Cost of Living in Australia: Salaries Compared

by BobinOz on September 22, 2009

in Cost of Living - Australia

In a previous post about the cost of living in Australia, one of my readers, Shawn, suggested that the true cost of living could only be calculated after comparing average wages between the two countries.

This was a very valid point and one I am going to address today. Once again, apologies to any of my readers who are not from the UK, but I hope you can at least use the information about Australian average salaries to compare them to those currently available where you live.

If you want to check out other occupations for yourself, the full list is available here for the Australian salaries and here for the UK incomes list.

Please note that I have added 6% to all UK incomes as the figures available to me were from November 2007. I think that is more than generous.

The Australian incomes were taken from an employment website and based on data from advertised jobs and claims, therefore, to be current.

Here is what I found:

salaries Cost of Living in Australia: Salaries ComparedI tried to be random in selecting occupations to compare, my “system” revolved purely around trying to find occupations that sounded exactly the same by their description. But there was one occupation I removed from the list which I will declare here:

Estate Agents were listed as having an average salary of $125,427 in Australia & just £29,544 in the UK. The Australian one was described as “Property and Real Estate, Residential Sales”, whereas the UK one was listed as “Estate agents and auctioneers”. To me they looked like the same occupation but the salary difference was huge. So I removed it. My guess was the Australian one was based on achieving some kind of massive sales target to get the extra commission.

Despite that, with the pound tumbling faster than a drunkard falling down a downward moving escalator, the differences between the two countries for average salaries is currently huge.

First I took the £315,649 and multiplied it by the current exchange rate of 1.866 AUD/GBP. So, if you did all 10 of these jobs in the UK you would have earned £589,190.42. That’s a staggering $142,760.58 LESS than you would have earned here in Australia.

On those figures, Australian salaries are 24% higher than those of the UK.

It is probably a more accurate figure to look at the average salaries across all occupations which are listed as a $62,270 in Australia according to The Australian Bureau of Statistics and £25,331 according to Government Statistic UK.

So £25,331 times 1.866 for the exchange rate becomes $47,267. So that’s $15,003 less than the Australian average and that suggests that the average Australian wage is in fact 31.7% higher than in England.

I never claim that my “cost of living in Australia” comparisons are the yardstick by which you should base all of your migratory decisions, they are more of a “no smoke without fire” guide.

But I think we can safely conclude from the above exercise that salaries and wages here in Australia are greater than those in the UK.

I have not been surprised by these findings, I think I have mentioned elsewhere that I believed wages were high here, I know, I tried to get a gardener. I ended up going to Bunnings, buying the gear and doing it myself!

But with these findings I think we can now all agree that if something appears to cost the same or cheaper here in Australia, it really is.

Update:

This post has needed updating for a while, I’m pleased to say I have now done it. Check out the new version at:

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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn October 12, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Hi BobinOz,

Apologies for not seeing this before the other day. I kept looking out for it as I was interested to see what you found, but somehow missed it until looking through your Oz vs UK comparisons. This is fantastic and I just left another message on your grocery comparison. Thanks for the information and I’m of the opinion you can use 2.3 (from your list of occupational wages) as a good guide to true affordability i.e. it has to cost 2.3 times what the UK price is before it is more expensive in Australia. I measure affordability as the true buying power of your income in local currency (not how much a dollar buys such as “burgernomics”). I hope people find this useful and thanks again for the great site!

Shawn

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Edward Fraser September 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Did you compare the cost of living also?

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BobinOz September 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Yes, I have a whole category about the cost of living. There’s a link in the sidebar on the right under the title “Categories”.

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BobinOz October 12, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Hi Shawn

It was your comment on the cost of groceries post that inspired me to write this one. So thank you for that. The two do clearly go hand in hand.

As I mentioned on the other post, 2.3 works well as an average but will vary depending on your occupation. For example, managers (retail) appear to be the only type of worker on the list above that will be worse off here in Australia. They won’t agree with 2.3.

Anyone wanting to know a more accurate figure would need to drill down exactly what their new salary was going to be here in Australia and work out their spending habits are so they can calculate the cost of the goods they will be buying regularly.

Or they can do what we did. Just turn up and find out as you go along.

cheers

Bob

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james December 18, 2009 at 8:31 am

HI again Bob,

Just looking thru this and I cant help wondering what the difference is in take home pay, the reason being that in UK with NI and tax it works out to a rough amount of 30% of your wage. Having a look on the internet I cant see anything concrete but some sites suggest tax is not more than 15% in Oz.

Is that correct or are we living in cuckoo land?

If so then it means there is a huge difference in wages.

ta

James

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BobinOz December 18, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Hi James

Sorry to disappoint you, but yes, you are living in cuckoo land. It works much the same here as it does in England, check out my post about income tax, it should give you some idea about your possible deductions.

If it is any consolation, the weather and the beaches here in Australia are much better than in cuckoo land. Worth paying a little extra tax for.

Cheers

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Kathryn February 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Hi James,

Australians pay tax on a SLIDING SCALE depending on their annual salary which ranges from NIL up to a maximum of 45%, viz:

NIL TAX PAID if your Taxable income is less than AUS$6,000.

15% TAX paid for each dollar over $6,000 up to an including a salary of $34,000 per annum (maximum tax in this bracket is 15% of $28,000 = $4,200).

If you earn between $34,001- $80,000:
You will pay $4,200 + 30% for each dollar over $34,000 (maximum tax in this bracket is $4,200+ $13,800= $18,000

If you earn between $80,001 – $179,000:
$18,000 + 40% for each dollar over $80,000 (maximum tax in this bracket is $18,000, + $40,000 = $58,000)

If you earn anything over $180,000+
$58,000 + 45% for each dollar over $180,000

On top of this we currently fork out 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax) for most imported or processed foods (but NOT basic food items, eg bread, milk, fruit, vegetables are NOT affected by GST). There was talk that the GST may increase but this would be political suicide for the political party that goes down this path. In addition, the current Labor Party have just introduced the unpopular Carbon Emissions Tax. It is debatable how much this will affect the ordinary taxpayer. Here is a link to provide you with some information:

http://www.carbontax.net.au/

Having said that, the Australian State and Federal Governments do provide generouse subsidies and benefits to families who fall in the lawer socio-economic classifications.

