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  1. 21 October 2010 Planning levels have been reached for the following occupations for the 2010-11 Program Year and are no longer available for State Sponsorship: 233211 - Civil Engineer 261313 - Software Engineer 261312 - Developer Programmer 261111 - ICT Business Analyst 261112 - Systems Analyst 233513 - Production or Plant Engineer Immigration SA will not be proceeding with applications that have been submitted (including those with all essential documents).
  2. twinsmom65

    2 Year Update !!

    Well, we have been in Australia for 2 years now. We came with absolutly nothing, no jobs, no family, no friends. We were very lucky when we arrived as we both found employment within 3 weeks and it was just as the global financial crisis hit. 2 years later, and we find ourselves in almost the same boat. I am working (5th job in 2 years), hubby is now unemployed and desperately looking for work. My twins will be 17 in less than 2 months and are just about to finish year 11. Has the move been easy for us.... Hell no !!... I would say that we have been on a bloody big roller coaster. Do I miss Canada... hell yes.... there have been many a day, when I just wanted to throw in the towel and get on that big bird back to my homeland, but I haven't thrown in the towel yet, 2 years on and we are still here. Have there been great moments, sure, I remember looking at the Indian Ocean for the first time and thinking how beautiful it was, or a trip to Caversham Wildlife Park and petting Kangaroos for the first time in my life. I have met some lovely people here and some not so nice people... same world over. Has my life improved for the better by coming to Australia... the answer truthly would be no... we didn't come here to get the big house, the pool etc..or the weather really, if truth was known, I really enjoy the weather in Canada, nice summers, great falls, nice springs, hard but sometimes beautiful winters. We decided we wanted a change and that is why we came here to Australia. Would I do the move over again if I had hindsight... probably not...especially with teenagers. My daughters have been here for 2 years now, and are still not settled. The homesickness affected the one really badly and she ended up seeing the school psychologist. Do I think I have settled in Australia... truthly probably not... I have had more jobs here than I ever had in my life in Canada, and if truth was told that is probably an indication of me not being able to settle. I think the hardest part of my journey has been when things go pear shape, to me and this is just my personal opinion, I have found it very difficult when things go wrong and you have no family or friends around you to support you. There have been a few times when I have felt really down, and just feel totally alone. I actually don't have any real friends here in Australia, yes I have work collegues, but I only talk to them at work, never see them outside of work. Thankfully, we are a strong family, and get through the rough times together. I guess for me, moving from Canada which is equally as great a country as Australia, I didn't get the wow factor of Australia, I have found Australia to be much more expensive than Canada for everything. Will I be here for a 3 year update... who knows...the hand of fate holds our future at the moment. If my OH gets a job, then we will still stay here in Australia, however, if no job comes through within the next month, then we will be heading back to Canada. Better to try and fail than not to try at all... even if we have to move back, we will not regret our time in Australia, we can look back at it as a great experience. Cheers Karen
  3. Hi all, Cracking forum... Does any know if you can update/revise a current visa aplication at a later stage if your circumstances change - even after you have already applied (especially if it can add points)??? Thanks for any help/guidance..... cm
  4. STORM CLOUDS FOR STERLING ON WEDNESDAY? Chancellor's spending review will coincide with MPC minutes and public sector borrowing AUD touches parity with the US dollar Sterling lost half a cent over the week but not before finding itself, at one point, two full cents lower. The rebound was not rapid as the decline, but it took the pound back almost to the top of its five-cent range. The two main UK economic indicators were those for the consumer price index (CPI) and employment. Neither was controversial. Inflation remained stubbornly above its 1%-3% band at 3.1% in September. Although there were 5,300 more claimants of jobseeker's allowance in September the unemployment rate dipped in August from 7.8% to 7.7% (the data are for different months). Unfortunately, both figures were compromised by developments elsewhere. Coinciding with the high and potentially helpful inflation figure was a speech by Monetary Policy Committee member David Miles. He said that the traditional raising and lowering of interest rates was not necessarily "the most natural tool" of monetary policy. Quantitative easing (QE), on the other hand, "remains a potentially powerful tool and one that we might come to use [again]". The spoiler for an otherwise vaguely helpful employment number was a report from accountants Pricewaterhouse Coopers. It suggested that spending cuts would mean the loss of another million jobs, half of them in the private sector as the government reined in its expenditure. There were not many Australian economic data. Even those that did appear had little impact on the dollar. NAB's business survey put conditions two points better in September at 7 while confidence was a point down at 10. Westpac's consumer confidence measure jumped from -5.0% to +3.3%. Motor vehicle sales were up by 0.9% in September and by 8.6% on the year. Consumer expectations (a survey of where people think prices will have gone in a year's time) jumped from 3.1% to 3.8%. The big news, apparently unconnected with the statistics, was the AUD touching parity with the US dollar; one-for-one. It was the highest level since the currency peg and exchange controls ended in 1983. As was the case for the Canadian dollar at roughly the same time, investors did not have the courage or commitment to pull the trigger and both of them retreated into their comfort zone. Treasurer Wayne Swan is seemingly unperturbed by the strength of his currency and has rejected any suggestion of intervention to hold it down. In his weekly economic note the treasurer commented: "Some of us remember well the last time Australia attempted to fix its currency at the same time we were experiencing a terms of trade boom in the mid-1970s. The result was headline inflation rose from around 5 percent to 17.6 percent in a little over two years." There is little dispute to the argument that the Australian dollar is making life difficult for export-oriented businesses but Mr Swan says parity is a "milestone" that reflects the "stark difference in the strength of our economy relative to other nations." The test for sterling this week will come on Wednesday, when the October MPC minutes and the September public sector borrowing figures provide the prelude for the chancellor's spending review. All three have the potential to derail the currency. Anything in the minutes that confirms the market's expectation of renewed QE, or any sign that government borrowing is not being brought under control, would be bad. As for the spending review, investors will use it as another opportunity to second-guess the likelihood of cuts leading to double-dip recession. With the prospect of collateral damage to sterling on Wednesday, investors should consider increasing their cover. Buyers of the Australian dollar should hedge at least half their requirement with a forward purchase; more than that if their capital investment is imminent.
