IT Contracting in Australia - Living and Working

Profile written by Colin Cuthbert of Lester Associates (Oct 2010)

Languages: English
Capital: Canberra – ACT
Time zone: EST + 9 (+ 11 summer)
Currency: Australian Dollar
Emergency Numbers: All Emergency Services 000
Key aiports: Sydney (SYD) – Melbourne (MEL) – Perth (PER) – BRISBANE (BRI)
Population: 22 million approx
Electricity: 240v / 50 Hz
Tax Year: 1st July – 30th June
National holiday: 26th January
International dialling prefix: +61
Internet domain suffix: .au
Cost of living: Reasonable by Western standards

Australia maybe a long way from Europe, but it’s definitely the place to be. It’s an excellent destination for work, travel and lifestyle. Whilst tax rates in Australia are high, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce your tax. Currently there are a wealth of contract and project-based roles available across Australia.

Public Holidays in Australia include New Year's Day, Easter, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Anzac Day (26th April), Queen's Birthday (14th June) – In addition there are a number of public holidays unique to each State and Territory.

1. Languages

As an English speaking country – Australia is a popular destination for contractors. There are large ex-pat communities to be found in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

2. Accommodation

There is a strong real estate rental market in Australia, making it relatively easy to find property. If you are looking to buy or rent then most people use the large home search websites to find what they are looking for. Whilst there are always a number of rentals available, be prepared to view ‘open homes’ at the weekend with other people that are searching. Prices vary and are dependant on location and state; as an approx guide in Sydney you would expect to pay in the region of $400 upwards per week.

3. Travel

Australia’s travel network is generally pretty good. Whilst it’s a huge country, the public transport system is very reliable and offers national coverage.

4. Air

Sydney, Perth and Melbourne are Australia’s largest airports with hundreds of flights arriving daily from around the world. Whilst these are the three largest airports there are a number of other airports serving international travellers and more still focusing on the interstate market.

5. Rail

Rail travel in Australia is good, however due to the size of the country, air travel is a more popular option. Trains are clean, and on time (most of the time) with most offering air conditioned carriages.. The cost of rail travel is very reasonably priced.

6. Road

The Australian road network is on a par with other Western countries but again due to the size of the country you are better advised to tackle longer journies in the air rather than on the ground. If you are living in or close to a major city it's better to catch public transport as the roads at peak times can get quite congested. Some states also charge heavy tolls for freeway uasage.

7. Ferry

By far the best way to travel – no traffic, no congestion and views all the way in to work! All for a reasonable price…

8. Trams

Melbourne really utilizes the trams – it's more like a bus service to get around the local suburbs into the city. Trams are also used in Sydney but not to the extent of Melbourne.

9. Light rail

In some of the major cities light rail is used to get around town, its quick, its easy and very reliable.

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