBH I could not have done it without you and you have saved me a hell of a lot of money in fees let alone heart ache (Gill in particular). Anyone who has not yet made the move, my advice to you is go for it. If it does not work out, then come back. To those coming back to the Uk, I hope you find what you are looking for. To those staying here and enjoying the life......if you come to bribie island and see a particularly good looking copper, make sure you give me a wave!:cool::policeman: Good bye and thanks. JOHN
  11. Guest

    457 update

    Hi everyone, i have been sponsored for a 457 visa by an employer and i had a case officer assigned on 15/09/2011,i have sent all paperwork requested but i have not heard anything for a while so i emailed the co on the 02/11/2011 to see if i could get a progress report but i have had no reply, could any one tell me if this is unusual or does it happen now and again. thanks in advance.
  12. The Australian dollar suffered more losses over the week, as the European sovereign debt crisis lurched closer to the abyss, driving international investors to dump riskier assets – namely the higher yielding commodity currencies. The Australian dollar broke through parity against the US dollar for the first time in six weeks, as the American currency became the safe haven of choice during these unsettled times. The poor manufacturing data coming from China saw the country’s growth contract further, suggesting that Australian trade will weaken in the months ahead. The correlation between global demand and commodity prices held true: as demand fell, the price of gold and copper dropped sharply last week. There was little indication of the future direction of Australian interest rates from the Reserve Bank of Australia, following the release of its Monetary Policy Committee minutes. They had discussed the possibility of an interest rate hike during their last meeting, but with international developments driving growth prospects, it remains likely that the next rate move will be downwards.
  13. Marc the Painter

    qld smp update?

    does anyone know when qld will update its smp skills lists? is construction trade skills expected to be put on considering flood damage?
  14. The Australian dollar continues to take its lead from the ongoing Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. With Greece moving ever closer to default, investors’ appetite to buy the high yielding currency is being sorely tested. The Australian dollar did briefly benefit on news that the country’s exporters helped to post an improved trade surplus of A$1.8lbn during July. Another positive note saw consumer confidence rise by a very impressive 8.1% from a month earlier – possibly driven by the hope that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut its benchmark rate from the current 4.75% level, as global growth prospects decline. The construction sector saw the number of new housing starts dip by 4.7% during the quarter ending June2011, with weakening employment prospects suggesting any future rate movement will be a reduction.
  15. The AAA-rated Australian dollar is not big enough to stand as a safe-haven currency, but it saw its fair share of inflow last week as investors abandoned the euro in fear of a default by Greece. Investors must have been buying it at least partly for its safety qualities because some of the Australian economic data were quite discouraging. The AIG's performance of construction index showed even more of a slowdown in the sector, falling another four points to a dismal 32.1. Employment, which should have gone up by 10k in August, instead fell by nearly that many. On a positive note, Australian gross domestic product rebounded by 1.2% in the second quarter after a rain-soaked first three months. The main drivers were iron ore and coal production, while domestic demand grew more slowly. The Reserve Bank of Australia held its overnight cash rate steady at 4.75% and offered no hints as to future direction.
  16. twinsmom65

