Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Moving to Australia - What Costs are Involved?

Whilst there are significant costs for moving to Australia, here at MPL we can save you money on your international removals through our experience in the removals industry and excellent connections with removal companies worldwide. We compare a range of quotes for international removals to Australia, free of charge and then provide you with the best suited Australia removals service to suit your individual requirements. Our international removals to Australia are carried out to the highest standards and most of the firms we partner with are  BAR registered or FAIM accredited for complete peace of mind.

International Removals to Australia - click here for a free online moving quote

This article will explain some of the costs involved when moving to Australia. These include shipping/removals to Australia, the price of flying you and your family over to your new home, the transportation of pets and vehicles and the cost of visas / medical tests.

Removals / Shipping Costs

The three types of services for international removals to Australia are: container shipping, groupage services and air freight.

Full household loads are usually shipped in either 20 ft or 40 ft dedicated containers, depending on the size and quantity of the load Container shipping is often seen as the most secure form of international removals as your household contents are transported door to door in a container assigned exclusively for your use.

Groupage services are a good choice when you don't have a large enough consignment to fill a dedicated container. So instead your furniture and possessions are packed securely in a container with other part loads. Groupage services cost less than the use of a dedicated container but may take longer to arrive.

Air freight is a third option of shipping your belongings to Australia. It is used for cargo that is required quickly, such as personal belongings, clothes and important paperwork. Air freight is the most expensive form of transportation, so it is usually reserved for a few essential items in conjunction with either dedicated container shipping or groupage services.

For all of your international removals to Australia requirements, contact us today for a free Australia removals quote.

Notes on Choosing a Removals Company

When moving to Australia, it is not just the removals or shipping costs that you have to consider when picking a removals firm. Whilst a competitive quote is important, other things to think about include reliability, experience and  choosing a a company who has a good track record / history of many satisfied clients. After all, moving house internationally is stressful enough - you want to at least know for sure that your treasured possessions are in safe hands and will arrive on time and in tact!

Check references and enquire about their experience and length of trading history. Also find out how regularly they ship to Australia and whether they hold appropriate accreditations such as with BAR / FAIM. This will help you to select a high quality and reliable removals service.

Personal Transportation To Your New Home

This is another thing that you will have to budget for moving to Australia. As well as the removal and shipping costs, you will need to transport you and your family to your new home.

A good tip is to check details of flights and compare prices on the internet to get the best available deals. It is also worth bearing in mind that booking flights in advance often works out much less expensive than if you leave it until close to your departure date.  Moving out of season will help to bring down the cost of your air fare too, if this is an option for you.

You will also need to include the cost of transportation to and from the airport.

Transporting of Pets

Pets are usually transported by air. But a word of warning, if you intend to bring your dog or cat over to Australia, be prepared as the flight ticket is more costly than for a family member.

The overall price of transporting your cat or dog depends on its size, the time your pet spends in quarantine and also the additional cost of any vet bills.

At the time of writing, it costs around £1500 to import  a small breed of dog (such as Yorkshire Terrier) or £3500 for a large dog (such as a Golden Retriever). The approximate cost of quarantine in Australia is $800 AUD for 30 days.

There are strict rules about bringing pets into Australia but as a general guide cats, dogs and horses can be imported, subject to quarantine control. Certain breeds are not allowed so check with your removals company prior to your move and pets such as guinea pigs, hamsters and caged birds are also denied.

The procedure to import your pet is as follows:

  • Your pet needs to be micro-chipped and you need to get a permit to import. This permit gives details on the veterinary certificates needed and other information on how to go about bringing your pet over.
  • It is advisable to book quarantine well in advance as there can be a high demand for it. A UK government approved vet will be required to carry out general vaccinations before you leave, such as kennel cough and a blood test (for dogs).
  • Parasite treatment and Veterinary Certificate A is to be completed within four days of your pet’s flight and Veterinary Certificate B is generally completed on the day your pet leaves the country.

Transporting of Vehicles

If you decide to take your car or other vehicle with you to your new home in Australia, this will also incur shipping and importation costs. Import duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) is payable on arrival in Australia, so you will have to consider whether it is economical to bring your car over from the UK.

To import your vehicle you will need an Australian customs form (B357), a vehicle registration form (V5), a sales or buyer invoice and service record. You must also get import approval on all cars, motorbikes, motorised caravans, lawn mowers and quad bikes before bringing them over to Australia.   Although non motorised caravans, boats and trailers are import duty and GST free, you will still need the import approval.

