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Torn on Tassie

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Torn on Tassie

We’ve been living in Australia for eight years, firstly in south west WA, then the Kimberley and now Townsville. It’s been an adventure, but now with two young kids (and another on the way) it’s time to settle down in that ‘forever place’.

We’ve decided on either regional Victoria – either Geelong or Ballarat – or Tassie because we prefer the cooler climate. We also spent a few weeks picking apples in the Huon Valley years ago as backpackers and loved our time there, but would prefer a bigger community such as Launceston or Hobart in which to raise our family.

But there’s just something nagging at me about Tasmania that’s making me hesitate over the decision. I keep reading about how tough it is to find work there, how the health care system is not as good as the mainland in terms of access to specialists etc and how public schools don’t perform as well etc.

I realise that life’s what you make of it and if you’re determined you can succeed anywhere, but like I said it’s making me doubt whether a move to Tassie is the right thing for us.

My wife comes from an island (albeit a MUCH smaller one than Tassie) and she often speaks about feeling cut off from mainland Britain, people’s insular attitudes and how young people were ultimately forced to leave to pursue work opportunities elsewhere. Does Tasmania suffer from such drawbacks and to what degree would you say?

In what ways do you feel disadvantaged – if at all – by living in Tasmania?

My heart says Tassie but my head says Geelong/Ballarat. With Melbourne’s growth going gangbusters and showing no signs of slowing down, the positive flow-on effects for regional cities in Victoria within commuting distance looks very encouraging. While I’ve got no interest in commuting to Melbourne for work, it would be good to have all that life and culture on our doorstep when we want it. And if I ever do run into employment issues then having such a large job market down the road does offer more options to keep the wolf from the door if it comes to that.

But I still keep coming back to Tassie. The climate, the nature, the history, the mountains, the forests, the beaches….I feel more inspired by the idea of life in Tasmania than I do by regional Victoria. On other hand, they’re close to each other so we could live in Geelong/Ballarat and holiday in Tassie fairly easily.

As you can see I really am torn. If you made it this far down my very long post THANK YOU and please share some advice!

Happy New Year ?

 

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1 hour ago, escape2oz said:

Torn on Tassie

We’ve been living in Australia for eight years, firstly in south west WA, then the Kimberley and now Townsville. It’s been an adventure, but now with two young kids (and another on the way) it’s time to settle down in that ‘forever place’.

We’ve decided on either regional Victoria – either Geelong or Ballarat – or Tassie because we prefer the cooler climate. We also spent a few weeks picking apples in the Huon Valley years ago as backpackers and loved our time there, but would prefer a bigger community such as Launceston or Hobart in which to raise our family.

But there’s just something nagging at me about Tasmania that’s making me hesitate over the decision. I keep reading about how tough it is to find work there, how the health care system is not as good as the mainland in terms of access to specialists etc and how public schools don’t perform as well etc.

I realise that life’s what you make of it and if you’re determined you can succeed anywhere, but like I said it’s making me doubt whether a move to Tassie is the right thing for us.

My wife comes from an island (albeit a MUCH smaller one than Tassie) and she often speaks about feeling cut off from mainland Britain, people’s insular attitudes and how young people were ultimately forced to leave to pursue work opportunities elsewhere. Does Tasmania suffer from such drawbacks and to what degree would you say?

In what ways do you feel disadvantaged – if at all – by living in Tasmania?

My heart says Tassie but my head says Geelong/Ballarat. With Melbourne’s growth going gangbusters and showing no signs of slowing down, the positive flow-on effects for regional cities in Victoria within commuting distance looks very encouraging. While I’ve got no interest in commuting to Melbourne for work, it would be good to have all that life and culture on our doorstep when we want it. And if I ever do run into employment issues then having such a large job market down the road does offer more options to keep the wolf from the door if it comes to that.

But I still keep coming back to Tassie. The climate, the nature, the history, the mountains, the forests, the beaches….I feel more inspired by the idea of life in Tasmania than I do by regional Victoria. On other hand, they’re close to each other so we could live in Geelong/Ballarat and holiday in Tassie fairly easily.

As you can see I really am torn. If you made it this far down my very long post THANK YOU and please share some advice!

