Archive for » May, 2013 «

Australia ranked ‘The happiest nation in the world – again

For the third consecutive year, Australia has been ranked as the world’s happiest nation (among developed economies).

The Better Life Index compiled by the OECD, ranked Australia first, largely due to the overall strength of its economy

The annual survey ranks more than thirty countries on criteria such as health, safety, housing and income levels.

According to the OECD, “Australia performs exceptionally well in measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index,”

More than 73% of Australia’s 23 million people aged 15 to 64 hold a paid job, which is above the OECD average.

Life expectancy at birth is also higher, at almost 82 years.

Australia’s economy has posted more than two decades of straight growth due to demand for its natural resources.

The nation also managed to sidestep the worst of the financial crisis and was the only major developed nation to avoid the global recession in 2009.

The country’s economic strength has been reflected in the Australian dollar, which is currently trading close to 30 year highs.

A challenge Australia does face is the widening income gap. According to the OECD, the top 20% of Australia’s population earn six times more than the bottom 20%.

The World’s Top Ten Happiest Countries

1 Australia
2 Sweden
3 Canada
4 Norway
5 Switzerland
6 United States
7 Denmark
8 The Netherlands
9 Iceland
10 United Kingdom

Moving to Australia Webinar event

Our sister site – Poms in Oz is hosting a live webchat session with leading experts in banking, currency exchange, financial/pensions advice, international removals, pet transportation and vehicle importation. The chat event will take place on Tuesday 28th May 2013 from 20:00-22:00 (UK Time). National Australia Bank, Moneycorp, PSS International Removals, PetAirUK, Vista Financial Services and IronLady Imports will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about your move.

If you have an account on Pomsinoz, to participate, head over to www.pomsinoz.com, login, then click on the ‘chat’ menu option at the top of the page. Clicking on chat will launch the chat software. There will different ‘rooms’ for each of the different companies.

If you don’t have an account of Pomsinoz, you can still participate by by following this link – Chat with Industry Experts, then, once the chat software has loaded, tick the ‘Guest’ option at the top of the chat window, then choose a username and click ‘Login’ and enter the ‘Moneycorp, NAB, PSS, PetAirUK, Vista Financial Services or IronLady Imports’ chat rooms.

 
National Australia Bank

Rebecca Joils will talk about the Australian Banking system providing you with some insights as to what is different between the UK and Australia. She will also talk about how straight forward it is to open an Australian Bank account before you leave home and some of the services you should consider.

 
Moneycorp

Whether you are moving to Australia, or living there already, John Kinghorn will bring you the latest updates on the Aussie dollar and provide insight into the key factors influencing market movements. Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating and transferring your funds at the right time, via the right channel, can make a big difference to the amount of money you actually end up with.

 
PSS International Removals

One of the key ingredients when you are moving overseas is the planning of your removal. Liam Witham will be on hand to offer advice and answer any questions you may have regarding the packing and shipping of your household effects, including what items you can ship to Australia, Australian Customs procedures and AQIS.

 
PetAir UK

Bob Ghandour, Veterinary Consultant and Director of PetAir UK will be on hand to discuss any aspects of shipping your pets to Australia. PetAir UK is a unique pet travel service run by specialised vets for ultimate peace of mind. We will transport your pets safely and comfortably – worldwide. No matter what the journey, we will remove the stress of complicated pet travel arrangements and ensure the best possible service to our clients and their much-loved companions is one of our highest priorities. We operate a ‘one of the family’ policy, where all animals are treated with the same respect and care as our own pets. We know how much it means to you that your beloved pet arrives safely and by using PetAir UK you can assure yourself you are providing the very best care for your pet. We offer truly comprehensive packages which provide absolute continuity from start to finish. Every client is allocated one of our personal veterinary consultants who will oversee every step of the process. From complex documentation and import permit applications through to last minute flight changes, nothing is a problem for our competent and dedicated team.

 
Vista Financial Services

Andrew Williams is both a UK qualified and Australian practicing Financial Adviser and Mortgage Consultant specialising in advising UK expats in Australia on the transition and development of their financial affairs. From assisting clients with securing their first Australian mortgage through to working with them to understand whether transferring their UK Pensions is in their interests, Andrew is able to help answer your questions and concerns on a wide range of financial planning matters.