There is no equivalent to the MOT certificate in Australia but the car will be inspected on arrival to make sure it is road worthy.  You may need to make changes to your vehicle to make sure it complies with Australian safety standards.

Your vehicle’s chassis and wheels should be steam cleaned before shipping and the vehicle must be shipped with the minimum amount of fuel in the tank.

Visa and Medical Costs for Gaining Entry into Australia

There are several different types of visas for moving to Australia from the UK. One of these is the skilled application visa, which is suitable for those under the age of 45 years. To obtain this type of visa you need to speak English well and have skills listed on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List or Employer Nomination Occupation List. There are also subcategories within this visa and these include temporary and permanent visas. If the Skilled Independent pass mark is reached, sponsorship is not needed.

The employed sponsor-visa is another type of visa which also contains sub-categories including permanent and temporary. The employer makes this application once the migrant is offered a job.

There are also family visas which enable children, spouses, parents and other family members can come over to join a related Australian citizen or permanent resident of the country.

For up to date visa costs, please check with the Australian embassy.

It is a requirement to be healthy before applying for a visa and in some cases medical tests must be taken. The candidate must bear the cost of these medical tests, even if they don’t get the go ahead for a visa.

Most applicants need to have a health examination before permanent entry to Australia and passing the health examination does not mean that a visa is automatically granted. If you are applying for a permanent visa application, all immediate family members and  dependants, even if they don’t intend to move their with you, should meet the health requirements. This includes all children under the age of 18 years, whether or not they live with you.

International Removals to Australia - contact us now to discuss your move

International Removals to Australia – Featured City Brisbane

Once upon a time, we sent people to Australia as punishment for their misdeeds. Nowadays that would be tantamount to buying them a one-way ticket to paradise. There is a huge draw to the land down under and it is little wonder when you consider the lifestyle that's on offer there.

Most of Australia’s major cities including; Darwin, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth occupy coastal locations and the same is true of the city of Brisbane. Like the others, Brisbane boasts vast, clear blue skies, wonderful beaches and good, clean air. The city's residents, or "Banana Benders" as anyone from Queensland is colloquially known, share a common interest in healthy living and a love of the outdoors, the water, fun and fitness.

Their city is vibrant and bustling and their economy is very healthy. It’s all very different to the way it was before, when Queenslanders where seen as having nothing better to do than sit around all day, bending the bananas as they came off the plantations. Nowadays, if you were to nickname the locals at all, it would probably be more apt to use the term "Cane Toad", born of the fact that Queensland was overrun by these poisonous pests as a result of their introduction in 1935, ironically as a form of pest control. Queensland’s cane toad problem is now under control but the label has stuck nonetheless.

Living in Brisbane

One of the best things about Brisbane, from an émigrés point of view, is the distinct lack of anything resembling winter. The cooler season as it is known here is just that, cooler. Not cold like the winters you get in the UK or in Europe, just pleasantly cool. Temperatures have dropped to as low as 9.5°C in July and reached as high as 20.6 °C in the same month and this is the coolest month of the year. In January the story is very different, the high is measured at 29.1°C and the low at 20.9°C. Small wonder then, that barbecues in this city are rarely, if ever cold.

Brisbane is a clean, modern, forward-looking city whose people love life and live it to the full. You don’t have to look far to see evidence of this either. Maybe it’s the constantly blue skies, the shorts and T shirt weather, the shorter working days, the reduced stress levels, the proximity of the sea and the beach or the great out doors. Maybe it’s the combination of all these things that means the people who live here are in general happier, more relaxed, life focused people.

Think of shopping in Brisbane and you think of the Queens Street Mall and the South Bank Markets. These offer very busy and colourful yet different shopping experiences. The Queens Street Mall or QSM is located in Brisbane's Central Business District, between Edward and George Streets. It is Brisbane's single biggest retail location and offers, at one end, a pedestrianised undercover area featuring some 500 stores and at the other, The Myer Centre, 5 floors of shops featuring every designer label imaginable (almost!). There is also an international food court to satisfy even the most varied and unusual of tastes as well as supermarkets and cinemas. The centre is open all week with extended shopping hours on Fridays.

If you prefer a more bohemian style of shopping, then The South Bank Art and Craft Market is the place for you. Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it is a bright and colourful shoppers delight, bringing with it a wonderful feeling of freedom. Buskers and other performers, mingle with the crowds adding a sense of the theatrical to the place. Here you can browse the market stalls to your hearts content, picking through an assortment of goods and trinkets from local crafts to clothing and unique works of art. The markets also proffer fresh produce alongside a good range of cafés and eateries.

