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  1. Hi We have been here for appx 2.5 years now and thought I would pass on some of the good and bad experiences so far. General Info Before you set off.... Make sure you have a job to come to, low unemployment means not much to go after and a lot of competition, especially for part-time. Also to maintain your same standard of living you will need appx twice the salary you are earning in the UK - 95% of stuff is appx twice as expensive here - salaries are appx 1.5x here. If you are bringing your DAB radio make sure it is DAB+ otherwise it will not work. TV's - my friend works in TV broadcasting and says "won't work due to different number of lines that make up picture" - good enough for me, we did not bring ours and some reasonable bargains to be had on new here. (Several good electrical outlets - Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, J&B Hi-Fi - so plenty of competition) It will help to pack a multi-gang socket extension lead in your hand / hold luggage - remember all those gadgets (phones / ipods / laptops etc) with ac adaptor type power supplies, where are you going to plug them in when you arrive ??? find your nearest Bunnings and buy an bag of Aussie plugs for appx $3each Books are horrendously expensive, so yes heavy and take up room - but if you have space in your container - bring them. In fact make sure your container is full to bursting, because "we will buy that when we get over there" will hurt your wallet. Do not throw away you winter clothes - it does get "cold" here - it may only be 5C overnight in winter, but most of the houses are so poorly insulated it will feel much colder, likewise they do not retain heat so heating costs can mount up. No joke sometimes you put you jumper / jacket on to go in the house!! When you arrive Parking - roads are marked very well for where you can or cannot park, a 4P sign means free parking for 4 hours, but also 4P with "ticket" in small text - so be careful. You have to park facing the direction of traffic (1970's UK?) but I do not know how strictly this is enforced. In the city parking ranges from free (if you are lucky enough to find one) to $10 per hour and $15-30 all day at weekends - again worth weighing up public transport cost option. Sign up to "stardeals / groupon" on the web, excellent daily offers - just landed a diving course for half price. Been meaning to get open water certificate for years. The Entertainment Book" is a good buy (appx $65) you get a mass of vouchers for all sorts and easily pays for itself - any makes you get out there and try new stuff."It is available via schools and other organisations Good Weather (obviously) People - generally very friendly and helpful, but strangely lacking in manners - must be a city thing? (If someone lets you out at a junction, they are probably British) Facilities - when you start to find where things are - I am not a great shopper but there are some massive multi-level shopping centres (got lost several times) if you are. Plenty of gyms available and reasonable costs - like everything quite a variety and shop around. Also bartering is the norm so shake off that reserve and ask for a discount in almost anywhere - even small purchases - my wife just purchased an alarm clock which was priced at $24.90 and got it for $22. Food - The quality of the food when you eat out is better here generally than the UK but there are not the range of places to eat, a cafe will generally provide a very good meal (not the dried up leftovers you sometimes get in the UK) but there is not much difference between the "cafes" and "restaurants" - unless you spend big bucks. Service - The customer service is much better than UK when eating - genuinely please to serve and NO TIP expected (are you listening USA) so if you are more then happy you can leave a tip for that extra mile. Public Transport - The public transport system is excellent, efficient and reasonable price - use buses with a "ten-use" multi or single zoned ticket (cannot remember real name) and save more. You cannot often pay cash when in the city so better to have ticket to hand. Car Travel - Overtaking on the inside - brilliant! the UK should have adopted this years ago, no more "middle lane hoggers" (forget your years of lane discipline, quite often you will get over to the left only to find "lane ends in 200m sign" - very common on A/B roads) mostly automatic gearboxes of course - also good. Festivals - Again excellent (it's not called the city of festivals for nothing) something different in the city almost every weekend - and mostly free, you can find all day parking for $10 if you shop around. Bad House Prices - Purchase prices are bad enough but rental, as most of you will be doing at first are even worse. We had to raise our budget to over $650 PER WEEK to find anything half decent - it really is a sellers / landlord's market due to the shortage of housing Prices - OMG it is expensive here (I though I had done my research) If you are coming over make sure you are going to earm at least twice the amount you do in the UK. The only exceptions are, petrol, and BBQ's (that we have found so far) on average everything is double the price. I guess the UK economy and rubbish exchange rate / growing Australian economy has