    9 month update from Canada

    Well guys, hard to believe but we have been back in Canada 9 months now. We are finally getting settled, it has taken 9 months, but we are getting there. We just moved into our own home last Friday.... feels great to be a homeowner again !!. We moved back to Kitchener to an area about a 5 min drive from where we used to live before we moved to Australia, so everything is so familiar to us !!... girls are in their last year of high school, and are back in a high school with all their old friends from grade school, this means so much to me and them.... maybe they will attend school this year. We arrived last December to a cold winter wonderland, ended up living with my brother for about 2 months, then moved into a rental. Both myself and OH ended up with our old jobs back with the same companies we worked for before we left for Australia. Living in Ingersoll meant an hour drive both ways for us. The twins hated the high school in Ingersoll and as a result did not attend very much. It was hard to seem them deflated, as they were not settled in Australia, and did not settle in Ingersoll. It has been a whirlwind 9 months, just like it was a whirlwind 2 years in Australia. We came back with just suitcases and nothing else. Had to start from scratch again !! But in 9 months we have managed to outfit a whole house again (thank you Kijiji (Gumtree). Now that we are settled, everyone seems relaxed and happy !!.... the twins are enjoying being back in Kitchener amongst their old friends. OH is working still and looks like he will be working through this winter as well. I don't regret my tiime in Australia, and will be ever thankful for the opportunity to live there. I have some great memories and friendships that grew out of our tiime in Oz. We didn't move back to Canada due to not liking Australia, it was just a set of circumstances. I could easily live in both countries. However, since moving back I have seen my home country in a completely different light. I never noticed how green it was, forgot about the convenience of 7 day a week shopping and stores opening late every night !!... forgot about how much choice we have here in Canada. Forgot how much Canada is truly concerned about the envirionment (realized that when we went shopping and was charged 5 cents a bag... everyone brings their own bags shopping). I throughly have enjoyed long nights in the summer.... being light until past 9:30, can get so much more done outside. I have enjoyed the changing seasons. Fall is upon us now, and it is great, beautiful blue skies, cool nights and looking forward to seeing the leaves change. Looking forward to Halloween and the little ones trick and treating, and most of all looking forward to a White Christmas in my own home. So all in all we are glad to be back !!.... miss some things about Australia and have never regreted our decision to go or come back !!. Will post pics later on of the changing seasons. Best of luck to those moving back, and hope that everyone that has moved back is enjoying their time back home !! Cheers Karen
  17. The Australian dollar didn’t have to do anything wrong to find itself on the rough end of a very rough stick last week. It fell by 8% against sterling and the yen, and by more than 12% against the safe-haven Swiss franc. In a week. Two things worked against all the commodity-oriented dollars (the story is the same for the NZ and Canadian currencies); Euroland's debt crisis deepened as southern Europe was forced to pay more for its borrowings, and America's debt crisis remained unresolved by a deeply cynical cross-party compromise on reducing the US deficit. Taken together, they point to a global economic slowdown and they have provoked a global flight to quality. Everybody wants the Swiss franc and nobody wants equities or global-growth-related currencies. Investors are so twitchy that sentiment could change in an instant, but it’s not obvious where to expect that change.
  18. Guest

    Visa Update NZ

    I originally started this in migration issues but thought that i`d put the same one in each state so that you can all see whose heading where and get advice from people heading to the same state as you! SO: Names: Visa Type: How far into process: Job: Where ya heading?
  19. Sunshine111

    Update Home for 2wks...