Working in Brisbane

Brisbane’s CBD or central business district is arranged in a grid pattern, in a crook in the Brisbane River. Among the many buildings of national importance in the area are  Queensland's Parliament House, Brisbane City Hall and the Masonic Memorial Centre, but it speaks a lot for the city planners, that they are still able to include the green spaces of The Queens Gardens, Post Office Square and Brisbane City Botanic Gardens as well as the modern King George Square which has just undergone a massive redevelopment. Re-opened in October 2009, the new space has been designed as a transit hub and as the ceremonial and civic heart of the city.

The area attracts big business, many of whom operate in global markets, not just in Asia. Among the big hitters in town are Suncorp Group, insurance and banking, after whom the Suncorp Stadium is named, QR National, the largest rail freight haulage business in Australia, Newcrest Mining, a company involved in the exploration, development and operation of gold and copper mines and Bandanna Energy Ltd who are involved in the exploration and production of coal.

Life in Brisbane’s busy city centre is by turns business like and laid back. It seems that they’ve struck the work-life balance, just right. A typical working day starts at around 09.00 and finishes at around the same time as it does in the UK. The difference is when its done, its done. Its time then to get out and enjoy yourself. Of course it helps that after the working day is done, there is still plenty of sunshine around so you can go hiking up in the hills, you can laze around on the beach or go swimming and surfing in the ocean.

Relaxing in Brisbane

If you don’t fancy getting active after work, you could look to head out and find some culture, as Brisbane is loaded with it. A full calendar of events is laid on, from theatre to opera and ballet, right through to musicals and concerts. This programme compliments an exciting array of exhibitions, installations and attractions. Look out for The Queensland Cultural Centre, on the banks of the Brissy River. It is home to some of the nations leading art institutions.

The Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, is a must see. Here you can find out all about the flora and fauna of the area, aboriginal culture, the rock formations and the history of the place, going right back to the time when dinosaurs ruled the planet. Brisbane is also favoured with the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, which is the largest modern art museum in Australia.

Moving Partnership Limited are pleased to offer international removals to Australia, including removals to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, The Gold Coast, Canberra, Wollongong, The Sunshine Coast, Hobart, Geelong, Townsville, Cairns and Launceston. So if you are moving to Australia, we can help with all aspects of your move.
International Removals to Australia - click here for full information on our removals to Australia service

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Moving to Australia - In the Spotlight: Perth and Western Australia

Moving Partnership provide free online removals quotes for all international removals to Australia, including removals to Perth in Western Australia. Our extensive knowledge of the industry and network of partnerships with worldwide removal companies, enables us to offer extremely competitive international removals to Australia, without compromising on quality. We can provide quotes for UK removals to Australia, removals from Australia to the UK and between most other European and international destinations.

International Removals to Australia  - click here for full information on our international removals service.

About Perth and Western Australia

Western Australia is the largest state in Australia, covering one third of the entire continent. It has a total area of over 2.5 million square kilometres, making it 3.6 times bigger than Texas, 4.6 times larger than France and to put it into real perspective, 11 times the size of the UK. Despite its size though, Western Australia is home to only around two million people, one and three-quarters of a million of whom, live in Perth.

Perth is one of the world’s most isolated cities. It is quite literally an island of people, with a virtually uninhabited desert to one side and thousands of miles of water to the next. If you look on a map you’ll see Perth on the left of Australia and most of the other large Australian cities including Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns, on the right.

This splendid isolation means that Perth’s residents get to enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a relaxed lifestyle in a very clean, spacious environment and, instead of waking up to the sun rising over the Pacific Ocean, as they do in Eastern Australia, the people of Perth get to enjoy beautiful sunsets over the Indian Ocean.

The vast majority of the housing stock in Perth is detached on varying plot sizes, and its residential streets and avenues are wide and in the main, quiet and relatively traffic free providing plenty of safe space for children to play in. In  fact Perth is the ideal place to raise a family, with most migrants finding it a friendly place to settle, particularly when compared to the larger cities on Australia's eastern coast. It would not necessarily be your destination of choice if you were young, free and single and looking for an exciting city night life, but it is great for those looking for a suburban, family orientated way of life.

The northern and western sides of the city are the most highly regarded and many British émigrés have chosen to settle there. So much so, that around a quarter of the population is British. Among the most popular locations are Subiaco, Nedlands, Claremont, Dalkeith, Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove but houses here can be quite costly and the journey into the city can be a busy and sometimes quite slow one. Other areas favoured by British expats are Beldon, Connolly, Edgewater, Heathridge, Joondalup, Mullaloo and Ocean Reef.