something to do with it but the urban myth of "well everything has to be shipped so far / we only have 20million population....." wears a bit thin when goods from China still cost twice as much than good old/bad Tescos would charge. Example - we were paying appx £35/month for broadband+phone - including all national calls and 10 international destination for 1 hour calls. We have just signed up for broadband+phone with some bundled calls (but expensive call rates) for $89/month (but obviously you can shop around & we didn't want to do 24mth commitment, which most of them are). Customer Service - Things like sorting out phones etc can be difficult because of being "department shoved" or people not returning calls - the warning of what is the difference between mobile phone salesmen and cowboys........very true. Since our original problems on broadband installation - I must say Optus customer service was pretty good. Real Estate Agents - As one of your main priorities when arriving is to sort out where you are going to live (and you will probably be renting first) then sorry but you will have to go through the horrible system here. You are treated like second class citizens by most agents and you have to compete for 90% of properties with many others, so when eventually you find a place you like - shop around again, huge variation - you may not get it and have to start over. Of course, the higher the rent, the less competition and agents start being more accommodating. It may sound obvious, but get a few properties you are interested in and do a drive by, you will not have time to waste on the day trying to decide which one's you are interested in. Roads - Car travel is pretty slow, we are from a village, but I used to travel extensively throughout the UK (but not so much in cities) the roereads are wide, but the combination of lower speed limits, lots of speed / red light cameras and so many sets of traffic lights - (American road grid system) mean do not expect to travel around quickly - in the UK you can work on an average of 50MPH, here it is probably 40KPH. Many major routes have toll charges, you can pay cash (but not always) but if you travel regularly then you have an "etag" - fix it to your windscreen and away you go. Luckily my company pays for mine as each toll point can cost $2-3 which can add up if you go through 3 on your way to work - also my sat nav (god-send of course) gives me the options and to be honest I have tried both toll and non-toll routes and there generally is not much difference in travelling time. Ugly Nothing really, but at first sight the dumping of stuff outside houses looks horrendous - you have 2 occasions per year (I guess it varies by area) to put unwanted stuff, furniture / diy projects etc out the front of your house. But when you get used to it, it is probably a better system than everyone making short trips to the tidy tip and it is a free for all - if you see something you like, just take it (some half decent stuff gets dumped - you could almost furnish a house!) It may be obvious, but the commuting is pretty bad, we only live 25kms from Sydney centre, but my wife has appx 1.25hours each way on the bus - and quite often does not get to sit down. General Stuff Thanks to some people who made our transition easier John Mason removals UK - a very professional service and we were kept up to date this end of our stuff arriving (by Wridgeways - Aussie counterparts) Lisa and Darren - you know who you are, thanks for inviting complete strangers into your home to offer some word of advise - Darren's "the first 3 months can be ****" very true !! (about 1 month for me) - stick with it and soon it becomes "normal" I hope this helps if you are unsure of what to expect, it might seem a daft comment but it is a BIG country so expect your general travelling to be longer Aussies will say "ah yeh, it's just down the road" = 100km.
  2. Guest

    Cults, Good Bad or Ugly.

    This sort of thing has always fascinated me, many reasons, but mostly because of the way peoples minds tick.:goofy::idea::yes: Watched several docos on the The Jonestown Massacre, Waco and a few others and what really strikes me is that so called 'normal' people, people that are perfectly sane and rational do things completely out of context. The one thing that made me bring up this thread is what a former member of a 'cult' said. She said what is often forgotten is the fact that the people who are in a cult, commit suicide, show absolute allegiance to a 'leader' were once perfectly normal everyday people who went about their daily lives as if nothing out of the ordinary, BUT. The minute the word 'cult' is used these people become (in some peoples minds) nothing but freaks, and their lives dismissed as if by the by. I guess what I am trying to say is that even though we find the behavior of cult leaders and followers strange their is often a very human story behind the facard of so called madness and blind faith. Fortunately many 'got out' of the cult before something terrible happened, but what in your opinion drives someone toward these cults, is it religion, belief, intolerance of the 'normal' world, disenfranchised. I know I want to set up PIO 2 in the outback, but i promise it won't become a cult, well maybe not.:cool::no: Cheers Tony.
