Australia is the sixth largest country in the world at over 3 million square miles. However it is only home to 21 million people, which ensures that natural beauty dominates over suburban landscapes (especially out of the main cities). The country boasts a diverse range of wildlife and nature and there are many species of animals and plants indigenous only to Australia. The pristine beauty of the country’s wilderness coupled with the abundance of wildlife is part of the country’s attraction for potential expats.
Living in Australia
Expats can expect a very good quality of life in Australia. Life expectancy is high and stress is relatively low when compared with other countries in the world. In fact, it very often ranks amongst one of the safest and happiest countries for expats to live in. Expats moving to Australia can expect a lifestyle driven by outdoor pursuits featuring elements of multiculturalism, especially when it comes to cuisine and traditions. The fundamentals of family and friends are important to Australians, and the nation’s strong spirit of egalitarianism has drawn a steady stream of immigrants from the UK, Europe and Asia to its ideal climate and naturally beautiful environment.
Politics in Australia
Australia’s system of government is based on the liberal democratic tradition, which includes religious tolerance and freedom of speech and association. It’s institutions and practices are influenced by the British and North American models but are uniquely Australian. The Australian Constitution sets out the rules and responsibilities of government and outlines the powers of its three branches – legislative, executive and judicial. Australia is a constitutional monarchy. This means it is a country that has a queen or king as its head of state whose powers are limited by a Constitution. Australia’s head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The National Parliament is bicameral, having two chambers: the House of Representatives(Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House). Both are responsible for national laws, such as trade, taxation, immigration, citizenship, social security, industrial relations and foreign affairs. Legislation has to be approved by both houses before it can become law.
Australia, a vibrant free-market democracy, has recorded impressive economic progress unmarred by recession for more than 25 years. In addition to abundant natural resources, the economy has benefited from an effective system of government, a well-functioning legal system, and an independent bureaucracy, all of which have facilitated robust entrepreneurial development. With almost all industries open to foreign competition and a skilled workforce readily available, Australia continues to be an attractive and dynamic destination for investment. The government has withdrawn from most areas of the market, and competition in such sectors as financial services has increased. Although government debt has been rising since the global financial crisis, it remains substantially lower than in most other advanced economies.
Buying or renting property in Australia
There is perhaps no question more vexing for young Australians today than the decision whether to buy or rent a home. Of course, for many, there is no choice at all. Lacking the substantial deposit required to enter the property market in many Australian cities, they rent by default. But for many, the logic of home-ownership is unquestionable. Rent money is dead money. Why pay off someone else’s mortgage? Property prices always go up. But this one-eyed view of property ownership overlooks some of the substantial costs involved. There’s stamp duty, maintenance, local council charges, water bills and strata levies to consider. Plus the hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments. A recent study in the US found renting to be the superior investment strategy. Another recent paper by the Australian Reserve Bank characterised the rent versus buy decision as an even call. Yet another paper claims that buying is the right decision. Over all one must decide depending on his financial position and the current economic situation. Click here for more information.
Visa and Immigration Australia
Writer Relocations provides visa and immigration services for Australia (http://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas) and many other countries across the globe. You can get in touch with our executives for further assistance.
Schools in Australia
Education in Australia generally comprises primary education (primary schools), followed by secondary education (high schools), and tertiary education (universities, TAFE colleges, and vocational education and training). Regulation and funding of education is primarily the responsibility of the States and territories, but the Federal Government also plays a funding role. Education in Australia is compulsory between the ages of five and fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, depending on the State or territory and date of birth. For primary and secondary education, government schools educate approximately 60% of Australian students, with approximately 40% in private or independent schools. At the tertiary level, all but one of Australia’s 43 universities are public, and student fees are subsidised through a student loan program where payment becomes due when graduates reach a certain income level. To read more click here.
Weather in Australia
Australia is a continent that experiences a variety of climates due to its size. The temperature can range from below zero in the Snowy Mountains in southern Australia to extreme heat in the Kimberley region in the north-west of the continent. Due to the size of the continent, there is not one single seasonal calendar for the entire continent. Instead there are six climatic zones and this translates as two main seasonal patterns. There is a Summer / Autumn / Winter / Spring pattern in the Temperate zone, also affecting the Desert and the Grassland climatic zones and, a Wet / Dry pattern in the tropical north which includes the Equatorial, Tropical and sub-tropical zones. The seasons in the temperate zone are described in terms of European seasons applied to the southern hemisphere in the following sequence:
Summer: December to February
Autumn: March to May
Winter: June to August
Spring: September to November
This means that the Australian Christmas takes place at the height of summer. It also means that the mid-year break for students happens in winter. Click here for more information.