Moving Guide – Australia

Moving to Perth

2 million people and counting. Out of this population, about a third of which were born outside of Australia, bearing proof of Perth’s popularity with expats of a myriad of nationalities, namely New Zealand, South Africa, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and India. As such, if you are keen on moving to this cultural melting pot of a city, do rest assure that you are not alone. For more assurance, you can read this guide.

Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

Overview

Capital of Western Australia, the fourth biggest city and still growing – this is Perth. It is decorated by miles and miles of never-ending and impeccable coastline which forms the southern and western border. As for the eastern border, it paves the way to the Outback.

Weather

Like its counterparts, Perth experiences four seasons as well.

1. Summer (December – February)
– 17.5 – 30 degree celsius
– hot and dry with little rainfall

2. Autumn (March – May)
– 13.7 – 26 degree celsius
– warm and sunny in the day, cooler at night
– occasional showers and humidity

3. Winter (June – August)
– 8 – 19 degree celsius
– occasional storms
– downpour of rain and thunderstorms

4. Spring (September – November)
– 11.7 – 23 degree celsius
– little rainfall
– plenty of flora in Spring

Cost of living

After Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin, Perth is the most expensive city in Australia. Numbeo estimates the monthly expenses of a four-person family to be A$4,448.78 without rent. Check out these two pages to compare the daily expenses in Perth: Click here and here.

We love
  • Less congested city and slower pace of life.
  • Incredible outlook points from Perth Hills
  • Wine and Dine in Swan Valley
We’re not a fan of
  • Shark-infested waters
  • Low level of crime
  • Limited restaurants and shops

Housing

In order to find an affordable property to rent or buy in Brisbane, you will not need to drive too far out. That helps push commute times down to an average of 15 minutes.

Housing Rental

A$1,440 – 2,360 per month

Average Rental

The property prices in Perth soared starting this year. The median rental cost is A$360 per week while an apartment in CBD area goes as high as A$590 per week.

You will have to submit the following documents for a tenancy application in order to meet the 100 point identification check:
• Bank statements for the last 3 months
• A reference from your previous landlord
• The contact information for the previous landlord
• Proof that you do not owe any money
• Identification document (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license)
• Document proving your current residence

The internet is the best place to look for a rented property:
• RealEstate.com.au
• Domain
• allhomes.com.au

Buying Property

A$529,997

Median House Price

A$374,596

Median Unit Price

While rental prices are on the up, property prices have declined in the recent years in Perth. The median house prices have fallen to A$529,997 while unit prices are A$374,596. Stirling, East Fremantle and suburbs near CBD area are popular in the recent years.

If you are planning to purchase a property, check out this comprehensive guide for expats.

Utilities & Connectivity

A$180–190 per month

Average Utilities Bill

A$35 – 120 per month

Average Internet Bill

A$20 – 106 per month

Average Mobile Phone Bill

The average monthly utilities bill for electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage for a 85m2 apartment for 2 person is estimated A$180 – A$190.

The residential electricity providers in Perth are:

Synergy
Perth Energy
Kleenheat
Advanced Energy Resources Retail
Amanda Energy
Blue Star Eenergy
A-Star
Alinta Energy
Clear Energy
Horizon Power

If you are looking for contract plans, you need will need credit history and at least a 100 point ID check. all phone shops will give you a list of documents you need to provide and each document has a value and you need to provide documents that add up to 100 points. The main ones are usually a passport, WA driver’s license, bank statement with address on it, and a utility bill with address on it. The mobile contract plans start from as low as A$20 to A$106. Visit this website to compare the plans.

Choose from over 134 internet plans for your home or office starting from A$35 to A$120. Some of the providers are Telstra, Optus and iiNet

Compare the different plans here.

Mobile service providers we recommend:
Telstra
Optus
iiNet

Internet service providers we recommend:
Sumo
Dodo
Telstra
Optus

Tax Rates

From the moment you move to Australia on a permanent basis you are liable for tax. You will also be a fiscal resident if you preside in the country for more than six months, holding the same job and lived at the same address over that period.

The tax rates for Australian residents are as follows:

A$0 to A$18,200 — nil
A$18,201 – A$37,000 — 19c for each A$1 over A$18,200
A$37,001 – A$90,000 — A$3,572 plus 32.5c for each A$1 over A$37,000
A$90,001 – A$180,000 — A$20,797 plus 37c for each A$1 over A$90,000
$180,001 and over — A$54,097 plus 45c for each A$1 over A$180,000

Employment

If you are moving into a new location, your top priority might be to settle down with a stable job. Brisbane has a growing employment rate and accounts for a total of 47% of Jobs in the Queensland region.