  5. STERLING? WHAT GOOD BITS? Events conspire against sterling despite IMF endorsement. For the AUD it all depends on the RBA statement. A three-cent range began the week at the top and ended at the bottom. As luck would have it, the pound opened in London this morning in the middle of it, a cent and a half lower on the seven days. To begin with, everything looked fine for the pound. It received a ringing endorsement from the International Monetary Fund, which was almost effusive in its praise of the coalition government's fiscal prudence. The IMF said Britain's recovery was "under way" and believed policy was "appropriately ambitious" and that "fiscal tightening will dampen short-term growth but not stop it..." The following day there was confirmation that the UK economy grew by 1.2% in the second quarter of the year. But then it all got messy. Charles Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England and formerly the Bank's chief economist, told Channel 4 news that "what we're trying to do by our [monetary] policy is encourage more spending." Ooh er, a central banker advocating consumption over thrift. That is not something you hear very often; he must be worried. And his colleague on the Monetary Policy Committee certainly was. Adam Posen sided with Mr Bean's exhortation to spend, spend, spend. He summarised a speech in Kingston by saying that "a great deal of unconventional monetary stimulus will be needed". He was in no doubt that the MPC should commit to another round of quantitative easing (QE). There was little or no help from the rest of the week's economic data. Mortgage applications, consumer confidence, bank lending and almost every other salient statistic were either down on the month, lower than expected or both. The outcome of all this for sterling was 12th place in the ranking of the world's top dozen (most actively-traded) currencies. A scattershot of Australian statistics almost grouped the Conference Board's leading index, new home sales, building permits, private sector credit and the performance of manufacturing index. There was no chance of putting together a comprehensive economic picture from that lot so investors made of it what they could. Dwelling approvals fell by a disappointing -4.7% in August and the (market) value of the projects involved continued its downward trend at roughly -2% a month. Private sector credit brought another unimpressive result with growth of just 0.1% in August. It might be just a temporary phenomenon but three-monthly credit growth is running at its slowest for a year. The Reserve Bank of Australia's monetary policy meeting overshadowed the week, with analysts competing to justify their predictions that the RBA would lift the cash rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%. Having agreed that the RBA would indeed deliver the predicted increase this month, the fight has moved on to cover the RBA's next decision on 2 November. Following the RBA decision the main exhibit this week will be the Bank of England's monetary policy decision on Thursday. Interest rates will not change but there may be something in the statement that mentions renewed asset purchases (quantitative easing).
  6. BANK VOTES DOWN QE2, AT LEAST FOR NOW Reasonable UK ecostats let down by falling house prices. RBA rate decision sends AUD lower; strong employment data reverse the fall. Having started the week in what turned out to be the middle of a five-cent range sterling touched a record low before recovering slightly to open in London this morning just a cent down on the week. Sterling shone brightly enough against the US dollar but on the broader front its beacon attracted fewer supporters. That was a shame, because some of the UK economic statistics looked quite good. Purchasing managers' indices (PMIs) for the construction and services sectors both improved by a point and a half, having been predicted to fall by that sport of amount. Industrial production was up by the expected 0.3% in August and 4.2% ahead on the year. The producer price data were higher than expected. They showed a further tightening of the squeeze on margins with factory gate prices rising at an annual 4.4% while manufacturers' costs were up by 9.5%. On the downside, the statistic that nearly did for sterling was the Halifax house price index. It fell by -3.6% in September, the biggest monthly drop in the index's 27-year history. The Halifax tried to downplay the figure's significance, noting that prices were only -0.9% lower at the end of the third quarter than at the end of the second and were up by 2.6% on the year. However, there can be little doubt that spending cuts and tighter rules for bank lending will mean more downward pressure on prices. There remains a possibility that the Bank of England will decide on a second round of last year's Asset Purchase Programme, in which it bought £200 billion of government and other bonds. This "quantitative easing" (QE) is mostly unpopular with investors because it involves creating money (albeit only temporarily, in theory). At its October meeting the Monetary Policy Committee decided against such a move and there was a relief rally for the pound. Investors are tempering their enthusiasm for sterling, however, until they see the minutes of the meeting in a fortnight's time: They will want to read not just that the idea of renewed QE (QE2) was dismissed but that it was rejected resoundingly. Australia began a shortened week with an uptick in the University of Melbourne's inflation measure from 3.0% to 3.2% and a downturn for the Australian Industry Group's (AiG) Performance of Services Index, which fell back from 47.5 to an even more negative 45.6 (anything below 50 signifies worsening conditions). The equivalent measure for the construction sector saw an even more disappointing decline from 43.2 to 40.8. It was better news on the employment front. September brought an increase of 49.5k jobs after an upwardly revised +31.6k in August. The unemployment rate was steady at 5.1%. Particularly impressive was that the loss of 6.3k part-time jobs was massively outweighed by the increase of 55.8k full-time positions. The Reserve Bank of Australia surprised three quarters of the market by not raising its cash rate from 4.5% to 4.75%. Most investors had taken the RBA's hawkish comments in recent days and weeks as a virtual guarantee that interest rates would go up. They showed their displeasure by selling the Australian dollar. Almost instantly it lost a cent against the US dollar, one and a half against sterling and two against the NZ dollar but it made up the loss later in the week, partly as a result of the strong employment numbers. Sterling's challenges this week will be Tuesday's inflation data and Wednesday's unemployment numbers. Higher inflation and more people in work would be good for the pound but that is not what the analysts are forecasting.
  7. Guest