Perth has wide roads and highways and rush hours can be busy but the traffic usually keeps moving. Speed cameras are ubiquitous which is further proof, as if it were needed, that this is a residential, family friendly city and the authorities want to keep it that way.

During business hours, the public transport service in Perth offers regular and inexpensive connections. A Transperth ticket works like a travelcard in that it can be used on both buses and trains. Like travelcards, they are sold on the basis of city zones but unlike the travelcard, they can be bought in most newsagents. Regular commuters should look to purchase a MultiRider ticket. At time of writing, these worked out 15 percent cheaper than the standard fare for 10 journeys and 25 percent cheaper than the standard fare for 40 journeys.

Moving Partnership Ltd can move you to and from all Australian cities including: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne,Perth and Sydney.

International Removals to Australia -  contact us now to discuss your move, or click here for a free online moving quote.

Moving to Australia - Australia's Health Care System

Medicare – Australia's NHS

If you are moving to Australia, organising your health care is of major importance and one of the first things to organise on arrival, is to register your family with the local Doctor. Then you should register yourself and every member of your family over 14 years of age, with the Australian National Health Subsidy Scheme called Medicare.

Medicare works in a similar way to the UK’s national health service. It is subsidised through taxes and the taxation levy is means tested, so the more you earn, the more you pay. Medicare subsidises services and the cost of any prescription medicines bought from pharmacies across Australia and it also provides free treatment in public hospitals. Medicare provides free or subsidised payments to health professionals for specific services, the aim of the scheme being to provide affordable and accessible treatment to every Australian resident.

To avail yourself of this treatment, you must already be living in Australia and have an Australian bank account. You need to fill out the Medicare enrolment application form which can be downloaded from the Medicare Australia website.

Private Health Insurance in Australia

Aside from this public health scheme there are also countless private health schemes available and since the medical care provided by the state is limited, many people choose to take out the own private healthcare insurance as well.

Private health insurance is available for all Australian residents. As a private medical patient you have more control over who treats you, where you are treated and, in some cases, how quickly you are treated, though this tends to apply to elective surgeries only. Another advantage of private health insurance is that you can get cover for some of the things that Medicare wont cover, things like ambulance services, dental work, optical items and physiotherapy. As an incentive to people, to take out private health insurance, the Australian Government pays around 30% of the premium.

The Government is also offering an early start bonus to anyone taking out and sticking with a private health plan, prior to their 31st birthday. Known as the lifetime health cover plan, it rewards these forward thinkers with lower premiums.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Like the other developed countries, the Australian population is ageing. Life expectancy is increasing and the birth-rate is falling as people leave it later in life to have children. People are also having less children than they used to.. These trends lead inexorably to an older population with fewer youngsters with fewer skills. For this reason, the Australian Government is encouraging the migration of young, skilled professionals, especially from English speaking nations.

Health Tests for Those Entering Australia

Prior to them being allowed entry into Australia, some hopeful émigrés must undergo health tests. This applies especially to those looking to go to school in Australia, as well as to those that have HIV or hepatitis B or C. It also applies If you are looking to stay in Australia for more than 3 months or, if you’ve recently come from a country where the occupants are at high risk of contracting TB. You may also be tested if you are a parent sponsored migration applicant and you intend to stay for more than 6 months, if you are 70 years of age or older and if you have an existing medical condition that is likely to require you to visit a hospital or other healthcare site.

About Moving Partnership

At Moving Partnership we provide international removals to Australia at the most competitive rates. Our extensive knowledge of the industry and our partnerships with other removals companies worldwide, allow us to offer customers greatly reduced prices on their overseas removals, whilst still maintaining the highest standards. Whether you are moving from the UK to Australia, from Australia to the UK or between most other European or international destinations, we can help cut the cost of your move.

We will compare a range of removals to Australia quotes free of charge and will find you the most suited removals deal, for your situation. The majority of the removal firms we partner with are members of the British Association of Removers (BAR) or FAIM accredited ensuring a high quality, reliable removals service.

International Removals to Australia  - contact us today to discuss your move or click here for a free removals quote .

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

International Removals to Australia – planning your overseas move

Moving to Australia or any international destination takes a great deal of planning and a lot of organisation to ensure it runs as stress-free and as smoothly as possible. Here is our guide to moving to Australia – to help you plan your overseas house move.