Job Opportunities

A$63,602

Average Salary

Mining, Construction, Tourism and Service sector

Top Industries

As Perth’s population increases, the supply of jobs in various sectors are growing. As of 2019 March quarter, the unemployment rate in Perth is relatively low with 3.64%. Here are some of the booming industries for expats:

1. Mining
2. Construction
3. Tourism and Service sector
4. Education
5. Heatlhcare

The average salary in Perth stands at A$63, 302.

Employment Permits

If you want to work in Perth, you must first possess a work permit, unless you are from New Zealand. There is an assortment of different working work permit categories and subclasses hence you can head down here to learn more.

An employer-sponsored working permit will require you, the expat, to find an employer to sponsor you visa or you could apply for a professional visa to work and live in Australia for up to 4 years. Generally, the process to obtain a working visa involves the following:

Getting an employer nomination where the (future) employer sponsor must provide proof of their responsibilities and their capabilities.
This one is on you. You have to secure a job and sign a contract.
File a visa application which can be done either face-to-face or online. This process would mean that you have to submit a number of documents that testifies to your health, skills, ethics and English proficiency. All documents are required to be submitted in English.
You can submit the application either in Australia or abroad

Job Seeker Sites

There are many places to look for work and many employers advertise in newspapers, at private employment agencies and on online job sites. Try the following websites:

1. Careerjet
2. CareerOne
3. Adzuna
4. Seek

Professional and trade associations

Being a part of the trade and professional associations has its advantages, one of which is, providing networking programmes. These corporations look out for the well being of their members, and thus, can help with employment. Some of these associations advertise jobs that might not be on newspapers or job seeker websites.

Australian American Association of Victoria
Australian American Chamber of Commerce
Australian British Chamber of Commerce
Australia China Business Council (ACBC)
Australia India Business Council (AIBC)
Australia-Malaysia Business Council 

Getting Around

Public Transport System

A$152.17

Average Public Transportation Cost

Transperth is the operator of Perth’s transport network of public buses, trains and ferries.

There are three train stations in the city:

Perth Station
Perth Underground
Elizabeth Quay.

These stations are a short walk to the City’s main business, shopping and tourism precincts. For access to outer parts of the City, you will need to use City West, McIver and Claisebrook stations.

Buses
A free transit zone (FTZ) also operates within the City of Perth boundaries. You can travel on any bus with the City of Perth for free. FTZ signposts are displayed on the route limits. Free Transit Zone (FTZ) Covers:

the central commercial area
Fraser Ave
Kings Park Rd
Thomas St
Newcastle St
Parry St
Lord St and the river

Meanwhile in the city, hop on and off the free CAT (Central Area Transit) buses which operate daily. The CAT buses have four routes covering all parts of the city. Otherwise, check out the wide network of Transperth buses serivicing the city. Timetables of the buses are available at any Transperth information centre or use the online journey planner. Most buses leave from the underground Perth Busport, located between the CBD and Northbridge.

Fares:

Zone 1 – the city centre and the inner suburbs ($3.10)
Zone 2 – Fremantle, Guildford and the beaches as far north as Sorrento ($4.80)
Zone 3 – Hillarys Boat Harbour (AQWA), the Swan Valley and Kalamunda ($5.60)
Zone 5 – Rockingham ($9.40)
Zone 7 – Mandurah ($11.10)
DayRider – Unlimited travel after 9am weekdays and all day on the weekend in any zone ($12.80).
FamilyRider – Two adults and up to five children travel for a total of $12.80 on weekends, after 6pm weekdays and after 9am on weekdays during school holidays.
SmartRider Card – this card can be used to pay for buses, trains and ferries. It is $10 to purchase, then you add value to your card. SmartRider Card is 10 – 20% cheaper than buying single tickets.

Ferry
A ferry runs every 20 to 30 minutes between Elizabeth Quay Jetty and Mends St Jetty in South Perth.

Driving

Being mobile is a huge requirement, especially in a new location. Getting your driving license in Perth is super easy, as long as you follow these steps:

Eligibility
It is important to note that in Western Australia, there are a list of ‘recognised countries’ where holders of driving licenses belonging to these countries may be exempted from taking the computerised theory test and even the practical driving assessment.