    First update.

    Well I arrived in the UK on Sunday, beautiful sunny day and quite warm. First impressions, Heathrow is clean and very very big :laugh: Picked up the car and there was an Aussie whinging about being given a Renault, he didn't like the idea of having the steering column controls were on the opposite sides to what he was used to. My car also had this 'problem', it took me all of 5 minutes to adapt. Got onto the M4 and headed west, I was very concerned by some of the driving I witnessed, people driving in the left lane, overtaking on the right and moving back to the left. No trucks in the fast lane under the speed limit and everyone was very fast and safe. Quite an eye opener. I have so far caught up with quite a few friends, none so far have questioned my sanity regarding our decision to move back to the UK and in fact all are positive and happy and all are working. This really isn't going to plan, I fully expected a country on the brink of bankruptcy, constant doom and gloom, rude miserable people and gangs wandering the streets. I'm just not seeing it and I feel as if I've been conned, could people be exaggerating ? Something that has really amazed me is the cost of food and many other things, some things are on a par but the majority are cheaper and many are far cheaper. It doesn't matter if you use the 2:1 exhange rate, the difference is amazing. I haven't had a chance to check out any houses yet, I'm too busy enjoying catching up with old friends but I'm going out at the weekend to see what's about. Something else I was surprised about was the amount of rubbish, I was led to believe the roads were littered with rubbish :wink: went to Bath today, I had forgotten just how beautiful it is and much better now they have pulled down the eyesore of a shopping mall and bus station there used to be, they have been replaced by a very attractive precinct in Bath stone and a very modern glass fronted bus station. The traffic and small roads atke some getting used to but it's no big deal. More later..........
  8. Guest