 
Iron Lady Imports
Iron Lady Imports is a small, Australian-based business that specialises in arranging transportation of vehicles from anywhere in the world to any port in Australia. For a fixed brokerage fee, we can help arrange your vehicle’s import approval paperwork, shipping, customs clearance and registration in Australia. Aside from our fee, all other costs are invoiced to you directly – no hidden markups! We’re also happy to advise you if it’s worth bringing your car over before you start (that part’s free!).

New Life in Sydney Forum

Moving to Sydney Forum‘Australia Migration Forums’ are pleased to announce that we’ve just launched a forum for people for are emigrating to Sydney, New South Wales (and for people already living in Sydney of course 🙂

The forum has been running for a couple of years under one guise or another, but following our (very) recent acquisition, we’ve given it a makeover and a relaunch.

So whilst the forum is effectively brand new, as the advert goes “From little things, big things grow!”

So, if anyone is heading to Sydney and has any questions, we’d love to hear from you on the forum.

The new site can be found at www.sydneyforum.com

For the techies out there, this is our first forum which is running on the Xenforo platform. All our other forums use Vbulletin v4.x, but as we don’t intend to move to Vbulletin v5, we’ve decided to look at this new platform which the intention of migrating our other sites over the next couple of years.

Australia migration intake to stay at record levels for 2013-2014

Australia’s migration program will be maintained at 190 000 places in 2013-14 to help fill skills shortages and reunite Australian families, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O’Connor announced yesterday.

‘The Gillard Government’s top priority will always be jobs for Australians. The permanent migration program is about getting the balance right between our economic and social objectives,’ Mr O’Connor said. ‘Our migration program ensures skilled migrants will continue to fill critical gaps in regions and sectors with genuine skills shortages.’

The 2013-14 program provides 128 550 places for skilled migrants, 60 885 places for family migration and 565 places for migration under special eligibility.

The government has made a small shift of 700 places – from the skill stream to the family stream – in response to the continuing high levels of demand for family stream places from Australians, particularly in the partner category.

‘Skilled migration continues to make up more than two-thirds of the program because of its obvious benefits to our economy and society,’ Mr O’Connor said. ‘Targeted skilled migration enables Australia’s economy to grow by addressing skills gaps and bottlenecks.

‘It is important that our skilled migration program is driven by genuine skills needs. Under the Gillard Government, skilled migration to Australia will continue to be carefully targeted to ensure skilled migrants complement but do not replace the domestic labour force.’

Skilled migrants who are sponsored by employers to fill vacancies that cannot be met locally and regional skilled migrants will continue to be given the highest priority in recognition of the needs of employers and regional areas.

‘Our regional and state and territory skilled migration program categories are unchanged – we remain committed to helping regional economies and communities grow,’ Mr O’Connor said. ‘A regionally focussed skilled migration program which targets the best and brightest combined with a family program that enables Australians to live with their close relatives and partners will continue to deliver for Australia.

‘This Budget keeps our economy strong, makes the smart investments for our future and ensures every Australian gets a fair go.

‘We are investing for the future, putting jobs and economic growth first and protecting the important services that Australians rely on.

‘The Gillard Government is doing this to keep our economy one of the most resilient in the world – we have low unemployment, solid growth, contained inflation and low interest rates.’

457 Visa Application cost to double in price

From the 01st July, the application fee for skilled foreign worker visas will increase from $455AUD to $900 AUD. The price hike was announced in the budget yesterday. The decision comes as the government continues its crackdown on the 457 visa scheme. As part of this crackdown, the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman will also gain $3.4 million over four years as it gets powers to look more closely into alleged rorting of the 457 visa scheme.

Calls for cost of 457 visas to be increased

A report by The Migration Council Australia says that the cost of employing temporary skilled migrants should be increased, in order to encourage Australian businesses to look harder for Australian workers.

The report was based on a survey of 3,800 people working in Australia on 457 visas and 1,600 businesses that employ the temporary migrants.

The report is overwhelmingly positive about the scheme, saying 457 workers have a high level of job satisfaction and integrate well into the Australian workforce.

However, it calls on the federal government to increase sponsorship and nomination fees associated with the scheme, to act as a price signal.

Currently, nominations cost $85 and sponsorships cost $420.

“This should be increased to ensure that more businesses look to hire Australian workers where available,” the report says.

Extra revenue from the scheme could help strengthen compliance and settlement services, it says.

The report identifies some rorting of the scheme, with about two per cent of 457 workers being paid less than the necessary threshold.

It therefore recommends improved monitoring of the scheme.