The first $6,000 you earn in an income year is tax-free. This is called the tax-free threshold. This amount can change if you have:

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Matt Playford January 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Lets not forget Bob that if you have a child here they give you $5K and if you’re family has only one income of under $70Kper year then you get $155pw family assistance.
We have been shocked to findout what the Australian Government class as “low income” (lol). I think my $70K a year is a good income and even without the Government money we have a great life.
Going back….never :-)

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BobinOz January 17, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hi Matt

Well, I’m a bit too old to start having new children so I’m afraid I’ll have to miss out on that 5K. I had heard a rumour that the low income threshold was around $40,000, but 70K? That is quite generous.

Australia, it gets better every day doesn’t it? Sun, sand, beach, and free tinnies for the low paid. Going back? No chance!

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mj January 23, 2010 at 2:19 am

Those government stat links you provided don’t seem to be comparing like with like, the UK figure is the median full time salary while the oz figure is the mean average which will always be higher.

UK mean average for full time job is about £31k which is A$53k at the moment.

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BobinOz January 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Hi MJ

Yes, I see what you mean. I appear to have quoted median salaries from the UK government. I stand corrected.

But I have to say that your estimate of £31,000 per annum as an average (mean) salary seems very high. Where did you get that figure from?

There is an interesting article about “average salaries” from the BBC here.

He suggests it was around £24,000 a year in 2008.

The Guardian, from an article dated November last year states that the “median” salary for 2009 was £25,816. They prefered median because, as they said “We’ve gone for the median figure, because it’s a better indicator than the average which can be distorted by high or low individuals”.

You can read that article here

But we need to compare like for like, so if you click through for the full data, the average (mean) salary figure quoted is £26,470

So I’d say £26,470 is a safe bet.

Doing the maths at todays exchange rate of 1.79 AUD/Pound £26,470 is $47,381 which is no different from the median figure that I quoted originally.

Looks to me like we’re back where we started with Australian salaries still more than 30% higher than those in the UK.

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james January 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

Well the above teacher salaries are slightly out but I guess that depends on how long teaching.

My wife has taught 3 yrs and in UK was on a very high £27k (in a state school would have been £25k) and since moving here will be on $68k by the end of the year

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BobinOz January 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Hi James

Yes, the above salaries are only a very rough guide.

But your real life example perfectly backs up the data that I have researched. Your wife’s salary of £27,000 in the UK would have been equivalent to around $48,000 here at current exchange rates. But she is on $68,000 a year here.

That’s about a 40% increase on the old UK salary. So my estimate of around 30% doesn’t seem too inaccurate.

I hope you are all settling in and loving it.

Cheers

Bob

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BobinOz January 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm

In response to MJ above….

MJ did answer my question about where he got those annual salary figures from, but he posted it over at our discussion about house prices.

But this is what he said…..

Hi bob, hope you’re enjoying the sun.

I got that average figure from the annual survey of hours and earnings 2009.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/ASHE-2009/2009_all_employees.pdf

Just click on the ‘annual gross’ link and select the ‘full time’ tab, it gives both mean and median figures.

————————-

I checked it out and here is my answer…..

The difference between 26K and 31K is enormous so somebody has got it wrong. The PDF/excel documents you have given a link to look genuine but even so, I found a discrepancy.

Look for exactly the same criteria but under weekly pay and it says the £570 per week. The notes say this assumes no time off at all. So if I multiply it by 52 weeks, (assuming these people do not lose money for holiday time) it’s still only comes to £29,640.

So for annual salary they’re saying the mean average is £31,916 but if you are paid weekly and have no time off it reduces by £2000 per annum. That sounds a bit strange to me.

The criteria for the annual salary average states that it is for “employees on adult rates who have been in the same job for more than a year”. I think that probably makes a really big difference to the real average annual salary is in the UK. Anyone who has been in their job more than one year is probably already enjoyed one pay rise.

But as they say, with statistics, you can prove anything you want.

So I’m sticking to my guns and continue to claim that salaries here are definitely higher than they are in the UK and probably by something like 30%.

My research suggests that an adult supermarket shelf stacker at Coles (Australian supermarket) gets $17.47 per hour or $664 a week compared with £6.08 per hour over a Sainsbury’s in the UK. I only use this example because it is a very good “like-for-like” case. Can anyone backup this info? Please step in if you can.

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mj January 28, 2010 at 3:49 am

Oh yes, I agree that at $1.8/£ Aussie wages are higher, but I’d also say that the cost of living is too.

At 2.1 or 2.2 though, I reckon they’d both be pretty similar.

When I was in oz a few years ago I was getting 2.8 to the pound and it was definitely cheaper than back home but wages were also less. Even at those rates though I remember a few things that were no cheaper than the UK, books clothes and beer in pubs spring to mind.

Anyway, I reckon that it’s perfectly possible to have a decent job paying enough money for a nice lifestyle in both countries so both come out pretty well on that score compared to most of the world.

Ps I think you’re looking at the ‘excluding overtime’ weekly figure. Including overtime the weekly mean is 587 but that doesn’t come to 31916 either so maybe that is a mistake, I don’t know.

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BobinOz January 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Yes, the bottom line is if you have a half decent job in either country you will live a perfectly good lifestyle.

The value of the pound versus the Aussie dollar makes a big difference of course if you are emigrating and bringing your English money with you. But for Australians working here, it matters not whether its 1.8, 2.2, or even 2.5.

Similarly, it doesn’t matter for English people who have no intention of ever coming to Australia. They don’t care what the exchange rate is. All that matters is what can I buy with the money I earn.

And on that score, there really is very little difference between the two countries. There are swings and roundabouts. For example, you will get a bigger house here on more land, you will be able to drive a 4×4 and afford to put petrol in it. But you will have to contribute to your medical care and yes, books are more expensive.