    Overdue update

    Hy all, It's been a long, long time since i posted on here and must apologise as i took a hell of a lot of info from this site before i came over here and realise that i havn't given back nearly half as much. The truth is it has been one hetic year ( well 15 months ) since we landed and that much has gone on i didn't know whether i was coming or going at times, sometimes i still don't. Briefly we settled in a place called Ferny Grove, Brisbane which is lovely and the lads now aged 10 and 7 went to the local school which they loved and made good friends. I commuted to work which was in a place called Darra, only 25 km away and wasn't really a bad run. We used up a big chunk of our savings and paid up front for a 12 month rental, we wanted some first year stability and it had a pool, not all rentals have pools so in the area we were in this was a real bonus. Our rent worked out at $400 per week ( i'll let you convert to £ ). The 12 months passed in the blink of an eye and we managed to get a pre-approval for a mortgage, but house prices in the area we rented in were too high so we had to look further affield. For 2 months we travelled here there and everywhere and found a place called Regency Downs, don't try to google map it, don't think we have the sattelite over us lol. Anyway it's in the Lockyer Valley in Queensland and is Yee Haaaa country. The house we bought is a 3 bedroom with double garage ( shed ) some shed lol on 4 acres...........yep 4 acres and it didn't break the bank. The area is not as lively in the big shop scene such as Kmart and Target etc which frustrates my missus but growth is happening and almost everyone says the Lockyer Valley region will begin to develop. Evidence of this is apparent all round as there are housing developments going on around. My travel to work is a little further and takes me about 45 mins but it's not like the traffic in the UK and is all motorway work, gives you time to clear your mind anyway. I can honestly say i still had doubts as to whether we had done the right thing but 15 months on and now with roots planted i can put my hand on my heart and say i love the area we settled in, the kids love life in the country, we have started to grow our own veg and have lemon, mandarin and lime trees growing, hell we even have 8 chickens now. Don't let people put you off moving to the country with tales of snakes, yes they must be around and i would crap myself if i saw one but touch wood and not wanting to tempt fate i havn't seen one yet. My missus saw a 1 metre green tree python when she went out of the front door to go get the kids from school but that was when we were in the rental in a busy city suburb ? Anyway gotta dash but if anyone wants any info about this area etc drop me a message or leave it on this thread. Bye for now
  9. QE OR NOT QE? · Bank of England appears to lean more towards quantitative easing · RBA minutes point to higher interest rates next week. An awkward start to the week took sterling two and a half cents lower. It eventually bounced on Thursday but never regained Monday's starting level. It consolidated on Friday to open in London this morning a little under a cent lower on the week. A global shortage of economic statistics gave investors little help in their decision-making. Britain was one of the biggest culprits. Unfortunately, the few data that did emerge were of precious little help to sterling. According to the Bank of England, mortgage approvals numbered just 45k in August, fewer even than the downwardly revised 47k in July. It was similar story for the narrower measure of mortgages approved by members of the British Bankers' Association; they were down from 34k to 32k. Public sector net borrowing for the same month jumped above £15 billion, a quarter more than analysts had projected. Hometrack reported another month of decline for house prices in September, with a -0.4% fall following August's -0.3% drop. On the wider stage there was more to trouble sterling. Cabinet minister Vince Cable - Britain's "business" secretary - inveighed against capitalism at the Liberal Democrats' conference. He accused the financial sector of being no better than "spivs and gamblers", winning rapturous applause and a more competitive currency. The minutes of the September Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting also weighed on sterling. Although the minutes were broadly in line with expectations (no change in the Bank Rate, one member still voting for a rise) the wording came across as more dovish, more inclined towards relaxation of policy than tightening. "For some members, the probability that further action would become necessary to stimulate the economy... had increased." In essence, the committee agreed that it was ready to jump either way - further asset purchases or higher rates - as necessary. Although there was nothing fundamentally startling about it, investors thought the statement leaned more towards further quantitative easing (QE) than previous issues had done. Australia's statisticians were almost as tight-lipped as Britain's. Westpac's leading index was 0.4% higher in July and the Reserve Bank of Australia reported that FX transactions were down by two thirds in August. The minutes of the latest RBA monetary policy meeting confirmed what investors had gleaned from the governor's earlier statements. The RBA will continue to tighten policy and it looks as though the next move will come on 5 October. Analysts dissecting the wording of the statement looked closely at the difference between the August and September offerings. In August the board "decided to leave it unchanged for the time being, pending further information." This time it "decided to leave it unchanged for the time being." The inference was that the board needs no further information to make its next decision. It might sound like angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff but central banks are just as careful about the way they phrase their statements as analysts are in the way they read them. Approaching the end of the month there are even fewer useful economic data on offer this week. Britain announces finalised figures for the manufacturing purchasing managers' index and second quarter GDP. For Australia it will be new home sales, private sector lending and the performance of manufacturing index that show the way. Beyond that there will be little of importance to light the way.
  10. Guest

    Visa update on Passport

    Hi we received our 175 permanent visa back in April....still waiting on house sales to go through before we can get out to Brisbane. Quick question do you have to send your passports away to be updated with your visas? If so where too?
  11. Dawny

    Our uk update!

    Well we have been back a week and can't believe how quick it has flown by! We flew with Malaysia airlines, who i can not fault at all, Cabin crew, food etc all excellent! We had 3 and a half hour stop over at kuala lumpur, again excellent, so would recommend them both, Easy flight all round, and no jetlag, very strange :confused: The change in the kids is remarkable, settled back so quickly, they have been staying with their big sister and niece and nephew and having a blast!! Great meeting up with our family and friends, just seemed to slip back in to the norm!!! No doom and gloom what we have seen, everyone is very upbeat! Fingers crossed we will complete on the new house early next week, so will feel more settled! So all in all all going great! Love Dawn xx :hug:
  12. SOFTER HOUSE PRICES DO STERLING NO FAVOURS UK inflation still above target but don't expect any rise in sterling interest rates. Australian rates could be going up as soon as October, though two thirds of analysts think not. A range of little more than three cents saw the pound peak on Thursday before falling back. It opened this morning in London almost unchanged on the week. House price data had almost more effect on sterling than all the other statistics combined. Early in the week it was the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) House Price Balance, which came in at -32% after -8% a month ago. The Index compares the number of members reporting higher prices with the number who see prices falling. Simplistically, a figure of -32% would equate to 40.5% of members reporting higher prices, 59.5% seeing them lower (40.5/59.5 - 100% = -32%). Rightmove's index, released on Sunday night, is altogether more simplistic. It takes a raw average of the asking prices in estate agents' windows and turns it into an index. It was equally gloomy, however, down by -1.1% in September after a -1.7% drop in August. The consumer price index (CPI) inflation numbers were higher than expected. Yet again the analysts' predictions were thwarted when CPI inflation refused to fall into the bounds of its 1%-3% target. At an annual 3.1% it was not way too high but it was sufficiently adrift to confirm the status quo and to leave the balance of probability on the side of higher, not lower rates. Practically, the difference between 2.9% and 3.1% is invisible. The lower figure would not have meant an interest rate cut, just as the higher one does not mean a rate increase. But investors are a traditional bunch. They knew they were supposed to buy sterling on unexpectedly high inflation numbers, even if they couldn't remember why, so that is what they did. The employment figures showed their biggest quarterly improvement - 286k - since 1971 even though there were still question marks, especially over the tiny 8,000 fall in unemployment over the same three months. August's retail sales figures were more obviously mediocre, with a surprise -0.5% monthly decline that left sales just 0.4% ahead of a year ago. NAB's business confidence indices were on average better in August, with confidence itself nine points higher at 11 and business conditions unchanged at 5. On the other side of the counter, Westpac's consumer confidence barometer went the other way, falling from +5.4% to -5.0%. New motor vehicle sales improved by 0.3% after a -2.6% fall and medium term inflation expectations rose from 2.8% to 3.1%. Except for the consumer confidence index the figures were positive for the AUD. The Reserve Bank of Australia was even more helpful, at least as far as the governor's comments were concerned. Governor Glenn Stevens let it be known that it might be game-on again for higher interest rates at the RBA's next policy meeting in two weeks' time; "If downside possibilities do not materialize, the task ahead is likely to be one of managing a fairly robust upswing... Part of that task will, clearly, fall to monetary policy." Investors leaned heavily on the governor's hint, taking the AUD higher across the board. The AUD's position is not without risks. Gravity-defying property prices have been discussed here before and Bloomberg is the latest commentator to blow a cooling breeze on the currency. To quote the news agency; "Purchasing power parity, a measure of the cost of goods relative to other countries, shows the so-called Aussie is 27 percent too expensive, according to data compiled by Bloomberg." Bloomberg's summary is that "Australia's dollar, this quarter's best performing major currency, is now the most overvalued." The impact of Tuesday's publication of the RBA's policy meeting minutes will probably have been dented by the governor's speech. It is now down to the market to second-guess what decision will be reached in two week's time. Sterling's list of economic data releases is short, with just government borrowing and the minutes of the Bank of England's August policy meeting making up the important numbers.
  13. Guest