International Removals to Australia – click here for full information on our overseas moving service

Moving to Australia: Obtain Necessary Paperwork

If you are a foreigner planning to live or work in Australia it is likely you will need a visa. The type of visa you require will depend on your personal situation as well as your country of origin.  Australia has several different visa options for UK citizens. Those under the age of 45 may be able to enter with a skilled application visa. To obtain this you need to have a good command of the English language and have skills that are cited on the Employer Nomination Occupation List or Australia’s Skilled Occupation List. This category of visas has a selection of sub categories, either offering permanent or temporary visas.

Another visa type is the employer-sponsored visa which can vary from permanent or temporary visa. After an offer of a job is accepted, the employer must make the application for this. There are also family visas so that children, spouses, parents or other family members can join a permanent resident family member or Australian citizen.

To apply for a visa you must be in good health and sometimes medical tests are required. The applicant must bear their own costs for this.

Choose a Removals Company

This is high priority and should be done as early as possible. It is important to choose wisely – the cost is not the only consideration – it is important that the company offer a high quality international removals service.  Choosing the right removal company can take the stress out of your overseas move and also ensure that your possessions arrive safely, in one piece and at the correct destination. A good international removal company will also anticipate and deal with any pitfalls in advance and assist with paperwork and customs clearance, so all you have to concentrate on is moving in.

To choose a removal company, compare a range of quotes to find the right price and level of service to suit your requirements. It is highly recommended that you budget for professional packing for all overseas moves, so that your belongings are protected during transit. It is also important to take out removals insurance for peace of mind that any damage to your property incurred during the removals is covered. Your international removals company will be able to advise you on your requirements, depending on the amount you are shipping.

MPL can assist you with your move to Australia. Contact us now to discuss your move and we will compare a range of international removal quotes free of charge. Due to our partnerships with removal companies around the world, we can command great reductions on international removal prices and source the right service to suit your individual requirements. Quotes can include any combination of packing, unpacking and cleaning; shipping via 20ft or 40ft container, groupage services or air freight. We will advise on all aspects of your move and the majority of the companies we partner with are either members of the British Association of Removals or FAIM accredited to ensure a high quality, reliable service.

Check Customs Information and What You Can /Can't Import to Australia

Before moving to Australia there are certain customs regulations that you need to be aware of prior to your relocation. Here is a guide to the regulations but please note that these are subject to change at any time so please ensure you check with your international removals company, prior to your departure, so you have the most up-to-date information available.

Current Restrictions

When moving to Australia, foodstuffs are not allowed in your shipment. Restrictions also include the importation of untreated wooden items, skins and feathers and  it is illegal to import furs and tusks from endangered species into the country.

Importing Vehicles into Australia

Before you go make sure your motor vehicle has prior import approval. Motor vehicles include cars, motorised caravans, motorbikes, quad bikes and lawn mowers that you can sit on. They are subject to duty and Goods and Services Tax (GST) which depends on the value and age of the vehicle that you have. Vehicles without the necessary approvals could be re-exported, destroyed or the owner subjected to a possible fine.  Vehicles are to be transported with only a minimal amount of fuel in the tank and the wheels and chassis are to be steam cleaned before the vehicle is shipped over to Australia.

Once imported, all vehicles are subject to Australian safety standards and must comply with these regulations.

A vehicle import approval is also needed for trailers, boats and non-motorised caravans, although you do not have to pay duty or GST on these items.

Choose Schools for Your Children

If you are looking for a school for your child, whether you want a government school, private school, co-education, single sex school or boarding school for your child, the good news is that the standard of education is high in Australia.

The teachers provide regular feedback on your child’s studies, homework and education and parents have open access to all information regarding their child’s progress and general well-being.

In order to choose the right school for your child, firstly select the type of education you require for your child, for example day-school, public or private school, boarding or the possibility of educating your child at home. Then search on the internet to find schools in the area you will be living in to see what is available. Think about what will be most suitable for your child, for example the school’s previous academic results, home language support, clubs, sports facilities or music programmes.  Look at its performance in areas that your child does best in, such as languages, art or sport. Consider the size of the school, the number of pupils and the religious affiliation as well as the connection between the school and local community. Also take into consideration the location of the school, transport to and from the educational facility and the cost or difficulty getting there.

Find Accommodation

If you are moving to Australia to be closer to friends or family then you may be able to stay with them in the short term whilst you adjust to your new life. Those moving for work or other reasons however, will need to their own arrangements.

When relocating to a new country, it is wise to choose temporary rented accommodation, in order to get to know your new area and decide where you want to live. By being in-situ, you can get a true feel for the place and decide which area you would feel most comfortable in when it comes to buying a home – whether that is overlooking the beach, in a city location, a quiet suburb or something more remote.

You can find a wide choice rented accommodation in Australia via the internet. Get in touch with agencies in the area you are planning to locate to and let them know exactly what type of accommodation you have in mind.