  3. If you have lived in Australia and/or the UK we would like to hear your honest and realistic opinions on the good, bad and ugly regarding both places. We appreciate this has been done before in bits and pieces, but this time it would be good to keep all the GOOD and BAD points all on one thread. PLEASE. This thread will no doubt cause some arguments, but we saw a very very interesting post which was incredibly well written a few months ago about some of the "non-eutopia" things about Australia which we have never been able to find again!!! It would be nice to hear both sides of the story in one thread. Blaze away...and don't be scared about being honest, we'd like to hear everything! AUSTRALIA versus UNITED KINGDOM... GOOD BAD & UGLY!
  4. G'day Dingos..... New to the forum and found it trawling the web looking for helpful info and sites.... we are planning to emmigrate to Oz.... one way or another..... and there are many options and many visa routes..... ...obviously I have come accross the many 'Visa Agents' out there that have "100%" success rates etc in getting people over there etc....all for a hefty fee £$£..!! So my question is.... "Is it worth paying these guys to ensure a near 100% chance of getting over successfully.... ... or are they a complete Rip"? I score 85 on the Skilled Migration test, my career is on the list! I am under 45... my cousin is married an Ozzie and lives in Oz.... Do I go for the applicaiton myself or pay these guys £2000?? (Is that the going rate, 'cause it's what they charge!!) Thanks in advance Bob
  5. Guest

    Ugly Babies.

    Morning/Evening All. The reason I am staring this thread is two fold, firstly I have decided to try and have more of a laugh rather than asking too many deep questions, and secondly my better half was a little concerned that I get worked up to easily, so she whisked me off down to the doctors to have my blood pressure checked, and cholesterol level done. Well, I always thought that the higher the points the better you are, or in other words, points win prizes. But it seems that a blood pressure score of 175/90 is not healthy, and a cholesterol level of 9.8 is decidedly dangerous, :embarrassed: So with shame on my face, and abject rage on Ruth's :mad: I am now apparently on a regime of a strict diet, exercise, but more importantly, not to get too worked up with what I post, I will try, honest honey.:biglaugh: So in relation to this here we go. Were your new borns the apple of your eye (looks wise) as soon as they entered the world or did they seem a 'bit' strange in appearance. I know a lot os mums will probably differ in their opinion, but thought some blokes may have a different perspective. My two were (how can I put this) yep, decidedly ugly.:shocked::shocked::policeman:. My eldest looked like an extra out of 'Gorillas In The Mist', so much hair that it was difficult to decide which way was up. Her first solid meal after milk was in actual fact Banana's, and this went on for a long time. W would often go to the zoo and she would spend hours looking and MIMICKING the Gorillas, at one stage I was extremely worried. However Ruth was as proud as punch. She seemed to take great glee in showing the little ape of to all and sundry, when people leapt back in revulsion, she would often look at ,me with tears in her eyes, all I could say was, 'Never mind honey, one day soon she will be able to climb to great heights (the Empire State Building) and we will all be proud of her. The other one, god love her looked like a miniature Hitler. She came out with hair parted on one side, all greased down with a rather stern expression on her face. All she needed was a tiny, tiny mustache and she wouldn't have looked out of place at the Nuremberg rallies.:shocked: But as they got older they seemed to take after Ruth far more, and thankfully their looks slowly changed, from abject pig ugliness to two beautiful young ladies who are now thankfully 'normal' looking. So my question is this, be honest now. Whilst I have loved my kids from the day they were born and I would willingly give up my life for them, when they were born did you find their appearance a little off putting? As I said, this is meant to be a light hearted thread (doctors orders) and whilst I speak the truth about my two when they were born I can now look back on these times with HORROR, and FRIGHT.:biglaugh: Cheers Tony.