Booking an appointment
You can easily book an appointment in person by going to a Driver and Vehicle Services centre or regional agent and provide the following documentation:

Your driver’s licence from another Australian jurisdiction (current or expired less than 5 years), or a combination of driver licence details/letter from your issuing authority.
Provide proof of WA residence (eyesight, medical and theory tests).
Required proof of identification documents.
The other steps required can be found here. If you meet all of the requirements below you will be granted a WA driver’s licence.

A Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) is estimated at A$24,000 while a Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) is priced at A$25,924 – A$25,990.

Car Insurance:
There are four types of car insurance plans available in Western Australia – Comprehensive, Third Party Property, Third Party Theft & Fire or Compulsory Third Party. The average cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy is priced at $557.38 per year. Visit this page to find out more about the different plans.

Booking an appointment

You can easily book an appointment by visiting any VicRoads customer service center. You do not need any documents to book an appointment.

Here’s what you should bring on the day of your appointment:

  • Evidence of identity (current interstate license).
  • Proof of a new address, that is, any document that shows your new address. It could be utility bills, your rental agreement, or an updated bank statement.
  • A secondary form of identification, like an ATM card.
  • Your current overseas license written in English. If you have it in another language, then you will need to get it translated into English.
  • A letter of confirmation. This is necessary if your current overseas license is currently unavailable, you should get a letter with a formal letterhead to confirm your story. This letter could be written by your issuing country’s driver license authority.
  • A completed license permit application form.
  • Payment of necessary fees. A new driver’s license usually costs around $80.

Once all of this is verified, you will be issued a temporary form of license, until your plastic license is ready.

Banking

The five major banks in Perth are:

1. National Australia Bank (NAB)
2. Commonwealth Bank (CBA)
3. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
4. Westpac

Western Australia is also home to a selection of international banks such as Citibank, Nationale de Paris and Chase Manhattan.

Check the complete listing of banks in Perth here.

Healthcare

Perth has many public and private healthcare facilities where doctors and medical practitioners are easily available in local suburbs or residential areas. Expats should make registration a priority if they are eligible for the Medicare scheme, a national healthcare initiative that provides free or subsidised healthcare and medicinal access for Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Healthcare systems

Australia has a healthcare system called Medicare which sponsors nearly all costs related to your health. Getting approved for Medicare is usually dependent on your country or your residence status. Your family and you are eligible to get Medicare if you have a permanent visa or if you are visiting from affiliated countries like Finland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, and Norway. However, it is advised to take out additional health insurance from private copmanies because Medicare does not cover some costs such as dental care and ambulance servicest.

In Western Australia, there are three kinds of hospitals:

1. public hospitals managed by the WA Health
2. private hospitals managed by private organisations
3. public hospitals run in partnership with private organisations.

You can be admitted as either a public or private patient to a public hospital. All Western Australian residents have the right to receive public hospital services at no cost as a public patient or as a private patient with extra costs. The cost of most medical services provided to private patients is covered under Medicare but you or your health insurer must pay any difference in costs. Find Western Australian public or private hospitals here https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Service-search.

The heatlh services in Western Australia covers:

1. Child health
2. Community health
3. Sexual health
4. Immunisation
5. Women’s health
6. Needle and syringe programs.

Some of the biggest hospitals in Perth are:

1. Royal Perth Hospital
2. Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
3. Fiona Stanley Hospital
4. St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals
5. South Perth Hospital
6. Mount Hospital

Medical Benefits

Medicare gives eligible users access to free medicine and cheaper access to health care. You can get Medicare if you are a legal citizen, have applied for a permanent resident visa, or are visiting from a country with similar medical arrangements. These countries include New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Italy.

Medicare is also open to those with a visiting visa from these countries for 6 months. Unfortunately, it does not apply to student visas as students have to apply for overseas student health coverage.

Applying for a Medicare card is easy and straightforward. You simply have to:

Fill out the Medicare application form.
Print out the form, and with the requested medical documents, visit a Medicare Service Center.
Once you have been approved, you will be given a Medicare card that you can show during your visit the doctor.
If you do have a permanent visa for Western Australia and are thus eligible for Medicare, you have to bear in mind that it does not cover dental costs, full reimbursement for stays in private hospitals, glasses hearing aids and even ambulance services etc. Thus, another alternative would be to take out additional private health insurance.