So for me, the cost of living isn’t an issue. The issue is, which country do you prefer to live in? Providing you can get work in both countries you will be fine whatever country you choose.

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Mick Sheehy October 14, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Using the exchange rate to compare salaries is an inaccurate assessment. It is only relevant when spending money on travelling and importing goods. At the end of the day, a Dollar made in Oz and spent in Oz is the same as a Pound made and spent in the UK. Im a Mechanical Fitter, like a lot of people in Oz, Im benefiting from the ongoing resource boom this country has. Working shift work and doing lots of OT I make $120 000p.a. In the UK I was flat out earning £30 000p.a. If I converted that in Oz $ at the moment I would be getting over $50 000. But it doesn’t work that way. My $120 000.p.a in Oz is the same as earning £120 000.p.a. in the UK. Oz is the only country in the world that hasn’t been affected by the G.F.C. It has basically maintained positive growth since the end of WW2. The average Ozzie has so much expendable money, multiple cars, houses, boats and OS holidays. All because the salaries are better for the average Joe Blow.

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BobinOz October 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hi Mick

Well yes, you are absolutely right. When the pound plummets, it makes absolutely no difference to people who live and work here. What does matter is how much you do earn here and how much things cost. Same in England.

But I have noticed that wages here are higher here than in the UK, and for someone considering moving here to Australia I think these figures are “useful”, but no more than that, in assessing what they might earn when they get here.

But I have to disagree with you that your “$120,000.p.a in Oz is the same as earning £120,000.p.a. in the UK”. The last time I did some research into house prices, the average price of a detached house in the UK was £344,989 and in Australia it was $481,625. If you wanted to buy a pint in a pub, in the UK I think you pay around three pounds, here you’d be looking at seven dollars. So one dollar in Australia does not have the same buying power as one pound in the UK.

But the difficulty is working out what $120,000 per annum is equivalent to in the UK. My best guess would be about £50,000, still way better than the £30,000 you were earning back in England. But I’m sure everybody’s best guess would probably be different.

So I do have a cunning plan to come up with something a bit better than best guessing and hope to post about that soon. But whichever way you cut it, I don’t think there is any denying that wages are definitely better here than in England.

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Ray Pearce January 18, 2011 at 8:34 am

Guys,

You are forgetting that Aust is only behind nz as having highest interest rates in the western world. So you have work out the interest only repayments on average house. In the UK you can source money under 3% while in Aust 7%

http://www.moneyshark.co.uk/comparison.php?compare=mortgages

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W.Carter September 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Australia has high interest rates because our economy is strong. Interest rates are lifted to control inflation as the economy strengthens, and are cut when the economy tanks.

Wishing for low interest rates is like wanting to break your leg to get good value from your health insurance.

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Kathryn February 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

At the moment you can get loans down to around 5.24%. However, Australia is also offering some of the HIGHEST interest rates on savings in the world – anything up to 6.01% (down from 6.51%) with some of the more prominent on-line banks.

What IS expensive here, however, is housing and home maintenance. I am an avid watcher of HOMES UNDER THE HAMMER (the UK home renovation show) and am amazed how cheaply home maintenance costs in the UK are! Example? My husband and I are planning an upstairs extension of our home as follows: knock down wall in downstairs two bedrooms to turn into a dedicated media room; stairs up to large master bedroom with balcony, walk-in robe and ensuite PLUS full size 3 way (main) bathroom and 2 additional double bedrooms. How much? An amount ranging from AUS$250,000 to AUS$300,000. Our buidling/renovation costs here are astronomical but (if you are lucky), the extension will increase the value of your home substantially but this is not always a given in this market. When watching HOMES UNDER THE HAMMER, I notice extensions and renovations on the Show costing around UK 10,000 pounds that would probably cost around AUS$60,000+ here. Mind you, I believe that homes in Australia are a lot better than what is offered in the UK. Ultra large eat-in kitchens, large bathrooms with spas and double showers, ensuites off main and secondary bedrooms, rumpus and dedicated media rooms, studies, large open-plan kitchen/family areas and formal and informal living areas as well as the famous Aussie outdoor, undercover BBQ (with external kitchen) are now the “norm” and expected. Such things are not common in most homes in the UK. It is a fact that, on average, Australians own the largest homes (per capita) in the world … unfortunately, this does impact on our Carbon footprint and cost of power!

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BobinOz February 2, 2012 at 12:08 am

Yes, houses are big here in Australia, see my post called my house is bigger than your house.

As for those cheaper renovation costs in the UK, I think there are three factors in play. First, labour is much cheaper there, second the houses are much smaller so less work to do and finally, those TV programmes you’re watching are probably three years out of date, knowing Australian TV :-)

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BobinOz January 19, 2011 at 1:35 am

Hi Ray

No, I haven’t forgotten, it’s just a different subject. And I haven’t written a post comparing interest rates between the countries because, well, what could I say? We all know the difference between 3% and 7%.

But I do agree, it is a factor to be taken into consideration.

Cheers

Bob

PS. You made me think, surely Australia isn’t in the western world? I know what you mean, but if we ain’t east, who is?

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Aaron February 15, 2011 at 3:38 am

hey all,

from what i seen and read i dont think theres much financial gain to be had if you guys moved here, houses cost the same, stuff at the shops is the same n a drink at the pub will cost u the same. My pomey mate at work recons the same but his reason to come here was to have a life style change.

so if you like your christmas hot then c’mon down

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BobinOz February 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Couldn’t agree more. Some things are cheaper here and some aren’t. The overall difference isn’t big enough to worry about. But I still think, if you factor in the higher salaries here, your Australian pay packet will go further.

So as well as getting that lifestyle change, you should also have more disposable income to enjoy it.

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richthepom March 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I agree with you Bob, wages are definately a lot better here in Australia than they are in UK.
I am a retail manager and my wages definately go further here than they did when I was in the UK. I have money left over to save and most definately have a better lifestyle.
Clothes are more expensive here for what you get. Bread, hot cross buns and yoghurts are very expensive here compared to England.