Happy New Year ?

 

Work is definitely harder to find here.  I always wanted to live in Tasmania but due to the work situation we waited until retirement.  We both had good jobs in Sydney.

Yes there are people here with insular attitudes but they are few and far between where we live.  There are people from all over the place here and I hear lots of accents from the UK too.  So far we haven't had any problems with health care.  There is a small local hospital nearby and I have also been treated at a much larger hospital in Launceston.  One of my neighbours had an op for carpal tunnel and another problem and she had to go to a hospital in Hobart.

I'm not sure about the public schools as most of the kids I know seem to go to the private Catholic schools.  Lots of college leavers go to the mainland for employment and also just for a bit of an adventure.

If you do decide on Geelong/Ballarat, Tassie is only a short flight away or 12 hours by ferry.  :)

I love living here and don't feel cut off from anything at all but then I'm not a large town/city person.  

Edited by Toots
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3 hours ago, escape2oz said:

I keep reading about how tough it is to find work there,

What type of employment would you be looking at?   It varies tremendously across sectors....and also by area.  

Quote

not as good as the mainland in terms of access to specialists etc

Waiting times in the public system can be a problem but again it varies according to area.  I'm not aware of any problem with private specialists.....unless you have a rare condition which might necessitate a trip to Melbourne.    I've had 2  encounters with specialists within the last 15 months - a gall bladder removal and broken wrist - and was treated immediately and, I may say, without any of the horrendous private specialist fees currently being quoted in the press on the mainland.  For example, the fees for the orthopaedic surgeon were reimbursed 100% by Medicare and for the gastroenterologist I paid only  part of 2 consultations:   the actual surgery  (x 2 - one for gall bladder and one for a bile duct complication)  and anaesthetist fees (x2)  were also 100% reimbursed by Medicare.   

Quote

how public schools don’t perform as well etc.

I think "averages" can be very misleading.  The main disparities in  education and health etc. in Australia are between metropolitan and regional areas.  Tasmania has a higher proportion of its population in non metropolitan areas than any other state ....so these areas may suffer somewhat.  However,  you can find very good public schools in the state:  it's just a matter of doing your research and finding where they are.  ^_^  I currently have primary school age grandchildren and their education in a Hobart primary school impresses me as better than that of their cousins in a Canberra public school.  But that's a comparison between 2 specific schools.

Quote

In what ways do you feel disadvantaged – if at all – by living in Tasmania?

None at all.  In fact I feel very advantaged!  :biggrin:  There's nowhere else in Australia I would want to live.  I'd say Tasmania is not for you if your idea of a good day out is trawling through giant shopping malls....because there aren't any.   Likewise,   if your idea of entertainment is a different nightclub every night....because you'd run out of options very quickly.   The only disadvantage might be that some of the big name shows don't visit.  For example, to see Paul McCartney in concert you would have had to go to the mainland   (although he did visit Hobart on a luxury yacht for a while beforehand :cute:.)   But Elton John did 2 shows in Hobart.   However,  Melbourne is only a little over an hour's flight from Hobart - and it took me only 20 minutes to get to the airport to pick up a friend yesterday - and if there are particular shows people want to see, they fly over and make a long weekend of it.

Quote

My wife comes from an island (albeit a MUCH smaller one than Tassie) and she often speaks about feeling cut off from mainland Britain, people’s insular attitudes and how young people were ultimately forced to leave to pursue work opportunities elsewhere. Does Tasmania suffer from such drawbacks and to what degree would you say?

Many young people do go away for a while....but I think that is normal for the curious and intelligent from island communities to want to experience a wider world.  In fact, if I were the Dictator of Tasmania I would make it mandatory for all young people to leave for a while....just so they better appreciate what is special about this place.     The reality here is that so many come back when they want to settle down and have a family.   I personally don't think it's insular....  there are so many residents who have come from elsewhere (those from the UK form the largest migrant cohort) and so many who have lived and worked elsewhere,  both in Australia and overseas,   and chosen to return.     There is also an increasing trend of mainlanders whose occupation enables them  to work remotely,   choosing to live here for lifestyle reasons.

