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Guest NeilEB

ICT Business Analyst & Living Costs in Canberra

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Guest NeilEB

Hi all,


To cut a long story short, My wife and I are interested in a move to Perth, but I'm looking at other options in case WA decline my SS application.


Is there much work for Business Analysts in Canberra? I notice the position is still open on the ACT SMP.


Also, what kind of wages should I be looking at, and what would I need to support a family of 3 (my son is 3 years old) - we'd be renting, and needing at least one second hand car (assuming I can bike or get public transport to work.


Finally, what's the turnaround time fro applying for SS and it being processed?


Thanks for any help!

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No idea about Business Analysts other than a quick google shows quite a few ads but mostly for short term contract and a good number of them are with government which will probably require citizenship. That's the problem with Canberra - the biggest employer is the APS (Public Service) which requires citizenship in order to be employed. ACT gov requires only permanent residence but is a much smaller system. It looks as if contract work is the name of the game in that area at the moment and the people I know who are generally happy lurching from contract to contract are a bit concerned at the moment as the work (not necessarily in your area - more IT project management) has slowed right down


Canberra is an expensive place to live and we seem to have the haves and the have nots - the average salary is around $80k but the average household income would be around the $130 mark I should think as most families seem to be two income these days. Rentals are going to cost you around $500 a week for something decent and there is a swings and roundabouts relationship between rents and transport - cheaper areas are further out and cost you more in transport so do you pay more for the rent and less for the transport or economize on rent and pay more for transport. You will probably find that you will need 2 cars as it is not fun being out in the suburbs reliant on public transport. You can bike, we have good bike paths but at 6 pm on a winter's evening you really wont want to be pedalling home 25 km. Buses are going to cost you at least $50 per week and parking in the city would be the same.


I spend on average around $5 - 6k per month on my credit card (which I pay off each month) and that doesnt include rent, just living costs like insurances, rego, entertainment, petrol, communications, food etc (last month was over $8k because of elective surgery). On top of that I can usually get through $100 a week just for incidentals and my DH is probably about the same. Thats for two oldies who dont stint on our entertainment but neither do we go overboard, just keep our heads above water and indulge in the occasional renovation project. Fortunately we have no rent or mortgage to pay because if we did, on our income, which is above the national average, we would have to be making serious cuts to our lifestyle.


When we were younger, in addition to the mortgage we were forking out $20+k pa for our two boys' education. Things were very tight and we were technically a comfortable two income family.


However, Canberra is a good place to live, it has lots of advantages - 4 definite seasons, close enough to bush, beach and snow, excellent facilities, clean and calm (for the most part), lots to do if you go out and look for it. Education isnt bad and there is a strong parallel education system that many Canberra families avail themselves of.

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Guest NeilEB

Thanks Quoll,


Sounds like it might not be right for us, but I'll look into it further if WA turn us down.



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Quoll is right in the cost of living, difficulty with gainign employment without citizenship but I thought I would give you some salary figures. I am a very experienced BA and contracted in management positions in Canberra.


Contract wise: $80ph is about the going rate for an average BA 5+ years experience.

Public service: There are very few BA positions higher than an EL1 - max salary $90000, but you'd start at $80000. After that you have to be an generalist IT manager, EL2 min salary $100k, with the odd exception you can get this as a BA.

Consulting wise: $90-120k depending on experience


Canberra has the highest salaries for BAs in the country, and the most constant demand, in my experience... I personally left as I am more keen on Business Change and the work in Canberra is very ICT focussed.


The main problem is citizenship, but with some roles you can get employed as a permanent resident. (my consultancy does, I found work contracting and I know others on here that did with some other government departments).



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Hi Restfamily,


Refer to the point you mention about "some roles you can get employed as a permanent resident". Do you mind to share with me what is the title for that position? is it also under the title of Business Analyst? Can you give example of the the role?


By the way, any good job seach site for business analyst?

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Hi Neil,


I'm current working as a contractor in the ICT PMO of one federal Government department (and my wife's in another!) and the contracts side is pretty up and down.


First, to work for the Australian Public Service (equivalent to our Civil Service) you do need to be an Australian citizen.


However, most ICT functions in federal Government departments seem to be made up of more than 50% (80% in some cases) contractors so there are plenty of roles; the federal Dept of Human Services for instance claims to have the largest ICT function in the southern hemisphere. Also, you don't need to be a citizen; plenty of the contract roles are filled by foreign nationals although some places like Defence require security clearances which you probably won't get unless you're a citizen)


The downside is that contractors, and ICT contractors in particular, seem to be the first to be let go everytime the government wants to show a little muscle. Many government departments have been known to get rid of pretty much all their contractors at the end of the financial year (30 June for the Government) but then gradually hire them all back again afterwards (as the work doesn't just disappear) only to fire them all again towards the end of the next year to try and stay within budget. Consequently there's a real embuggerance factor.


Many posts will be advertised on deprtmental websites or you could try some of the local IT recruitment agents such as Paxus, Candle, SMS/M&T Resources or check websites such as Seek


I have a full set of rates in work so will try and get some samples for you for tomorrow.


As for the cost of living in Canberra, Quoll's info is always spot on but there have been several other threads on PIO on the same topic recently so you could also try those.


All the best

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