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hardik panchal April 18, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Hello, I am Hardik Panchal I am looking for a job in retail store. I was in uk for 4 years and worked in TESCO as a team leader. now planning to go Australia, so for that I require job in retail.

If anyboudy has vacancy in retail kindly contact me on my email id.

thanks.

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BobinOz April 19, 2011 at 1:00 am

richthepom meet hardik, hardik meet richthepom.

hardik, you’ve posted this comment in slightly the wrong place, this is where you should be replying to richthepom, never mind.

Do you have a visa to come to Australia that allows you to work here? Because without one, you can’t get a job in Australia. If you do have one, I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding work.

Good luck!

Bob

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BobinOz March 31, 2011 at 1:32 am

Hi richthepom

There you go, living proof that life here in Australia isn’t as expensive as it looks from the UK. The wages here really do make a difference.

Thanks for adding your views, always nice to hear someone else’s opinion firsthand. I like that too, “money left over”, not many people enjoy that!

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Tom April 15, 2011 at 12:27 am

Hi Bob,

I am 34 yrs old and have worked as a data manager for the NHS for the last 5 years (I have also worked as a software tester & an EFL teacher), but my dream is to become a fire fighter. I have tried to become a fire fighter in Manchester for a number of years but they are not taking on any new recruits. Could I do this in Oz? Would I need permenant residency 1st?

Cheers,
Tom

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BobinOz April 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Hi Tom

To work in Australia, you would need permanent residency or a job sponsorship. You won’t get sponsorship as a fireman here, because you aren’t one. Maybe you could get PR for your current work experience, I don’t know if it’s on the list. (Search SOL in Google)

So you would have two hurdles, first, getting in and second, getting work as a trainee fireman. I think it would be a lot harder than Manchester! But good luck, do all you can to achieve your dream.

Cheers

Bob

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Gazza May 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

All this bull is based on exchange rates only a few years ago the AU Dollar was $3 dollars to the pound and its present value will not last as it based on high interest rates , over double the UK Bank rate.
Thing is most UK immo’s will have to take jobs that are below what they have at the momment and will also lose things like full sick pay for more than 2 weeks a year plus pay higher tax rates than UK so lets not get too carried way.
Also expect to pay for schools and health care plus expect charges here for everything you can think of as 9 Governments need your cash , every dollar you spend 65 cents will be taken by the Governments to pay for the countless public sector projects and jobs.
The only Poms here that seem to better off are those work for minimum wages in the UK or had low skilled employment.
The real Australians live lifes no different to people in the UK , they watch far too much crap TV programs (Yank), eat fast food , work longer hours in general ,their kids spend all day on computor games and struggle to pay their ever incressing bills.
If you cannot not make a life in the UK its no different here.

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BobinOz May 6, 2011 at 12:57 am

The exchange rate at the time of this post was 1.866, not 3 dollars to the pound. Everything I have said in this post has been carefully researched and backed up with data and the references.

Where’s the proof of your statement “only Poms here that seem to better off are those work for minimum wages in the UK or had low skilled employment”? Or for that matter, any of your other ridiculous claims.

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nij August 30, 2011 at 2:39 am

Gazza, I’m new to this site, and have been quite extensively researching a move to Aus.

I am a doctor, which I guess is not classed as a ‘low skilled employment’, and most people are jumping ship and leaving the NHS and the UK.

I would on average work 8 hrs a week less and earn at least double what I do here (in reality probably treble). Plus house prices would be cheaper like-for-like (even with the very weak £ at present). However, I’m currently living in London, where as most people are aware, you cant buy anything remotely decent for at least £300k.

Plus the feeling and culture of actually feeling rewarded for hard work, having lovely people who actually smile at you as you walk down the street and the not being confined indoors whilst your taxes go towards the lower classes to loot the major cities at will.

Im 25, and in short I’ll be damned if I allow my future Kids to grow up in the stalinist gulag that is England.

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Johnny Briggs August 28, 2012 at 2:31 am

Agreed . Uk is a pile of absolute crap

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Bee May 10, 2011 at 8:33 am

Hi. Just wondering where you get your exchange rate data from. It has not been 1.8 in a long while. Is currently hovering around 1.5 and has even dipped into the 1.4s. Whilst this looks great if you are calculating salaries it does not take into account the soaring cost of living in Australia. It is one of the most valuable countries in the world. We would be paying substantially more for our mortgage payments if we were living back in Australia.

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BobinOz May 11, 2011 at 12:58 am

Hi Bee

Well, I got my exchange rate data from Reuters, a most trustworthy source. The thing is, this is a blog, they work a bit like diaries. This would have been my entry for the date that you see right at the top of the page. Where it says ‘by BobinOz on September 22, 2009′.

At the time, it was 1.866 AUD/GBP, but you’re right, it’s sure changed a lot since then. A lot has.

Cheers

Bob

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phil June 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Hi as a Brummie living in Melb for the last 25 years I have been reading with interest these posts

After a visit 2 years ago back to the U.K. Let me put my bit in

Quote: The only Poms here that seem to better off are those work for minimum wages in the UK or had low skilled employment.
The real Australians live lifes no different to people in the UK: end quote

I left a good paying job, but was not making any headway with no hope of improvement

I am now on a very good wage and and my life is very different.

It has not been easy but with hard work I am now enjoying a fantstic lifestyle

Yes interest rates are higher here, taxes are higher here basic food prices are higher here

The list goes on

I aggree if you have a good paying job in the U.K. and have plenty of equity in your house and are able to save you will be able to do all that here

But by selling up you get the added benitfit of upsizing you home here

you will get is a fantastic life style, with a bigger house and great weather to enjoy it

When over here forget about exchange rates you are living with Au$ when in the U.K. you dont think about Au$ you think in GBPounds

Be prepared for about ten years to put your roots down and it wont be easy.

dont forget you wont have anyone to fall back on if things go belly up it’s all up to you

But stick it out, put in the hard yards and you will better off

It’s all up to your mindset you come over here to make a better life

That the point YOU have to make the better life no one will give it to you

Phil

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BobinOz June 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I think that’s a good overview Phil, thank you.