Medical Insurance

Due to Medicare’s limited cover, it’s recommended for you to take out private health insurance. Private health insurance is split into three types:

1. Hospital: Hospital covers such expenses as hospital accommodation and theatre fees. It also gives you the option of choosing your doctor and hospital.
2. Extras: Extras covers the cost of a range of general treatments not covered by Medicare, including optical, dental and physiotherapy.
3. Ambulance: Ambulance covers the cost of emergency ambulance transportation.

Prices vary depending on if you will just have a hospital plan or an all inclusive medical plan. It is very difficult to price insurance because there are many factors that will affect the cost: family members, age etc. The average annual premium for family extras cover costs $1,898.60. The average hospital cover premium for a family is $4,112.85. A combination of both hospital and extras cover for a family costs A$6,145.54 on average.

Here are some of the biggest insurance providers in Western Australia:
• BUPA
• Medibank
• NIB
• HCF
• HBF

Compare the different insurance plans here.

Education

Perth takes its education system very seriously where school is made compulsory for children aged between 6 to 15 years old. If a child is to play truant from school, they may be picked up by the local police and their parents may be subsequently fined. These policies are put in place to safeguard education and display Perth’s commitment to ensuring that every child receives a good education.

Pre-school

In Western Australia, children can start their education in Kindergarten. If your child is four years old by 30 June 2020 you can apply to enrol them in Kindergarten for 2020.

Enrolment Process:
1. Contact your local public school for an application for enrolment form. The school can help you with your application.
2. Submit your application for enrolment at your local school as soon as possible along with copies of: your child’s birth certificate (telephone the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
3. your child’s Immunisation History Statement (visit the Department of Health for instructions on how to obtain this statement)
4. proof of your current address (eg recent accounts for electricity, water and telephone, bank details)
5. copies of Family Court orders for confirmation of proof of name or custody arrangements.
6. You will receive a letter from your local school either offering a place (as per the Regulations) or indicating that no place is available.
7. If you have an offer of a place and want to accept it, visit the school to complete the enrolment process.

Give this Enrolment of Students from Overseas guide to have a more comprehensive picture of the requirements and processes.

Public school system

Primary School
All children from Pre-primary through to Year 12 must be enrolled in school and they are guaranteed a place at their local public school. Public schools in Western Australia do not charge a tuition fee however a voluntary contribution fee is charged by most schools.

Enrolment Process:
1. Contact your local public school for an application for enrolment form. The school can help you with your application.
2. Submit your application for enrolment at your local school as soon as possible along with copies of: your child’s birth certificate (telephone the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
3. your child’s Immunisation History Statement (visit the Department of Health for instructions on how to obtain this statement)
4. proof of your current address (eg recent accounts for electricity, water and telephone, bank details)
5. copies of Family Court orders for confirmation of proof of name or custody arrangements.
6. You will receive a letter from your local school either offering a place (as per the Regulations) or indicating that no place is available.
7. If you have an offer of a place and want to accept it, visit the school to complete the enrolment process.

Give this Enrolment of Students from Overseas guide to have a more comprehensive picture of the requirements and processes.

Visit this page to find your local public primary school.

High School
Perth Secondary Schools consist of Years 8 to 12 and are usually separate institutions to Primary Schools. At the end of Year 12, Perth Secondary School students complete the Tertiary Entrance Exam or TEE for a Tertiary Entrance Rank. This score then determines their eligibility for Tertiary Study and what courses they can enrol in. Most of the Perth Secondary Schools are government run, co-educational schools. There are a number of Independent schools that operate as co-education, all boys or all girls facilities.

Private school system

There are many private schools in Perth for your child. There are 166 Catholic schools and 143 Independent schools in Perth and across Western Australia.

The cost of private school varies depending on the school so you should contact the school directly to get an accurate figure. But here is the range of private school fees:

Private Primary School fees
1. Prep
~A$510 – A$15,860
2. Year 2
~A$510 – A$21,660
3. Year 4
~A$510 – A$23,500
4. Year 6
~A$510 – A$27,660

Private Secondary School fees
1. Year 8
~A$1,320 – A$28,770
2. Year 10
~A$1,320 – A$30,090
2. Year 12
~A$1,320 – A$31,050

Tertiary education

Perth has a variety of tertiary education options, including Universities and TAFE Colleges in various locations.

Application process:
1. search for courses or research the university websites
2. check if you’re eligible
3. put in an application – register with The Tertiary Institutions Service Centre (TISC) and apply online
4. get your results – learn about Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores and access your results
5. receive an offer – view and accept your offers
Further information can be found on the university websites or by contacting the universities directly. Contacts and websites are listed on the contacts page.