Edited by Skani
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6 hours ago, Toots said:

Work is definitely harder to find here.  I always wanted to live in Tasmania but due to the work situation we waited until retirement.  We both had good jobs in Sydney.

Yes there are people here with insular attitudes but they are few and far between where we live.  There are people from all over the place here and I hear lots of accents from the UK too.  So far we haven't had any problems with health care.  There is a small local hospital nearby and I have also been treated at a much larger hospital in Launceston.  One of my neighbours had an op for carpal tunnel and another problem and she had to go to a hospital in Hobart.

I'm not sure about the public schools as most of the kids I know seem to go to the private Catholic schools.  Lots of college leavers go to the mainland for employment and also just for a bit of an adventure.

If you do decide on Geelong/Ballarat, Tassie is only a short flight away or 12 hours by ferry.  :)

I love living here and don't feel cut off from anything at all but then I'm not a large town/city person.  

Thanks for your input :-)

I don't think we can go far wrong with Tasmania or Geelong/Ballarat to be honest.

Though I must admit, it's the thought of raising our family in Tassie that makes me smile the most!

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Hi Skani :-)

4 hours ago, Skani said:

What type of employment would you be looking at?   It varies tremendously across sectors....and also by area.  

I'm in the media/communications game so I guess that means Hobart is the most likely place where we'd end up. I also understand job opps in this industry could be few and far between in Tassie, relative to mainland state capitals.

4 hours ago, Skani said:

I think "averages" can be very misleading.  The main disparities in  education and health etc. in Australia are between metropolitan and regional areas.  Tasmania has a higher proportion of its population in non metropolitan areas than any other state ....so these areas may suffer somewhat.  However,  you can find very good public schools in the state:  it's just a matter of doing your research and finding where they are.  ^_^  I currently have primary school age grandchildren and their education in a Hobart primary school impresses me as better than that of their cousins in a Canberra public school.  But that's a comparison between 2 specific schools.

Your insights into healthcare and public education have largely alleviated my concerns. Thank you.

4 hours ago, Skani said:

I'd say Tasmania is not for you if your idea of a good day out is trawling through giant shopping malls....because there aren't any.   Likewise,   if your idea of entertainment is a different nightclub every night....because you'd run out of options very quickly.   

Suits us just fine!

4 hours ago, Skani said:

Many young people do go away for a while....but I think that is normal for the curious and intelligent from island communities to want to experience a wider world.  

Totally agree with you. 

4 hours ago, Skani said:

there are so many residents who have come from elsewhere (those from the UK form the largest migrant cohort) and so many who have lived and worked elsewhere,  both in Australia and overseas,   and chosen to return.  

Sounds eclectic! Can I ask you, how multicultural would you say Tassie is? I've always valued living amongst people from different backgrounds and cultures. Is this a strength of Tasmania?

4 hours ago, Skani said:

There is also an increasing trend of mainlanders whose occupation enables them  to work remotely,   choosing to live here for lifestyle reasons.

I hope to fall into that category myself. 

Thanks again for your response Skani - very interesting information!

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If you can find work, I would say move to Tassie! We have recently moved over from the UK to bring our 3 little ones up in a nicer environment.  ( husband is from Tassie though, so there are family reasons to be here too) . Loving it so far! 

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Quote

how multicultural would you say Tassie is?

On average Tasmania has fewer overseas born than the Australian average:  I think it is about 20%  v. 35%.  However there is a higher concentration around the Hobart area - probably due to the high numbers of international students at the University,  scientists at the various oceanographic and Antarctic institutions and medical professionals, including in research.  The restaurant industry around Hobart is certainly very multicultural.

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Just thought to add:  networking and "the grapevine" are an important part of the employment scene here.  Making contact with relevant agencies to sound them out the employment situation wouldn't go astray.    I notice MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) had an interesting media vacancy about a month ago.  

http://www.aplitrak.com/?adid=am9icy4yNDAyOC42OTgyQGVtcGxveW1lbnRvZmZpY2VhdS5hcGxpdHJhay5jb20&utm_campaign=joraau&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=joraau

I also have a couple of links which I can't give on PIO so will send you a private message.