Just as in most countries, you have to put in the effort to build a good lifestyle for yourself, it’s not going to fall into your lap. But I think for most people the quality of life they will get here in Australia will be better than they were used to in England.

But even if you come here and struggle, you’ll still very likely be living in a bigger house, you’ll have more open spaces around you, the weather will be nicer and you’ll probably still be better off here than in England. But the opportunity to have more disposable income is greater here for those who put in the work.

And 10 years is probably quite realistic in terms of how long it would take to really get settled here, but I suspect it can be done faster. I’m 3 1/2 years in, still have a way to go. But I reckon I’m a good halfway towards where I want to be as an Australian resident.

Cheers

Bob

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Hung Derezinski August 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Just leaving a quick comment to say I’m enjoying your blog…

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BobinOz August 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Nice one! Cheers.

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H September 1, 2011 at 6:41 am

Hi Bob,

I’d like to know what are the highest paid jobs in Oz.

Thanks,

Regards,
H.

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BobinOz September 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Anything to do with mining, oil and gas, engineering, construction, building and architecture are good. Visit my page about jobs, you’ll find the link under Migration Advice and any you will see some links to employment agencies.

Your find a lot of information on those sites.

Cheers

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chris from america September 24, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hey, Bob, they are right, its better elsewhere, and that is where they should stay. I am a glutton for punishment and am applying for a GSM visa to subject my wife and kids to the absolute misery that is Australia. It will clearly be terrible, and I hope that none of these naysayers are there to make our move that much worse. I reckon they are better off where they are, don’t you think?

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BobinOz September 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I think Australia is a very difficult country to get in to, so I can’t see the point of jumping through all the hoops just to come here and whinge. Seems bizarre to me.

Fortunately, not many people really hate living in Australia, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone in ‘real life’ who has genuinely said they do not like it here. But I do agree with you, anyone who doesn’t like here doesn’t have to stay. It’s not a prison, not any more anyway.

Good luck with your application!

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John September 27, 2011 at 9:46 am

Did you leave your sense of sarcasm behind when you left for Australia Bob? I’m pretty sure you misunderstood Chris’ post.

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chris from america September 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm

John, you got exactly what I was saying. I lived in australia for 6 months in college (more years ago than I care to admit), and evger since, I have told everyone I know 2 things I learned: First, that in those 6 months I made better friends with better people than I ever did before (or since), and second, that going to australia will ruin your life because you will spend a couple of weeks there on vacation, and then you will spend the rest of your life trying to get back. Its taken me almost 20 years, but I’m on my way – hopefully. Sorry if I upset you bob, I was only kidding, and I still hope to buy you a beer when we make it there for good!!!

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BobinOz September 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Hi John and Chris from America

Don’t worry, I haven’t had a sarcasm bypass since moving here, I completely got what you were saying and the sarcastic tone. What I didn’t do though, was read all 43 comments above it to see what you were referring to, because if I did that every time I answered a comment, I’d never see my family again.

Having now skimmed it, I can see not many people have been anti-Australian on this page, but I can assure you elsewhere we have some real Aussie haters. So I sort of answered it to address them, not knowing there weren’t many of them here.

Does that make sense? Anyway, I certainly haven’t got upset.

And I’ll take that be a Chris anytime. Cheers!

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James in Sydney October 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Hi. Id like to share my experiences. I moved here in June with my family of 3 young children and wife. I moved to set up the Australian branch of the company I work for. At 43, I agreed to do 2-4 years, with the option to stay for good. We had a nice lifestyle in the west of england prior to this, and my motivation to move was ‘for the experience’. We now live buy the beach, the kids have never spent so much time outside, and it always seems to be sunny, so , so far, so good. What is clear to me is that UK has suffered under the GFC and the buying parity of the pound against the AUD has halved in the last 3 years. For me, the country feels like buying power of the dollar has yet to catch up with its strength. Some imported goods, especially electricals are very good value(cheap flat screen TV anyone?) but everything eles is significantly cheaper in the UK. And the reason for this? As someone else mentioned, Australia is benefiting from a booming resource sector, continued growth and generally more jobs than people. With unemployment at around 4% (in essence, this is the measure of full employment), getting a job is easy, finding and retaining good people is hard! Many of the people I employ are lazy and feckless! They like to go home early and seem little fussed about going the extra mile. I can only assume they dont have to try to get employment, and yet I have to pay top dollar to retain them. But I cant lose them as I need people to run my business and getting new people is hard – its a great catch 22. So there is the reason for the high wages and high cost of living. My advice? If you want to move here permanantly, you have a real opportunity to shine and do well just by working that little bit harder. The opportunities for promotion are great just now. One interesting thing I have noticed, my staff from Asia and India work way harder than the locals (and Brits!) – a lesson to us all?

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ray October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

hi i live in the uk would like to leave the uk i have nothing to keep me here so do you have any IT jobs in your company im trustworthy decent person need a sponsor and happy to go the extra mile for my employer. any openings let me know thanks

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BobinOz November 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Hi James

Well thank you for sharing your experiences with us, I particularly relate to the children playing outside thing. That’s one of the real joys of living here as far as I am concerned.

During the hotter months, my daughter often comes home from school with a friend or two and jumps in the pool. She would live in there if she could. Then there’s parks and beaches, picnics and barbecues, it’s all very outdoors.

I love it! And you are right, Australia is very much a place of opportunities. If anyone gets the chance, they should come.

Cheers!

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Gman January 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

It is obvious that Australian wages are higher, however this is by no means how to calculate wealth. The cost of living is the key driver, everything in Australia is significantly more expensive.
Perth last year was $12 a pint, house prices are higher, fruit and vegetables are higher – not to mention health care where you need to have private health cover, even if just for the tax break.