About Moving Partnership

Moving Partnership provide international removals to Australia. We specialise in high quality international removals for all domestic and commercial moves – to Australia from the UK, back the other way and between most other European and overseas destinations.

International Removals to Australia – featured city Darwin

People have always been drawn to Australia attracted by the better quality of life, pristine beaches, outdoors lifestyle, bustling cities and strong economy. Darwin, the capital city of the Northern Territory, is the fastest growing city in Australia. It has 127,000 inhabitants and with the average age of the population at 32 years, it is the most youthful city in the country with a distinct positive vibe.

Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin is Australia’s most northerly capital city. This multi-cultural city is known as the gateway to Asia. It had to be almost entirely rebuilt twice, once after the Japanese bombing raids in World War Two and the second time after Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day in 1974, which destroyed 70 percent of the town’s buildings and killed 71 people. As a consequence, Darwin is a very modern city.

This article will look at life in Darwin and what it is like to live, work and relax here.

Living in Darwin

Darwin has a superb mix of nightlife, attractions, national parks and gardens, blue waters and stunning beaches. It has similar temperatures all year round, although it does have distinct wet and dry seasons with tropical cyclones and monsoon rains during the wet season which lasts from November through to March.

The city has the highest number of Aborigines than in any other city in Australia, with nearly 10 per cent Aboriginals living here.  More than 50 countries are represented here, although well over a third of the population see themselves as having Australian ancestry and over a quarter have English ancestry.  Darwin is separated from the older part and the newer northern suburbs by Darwin International Airport which also shares a runway with the Royal Australian Air Force. Palmerston is a satellite city near Darwin Harbour which is mainly residential.

Among the wealthiest districts in Darwin are Larrakeyah and Brinkin. The popular suburb of Larrakeyah borders the central business district and is close to attractions such as Mindil Beach and George Brown Botanical Gardens. It enjoys superb views over the surrounding harbour and Larrakeyah Terrace is a pretty harbour front street with an open park. Brinkin is a northern suburb of Darwin situated on the southern end of Casuarina beach.

The central business district has seen extensive billion dollar redevelopment in the Stokes Hill Wharf waterfront area, including a convention centre with seating for 1,500 people and a massive exhibition area, as well as apartments, hotels and public space. The main industrial area is centred around Winnellie, which can be found south of the airport. The largest shopping precinct which can be found in the area is Casuarina Square. Built in 1973, it can be found in the suburb of Casuarina and has major stores represented here as well as 200 specialist shops.

Rural areas include Humpty Doo, Berry Springs and Howard Springs, which have all seen recent population growth. Humpty Doo is a small town south of the Arnhem Highway with a population of 5,500.  New developments in recent years include a new shopping centre, new schools, housing and a fire and emergency services station. Berry Springs is an outer suburban area in Darwin with a low weir across the creek which was originally built as a recreational swimming area for troops in the Second World War and is still used for swimming today. Howard Springs, which is 29 km south east of Darwin’s Central Business District, is mainly rural but has recently undergone a population growth and redevelopment.

Working in Darwin

Australia has good job prospects and is mainly on the look-out for English speaking people who have particular skills. It is currently undergoing a big recruitment drive and if you are on the skills shortage list, if you are of the right age and have the necessary experience, you can stand a good chance of being awarded a visa.  Among the trades on the skills shortages list include plumbers, builders, engineers, miners, painters, decorators, mechanics, as well as those in IT trade and medical professions.

Darwin is an important port town and is continuing to grow due to the exploitation of oil and natural gas from the Timor Sea and ongoing trade with Asia. The United Nations have a big presence here and there is also a large military population in Darwin. Mining and tourism are big industries in Darwin and important mineral resources are gold, zinc and bauxite.  Darwin enjoys year round tourism, which is also a major source of employment, even during the wet season and attracts nearly 1.5 million visitors a year.

By and large Australia has a shorter working week and also enjoys a lower cost of living than the UK so offers workers a better quality of life here with more time to relax...

Relaxing in Darwin

Darwin has a relaxed lifestyle and enjoys a great mix of entertainment, beach life and tranquil beauty spots. Warm all year round, it has many extensive unspoilt beaches including Casuarina beach and Mindil Beach to relax and unwind on. In Darwin you can also take a visit to one of the many parks and gardens which include East Point Reserve, Casuarina Coastal Reserve and the George Brown Botanical Gardens.