    Hello all, Seems funny now being the other side of the fence so to speak, now we are finally back in the UK. We agonised over the decision to leave Perth which started last Christmas after having yet another very lonely & too hot a Christmas day! We went back and forth on the decision & found forums helpful & sometimes not, everytime I read something negative about the Uk!! Felt fear... what if we weren't doing the right thing? Hubby and I both felt the same & have x2 boys one of x1 yrs & x1 of 5 yrs with no family in Oz, both boys born in Perth & first x3 years in Perth were great, new lifestyle, new culture & we had our first son keeping us busy but last year, after 5 yrs we just started to question... did we want to be here for the rest of our lives? where do we want to be in 5, 10 or 20 yrs and the conclusion was not Perth. Though we didn't regret moving there and had spent 5 yrs previous in Nz. We just had this huge pull to go home.... Can't explain it except to say it I think came down to a sense of belonging and probably since having our 2nd son and a combination of other factors including hubby's job not working (long story not a good company to work for, especially from a Staff moral perspective!) and frustrations with the early childhood system - I had a 5 yr old doing only x2 days a week at school because he was born in July, yet him lurving school and clearly ready for full time. I understand some kids arent but some are & what is available for those kids apart from daycare? which he didn't like because for the most part all the other kids were 3 yrs old. Also set out making new friends with our 2nd son, playgroups/music groups etc & found it strangely hard to make friends/bonds and I guess along with cost of living and the fact we actually ran out of places & things to do that interested us.... it seemed we just outgrew Perth. Everyone is different and I am only talking for myself and our family. Things happen for a reason and perhaps last year things just came to ahead for us, I am glad in a way because it made the decision to return a heck of alot easier! Of course the other thing is we started out 10 yrs ago as a couple of backpackers, travelled around Oz, had a fabulous time & met some wonderful people, I guess since having the kids we have changed as have our priorities. So in essence we just felt we weren't happy and quite frankly felt downright miserable so going back to the UK, we really seemed to have nothing to lose, so to speak. Except when we thought of the Uk we thought of doom & gloom and hadn't really heard any success stories of people going back. Everyone we told had an opinion even the Electrician who came out to do our smoke alarms... "youll be back he said!" So anyway, we did our research. Worked out what we liked about Perth what we didn't like about the Uk and why we left and put it into google. We did not feel our hometown could offer us what we wanted, been away 10 yrs and are very different people. Also, worked out what were our fears & how were we going to combat them....? So after all that rollercoaster of emotion before arrivinhg back... fear, worry, stress, guess what... we are LURVING being home & in actually fact, I think blew it out of proportion. That is not to say that the UK doesn't have problems but am so glad we took the leap of faith, because I think that is what it comes down to. You can't know all the answers & so long as you have done your homework,worked out what you are willing to compromise on & try best you can, to work out what you are going to be up against and how you are going to combat it. You also need to have faith in yourself and believe it can be done and once the honeymoon period has worn off, workout what actually you want to achieve in 2, 5, 10 yrs. You do need a little roadmap, for when it all catches up with you & you think, right have moved back, now what..?! what does "quality life" actually mean......? Different things to different people I am sure but for us how wonderful it is, to have family an hour away in 2-3 different directions (mine is blended as I think they call it now!) so we can just jump in the car. Also picking up with friendships that got lost along the way & feeling like you haven't been away! Am amazed at where we are and the community and goodwill out there, countryside, open space, how great facilities are for children (even when weather doesn;t suit being outside - another thing I struggled with, with Perth, on a baking hot day, where were you suppose to go with the kids that was air conditioned and didn't cost an arm&leg?!) I could go on.. I guess my point is, we have found that we didn't need to go to the other side of the world to find what we were looking for... By all means leave the UK for an adventure or a change of lifestyle and I guess it depends on what you are leaving behind in the UK but for us, it is fantastic to be back and be looking at the UK through different eyes... Yes, I am sure there will be challenges along the way it is early days for us & yes the UK isn't in its best state economically but I believe with alot of hardwork we will get there and plus we are somewhere we really want to be....... Just got to look outside the square. Good luck with whatever you decide. Oz to Uk and Uk to Oz I have no regrets either way.