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Gman January 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

It is obvious that Australian wages are higher, however this is by no means a way determining of you are better off. The cost of living is the key driver; everything in Australia is significantly more expensive.
• Perth WA last year was $12 a pint
• Average house prices are higher
• Renting a house is also significantly higher
• Fruit and vegetables are more expensive
• Private Health care is a must, even if only for the tax break
o Be aware even with the best health cover this will not cover all costs, my friend had a stroke, had the best cover and still ended up with a Bill for $6000
• In NSW 3rd party car insurance is not included in the rego and costs more
• Leave allowances are lower
o Only 20 days annual leave per year, in the UK I got 25
o Annual Sick leave allowance is only 5 days, not helpful in the event you catch more than the flu, which means you then need to pay for income insurance and have money to cover the wait period.
o If you off sick for more than 2 days you need to see a doc for a cert which also costs.
• Most states have 10 public holidays (same as UK) however NSW only gets 9. Some states also apply an additional charge on public holidays to cover staff increased rates i.e. bars and restaurants in WA add 10%
• The Public Transport service is far from fantastic, if your not near a train station forget about late night transport or anything after 7pm on a Sunday (and that’s in Sydney)
• Taxi’s cost more and are a nightmare to use, driver don’t know where there going (even with a GPS), refuse people further out of the city on busy nights, in WA there are well known for not turning up even if booked.
• Your driving license needs to be renewed every year.

Long story short:
If you had the same amount of money for a year in each country your money goes further in the UK, but money is not the reason you move, its lifestyle

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BobinOz January 17, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I have written posts on almost all of the subjects you have mentioned above, and I agree with you with some of them and with others I disagree.

My verdict on it all is that some things are dearer here and others are cheaper, it’s swings and roundabouts. The bottom line as far as I can see is there is not enough in it to worry about once you have taken into account the higher salaries here.

But I do agree with you wholeheartedly that the reason to move to Australia is for the lifestyle. And here’s my rule of thumb on that; whatever you earn in GBP in the UK, aim to earn twice as much in AUD here. Depending on your occupation, that normally isn’t hard to do, as you can see from this equation:

£1.00 = $1.50 x 30% higher salaries here equals $2.00.

Cheers Gman, thanks for your input.

Bob

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Kathy August 28, 2012 at 3:07 am

Gman, some of what you say is totally incorrect. Drivers Licenses in NSW (for non-provisional and non-Leatners) are valid for five (5) years. Taxis in London are a lot more expensive than Australia and public transport is very efficient with trains running until after midnight and bus connections a lot later. Annual sick leave is 2 weeks pa and accumulative and Australia has the most generous Superannuation and Long Service Leave benefits in the world. Fruit and vegetables are fresher and better and, depending where you live, you can buy them very reasonably. Don’t know where you lived in Oz but you need to get your facts straight on some areas of your info before you can lodge a valid criticism.

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david Shaw March 3, 2012 at 5:13 am

I’m currently living in the states but I came from britain originally and migrated to ozin 81(left to come here in 2002 after marrying an american) This is completely anecdotal of course but when I lived in england I was paying a little les than 25% of my takehome pay for a bedsit in Brighton and on arrival in Oz I was paying a little more than 25% of take home on a 2 bedroon unit taking into account both higher wages and lower prices I always reckoned that i pretty much doubled my effective income.

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david March 9, 2012 at 8:06 am

your calculations are not correct

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david Shaw March 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

I did say it was anecdotal. my experience is my experience, yours is yours.

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edwardfraser March 9, 2012 at 9:20 am

My mortgage in London was three days pay here in Sydney it two weeks pay. Bigger house here ofcourse but size isnt everything.

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lucy May 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

hi bob if we come over on the 457 visa are allowed to claim amy government? as i see that if u earn under a certain amount the top it uo with 155 dollars a week

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BobinOz May 10, 2012 at 12:46 am

Not sure, does anybody else know?

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Edward May 10, 2012 at 1:03 am

Lucy, I would say yes. I am a tax agent

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Kaye August 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

Hi Bob,

Great post. I read that real estate prices in OZ is ever increasing these past three months. I reckon it could be time to redo some of your early analysis posted above? Which are quite simplified and much appreciated by the way.

Also, I have long suspected that the OZ outdoors environment are good for children in general, including those with learning disabilities. All in all, I think we have to put a price tag on the lifestyle in Australia above everything else, then worry about the small stuff later given that we can get to do the kind of work that we do best.

Cheers,
Kaye

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BobinOz August 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Yes, this subject is certainly due an update as are my posts about the cost of housing, both are on my list of things to do.

I believe Australia is a great place to bring up children and do remember that there are tons of things you can do outdoors that are low or no cost entertainment. You can’t put a price on the lifestyle.

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Piotr January 7, 2013 at 4:37 am

Hi, Im Piotr Bargiel.
I’m 33 years old. I’m a plumber. I have 15 years of experience.
Looking for a job in Australia.4 years working in Ireland as a plumber, I
have references and supporting documents. Now I live in Poland. Do you need
plumbers from Polish, do you help in getting a visa? Maybe sponsorship? I
would love to live in Australia permanently with my family. Do I have to
sit the IELTS test. Please reply and help.
Thank you, Peter Bargiel

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BobinOz January 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Hi Peter

Finding a job isn’t the big issue, you will also need a visa to live in Australia, one that will allow you to work as well. They aren’t always easy to get and I couldn’t tell you whether or not you would have a chance of qualifying. To find out more about that, check out my page about Visas.

Cheers

Bob

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nick January 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi im nick,

I have 14 years experience of working as a croupier/ supervisor at my casino. Hopefully getting a transfer to Australia. My current wage at moment is about 18, 500 but with tips I earned 19, 100 last year. Just trying to find out how much id be getting roughly a year in oz. I s it true that the tips in oz make up 59 % of the wage ?
Hopefully everything will all fall into place and I can move my family over to meet the rest of my family living in Melbourne.
Thanks mate.

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BobinOz January 31, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I have no idea what kind of salary a croupier might get at the casino or what percentage you might receive in tips. Anyone else know about this? Hopefully someone else will help you Nick.