The weekly open air markets have a great vibe. They are well worth a visit including the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, which is open during the dry season and has international cuisine, entertainment, local arts and crafts and is popular with performing artists. Other markets include the Parap Market , Rapid Creek Market and  Nightcliff Market. Mindil Beach, near Darwin’s Central Business District, is also host to the main celebrations during Territory Day – this is the only day the government allows fireworks with the exception of Chinese New Year.

The Darwin Cup is a popular horse race event at Fannie Bay Racecourse and among the unusual celebrations to see is the Darwin Beer Can Regatta, where locals race boats made of beer cans.  Darwin also has a thriving nightlife including music and pub scene.  Darwin Entertainment Centre is the principle concert venue.

Moving Partnership Limited offers international removals to and from all parts of Australia, including Darwin. So if you are looking to emigrate or relocate your business, we can help with all aspects of your move.
International Removals to Australia – click here for full information on our overseas moving service

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Packing for Your Move to Australia

Moving to Australia or to any other international destination is a huge undertaking and it is essential to plan well in advance to ensure a smooth, stress free move. The first thing to do if you are planning on moving to a foreign country, be that Australia or anywhere else, is to find an international moving company or a company that handles international relocations.

It is possible to find relocation companies or international movers either through recommendation or by researching the internet. Alternatively you could use Moving Partnership Ltd, international removals specialists, who will do all the “legwork” for you. Moving Partnership compare a range of international removal quotes, command excellent discounts and provide a high quality overseas removals service by partnering with FAIM and/or BAR accredited removers.

Removals to Australia - click here for more information on our international removals service.

While you are in the process of getting quotes it is also important to seriously think about what you will take with you. The more you take, the more it will cost, so think of your international house move as an ideal opportunity to declutter! You’ll probably never be in a more ruthless frame of mind than when you’re thinking, “Do I really need to pay money to have this packed and stored and shipped abroad? Is it really that important to me? Furniture can be replaced as can white goods and for what it costs to ship them, you may as well buy new or used when you get to Australia. Cars, unless they are classics can be replaced too. When you think about it, there’s not much that can’t be, beyond those items of personal or sentimental value like photographs, favourite paintings, ornaments, antiques and data on pcs, disk or important paper files.

A good rule of thumb when packing for and international house move, is don’t pack anything you can replace easily. Toiletries, household cleaning products and foodstuffs are generally speaking, inexpensive and widely available. It would therefore cost you more to pack and transport these items than it would do, to buy new on arrival. You can always ask a friend or relative to send you a box of Weetabix or a jar of Marmite if you find you just can’t cope with the Australian equivalents. Weetbix and My Mate may look similar but don’t taste quite the same.

It is important when packing for a international move or any house move or office relocation, to remain in charge of the situation as much as possible. Make sure you are aware of what is going where. Make sure you keep the boxes are clearly labelled with their contents too so you know what goes where at your new home. Also keep a separate list of everything you have packed, so you can check your belongings at their final destination – and quickly determine if anything is broken or missing.

Carry personal items with you in cases. Do not put things like essential medicines, important children's toys, clothing or anything that you may need for work into storage. It may take several days, weeks or months to reach your destination, depending on the mode of transport being used.

What you can and can't take to Australia

When importing goods into Australia there are three headings under which everything is classified;

No Authorisation - These goods can freely be taken with you into Australia.

Restricted Permission – You will need to have written permission in order to import your goods into Australia.

Absolute Prohibition - You are not allowed to import these goods into Australia under any circumstances.

In general, the shipment of household goods and personal affects rarely has any restriction placed upon it. However the importation of seeds and plants may be prohibited under quarantine regulations. 

The importation of dependency drugs like narcotics, hallucinogens, amphetamines, barbiturates, and tranquillisers must be declared to Customs. Drugs of this nature must not be included with the shipment of your household goods and personal affects.

You must also declare the ownership and possession of any firearms and ammunition imported into Australia, including; air, gas, flame and starting pistols and spear guns. All these are subject to import restrictions and will only be released on approval by the Australian police authorities.

Certain items that are considered dangerous weapons are automatically refused entry. These items include daggers, swordsticks, knuckledusters and switch blades or flick knives. Ignorance is no defence, you must read up on what is allowed into Australia and what is not as apprehension in possession of a banned substance or illegal item could jeopardise your residency.

To find out more about which goods are prohibited or restricted entry into Australia, get in touch with Moving Partnership. We are shipping and moving experts and we will help you navigate the moving process – providing high quality, cost effective removals and expert advice for a stress free move.

Removals to Australia  - click here for more information on our international removals service.