    NSW SMP Update

    Gday NSW state that when an SMP plan is completed they do not expect there to be a significant number of additional occupations available for sponsorship in NSW. NSW is currently sponsoring 100 occupations for the Skilled Regional Sponsored 475/487 visa and 31 occupations for the Skilled Sponsored 176/886 visa. :unsure:
  14. Hi Guys, Just thought I would let everyone know how my visa application is coming along: Put in Application on 16th September 2010 Today (20th September 2010) I got an e-mail saying I have been assigned a Case Officer!!!! This was despite the guy at the counter saying I might have to wait 6 MONTHS to be assigned a CO. I'm trying to figure out if this is a good sign?? I frontloaded everything except my police check from Singapore, which my case officer has requested, and is the only thing he has requested. So I'm trying to figure out is this good news that he hasn't requested anything else apart from this?? Feeling really excited/nervous at the moment!!!!
  15. Guest

    Cap and Kill - update

    The Migration Amendment Visa Capping Bill 2010 before the last Parliament has lapsed - yahoo! :laugh:. The discontinuation of Parliament to allow for the last election meant that all proposed legislation waiting before both houses was terminated. It remains to be seen if the new government or Minister proposes it again. (Maybe we should all write to the new Minister again, sigh.) The Capping and Ceasing of offshore GSM cases lodged before 1 September 2007 affected 5400 applications (11,500 people, including family members), and 3000 have requested a refund.
  16. STERLING STRUGGLES AS INVESTORS EMBRACE RISK · Bank holds UK interest rates steady at 0.5% for a 19th month · Australian employers add 31,000 staff in August. For the first half of the week sterling was resilient. On Wednesday morning it was unchanged from Monday. The following two days were a different proposition. The pound dropped two and a half cents. The flavour of the week was that the major currencies went, in the end, nowhere; only the commodity-related currencies had anything to say. According to Reuters, the sharp drop for sterling on Monday was allegedly the result of 'heavy selling by a UK clearing bank... related to the UK's contribution to the European Union's agricultural budget.' It was certainly nothing to do with any economic news. The British Retail Consortium's Retail Sales Monitor had showed like-for-like sales in August to be 1% ahead of those for the same month last year and double the previous month's 0.5% July-July increase but it was not exactly stirring stuff. More useful was Wednesday's Halifax house price index. It rose by 0.2% in August. Even though the annual rate of increase slowed from 4.9% to 4.6% the monthly rise was much more palatable than the half per cent fall investors had been expecting. Sterling jumped sharply on the news. But that was about the top and bottom of it as far as positive UK economic news was concerned. Industrial production rose by 0.3% - more slowly than expected - in July and Thursday's trade deficit (for July) was an unwanted record. Friday's producer price index (PPI) data had manufacturers' costs rising by 8.1% in the year to August while factory gate prices went up by just 4.7% over the same 12 months; a further squeezing of margins. The irrelevance of the Bank of England's Bank Rate to the wider economy was highlighted on Thursday. As the Bank kept its key policy interest rate at 0.5% for a 19th month the news papers wailed about the real cost of borrowing. The average high street bank overdraft interest rate went up to 19.1%, its highest level since records began in 1995. The five most expensive overdraft lenders were all government subsidiaries and top of the tree was NatWest (RBS) at 19.89%. The Reserve Bank of Australia announced, as expected, that it would hold its Cash Rate steady at 4.5%. Less predictable was the same day's revelation that two of the three independent Australian MPs would side with incumbent prime minister Julia Gillard in a coalition government. The RBA decision sent the Aussie lower and the first signs were that the return of a Labour government would do the same, if only because of the vanishingly small majority. Thursday's employment data solved that problem. Employment went up by 31k in August after rising by 25k in July. That was good enough but the breakdown was even better: the number of part-time employees went down by -22k but there were 53k more full time staff. The icing on the cake was a fall in the unemployment rate from 5.3% to 5.1%. From sterling's point of view the critical figures this week will probably be the employment numbers. Take note also of developments at the TUC conference in Manchester: If the unions really are intent on attacking the government through strike action, and if the rank-and-file are up for it, sterling will be under pressure. It is not so yet; investors are not convinced that workers will put politics above self-interest, but the possibility is now on the radar.
  17. TRICKLE OF WEAK DATA WEIGHS ON STERLING Purchasing managers' indices and house prices falling Investors embrace the Australian dollar as they desert the US dollar A generally uncomfortable four-day week for sterling saw it lose four and a half Australian cents and left it facing further damage when London opened this morning. The pound was dogged by disappointing economic data throughout the week. None was outrageously bad but the trickle feed of mediocrity had a depressing effect on sterling. Perhaps the best figure was the four-point improvement in consumer confidence GfK's measure) that kicked off the week. It improved from -22 to -18. Still negative, granted, but heading in the right direction. Unfortunately the market was not impressed; it set more store by the dreary mortgage and personal lending numbers later on Tuesday. There was no chance that investors would be overjoyed by the pathetic 160 increase in the number of mortgages approved in July. Nor were they smitten by Nationwide's house price index which fell again August, this time by -0.9%. Wednesday's banana skin was the manufacturing sector purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures (by calculation; it is not an opinion-driven survey) activity across a commercial sector. Including a downward revision to the previous figure the index for August was three points down on the month at 54.3. Against the equivalent numbers from Europe and the States it looked weak. There was more of the same on Thursday with a 52.1 reading for the construction sector PMI and on Friday when the services PMI came in at 51.3. Both had lost a couple of points on the month. If they go below 50.0 it will mean activity is shrinking, not just glowing more slowly. A heartening piece of news for Britain, if not for sterling itself, was the three-yearly survey of foreign exchange activity by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). London has extended its mastery of global FX, handling 37% of all activity. It is more than double the 18% accounted for by the United States (New York and Chicago). No other country makes it into double figures. Paris and Frankfurt together do less business than Singapore. As well as an impressive 1.2% quarterly expansion of gross domestic product the Lucky Nation was able to reveal a 19% increase in company profits in the second quarter of the year. Inventories were down by -0.5%, possibly a sign of fading confidence but equally possibly an indication that orders are running ahead of production. More good news came with a 2.3% increase in dwelling approvals after three months of decline that saw them cut by a fifth. Retail sales, too, were ahead of forecast with 0.7% monthly growth in July; nearly 100% better growth than the market had been looking for. The trade balance for July was also better than forecast with a $6.5 billion surplus, miles better than the previous $3.2 billion deficit. In value terms exports rose by $21% while imports were up by less than 5%. The terms of trade helped, improving by 12.5%. Beyond the domestic Australian developments investors were also interested in pursuing Friday's US employment report and in a general perception that things might not be as bad as they seemed for the global economy. On the world stage the smaller-than-expected loss of US jobs in July, a net -54k people instead of the expected -76k over two months, led to investors dumping safe-haven yen, Swiss francs and US dollars and rushing back to take advantage of the higher yields available from the commodity- and growth-related currencies. A North American holiday today (Labor Day) and a relative shortage of interesting data leave investors with not much to provide guidance this week. UK industrial production should have risen in July and with a bit of luck the weak pound might at last be serving to narrow Britain's trade deficit. Thursday's meeting of the London Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is highly unlikely to result in any change to interest rates. Neither is the Reserve Bank of Australia going to shift its Cash Rate, at least as far as most analysts are concerned. That does not mean investors will sit on their hands and do nothing. On Monday morning they seemed to be teed up to give sterling another whack. Buyers of the Australian dollar should use a forward transaction to fix a price for half the currency they expect to need and take advantage of any sterling spikes to improve their average.
  18. UK GROWING FASTER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT But investors worry that it peaked at 1.2% in the second quarter. Australian construction work up, new home sales down. Another week of fruitless graft saw sterling open in London this morning more than a cent lower after the eight-day week. It range was very similar to that of the previous week, covering four cents, but a sharp downward move on Friday cost it two cents which it was unable to recover. The week got off to a bad start after The Times published an interview with Monetary Policy Committee Member Martin Weale. Asked if Britain was on course for a double-dip recession, Mr Weale said, reasonably enough; 'I think it would be foolish to say that there's no risk of that.' Had he left it at that no damage would have been done. However, he went on to list all the things that could cause that second dip: a renewed rise in unemployment, declining house prices, another banking crisis, a sovereign debt crisis, a new liquidity crisis in the private sector, tough fiscal tightening, higher levels of individual saving and lower consumer demand. In a week otherwise bereft of useful UK statistics Friday's first revision to second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) took centre stage. Having initially estimated quarterly growth of 1.1% the Office for National Statistics upgraded its guess to 1.2%. Surprisingly, there was a negative reaction to the good news. The sell-off was only brief but it was enough to demonstrate the market's confusion about sterling. It is almost as if investors saw the strong GDP figure as a sort of economic swansong. They believe the chancellor's austerity budget will weigh on the economy and that the numbers will get worse; they just don't know by how much. Australian ecostats were even fewer and farther between. Construction work in the second quarter of the year was up by 3.5% compared with Q1 and that first quarter figure was itself revised upwards from 1.9% to 4.2%. Analysts had been suspicious about the originally low Q1 number when it came out; the revision put it more in line with where it ought to have been. On the other side of the construction coin, new home sales fell by -7% between June and July. It was the third successive monthly decline and sales were down by 2% compared with the same month last year. The steepest fall was Victoria's -12.9% while sales went up by 4% in South Australia. The Housing Industry Association's chief economist blamed the decline on 'regulation, development charging, and excessive taxation on the cost of new housing supply' and said the government should do something about it. Sterling faces challenges this week from the purchasing managers' indices, an important barometer of how the manufacturing and services sectors are performing.
  19. Guest