  20. The Australian dollar took second place in last week's league table behind the NZ dollar. Its achievement came about despite some very murky economic statistics. They were few and they were unpleasant. The Conference Board's leading index – which compiles yesterday's data to predict the future – fell from -0.1% to an even more pessimistic -0.8%. New home sales fell by -8.0% in July and building permits were down by -15% on the year. The Aussie's salvation was a more relaxed mood among investors. They were no longer scared out of their skins so were more inclined to buy the currency of a commodity-exporting country; one, moreover, that can still offer a 4.75% benchmark rate of interest. However, as they have since May, they still seem to prefer the NZ dollar.
  21. Evening all…. We’ve been back in Oz since April 11 and I thought it about time that I post a quick update to put my thoughts down on our experiences so far. Always useful for those still debating about the move!! As a bit of background I grew up in Oz but have spent the past 19 years in the UK and this is the first time my wife and kids have been here except for a couple of holidays. We moved from a beautiful part of North Wales and are now living in Lilydale which is a lovely part of the world located at the bottom of the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne. We have kept our UK properties and let them all out which provides us with enough money to cover our rental in Oz. So far I can honestly say that I am loving it!!! I had spent a lot of time reading some of the posts on the site and have even read a few more tonight that have been complaining about the high cost of living in OZ. I honestly don’t see it?????? Wages are higher and the price of foods in the shops is pretty much the same with many items (including meat) much cheaper. So far we have had both a water bill and our electric bill and both are cheaper than we had in the UK. Fuel is laughably cheap which is great as it is something you top up with constantly and in the UK it depressed me everytime I pulled into a petrol station! I think I will list some of the other items so you can scan over them…. Parking charges Am yet to have to pay for parking anywhere including the train station. Public transport Very cheap, clean and efficient. Libraries Well stocked and no charges for CD’s and videos Weather Bloody great (yes, even in Melbourne!!) Cars Bloody expensive to buy (am importing two from the UK) Schools Great so far. Much bigger and very modern facilities. TV Just the same as UK. Foxtel shows pretty much the same as Sky in the UK. Kids Clubs Plentiful and well supported by volunteers. Jobs Plenty to choose from. Medicare Bulked billed everything so far. Very thorough and had scans and x-rays same day!!!!!!! Traffic Heaven!! Lots of traffic lights though? Speed cameras Bloody nightmare. Speeding fines much higher although not points on licence. They hide the cameras though!!! People Very friendly and generally positive outlook on life! Food Fruit & veg is much better as it tastes great and looks like ‘real’ fruit and not the homogenised stuff from Tesco! Graffitti Can be pretty bad is some areas which is something we never really saw much of in North Wales. Houses Rental market is crazy as so many people renting. Standard of houses is pretty poor and can be expensive! I hope the above will give some of you some food for thought and would be happy add to the list with anything you may think of. My wife is obviously missing her family (mine are all now back in Oz) but phone calls are pretty cheap and Skype and FB are great. I love the UK and would never run it down to anyone, however, I really can’t compare the two if I’m being honest. There are some real issues in the UK at present with the financial crisis and the effect this has on society as a whole. I feel that the life on offer for my family and I in Australia is far superior and we are determined to enjoy it. Back to watching the cricket now…..! ;-) Cheers Spencer
  22. Guest