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If you can find work, I would say move to Tassie! We have recently moved over from the UK to bring our 3 little ones up in a nicer environment.  ( husband is from Tassie though, so there are family reasons to be here too) . Loving it so far! 

That’s wonderful! Whereabouts are you living? We’ve been looking at Kingston and Riverside in Launceston.

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how multicultural would you say Tassie is?
On average Tasmania has fewer overseas born than the Australian average:  I think it is about 20%  v. 35%.  However there is a higher concentration around the Hobart area - probably due to the high numbers of international students at the University,  scientists at the various oceanographic and Antarctic institutions and medical professionals, including in research.  The restaurant industry around Hobart is certainly very multicultural.

Thanks Skani. That’s good to know. Learning a lot!

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Just thought to add:  networking and "the grapevine" are an important part of the employment scene here.  Making contact with relevant agencies to sound them out the employment situation wouldn't go astray.    I notice MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) had an interesting media vacancy about a month ago.  
http://www.aplitrak.com/?adid=am9icy4yNDAyOC42OTgyQGVtcGxveW1lbnRvZmZpY2VhdS5hcGxpdHJhay5jb20&utm_campaign=joraau&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=joraau
I also have a couple of links which I can't give on PIO so will send you a private message.

Great suggestion. I’ll touch base with them all a little later in the year once baby 3 has arrived and settled in. Will check my messages - thank you!

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I'm not a Taswegian but we did research the possibility of living there.   I love Hobart.  It's got all the amenities of a big city - nice cafes, restaurants, art galleries, clubs for any leisure activities you can think of (art, dancing, walking, crafts) etc.  And yet you only have to walk out of your door to see the sea and the mountains.   The stumbling block for us is that yes, my  hubby does think he would feel too cut off. It's not that you're really cut off, it's purely psychological, but that doesn't mean he can simply decide not to feel that way.   

There would be more work in Hobart than in Ballarat - but you could commute to Melbourne from Ballarat, it's a long commute but it's becoming increasingly common for people to do it.  At the very least, you could start out doing the commute until you could find something closer to home.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I think anyone who is thinking of moving to Hobart and renting a house needs to be aware that rental vacancies in Hobart are now the lowest ever recorded in any Australian capital city.  Rents have increased by 23% in Hobart over the past year and the city's vacancy rate of below 0.4% is more than four times tighter than any city on the mainland.  I certainly don't mean to put a dampener on anyone thinking of moving and renting but better to be forewarned.

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Yes, we were looking at property and my hubby is so fussy, we considered moving down and renting - but if anything, that's even more difficult.   Even with the increases though, rents are below what you'd pay on the mainland for the same size property.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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On Wednesday, January 03, 2018 at 22:32, escape2oz said:


That’s wonderful! Whereabouts are you living? We’ve been looking at Kingston and Riverside in Launceston.

We are on the NW coast in Port Sorell. We love it!  Although I think we would've liked Kingston / Blackmans Bay and all Hobart has to offer too. We just went with wherever I was offered work first.... plus husbands family are on this coast too. ☺

 

Eta ... I think Trevallyn in Launceston looks like nice place to live too.

Edited by Bound4Tassie

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On ‎4‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 13:00, Toots said:

I think anyone who is thinking of moving to Hobart and renting a house needs to be aware that rental vacancies in Hobart are now the lowest ever recorded in any Australian capital city.  Rents have increased by 23% in Hobart over the past year and the city's vacancy rate of below 0.4% is more than four times tighter than any city on the mainland.  I certainly don't mean to put a dampener on anyone thinking of moving and renting but better to be forewarned.

Not sure where you got these numbers from but they certainly aren't realistic! nowhere on earth other than Zimbabwe have rents increased by 25% in a year, agents would only sign rolling contracts because a one year deal would be throwing away thousands of dollars.

We viewed two rentals in November, applied for one got accepted the same day and moved in a week later. We are paying the same $400 a week for a three bedder that the previous tenant did in late 2016.

I don't feel its helpful to incite panic, what next talk of chinese buyers offering 10 times the asking price 3 seconds after new instructions...

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2 minutes ago, can1983 said:

Not sure where you got these numbers from but they certainly aren't realistic! nowhere on earth other than Zimbabwe have rents increased by 25% in a year, agents would only sign rolling contracts because a one year deal would be throwing away thousands of dollars.