    VIC State Sponsered - Update

    *** PLEASE READ Feb 2010 I don't get into this thread as often as I used to so if things get active and you want to start a new thread so that you can utilise the front page please do so and feel free to take anything from this page to assist. VickyMel This is a timeline of people who have applied to Victoria State for State sponsorship visas (176/886) and Regional State sponsored (475/487). Victoria's State sponsorship web site: Immigrate to Work and Live in Melbourne and Regional Victoria, Australia - Live in Victoria NB: mid-2009 if you apply online make sure you get a tracking number SS-2009-***** see thread for comments on missing applications/documents there may have been a hiccup on the database? If you would like to join us (the more the merrier) and want to contribute please copy the blank details below and supply some/any of the following details in a post to this thread and I will bring the details to this front page to keep it up to date. (If you are a bit unsure and want to PM me feel free) Other threads that may be of interest Other state threads http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/59724-qld-state-sponsor-update-where-you-now.html http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/61412-wa-state-sponser-update-where-you-now.html http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/58285-sa-state-sponsorship-you-waiting.html?highlight=SA After SS is given Priority 1-4 http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/71250-priority-processing-groups-1-4-where-u-now.html#post603606 for CSLers Priority 5+ http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/70633-176-ss-non-csl-where-you-now.html I have tried to include details that people appear interested in - if you think anything else would be of interest feel free to suggest it. Victoria State Sponsorship Approved = Blue CO allocated = Green 176 Visa approved by DIAC = Purple Rejected = Brown (poo coloured and hopefully can be turned to blue) ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: Occupation: Online SS submitted: SS acknowledged: SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------- 2008 Applications Submitted: 1 Approved: 1, Visas Granted: 1 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Karen & Steph Occupation: R & D Online SS submitted: 5/12/08 SS acknowledged: SS received: 9/1/09 Time to approval: 4 weeks State advised DIAC:not sure CO: 1st in May, 2nd in July 09 Visa Granted: 17th Dec 09 Delays/further docs requested May 09, passed 3rd IELTS in Aug 09 - phew ----------------------------------------------------------- April Applications Submitted: 2 Approved: 2, Waiting 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: JBandVicki Occupation: Online SS submitted: 15/03/09 SS acknowledged: SS received: 21 Oct 2009 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: more detailed CV... "with industry panel" ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: ScottishSteve Occupation: Electrical Associate Online SS submitted: end April (via agent) SS acknowledged: SS received: 30-09-09 Time to approval: 22 weeks & 2 days - or 2 weeks after resubmission State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: 10/9/09 chased Vic: VIC replied thatTechnical Web Team state application not rec'd and need to complete a new application. 15/9 Application confirmed to be "LOST" and reapplication requested! VIC pushed through application once error found ----------------------------------------------------------- June Applications Submitted: 3 Refused 1, Approved: 2, Waiting 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Cots Occupation: General Plumber Online SS submitted: Thru agent - 10 June 09 Status: E-mails states in final stages of review SS received: 31st August 2009 Time to approval: 11 weeks 5 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Further docs requested: 14July09 - requested statement of why we want to live in Victoria and stat declaration. 17/8/09 Statement submitted. 18/8 confirmation of +ve Vetassess requested. ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: VickyMel Occupation: Scientist Online SS submitted: 24 June 09 SS acknowledged: 30 June 09 SS received: 16 October 2009 Time to approval: SS acknowledgement estimated 10 weeks - took 16 weeks State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: 8/10 requested decl of why VIC ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Koroleva Qunszjyk Occupation: Computing Professionals (nec - 2231-79) - Linux Specialist Online SS submitted: 29 - 06 - 2009 SS acknowledged: 29 - 06 - 2009 SS received: 20 October 2009 Time to approval: NIL State advised DIAC: NIL CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: NIL ----------------------------------------------------------- July Applications Submitted: 7, Refused 2, Approved: 5, CO: 2, Visas Granted: 2, Waiting 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Freebo Occupation: IT (2231-79,MODL/CSL) Online SS submitted: 1/7/09 SS acknowledged: 9/7/09 SS received: 20 Oct 2009 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: 3 Nov 2009 Delays/further docs requested: (17/9/09 - 175 application now "Application being processed further") ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Grant6607 Occupation: It - Java Specialist Online SS submitted: July 3rd SS acknowledged: SS received: refused 19 October 2009 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Taylor20 Occupation: Social worker Online SS submitted: 12 July 09 SS acknowledged: SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: Received email from Vic on 30th of July advising that the Victorian Government is currently finalising procedures in obtaining industry feedback for the occupation of Social Worker, and unfortunately this has meant a delay in providing you with the outcome of your sponsorship application. We apologise for this delay and will have a decision for you as soon as possible. Nov 2009 rejected as new DIAC requirement (even though not a requirement when appliaction made) requires IELTS 7+ in all categories Feb2010 - persevered and approved ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Bane Occupation: Computing professional - Network security specialist Online SS submitted: 13 July 09 SS received: rejected mid-Oct Delays/further docs requested: First application in June, and since I did not received any confirmation, I sent e-mail to them to check if they have received it (although I got confirmation from the system that application is completed and I could see it on the tracking page). They said that they never received it and to apply again. I have sent them printouts (I printed out confirmation pages and everything else to PDF file) because I did not want to loose time which I have already waited but they did not want to hear it and asked again to reapply. So I did, and got rejected eventually. My occupation is Computing professional - Network security specialist. ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: GillianM Occupation: Vehicle Painter Online SS submitted: 20th July 2009 SS acknowledged: 20th July 2009 SS received: 18 August 2009 Time to approval: 4 weeks 1 day! State advised DIAC: CO: 9 Sept 2009 Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: Meds done PCCs applied for ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: Eva Occupation: Accountant Online SS submitted: 21 July 2009 SS acknowledged: 5 August 2009 (Vic originally lost my online application & then tracked it down when I chased it up on 5.8.09) SS received: 16 Sept Time to approval: Was informed on 7.08.09 current wait time is 12 weeks State advised DIAC: CO: 24/9/09 Visa Granted: 28 Sept 2009 Expected departure date: already there Delays/further docs requested: Recevied email on 7.08 requesting clarfication regarding my current role in Melbourne and queried why my current employer hasnt offered me permanent employment. ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: bebac30 Occupation: R&D Manager Online SS submitted: 29.07.2009 SS acknowledged: 3/8/09 SS received: 09 Oct 2009 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: I got email on 30.07. that application is invalid. http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migrat...