Moving to Australia – Buying a House in Australia

If you are moving to Australia on a permanent basis, whether for work, the endless sunshine or to be closer to family or friends, then at some stage you may decide to buy a property. Buying a home in Australia however, is not something you should enter into lightly.  There are major decisions to be made – such as where to buy and what sort of property might suit your needs. It can take a while to adjust to an international move, getting used to the new way of life, culture and dramatically different weather. So many migrants, when moving to Australia, choose to rent for a while in an area they like the feel of, to see if  they feel comfortable. Then once they have settled in to their new life in Australia, they will then go on to buy a property.

As with the housing stock in the UK, there are a number of different architectural styles in Australia that date from separate times in the country's history. Their Victorian era is of course, the same as ours, dating from1840 - 1890 but from then on, things change a little. The Federation Era is relatively short, spanning just 22 years, from 1891 to 1913. Then there came the war years , 1914-1945, the post-war years 1946-1959 and finally, the contemporary years, those lasting from 1960 right up to the present day. Read on for more information on the types of property that were born in the different architectural eras.

Victorian Era 1840 – 1890

Much like the Victorian era in England, Australian houses were built on a grand scale and built to last. You will notice the build style is very similar, if not the same as Victorian houses in England.

Federation 1891 – 1913

Houses built in the Federation Era, tended to be slightly more Asian in appearance. Spires and pitched roofs were fluted with more ornate tiling and this was combined sometimes with mock Tudor décor.

War 1914 – 1945

The war years gave rise to a good many functional rather than pretty or ornate bungalows. During this time, when money and resources were needed to help with the war effort, houses needed to be built quickly, efficiently and cheaply. Less time and money was available for attention to detail.

Post-war 1946 – 1959

Post war building saw the return of 2 and 3 storey homes, less ornate than before but more interesting than those produced during the war years.

Contemporary 1960 – present. This era saw the building of two styles of home. The project style and the custom built style. Project style homes were built to a set plan and the custom built house was built to a unique design.

The process of buying a property in Australia

Houses for sale in Australia are listed with estate agents or sold by auction, as is the case in the UK. Holding an “open house” is a common method of sale in Australia and one that UK home buyers are becoming more  familiar with. What happens is, the estate agent arranges a time with the home owner, usually at a weekend, when the property will be available to view, they then invite any interested parties to view it in that time frame.
A useful suggestion to anyone who is new to the Australian property market, is to spend a few days visiting open homes to get acquainted with the property market in the areas you are interested in.

Having located a home that is of interest to you, it is recommended that you arrange to have a building and pest inspection carried out and a valuation report for mortgage purposes. If the results come through favourably, your next step is to make an offer to the agents or to bid for the house at the auction.

As with the UK, all offers are made via the estate agent who puts them in writing to the owner and while the owner weighs up which offer to accept, the property remains on the market. You may make an offer on a property, subject to the title search coming back satisfactorily or conditional on the valuation coming back OK. If any of the reports do not come back satisfactorily, you are free to withdraw your offer but assuming they come back fine, you will then be expected to pay a 10% deposit and the contract to buy and sell becomes legally binding. The house then becomes yours on payment of the full balance on a specified and mutually agreed date.

The process of bidding at auction on a property in Australia

Most auctions in Australia are conducted with a view to achieving a higher selling price for the owner. Very few Australian property auctions are designed to sell property cheaply, so this is not generally the place to bargain hunt.

Home owners will set a reserve price and if this price is not achieved they will simply withdraw their property from the auction. It is not uncommon, in an auction situation, for the sellers to instruct the auctioneer to bid on their behalf, falsely increasing the sale price.

Auctions may be held at the property itself, during a specially arranged auction day or at the auctioneer’s offices. The successful bidder will be expected to pay 10% on the day and risks losing that money if he subsequently defaults on paying the balance.

It is important to note that in Australia, the conveyancing system differs from state to state. This should always be carried out by a qualified solicitor.

Financing your Australian property purchase

Mortgage money lending multiples vary from lender to lender in Australia with most lenders using your salary level to determine which multiple they will use. The average lending rate stands at 4.5 – 5 times joint pre-tax salary but this does vary so it helps as in the UK, to shop around.

First Home Owner Grant

If you are buying a home in Australia for the first time, you are entitled to the “First Home Owner Grant”. This is a Government grant of $7000 AusD, which is paid directly to the purchaser and does not require paying back. It is not available for land purchases.

Moving Partnership Ltd can assist customers in moving to their new Australian property. If you are moving to Australia and have not yet located a home, then Moving Partnership Ltd can arrange easy access storage for your belongings. Removals to Australia  - click here for full information on our Australia removals service