We viewed two rentals in November, applied for one got accepted the same day and moved in a week later. We are paying the same $400 a week for a three bedder that the previous tenant did in late 2016.

I don't feel its helpful to incite panic, what next talk of chinese buyers offering 10 times the asking price 3 seconds after new instructions...

Blame the Mercury newspaper which is published in Hobart.  That was where I got the info.  Perhaps it is the Tassie equivalent of the UK Daily Mail and only prints rubbish.

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13 minutes ago, Toots said:

Blame the Mercury newspaper which is published in Hobart.  That was where I got the info.  Perhaps it is the Tassie equivalent of the UK Daily Mail and only prints rubbish.

Mercury relies massively on real estate advertising doesn't it, and they want to incite panic! I've heard them saying Hobart is the countries least affordable city! and average house prices are barely 20% of that in Sydney

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Not quite sure what its like to live in Tasmania, but love visiting Tassie. I've been to Launceston twice in the last few years for courses at the Maritime College and will be going again later in the year with the family (I took my wife on a previous visit) and will go exploring for a few days afterwards. In the winter it feels very much like rural England. 

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48 minutes ago, can1983 said:

Mercury relies massively on real estate advertising doesn't it, and they want to incite panic! I've heard them saying Hobart is the countries least affordable city! and average house prices are barely 20% of that in Sydney

I didn't know that.  I don't usually buy the Mercury - husband brought it home instead of our local 'The Advocate'.

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40 minutes ago, Cerberus1 said:

This is based on a median income of $52,800. I cant imagine anybody moving to the other side of the world for that salary.

for most uk immigrants I would have thought $70-80k to be more realistic to think about a move. In Sydney or Melbourne the same job might pay $100k.

I know you would get a substantially larger better property in Hobart for 25% of your take home pay (say $250 pw) than 25% of you Mainland income ($350 pw)

The article also ignores the size of the median property in Hobart (likely to be a small 3 bed house with a garden) rather than Mel or Sydney where its likely to be a 2 bed unit.

A proper article would say how many interior and exterior m2 of space you can get for 25% of the average salary. Under this measure Hobart wouldn't compare to any major city on the mainland.

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On 1/5/2018 at 23:05, Bound4Tassie said:

We are on the NW coast in Port Sorell. We love it!  Although I think we would've liked Kingston / Blackmans Bay and all Hobart has to offer too. We just went with wherever I was offered work first.... plus husbands family are on this coast too. ☺

 

Eta ... I think Trevallyn in Launceston looks like nice place to live too.

Travallyn suffers from floods in a huge way...http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-08/tasmania-floods-launceston-escapes-more-damage-waters-peak-lower/7488734 I would be doing much research before purchasing home there!

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On Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 19:21, THEKINGOFSIAM said:

Travallyn suffers from floods in a huge way...http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-08/tasmania-floods-launceston-escapes-more-damage-waters-peak-lower/7488734 I would be doing much research before purchasing home there!

Lucky I'm not then! 


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On 04/01/2018 at 11:49, Marisawright said:

I'm not a Taswegian but we did research the possibility of living there.   I love Hobart.  It's got all the amenities of a big city - nice cafes, restaurants, art galleries, clubs for any leisure activities you can think of (art, dancing, walking, crafts) etc.  And yet you only have to walk out of your door to see the sea and the mountains.   The stumbling block for us is that yes, my  hubby does think he would feel too cut off. It's not that you're really cut off, it's purely psychological, but that doesn't mean he can simply decide not to feel that way.   

There would be more work in Hobart than in Ballarat - but you could commute to Melbourne from Ballarat, it's a long commute but it's becoming increasingly common for people to do it.  At the very least, you could start out doing the commute until you could find something closer to home.  

I think you

re right about feeling cut off being psychological. We don't feel cut off where we live in Townsville at the moment, because we're not on an island. But it's so remote that we rarely ever leave the area. I doubt Tassie would feel more cut off.

Understand what you're saying about commuting to Melbourne from Ballarat, but I just couldn't face that and wouldn't do it to my family. 

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