  6. Guest

    The Ugly Person PIO Club

    In this world where looks, are far more important than substance I thought I would start this thread. I appreciate what sh7tman is doing, I do indeed admire his looks and personality, he is one thoroughly good looking fellow. And it is only right that he should start a thread for the better looking members of PIO, BUT. WHAT ABOUT US THAT LOOK LIKE A SACK FULL OF SH7T. Where there's YING there has to be YANG, so this thread is for those of us who often look at ourselves in the mirror and scream at what lays before us. It is a club open to both sexes, no matter colour, creed, sexuality. To acknowledge our ugliness is only being open and honest, once you have done so I think we can all love ourselves and bathe in the glory that is maybe to some not so attractive. So I ask all PIO members who consider themselves at the back of the queue when looks were given out to enroll now and in so doing I reckon it will not only be a very cathartic experience but a select club that allows our inner beauty to shine through.:embarrassed: PS. I have a feeling we will be able to have our AGM's in a telephone box, :biglaugh: all I ask for is honesty people.:wubclub: Cheers Tony:wink:
  7. Hi Everyone Please can people tell me everything I need to know about the following suburbs Ta very muchly! :hug: Redbank Plains Springfiled and Springfield Lakes Camira Wacol Carole Park Gailes Ellen Grove Collingwood Park Would really appreciate if you could let me know what these areas are like - even if you consider them to be absolute pants. Love Rudi x
  8. Hi, I am a 21 year old guy that has just graduated from the UK with a 1st Class Honors Degree in Civil & Structural Engineering. During my uni studies I was lucky enough to travel to Australia several times en route to visit my parents who emigrated to NZ 3 years ago and really love it here. With the British Construction industry on its knees and in a very bad shape I decided to take the gamble and travel to OZ to seek a full time graduate post with an Australian company. The worst case being I find nothing and head back to the UK by which time hopefully things will be on the up. I have been here for just over a month now and am still unsure as to what my chances are of finding something. I have spoken to a number of different people all of which have varying views on the economy and the construction industry. Some say work is very thin on the ground, others say it is stable and is much the way it has been for a while, whilst another view is that with several multi million dollar government stimulus schemes starting work now, combined with an apparent up turn in the world economy that prospects are now looking promising. There is a steady stream of graduate roles being advertised and I currently have several applications in progress, but am unsure as to if I realistically have a good chance of succeeding (3 of 8 applications have already been refused) . I would need sponsorship for a 457 visa and am unsure as to how many Aussie graduates are applying for the same roles (who understandably would take preference). Last November 2008 I spoken with several companies at an immigration expo in Leeds whom were desperate for people and very keen, but with the credit crunch and what has followed that seems to have changed (although Civil Engineering still appears on the MODL and Critical Shortages List). I would be grateful for any views/opinions that anyone has, especially from anyone with a connection to the construction industry. Am I wasting my time here, or do I have a decent chance? Should I go back to the UK and compete for the limited jobs there? (although I would have the same working rights as others, making it a level playing field) 12 months work experience in the UK would give me the 120 points I need for a Permanent Residence Visa (putting me on a level field with OZ applicants). Although getting out of a graduate employment contract after 12 months might be challenging since a company is investing time/money in me and would probably see me back in the UK for another 3-4 years. I really like OZ, the cities are great, the people friendly and the weather generally sunny! But is it a question of trying to do something too soon. Should I reside myself to returning to the UK for 3-4 years before returning. Or is the proactive approach that I am currently taking the best. With no mortgage to sort out, no car to sell, job to quit or belongings to ship out it seemed now was a decent time. I would love to hear any of your views, even if you have no dealings in construction. Am I crazy or do I have a real chance? Do you think prospects are better in certain parts of OZ or is it all much the same everywhere? My current approach is to be glued to the web adverts and calling companies out of the phone book, a good plan or not? Thanks for taking the time to read this (I did not mean to write so much!). Any of your replies would be a great help to me and much appreciated. Have a good one. Matt :smile:
  9. Guest

    Good, Bad and the ugly

    Hi Everyone, My husband and i are coming over to melbourne next year for a fact finding trip with the idea of emigrating out there as i have citizenship by descent and have always wanted to live out there after spending some time out there in 2000. The problem is there is alot of programmes on the telly at the minute about people living in other countries that want to move back to England a few of these have been people from oz and my husband keeps seeing these and thinking negatively about it. So i wanted to hear from all Brits living over in oz, I want to know what you think the good things about oz are the bad things and the things that make you want to come back to england or want to stay in oz please, i am really interested to hear everyones experiences so i get a wider view point. Many thanks Laura
  10. Hi This is a thread for people to let off steam about Australia.If you dont like something about Australia please let us know.For those who have nothing bad to say about Australia please go to the thread (Say something nice about Australia). My first bad point is the Kangaroo's make me go Dizzy when they bounce so much.