-vic-help.html, a more detailed CV was requested 6/10 requested decl of why VIC ----------------------------------------------------------- August Applications Submitted: 9 Approved: 5, Rejected: 3, VISA: 1, Waiting 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Vinnie80 Occupation: Life Scientist Online SS submitted: 1st August 2009 SS acknowledged: 3rd August 2009 SS received: Rejected 6/10/09 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: Nov 09 appealing to VIC re rejection ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: Jonnyspunkyboy Occupation: Online SS submitted: 4 Aug 2009 SS received: 31st Aug Time to approval: 3 weeks 6 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: following 23/9 changes looking at ENS sponsorship ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: cianor Occupation: IT Computing Professional (Oracle Specialist) Online SS submitted: 04-AUG-2009 (by Migration Agency) SS acknowledged: SS received: 9 November Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Noodle Occupation: Motor Mechanic 4211-11 Online SS submitted: 05/08/09 SS acknowledged: 4 days later SS received: 20 August 2009 Time to approval: 2 weeks 1 day! State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: N111kkx Occupation: Hubby is a General/Supervisor Electrician Vetassess: Paperwork emailed 10/6/09, passed 10/7/09, practical 7/8/09 in Blackburn, notified that passed 9/8/09 certificate and paperwork confirming received 14/8/09 Online SS submitted: 15/08/09 SS acknowledged: Rejected 7/9/09 - successfully appealed SS received: 8 Oct 2009 Time to approval: 7 weeks 5 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: 2/9/09 more detailed CV requested, 7/9/2009 investigating rejection email see Post #98 in this thread, 22/9 req'd declaration of committment to state ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: bagonzo Occupation: IT Online SS submitted:16 August SS acknowledged: Rec'd SS received: rejected 19 October Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: PaulTerriMojo Occupation: mechanical design engineer Online SS submitted: 17th August 2009 SS acknowledged: 24 August 2009 SS received: 16th Sept 2009 Time to approval: 4 weeks 2 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: State advised DIAC: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Allany Occupation: Accountant Online SS submitted: 18.08.09 SS acknowledged: 24.08.09 SS received: 24/9/09 Time to approval: 5 weeks 3 days CO: 29/09/09 Visa Granted: 20/10/09 Delays/further docs requested ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: senorita Occupation: Life Scientist Online SS submitted: 24/08/2009 SS acknowledged: Yes SS received: Rejected 7/10/09 Time to approval: VIC SS advised "Please be advised that current processing times are estimated at ten to twelve weeks." State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- September Applications Submitted: 4 Approved: 2, Waiting 0, Rejected 2 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Sunnyday Occupation: Staff Nurse Online SS submitted: 04/09/09 SS acknowledged: SS received: 08/09/09 Time to approval: 4 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: KerryCraig Occupation: General Electrician Online SS submitted: 10/9/09 SS acknowledged: SS received: Nov 09 Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: 20/10/09 more detailed CV requested ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Suni.S Occupation: IT Online SS submitted: 15th Sept 2009 SS acknowledged:17th Sept 2009 Status: SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: Requested for updated CV - as details about work expr for the last 2/4 months is not present. ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: JASWANT SAINI Occupation: AC MECHANIC Online SS submitted: 20/09/2009 SS acknowledged: 25/09/2009 SS received: After going through your application and taking opinion of panel experts, Victorian Government decides not to proceed with sponsorship in your case. You may again apply for sponsorship after 6 months. Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- October Applications Submitted: 3 Approved: 2, Waiting 1 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Philip, Diane and Aaron Occupation: Civil Engineer (CSL) Online SS submitted: 7th Oct SS acknowledged: 8th Oct SS received: 23rd Oct Time to approval: 16 days State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: Just got asked for more detailed CV and reasons wanting to live in Vic for SS. ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: siAvAsh Occupation: Plant Engineer Online SS submitted: 28.Oct.2009 SS acknowledged: 29.Oct.2009 SS received: 15.Jan.2010 Time to approval: 10 weeks State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: DGroh (Edit from VickyMel - DGroh only posted 3 times on PIO and therefore we may never know if they obtained SS or not?) Occupation: Urban and Regional Planner - CSL Online SS submitted: 26 October 2009 SS acknowledged: 29 October 2009 SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: N/A ----------------------------------------------------------- November Applications Submitted: 2, Approved: 2, Waiting 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Stevenson Occupation: Plumber Online ss submitted: 16/11/09 SS Acknowledged: SS Recived: 21/12/09 Time to Approval: State Advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further DOCs req.: ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: ulaganayagan Occupation:Mechanical Engineer (MODL,CSL) HR India Applied for Victoria SS:15/11/09 Request for CV with Employment History:29/11/09 Acknowledgement of new CV and information that processing started and out come will take upto 10 Weeks Parelley applied for 175 on 29/11/09 Date further detailed CV requested:02-Dec-10 Date Approval email recieved :11-Feb-10 ----------------------------------------------------------- December Applications Submitted: 1, Waiting 0, Rejected 1 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: KUNAL K Occupation: PRODUCTION ENGINEER - CSL Online SS submitted: 3 DECEMBER 2009 SS acknowledged: 3 DECEMBER 2009 SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: DETAILED CV REQUESTED IN 2-3 DAYS AFTER SUBMISSION Rejected but not deterred!! KK applied for a 175 CSL and got their visa on 9/July/2010 http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/65713-vic-state-sponsered-update-76.html#post804248 ----------------------------------------------------------- February 2010 Applications Submitted: 1, Waiting 1, Rejected 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: sun chasers Occupation: IT 2231-79 Online SS submitted: 14 Feb 2010 SS acknowledged: 23 Feb 2010 SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: NOT YET See post : http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/65713-vic-state-sponsered-update-75.html#post778638 Sunchasers undertook IELTS and switched to CSL and will no longer seek SS Name: Jackalz05 Occupation: IT 2231-79 (still waiting for ACS result) Online SS submitted: 25 Feb 2010 SS acknowledged: SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: 1) 4 Mar 2010: Declaration form to sign on the commitment to stay in Vic for at least 2 years 2) 4 Mar 2010: Letter stating reasons why I would like to stay in Vic ----------------------------------------------------------- March 2010 Applications Submitted: 2, Waiting 2, Rejected 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Shahzad Occupation: Network security - CSL, MODL Online SS submitted: 3 March 2010 SS acknowledged: 9 MArch 2010 SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: NOT YET ----------------------------------------------------------- Name: Reza Occupation: Civil engineer- Site Engineer Vic SS Application date : 09 Mar 10 Vic asked for detailed CV + Reason for choosing Vic: 13 Mar 10 Replied Vic : 14 Mar Status: Waiting ----------------------------------------------------------- April 2010 Applications Submitted: 1, Waiting 1, Rejected 0 ----------------------------------------------------------- Name:Cornish78 Occupation:Network Security Online SS submitted:29/4/10 SS acknowledged:30/4/10 SS received: Time to approval: State advised DIAC: CO: Visa Granted: Delays/further docs requested: ----------------------------------------------------------- *** PLEASE READ 4th Feb 2010 I don't get into this thread as often as I used to so if things get active and you want to start a new thread so that you can utilise the front page please do so and feel free to take anything from this page to assist. VickyMel
  20. kellyjamie