    1 year and a bit update

    Hi All, Well I was quite a regular here over a year ago, I still come back every now and again and see what is going on but sorry rarely post!! We moved back to the UK last June and I must say it is the best thing we ever did...hardest decision to move back much harder than the one to move to Oz but it was the best decision we ever made. We live in the North West you know the one part of England that is dying!! Ha but not for us it has been fantastic. We never moved back to our home town an hour away but still great. I have 2 boys 4 and 2 just to be within in an hour of family is fantastic. We bought a gorgeous 4 bed house ok without the swimming pool but still fab!! I have lived in our new house 10 months and settled better in those months than I did 5 years in Oz. 5 weeks ago we had a 11 night holiday in Majorca and next week we go to France for 11 days. My husband is busy enjoying himself on a 4 day music festival with his Uni friends....I am at home just finished my evening job whilst my brother babysits. All these things were not possible in Oz. I look back on my time in Oz with lots of happy memories but I know here is the place for me and my family. I look at England with a whole new eyes and I tell you through my eyes it is fantastic and it is the best thing we ever did move back. One story I must tell you is my 4 year old was the most shyest kid you could ever meet but he has now grown into the most confident and I do believe it is all down to meeting a massive amount of new people...nanna, grandad, aunts, uncles, cousins. He had a limited number of family actually he had no family and so just all he knew were the friends from kindy who were just that friends now he has a whole heap of family that it is just weird that he recognises as his family and not some friend who he goes to school with...but he still has new friends too but loads of family close by!! To anyone moving out to Oz I always say go...better to regret what you have done to what you havent...I worried **** loads about chavs, kids hanging around the streets and what my boys will grow up with but to be honest its out there but it is avoidable...If you can get citizenship and then you will be right but its not the Country that brings your kids up its you..so I would like to think our boys will grow up absolutely fine...I know lots of kids that have turned out fantastic...who knows what will happen in the next 20 years no point wondering now live for the moment!! x Life is to short to be worrying about which way to go....so if your gut instinct says go to Oz..go...Englands not going anywhere but if you want to return go for that I am a true believer in gut instinct and it worked for me...good luck guys x
  23. The week before last, investors all wanted Swiss francs and none wanted the Australian dollar. Last week those roles were (eventually) reversed and the Aussie was the world's best-performing major currency. It must have been the 4.75% interest rate that attracted them, because the economic statistics had little good to say about the Australian economy. The best figures of the week were an improvement in business confidence from 0 to 2 and an uptick in consumer confidence from -8.3 to a still-negative -3.5. Home loans were down by -4.4% in July and the employment numbers were a grave disappointment. The unemployment rate jumped from 4.9% to 5.1% and the number of people in work was almost unchanged, having been expected to rise by more than 10k. The weak employment data provided more evidence to support a minority view that the next move for AUD interest rates will be downwards.
  24. DIAC said they will not update the automated processing mail. But, they provide the following pages. http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/estimated-allocation-times.htm The above page is information about allocation date.
  25. UK ECONOMY GROWS BY 0.2% IN THE SECOND QUARTER But it could have been more without unusual factors such as the royal wedding Australian interest rates expected to hold steady at 4.75% this week. For a second week the Australian dollar made headway against the pound, touching a new high. It was a two-way street though, with a sharp fall for sterling on Wednesday and a rally that carried through Thursday and Friday morning. The net loss to sterling on the week was two cents. The Washington debt impasse overshadowed the market all week. With legislators unwilling to compromise on a budget deal the FX market was uncertain which way to jump. Sentiment changed almost on a daily basis, draining liquidity and making it more difficult than usual to judge direction. The result was relatively narrow ranges for most currencies and net movements only half as big as those of the previous week. Sterling made the best of a varied set of economic indicators. In particular it dodged the potentially negative effect of two weak figures from the Confederation of British Industry. In its industrial trends survey the CBI identified a -10% monthly fall in industrial orders and the distributive trades survey found retail sales down by -5%. That investors did not sell sterling on the news was principally because they were too busy selling the dollar – and they had to buy something. Whatever its ailments, Britain does not have a debt crisis and it does have a triple-A credit rating. And it was not all bad news from the ecostats. The British Bankers' Association and the Bank of England both reported a small rise in the monthly number of mortgage approvals. Nationwide's house price index rose by 0.2%, to leave it lower by just -0.4% in the year to July. In its press release, the bank speculated optimistically that, "as the economic outlook brightens, labour market conditions strengthen and housing affordability becomes less stretched, so demand for housing should improve". The first estimate of Britain's second quarter gross domestic product was less of a strong figure, more of a relief that it did not turn out worse. GDP grew by 0.2% on Q2, exactly as analysts had forecast. Crucially, it was not a negative. Also, the Office for National Statistics said in its bulletin that the figure would have been more like 0.7% had it not been for several unusual factors that influenced economic activity in Q2 – including the royal wedding and its extra bank holiday, the after-effects of the Japanese tsunami, the first phase of Olympics ticket sales and record warm weather. For the Australian dollar it was business as usual. Australia is thousands of miles from the nearest debt crisis and there is steady demand for its mineral and energy exports. There was one point last week at which the media were seriously tossing around the notion that the Aussie had become a "reserve" currency. They were not being totally stupid: investors who dislike the US dollar (and therefore by extension the Canadian dollar), the euro and the pound have turned their nose up at 71% of the world's traded currency. If, as last week, they also do not fancy the yen very much that’s 81% of tradable currency out of the window. So they ended up buying the NZ and Australian dollars and the Swiss franc. And gold, of course. The Australian economic indicators mostly had little bearing on the value of the dollar. A 3.4% rise in producer prices and a -0.1% fall for the Conference Board's leading index did not matter. Nor did a slight slowdown in the growth of private sector lending. What did make an impact was the CPI inflation number. Consumer prices rose by 3.6% in the year to June. It was a bigger number than the 3.6% that investors had been expecting and, with the Reserve Bank of Australia meeting this week to discuss monetary policy, encouraged investors to look for an increase in the cash rate from its current 4.75% level. Local analysts are in disagreement that this will happen. Whilst most acknowledge a possibility that the RBA could react to higher inflation with a rate increase, some believe the next move will be downwards, at the end of the year. The consensus is that Tuesday's meeting will result in no change. Other Australian indicators this week cover house prices, building permits, purchasing managers' indices and retail sales. On the fairly short list of UK economic statistics are the purchasing managers' indices, the producer price index and the Halifax house price index. On Thursday there is little doubt that the Monetary Policy Committee will leave the Bank Rate unchanged at 0.5%. On the broad front, sterling's relatively decent performance last week was a welcome reminder that investors do, after all, set some store by fiscal responsibility and AAA credit ratings. But they also value high and possibly rising interest rates. With a 4.75% return the Aussie already looks attractive, and just because it’s overvalued doesn’t mean it must go down.