Bob

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Kathryn January 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hi Bob and Nick, Outlined below is a link that provides an average wage for a croupier in NSW, Australia, ie:

http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Croupier/Hourly_Rate

It looks like the hourly rate is around $25.00 ph (as a casual) or between $29,000 to $55,000 per annum. Nick, tipping in Australia is not the norm unless someone receives absolutely outstanding service. The reason for this is that, in Australia, we have governmental rules relating to the basic wage in that no Australian citizen working a permanent position can be paid less than around $606 per week (or around $32,000 per annum). In this way, our wages are generally higher than those paid in the USA and the UK. Have a look at some information relating to the current Federal Minimum Wage Act:

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx

It might be a good idea for you to contact a large Casino in Australia, outlined in the link below, and contact them to ascertain what the rules and rates of pay for casual employees who may not be Australian citizens. If you are not an Australian citizen, you will need to apply for working visas and may be subject to different working conditions. Be careful you are not exploited though as there are strict rules in place in relation to “”fair pay and working conditions” in Australia that provide Australians with some of the best working conditions in the world.

http://casinosaustralia.net/

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BobinOz January 31, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Great stuff Kathryn, thanks!

Bob

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Lee March 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hi.

Just been offered a job on a FSPO off the Perth coast.
Guys are earning $160000.
The pay looks great but the house prices are the stumbling block.
I have a 4 bed detached house in a nice area of North Yorkshire which set me back £260000 3 years ago, after speaking with a rep in Perth the same house would cost €750000 in north Perth.
I suppose I will be better off in Perth than Harrogate but not as much as I had hoped.
My biggest scare is if the housing bubble burst like in did in the uk it would be more severe in OZ and the way the house prices are rising this is inevitable.
Please can you tell me if its compulsory to pay super annuation and is this the OZ pension?

Thanks

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david March 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

It’s a while since I lived in oz so I know nothing about houses. Spuer though…yes, it’s comulsory. They were heading towards (% of salary but I don’t know if they’ve reached it. My experience was that pretty much all empoyers had at least a 1-1 match and yes for younger workers it is effectivly the pension If your super won’t pay a minimum when you retire then the state makes up the difference from the old pension scheme but I don’t know the minimums.

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BobinOz March 11, 2013 at 8:59 pm

The real problem with housing Lee is the weakness of the pound against the Australian dollar. 6 years ago, before the GFC, you would have got around $2.50 for every one of your pounds, so your £260,000 would have bought you $650,000, so your UK house in Harrogate and your potential house in Perth would not have been that far apart in price.

But, unfortunately, the exchange rate is what it is.

Would there be a major house price crash here in Australia? Nobody can truly answer that one in the same way that nobody can tell you if the pound will fight back strong against the Aussie dollar.

I feel your pain.

Cheers

Bob

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Kathryn March 12, 2013 at 10:40 am

Lee, I suggest you click on the following link which offers free and independent advice and information in relation to Superannuation benefits, rules and general enquiries relating to a wide range of Superannuation funds. In Australia, the employer’s contributions into every employee’s Superannuation fund has just increased to 12% – the amount of Superannuation contributions are often incorporated into the employee’s advertised annual salary.

http://www.superguide.com.au/

Real estate values in Australia just seem to go from strength to strength, especially in the popular cities of Sydney and Melbourne where demand exceeds supply. Real estate agents have forecast another boom throughout the latter part of 2013 and into 2014 especially in investments into brand new housing. Yes, it is true, that homes in Australia are more expensive than homes in the UK but what you must remember is that homes here are a lot larger. In fact, the average home in Australia are considered to be the largest in the world …

http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/australian-homes-still-the-worlds-biggest-20110822-1j5ev.html

Often, the average family home in Australia has 4 large bedrooms (with an ensuite and walk-in-robe off the master bedroom), very large bathrooms with double showers and spa baths, huge open plan modern kitchens with every modern convenience and granite benchtops and splashbacks; Adjoining family rooms that often opening out to huge Outdoor Entertaining areas with outdoor kitchen/bbq areas, separate formal living/dining areas plus other living rooms, eg dedicated media rooms (complete with tiered seating and projector screens), rumpus rooms (suited to place a billiard table). The main reason for this increasing demand for such large homes is that the X-Y Gen are NOT moving out and there are in recent times up to 5 adults living in a home (long-term) requiring their own “space” and different living areas. Of course, the main problem with these large homes as they have a huge carbon footprint (using a lot of power) so there will come a time when such large houses may be frowned on. Nevertheless, all new homes must have rainwater tank storage and other forms of eco-friendly facilities, eg solar power. When you look at the quality of homes here compared to what’s on offer in Europe, there isn’t much comparison.

If you read the following link you will notice that Perth’s median multiple for housing affordability is measured at 5.6, behind Sydney (8.3), Melbourne (7.5) and Adelaide (6.5) but more than the national marks for Canada (3.6), Ireland (3.2), the UK (5.1) and US (3.1).

http://www.watoday.com.au/business/property/perth-severely-unaffordable-as-australian-housing-tops-worlds-least-attainable-list-20130121-2d2t7.html

It is true that Australia has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world but this must be measured against our salaries which are among the highest salaries in the world … refer the link below

http://www.news.com.au/money/cost-of-living/rolling-in-it-aussies-earning-more-than-everyone-else/story-fnagkbpv-1226423153454

Of course, not ALL Australians earn six figures a year but if you are well educated and/or have a good trade, eg electrician, plumber or mechanic, the chances of you earning more than $100K+ are excellent. If you have a university degree (especially a mining engineer, actuary, accountant, law, medicine) the sky is the limit. My son is only 30 and earns over $180K pa as a Network Engineer and my daughter-in-law earns $120K pa as a Human Resources Manager. This is probably just as well considering they just borrowed over $950K for a house with $5000 per month repayments over 30 years. Seems scary? Well, it is to me but so many X-Y Generation seem to be heading down this route and, unlike Baby Boomers, debt does not seem to bother them. My advice though is when you come to purchase a home (anywhere), only get a loan whereby the maximum you have to repay is 40% of your NET income and leave enough to go on holidays, dining out, enjoying life leaving enough to put aside for a rainy day. Good luck!