    ****update****

    Morning all, So this is the update of what all i can call a complete and utter farcial cockup by WA DCS. I emailed the manager of the job two days ago to tell him migration info and some other stuff which i invaluably received from Gill. I received a reply from a Senior Recruitment Officer this morning stating as far as im concerned a tonne of B.S. They are saying that their process in employing migrants has gradually changed since the turn of the year as they no longer need to due to the economic downturn. They apologised that the error was not picked up earlier, and then tried to blame us for not contacting the nominated branch to check in the first place! I am surprisingly not really upset i am more disgusted and peeved off to be honest. We feel totally and utterly scunnered with this whole situation:sad:
  21. GOING NOWHERE YET · Sterling repeats the previous week's lack of certainty · Australian election result realises worst fears of a hung parliament Having covered a range of nearly four cents over the seven days the pound opened in London this morning unchanged on the week against the Australian dollar. For the AUD this was a respectable achievement. Sterling's week got off to a slow start. It was not until Tuesday that the UK economy had anything to say for itself, with the consumer price index (CPI) figures. They were in line with expectations. CPI inflation slowed from 3.2% to 3.1% in July after prices fell by -0.2% on the month. Sterling was a net loser on the day against everything but not because of the CPI data, nor for any other immediately obvious reason. Equally lacking in reason was its rally the following day. Yes, the minutes of the August Monetary Policy Committee meeting provided the catalyst because they included no bad news, but sterling's rise on Wednesday was as mysterious as its decline the previous day. Thursday morning's positive performance was more clearly founded. Public sector net borrowing in July was £3.2 billion, two billion lower than forecast and less than a quarter of the previous months shortfall. Retail sales rose by 1.1% in the month instead of the 0.4% analysts had predicted. But the euphoria evaporated quickly after The United States delivered another set of duff data. Sterling had to give back in the afternoon what it had won in the morning. The Australian economic data came and went without creating too many ripples. Westpac's leading index was a tad softer than expected at 0.0%. So was the wage cost index which rose by 0.8% in the second quarter, although the average annual wage increased by 3% in the year to June 0 just as it had in the year to March. Low-profile though it was, the figure that might be worth consideration was the Housing Industry Association house affordability report. The affordability index fell by 9.1% in the second quarter, close to an all-time low, as a result of higher interest rates. The news coincided with a cautionary research paper from investment bank Morgan Stanley. The analyst there, Gerard Minack, predicted two years ago that Australian house prices would fall by 30% between then and now. He was wrong but he is sticking to his guns. To quote him directly: 'Most measures suggest that house prices are around 40% above fair value. There's a word for a financial asset that's over-valued by 40%, so let's use it: housing is a bubble.' He goes on to say that the event most likely to prick the bubble is 'broad-based job losses.' Perhaps the new government will give some thought to the housing 'bubble' as it makes its plans to invest heavily in Kennedy, Tamworth and Port Macquarie. The hung parliament seems to have done the AUD no particular harm. It opened on Monday well below Friday's closing level but recovered fairly easily. Whether it remains quite so resilient in coming days and weeks depends on how the horse-trading pans out. Buyers of the Australian dollar should continue to protect themselves with a 'stop' order, always bearing in mind that the first law of stop orders is never to move them backwards
  22. NEWS FLASH!! As of the 18th of August 2010 there was an update on the AHPRA website about Registration and the language requirements. It still is pretty misleading if you read all the documents on the AHPRA site but after calling them 3 times last night and speaking to 3 people and a specialist they all confirmed that UK nurses who completed secondary education in UK and in English and completed their nurse training in UK and in English will NOT have to sit the IELTS exam!!!! Nurses will have to provide evidence of the above criteria in the form of letters from schools/colleges and your training evidence but that should suffice tom prove language proficiency!!! I hope this remains true, we are going to call them periodically to keep checking this is the case. Please if any other nurses who are having a nightmare with the IELTS could call them and confirm this too we all might feel a bit better knowing for definite that the IELTS requirement is gone! My wife has sat it twice and failed by 0.5 of a mark and still has a third attempt booked for next week but now we are praying she won't have to sit it. Let's all hope it's true! Thanks Simon and Gemma
  23. NERVOUSNESS GOOD FOR SAFE-HAVEN CURRENCIES Good employment figures from the UK but could they mark the peak? Good news and bad news in Australian employment data. Sterling consolidated the previous week's gradual gains, moving sideways within a three-cent range. It managed to add a cent in the process but only, apparently, by accident. If there was any dominant feature of the UK economy last week it was the struggling residential property market. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors' house price balance counts the number of estate agents reporting house prices and compares the figure with the number reporting price falls. In July the RICS came up with a figure of -8%; a majority of agents saw prices going down. The Department for the Community and Local Government reported prices static between May and June. Estate agents' portal Rightmove saw the average asking price fall by 1.7% in August. The Halifax house price index has fallen in four out of the last six months. The slowdown in prices is coupled with a slowdown in turnover. Potential buyers are reluctant to commit if they fear for their jobs or expect the slowing economy to bring prices lower. Many who would like to go ahead are unable to come up with the higher deposits now required by mortgage lenders. The softer housing market and the difficulty faced by those trying to get on the housing ladder will have contributed to the further deterioration in Nationwide's index of consumer confidence from 63 to 56. The week was not without good news from the UK economy. The number of people in employment went up by 184k in the June quarter, the biggest increase since 1989. The Office for National statistics put a cautious spin on the numbers, noting that 'The quarterly increase in total employment was mainly driven by part-time workers, which increased by 115,000 on the quarter to reach 7.84 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.' However, the number of full-time workers went up as well, by 68k. Investors did not react as positively to the employment figures as they might have done. They worry that the June numbers could represent the peak of the cycle and that government cuts will mean less positive results in coming months. There were economic data to suit all tastes from Australia but it was the pessimists who cheered the most. NAB's surveys of business conditions and business sentiment were both lower in July; the conditions index was three points lower at 5 and the confidence measure fell from 4 to 2. The index of confidence was the weakest reading since May last year. Rather better news for the AUD was Westpac's index of consumer confidence, which went up from 113.1 in July to 119.2 in August. The 5.4% improvement was strong. Having fallen by 15% after back-to-back interest rate increases in March April and May, confidence has recovered by 17% in the last two months. It is back up to the levels seen before the Reserve Bank of Australia started to turn the interest rate screw 11 months ago. The optimists could also raise two cheers after the July employment report showed a 23.5% increase in Australian payrolls. The pessimists won the day though; all of that increase - and more - came from part-time jobs while the number of full-time employees fell by 4.2k. Another negative factor was the unexpected rise in the rate of unemployment from 5.1% to 5.3%. Buyers of the Australian dollar should continue to protect themselves with a 'stop' order. They should consider raising its level a fraction to take account of sterling's gains, always bearing in mind that the first law of stop orders is never to move them backwards.
  24. STERLING SURVIVES THE WEEK · But was it by luck or judgement? The UK economic data were hardly compelling. · RBA rate outlook calm after latest board decision. Sterling edged higher but with no conviction. The two-and-a-half cent range was all but horizontal and the pound's net half-cent gain was unremarkable. It was a strange sort of a week for sterling. Despite making one small error after another it came through virtually unscathed. Except against the euro, where it lost a couple of dozen ticks, sterling was either steady or higher this morning compared with last Monday's starting level. Its best result was the two cents it gained against the US dollar. But there were plenty of unforced errors. After several weeks of bouncy economic data the UK delivered some decidedly unimpressive figures. The manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) measures the robustness of manufacturers' activity on a scale of 0-100. A reading above 50 means that, on average, their business is growing. Monday's figure was 57.3. It was not absolutely a bad figure but was softer than the previous month's 57.5. Also moving in the wrong direction were the construction PMI (54.1 v 58.4 a month earlier) and the services sector PMI (53.1 v 54.4). UK industrial production was another disappointment, falling by -0.5% in June when it should have gone up (according to the analysts) by nearly that much. Manufacturing production, a narrower measure which does not include things like mining and electricity generation, went up by just 0.3% on the month, half what was expected. The Bank of England did exactly what was expected on Thursday; nothing. Although inflation is still above its 1%-3% target, and factory gate prices are going up at an annual rate of 5%, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided, predictably, to stick to its 0.5% Bank Rate for an 18th month. The MPC remains convinced that inflation will come back into line without the need for higher interest rates. Although the MPC has no brief to help the economy it is bound to be aware that it is not a credit binge that is pushing prices higher; higher interest rates will not prevent the price of bread or petrol going up. The Australian dollar tagged along with the other commodity currencies, rarely putting its hand up to be counted. There were just two events that nudged it from its steady course. The combination of another monthly fall in new home sales (-5.1% and -6.4%) and another fall in building permits (-3.3% after -6.6%) made investors twitchy about the future upward course of interest rates. Shortly after the announcement of thee building permits figure the Reserve Bank of Australia confirmed it would not be raising its cash rate from 4.5%. It was no great surprise after last week's low inflation figure. The governor's accompanying statement ended with the not entirely surprising comment that 'The Board judged this setting of monetary policy to be appropriate.' After due consideration, investors came to the conclusion that there would be no further tightening at least until after the next quarterly inflation figure in October. With low inflation and what looks increasingly like a struggling residential property market the cash rate could linger at 4.5% until next year. As that possibility sunk in the Australian dollar moved lower. A three-point quarterly rise in the new house price index the next day did nothing to change that view. In the last couple of weeks sterling has handled everything that has been put in its way. The pound's biggest test this week will be Wednesday's UK employment figures. Over the last three months unemployment has been going down. If investors hear the same story again they should be able to maintain their modestly positive attitude to sterling but they would be far less enthusiastic about any reversal of that trend.
  25. TaniaColin

    4 month update!!

    Some people have been asking us for an update so here goes.... As the title says we have now been back in England for four months and things are going well. We are living in a nice semi-rural area with lots of greenery around, which will be ideal for when our dog Cody arrives back in September. I was worried about my eldest son settling into High School as we weren't in the right catchment area for our choice of schools, where his previous friends had gone to. Arran settled in straight away and has made lots of friends , the school gained the 'Outstanding School status' which places it within the top 18% or so in the UK. Cameron will start there next year. Arwen is still enjoying school and is making brill progress even with the school years being different in Oz. Chad will start at the same school in nursery but we will pay for him to do 'wrap around care'. He is certainly ready for school, as the youngest of four he is very independent. I've taken time out which has been nice to spend time with the children, i have kept myself busy doing different courses, and i have decided to become a classroom assistant, my college course starts next month, and i will be doing my placement at the youngest kids school. I am looking forward to this, as it will open up more opportunites for me next year. I am now promoting my mobile hairdressing business, delivering leaflets so i have some old and some new clients approaching me, so i am pretty confident that i shall have a good business built up again in time for Christmas. Colin returns in the next few weeks, which will be brill and finally reunited again. We haven't ruled out not returning to Australia in the near future, it is something what i would like to do, the kids are still not keen with the idea though. It has been a positive experience in one way, and i have had time to evaluate my life. I certainly don't feel stressed as much anymore which has to be a bonus, and it is nice to see my family most days, and for them to spend quality time with the kids. I even bought an Austalian mag last week although the boys go mad with me. So watch this space as we might be going on our travels again!!!!!!!!!! Good luck to all those going to or returning from Oz it certainly is one big adventure, and one what i don't regret.:biggrin:
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