  11. To keep myself occupied ive been searching the real estate websites, looking at different areas that we hadnt considered before. We have stumbled across Canning Vale, the properties are lovely and i think the journey to CBD is do-able......car, bus or cycle to the train station and then 15 mins to the City. Can anyone tell me more about this area? Not that bothered about schools, more about what is available locally? Crime? Am I right about transport links? Supermarkets? Cafes, Bars? EVERYTHING basically. Also is it easy to get into Freo from there? Many thanks Emma x
  12. This thread was very popular last time round, and as there are loads of newbies every week on here, so thought we'd do it again. If you've lived or visited both countries please just give us a good, a bad and an ugly opinion for either Australia, the UK or PREFERABLY BOTH in your replies. Eg. UK : GOOD - amazing sense of history UK : BAD - price of petrol UK : UGLY - overflowing wheelie bins everywhere due to rubbish collection not being often enough! OZ : GOOD - fantastic beaches OZ : BAD - price of used cars OZ : UGLY - not enough public footpaths, you may have to push your baby in their pram, IN THE ROAD just to get to the local stores!
  13. Hi This is a thread for people to let off steam about Britain.If you dont like something about Britain please let us know.For those who have nothing bad to say about Britain please go to the thread (Say something nice about Britain). My first bad point is that there are too many terrorists lurking around in this country.To top it up the government takes our money to make these people as comfortable as possible while they devise a plan on how to destroy us all.
  14. After reading a lot of posts on here, I take in the good points and the bad points of Australia. And as valid or invalid as they are I have come to the conclusion that they are personnel perspective. My only way to find out if it will suit me is to get my backside there and try it out for my girlfriend, me and the kids. Points taken- food aren’t no cheaper Property aren’t cheap Some wages are better some are worse Fuel is slightly cheaper (Still don’t understand why I don’t see as much solar energy) But all in all it seems balanced to me So I am going to crack on with the visa application, Try it for myself and form my own opinions for at least 2 years. Then Hey Ho if it isn’t for me back I will trot to the U.K and to be honest that’s when the U.K economy might just be getting back off its knees. Yep big chunk of ££££’s might be spent in that time. But when your I look back I can say yep, I tried it and came back.........or I tried it and loved it You can go to your grave with your memories but not with the promise on the Bank of England...ie ££££’s John
  15. Hi PIO: Relocation, Relocation! Sorry I’m no Kristy or Phil – I do miss them, but never mind Herbster seems like a knowledgeable substitute correspondent! I’ve been promising all you folks in the WHO-should-we-use-for-our-MOVE-to-OZ department a thread dedicated to GETTING YOUR STUFF out here: THE GOOD, THE BAD & the UGLY! So here’s our tale: We had a spacious 2br cottage, in the back & beyond of rural Northumberland, North of Corbridge about 23 miles from Newcastle-upon TYNE! It took the movers around 12 hours to pack our contents into a 20’ container, which was sealed before our eyes & left our house around 3pm, Fri April 25th: ETA in Tas (not at our home) June 8th, pretty speedy! And like fools, we believed them, so arrived in Kingston May 30. We had things to DO: clean the house, get ourselves in the System but we could have waited till the 8th at least, as apart from the cleaning, we sorted our legal commitments in 2 days - as it was the container took just 65 days arriving at our door Monday, June 30, 8:59, but it still meant staying with family & friends for 61 days! We didn’t just pick a Remover out of the phone book, I had at least ½ dozen Experts come to the house, audit & propose. After our reccie to Tassie, we eventually decided on a Newcastle company, who were actually around £900 cheaper than their nearest competitor. Our choice being Kelly's International Movers, aka Doree Bonner, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who probably have an office near you. At the sign of the cat... I've been told that just the container hire is around £3K - now prices will have changed, but we paid £4K for door-to-door, including wrap & EXPORT PACK & Unpack, + £1K Insurance that they are licensed to sell, there were also the local Custom & Quarantine fees of around $400.00. (Which could be more should anything untoward occur!) :goofy: THE GOOD: I’m sure you’ll have particular concerns regarding specific items, & these companies should be comfortable & competent in answering all of them, if not, sayonara! Clearly they should be familiar with shipping to Oz, also, are they affiliated to recognized Quality Assurers’ groups? Do they EXPORT WRAP/PACK - which means every item encased! I even found one of those pesky bean shredders encased in bubble wrap! AND do they remove the rubbish afterwards...??! As we're moving again soon we've kept a mountain of it! Ummm??? Also will they take away the junk, etc., from your present home, useful service…? THE BAD: On the 2nd day we had a lad less than savvy in the ways of Export Wrapping as most of my pictures & photos were just stashed in boxes that I would never have packed like that to ship in the car home, let alone 12,000 miles on an Ocean voyage rattling round in an ISO! So watch out for that! IT COULD GET UGLY: - Also, that they have decent agent's this side - We had Grace in Hobart, who were very friendly & efficient - yes, they didn't exactly tell us what we wanted to know, when our ship didn’t come in, which was only because they didn't know either! But they hustled our stuff through Customs double quick, as they knew we were keen for it! It COULD BE BAD IF YOU DON’T: factor in copious amounts of teas, coffees & cookies – even sausage butties, & a tip appropriate to the effort... I forgot about the Ts&Cs really, PLUS the fact you need a kettle & mugs to make it IN...!!! There's stuff like that where good neighbors or nearby rellies are invaluable! Or just keep the rubbish for that purpose, which you junk instead of washing up! Sooo much to think about ahead of time, you have to get organized: Arghhhhhhhhhh! And as we took our fridge/freezer & stove AND microwave, kettle, etc., all having to be devoid of crumbs, grease, mice... Lists have to be the Order of the Day! The Truly UGLY: Obviously all your outdoor stuff has to be sanitized in disinfectant (so Q/C can smell it!) & painted - NO dirt of any kind on outerwear, or anything, - shoes, pots, garden furniture, etc... And all that potentially-to-be-INSPECTED stuff, I suggest you ensure it’s packed together & apart from anything else precious – common sense would tell you don’t pack Paddington Bear inside your Wellington’s or your garden tools in a dresser drawer! I have a feeling they might even have new rules about fishing rods, wet suits & surf boards, although mine got through ok. Check that the Movers will pack voids & flat pack difficult things like tables for you. Also what you can dismantle & what do they expect you to do ahead of time?? (Clearly this saves them time & you ££) ... That was a big project for us, meaning, a week beforehand, dismantling our wardrobe (where to put the clothes??)book & cd cases, etc (Where to stash the sounds & books??!) & then spend the next week falling over planks of lumber & murder mysteries... THE SENSIBLE: Also, this sounds logical to ME, but... always pack your screws & bits, in baggies & tape to the base of a shelf or other integral part of dismantled furniture... Don't put them all together in some pot, ‘cos you'll never find them when you want them & be cursing when you can't eat your dinner at the table, as the screws are in some pot that you can't remember/know where it was packed, or C&Q confiscated it as you put it in the Aspidistra Pot!! Also make sure they'll pack your mattresses carefully & any antiques, crystal, etc., will be properly cared for… Helpful Hint: You can take some useful cleaning/bathroom, Body Shop supplies, etc. we just packed all bottled/packaged liquids, powders (in their original containers) together in those clear plastic boxes, & put an inventory on the outside - obviously nothing flammable/ combustible or items that shouldn't mix... Shippers will then encase in their wrapping media - you can also do this with personal items that you don't want to get damp, letters, photos, etc & request loads of desiccant... I think we had a couple dozen crates all told, Xmas decs - no pine cones, straw, lambs or donkey! We filled a Hope Chest with duvets & there was no problem with down pillows, etc. They let us pack drawers with clothing, soft toys, if they won't let you do that you'll soon end up with a larger container & more $$££$$!!... :cry: I think that's enough for now, your Teddly Correspondent reporting from sunny Tasmania, Hope it helps and Goodbye for now…
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