Perth is a popular study destination and here is the list of universities in Perth:

1. University of Western Australia
2. Curtin University of Technology
3. Murdoch University
4. University of Notre Dame Australia
6. Edith Cowen University

Food & Culture

Food & Grocery

Major grocery brands like Woolworths, IGA and Coles are easily found in Perth. Here is a list of some of the grocers specialising in different products:

1. The Good Grocer
39 Ardross St, Applecross WA, Australia
Selling fresh produce, local and imported goods, an extensive selection of items including cheese, quality roast meat and hot food takeaways, the Good Grocer is a favourite in Perth!

2. Toh Sian Grocery
155 Palmerston St, Perth WA, Australia
A typical Asian grocer with a wide range of overseas and local products, you can find fresh Vietnamese foods and products here as well!

3.Kakulas Brothers
183 William St, Northbridge WA, Australia
Selling organic products and whole foods in bulk at affordable prices, here you can find every kind of spices and herbs imaginable here! Kakulas Brothers also carry a great range of flours, nuts, cheese and Brazilian foods!

Dining

Sensationalise your taste palate with Fremantle’s famous fish and chips on the waterfront, visit authentic Asian restaurants and indulge in fancy cafes in Perth. Here are some suggestions:

1. Kailis Fish Market Café
46 Mews Rd, Fremantle WA 6160, Australia
Rated No. 1 on tripadvisor, the large servings makes it ideal for you to share with your partner! Indulge in battered fish, barbecued squids and seafood platters at this place!

2. Wildflower
1 Cathedral Avenue Perth, 6000 WA
Described as the pinnacle of Perth’s fine-dining scene by one reviewer and by another as crème de la crème of Perth restaurants, Wildflower does not play safe. Expect bold flavours, innovative use of local produce and wood-grilled meats. To top it off, Wildflower is located at the top of the new State Buildings with views overlooking Perth City and the Swan River!

3. Red Cabbage
Featuring seasonal flavours cooked with British-Australian-Japanese influences, Chef Scott O’Sullivan was awarded Chef of the Year in 2014 by The West Australian Good Food Guide. From kangaroo carpaccio to wagin duck to grilled prawns, Red Cabbage is definitely one of the places to try!

Entertainment

The sweet blend of food and culture is the very essence of Perth. All year round, there will be various rich cultural activities for you to experience. You are definitely in for a treat.

For music-lovers, you can submerge yourself in delightful live music in cultural hotspots like Perth City, Northbridge, Subiaco and Fremantle. Gyrating in the crowd along to live rock bands at trendy bars, to nodding with satisfaction along to the chilled-out jazz music crooning from wine bars and restaurants. There’s a genre for everyone.

Music aside, Perth is also an up-and-coming comedy capital, with a plethora of readily available hilarious local and international acts.

The bar scene in Perth has been thriving in recent years thanks to small pop-up bars. From alleyways to basements to atticts and side street, here is a list of locals favourite bars for you:

1. Ezra Pound
189 William St, Northbridge WA, Australia
Receiving perfect 5 stars ratings on google reviews, this secluded allyway bar serves quality craft brews in an intimate setting.

2. Helvetica
A favourite hangout place after work, this highly praised bar serves top-notch whiskey selection. Not a whiskey person? Fret not, Helvetica also serves wine, beers and cocktails along with bar snacks!

3. Strange Company
5 Nairn Street Fremantle , 6160 WA
A locals’ favourite weekend hangout spot serving wine on tap, cocktails, beers and ciders, Strange Company also delights its visitors with scallops, octopus, meaty sandwiches and much more!

Safety

Perth is relatively safe but it would be wise to avoid questionable areas such as Northbridge (the nightclub and entertainment district along the north side of the CBD over a bridge) as well as Wellington Square. Otherwise, the police are actively patrolling at night, especially on the weekends, and the public CCTV systems are constantly guarding the streets.

All things Perth

1. Swan Valley 2. Best small bars 3. Freemantle

Fun facts

1. Most isolated city in the world

2. Perth is closer to Bali in Indonesia than a fellow Australian state of Canberra

3. The only place in the world where you can find quokkas

Do’s and dont’s

Dos:

1. Do visit Freemantle
2. Do take advantage of the sunshine
3. Do explore the wineries of Swan Valley

Don’t:
1. Don’t enter restricted or undesignated waters
2. Don’t leave without sunscreen
3. Don’t feed wild animals as it is bad for them

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