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BobinOz March 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm

What a phenomenal post Kathryn, thank you for taking the time to do it. Some great links, I just want to add one more about housing…

My House Is Bigger Than Your House.

But that’s not personally addressed to you Kathryn :-)

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richa July 30, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hello Bob,

Hope u doin good there. We are all set to make our move to Sydney, however, I am just a bit too scared about the stuff I read about snakes and spiders etc in Sydney. We are planning to live in the Hills region- Baulkham Hills most probably.

I read that dangerous snakes live in the green and bushy suburbs. I’d like to know how likely are you to come across one in your garden? I’ve read they can try and seek shelter in houses. I am very scared for my little kids. Does living in Sydney means my kids cannot play in parks and gardens :( ??

How many people actually come across snakes around their homes? Inside and outside please?

And what about the Sydney funnel web spider, that thing is lethal. I’ve read that white tailed spiders can be found in clothing and bedding and when bitten can cause necrotising ulcers. How often are these seen around the home? Do people find them in their clothes? Beds? I’m very scared of nasty surprises in our clothes/beds or the possibility that a snake might try and find cover in our house and jump out at us if we come across it’s hiding spot by mistake. Or I might be in a small room and it will come slithering in by mistake and I can’t get out past it.

Is it safer to live in an apartment? Less chance of things getting up there?

And the stats say about 4000 people are bitten by snakes each year but can anyone tell me how many of these are out in the bush and how many near suburban homes?

Regards,
Richa

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BobinOz July 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Just curious, I have loads and loads of posts about spiders and snakes, yet you post this question underneath an article about the cost of living in Australia?

If you had posted it somewhere about snakes, or even on my page about Sydney, you would have got a lot more help than I can give you. Others would have come in and answered. Just a suggestion.

Anyway, yes it is possible that snakes can come into your house, I had one…

http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/6850/snake-in-the-house-australia/

Now that I’ve scared the pants off you, I’ll tell you that you are worrying too much about these things, people who live here in Australia are not consumed with the fear of snakes and spiders, we just get on with our lives. Hiding in an apartment isn’t the Australian way :-)

I’m also not sure exactly what you are reading, but it’s about 1200 people a year who get bitten by snakes, but the stats show that only around two or three people die. As for spiders, nobody has died in Australia from a spider bite since the 70s.

Search my website for posts about both snakes and spiders and you will learn a great deal, you also might be interested in purchasing an excellent book about staying safe in Australia from snakes by my friend Geoff Coombe, you can read about that on my page Living with Snakes.

Good luck, Bob

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richa August 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks for getting back. Sorry I didnt know that you had posted about snakes etc elsewhere. I bought the ebook and went through it and I am quite relaxed now that they are not gonna come after me unless I want them to :)

Thanks a lot !
Richa K

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BobinOz August 2, 2013 at 12:25 am

Glad to hear you are more relaxed about it now, Geoff added some more information below, not sure if you saw it.

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Geoff Coombe August 1, 2013 at 11:37 am

G’day Richa. I’d like to add a bit to Bob’s reply to you.
I’ve been actively involved with venomous snakes since 1971 in a number of different areas. My interests are in snakes as a fascinating animal, understanding the interactions between snakes & humans, & how snakes can benefit us (mostly from a medical viewpoint).
My interest also extends to snakes anywhere in the world, including the UK. This summer there has been quite a few reports of people & pets bitten by adders.
Living with snakes, wherever they are, is a balance.
Like lots of other “hazards” wherever we live.
Unfortunately snakes (or spiders, sharks etc) attract media attention, often not very accurately. There are many myths about them (nearly 50 that I know of at last count), so separating fact from fallacy can be difficult if you don’t know where to go.
I’m happy to help through Bob’s pages.
The figures about snake bite in Australia Bob stated are the most accurate & up to date compared to only a few years ago & they do reflect the situation here with snake bite. It’s far less of a problem than many other issues we just take for granted.
Snake catchers in all Australian capital cities & some regional areas attend to calls from the public when a snake is of concern. And yes that does include some that are in the close vicinity of or in a house (or other occupied building).
My book gives information about snakes most likely to be found around all Australian capital cities. Even though most of our snakes are technically venomous, only a minority of them are dangerously venomous (as in the Sydney area).
The book gives you lots of information (printed or websites) to look for more details so that you have an accurate view of wildlife hazards in Australia (including spiders & other venomous creatures).
For information generally about venomous or poisonous creatures go to the toxinology website http://www.toxinology.com. This includes details of first aid for bites or stings of any hazardous creature.
Re spiders. The majority of the world’s spiders are venomous (including in the UK). With White-tailed Spiders, a study of 130 definite bites within the past 10 years found that not one of them caused necrotic lesions due to the spider’s venom. But bacteria has been known to lead to such medical issues.
If I can help you further let me know.
Geoff

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Gaurav June 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Hi BobinOZ,
Its very good to read your thorough researched articles. I had a question in my mind though. I am a student at a University in Sydney studying Masters in IT and I have an experience of 3 years working as a software developer in India. I have been working as a part time software developer at a company (mentioned in website above) in Sydney. I asked them about considering a sponsored permanent residency. But as it is a start up company , They said even though I am a good developer, they can’t afford to sponsor my PR. I would really like to stay here. What my further steps should be in order to achieve that? Thanks in advance.

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BobinOz June 10, 2014 at 1:26 am

Hi Gaurav

As I understand it there are certain criteria that companies needs to comply with in order to be able to sponsor somebody and it costs money to do it. I’m afraid the company you are currently working for have quite openly said you that they are not in a position to sponsor you.

I don’t think there’s much you can do other than try and find work with a company that is in a position to sponsor you. This book may help, How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia, but at the moment this situation is out of your hands. There is nothing you can do (in my opinion) to pave the way for sponsorship with the company you are currently working for.

Good luck, Bob

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