The report also says more than 70 per cent of 457 visa holders intend to become permanent residents in the future.

Tranferring money from UK to Australia

australiandollar-britishpound

For people in the UK who are moving to Australia, there’s been some good news over the last month or so with the British Pound strengthening against the Australian Dollar. The GBP has risen around 7 cents over the past month.

Last week, the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the official cash rate to 2.75%, whilst today there is flat trade on the local share market.

The All Ordinaries Index was down two points to 5,189, and the ASX 200 was three points lower at 5,203.

Weakness among mining stocks limited gains on the market this morning.

A drop in spot gold prices was hurting the gold and copper miner Oz Minerals. Its share price had fallen almost 5 per cent.

Fortescue Metals was down 2.3 per cent and BHP Billiton was 1 per cent lower.

The major department store retailers were out of favour.

David Jones was down 1.6 per cent and Myer was 1.2 per cent lower.

Commonwealth Bank shares were up 1 per cent, NAB was up 1.7 per cent and ANZ had added almost three-quarters of a per cent.

Westpac, which is trading ex-dividend today, was down more than 3 per cent.

The Australian Dollar could weaken further with the RBA tipped to make one further rate cut over the next few months.

 

Australia in top 10 countries to be a mother

Save The Children has just released it’s annual ‘State of the Worlds Mothers’ report which is a yearly ranking of countries, showing the best (& worse) places to be a mother.

This year, Australia has been ranked as the 10th best country to be a mother. (ranked 07th last year)

Researchers assess the health, educational, economic and political conditions for mothers and children in 176 countries

This year, Nordic coutries led the way with, with Finland coming in first place, followed by Sweden, Norway, Iceland, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Australia is the only non-European country listed in the top 10.

Save the Children’s Annie Bodmar-Roy says there is not much separating the top 10 countries.

“You can think about it like an Olympic race,” she said.

“The person who comes in second, third and fourth are half-seconds behind the person who comes in first so it’s a very small difference.

“But really I think what we need to look at for Australia is access to education and health for all different groups across the country.

“It would make a difference in getting us back up there.”

The UK was ranked 23rd this year (falling 13 places from 10th last year) and the United States is 30th.

The Democratic Republic of Congo came in last, behind Somalia and Sierra Leone.

Moving to Perth Australia?

If you’re considering emigrating to Perth in Western Australia and don’t know where to start, then join our online community at www.perthpoms.com

Perth Poms was formed five years ago to provide help and support to people looking at making the move to WA and also to act as a place where expats who’d made the move down under could socialise and make new friends. After all, rebuilding your social circle and support network is one of the hardest tasks newly arrived migrants face.

The forum has over one thousand active members who regularly participate. Help and advice is available on all aspects on the emigration process such as visas, flights, removals companies, shipping insurance, shipping pets, transferring money etc along with post arrival issues such as where to live/which are the best suburbs, which schools are the best, where can I find work, meeting friends etc

With over two and a half thousand posts made each and every month, the forum contains a plethora of valuable information. If you’re considering making the move to Perth or have already migrated, we’d love for you to joing our ever growing community.

Registration is quick and simple, so what are you waiting for 🙂 Join the biggest Perth migration forum on the internet.

 

 

Save money when transferring your savings to Australia

Transferring money to or from Australia? Save money by using the experts moneycorp

By John from Moneycorp

When should I transfer my money overseas and how can I make sure I get the best exchange rate? This is a key question if you are looking to move to Australia or have already moved there. The exchange rate fluctuates every day therefore this can make a big difference to your finances when making money transfers to or from Australia.

What can you do about making sure you get the best value for your money? You could speak to your high street bank, however they typically do not have the expertise or market knowledge necessary to monitor the currency markets on your behalf. Foreign exchange is not a key service for them so they typically won’t offer you a competitive exchange rate either.

Moneycorp, the UK’s leading money transfer company, have a team of experts who can help you with your money transfers, no matter the size. They offer free information and guidance on the Australian dollar, helping you decide on the best time to send your money overseas.

Poms in Oz & Moneycorp

Thousands of Poms in Oz members have saved money by using Moneycorp for their international money transfers. You can receive a much better exchange rate compared with your bank – this rate can be up to 4% better.

Exclusively for PomsInOz members, you will not pay any transfer fees when sending your money overseas.

Register for free with Moneycorp by clicking here

For more information on how you can save money when making your currency transfers visit: http://moneytransfer.pomsinoz.com/