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Everything posted by Warnbro

  1. It very much depends on what trade you are in. People in mining construction services did very well up until early 2015. Big money was made and if people were sensible, they would have squirreled a bit of that away. I'd say the downturn has hit those who didn't plan ahead the hardest. I know quite few people who earned big and spent bigger who are now suffering. I have one friend who went on a grand 6 week world tour in 2013 which cost him and his wife over $100k. She paid someone to do the housework and the ironing and they were always popping off for luxury mini breaks in places like Margaret River on his week off. He's was laid off once the job he was working on finished, and now he's earning around $70k a year managing a shop. Now $70k a year is not bad for a couple with no kids, hardly poverty. But they are in dire straights. They have a pretty big mortgage on their house and can't downsize because the house isn't worth as much as they paid for it. The fact is, if they'd been a bit sensible, they could have been mortgage and debt free before he was retrenched. Younger people have also suffered a bit as well. Kids were leaving school back in 2012 and walking into low skilled jobs paying $80k a year. Not the case today. Perth has been through the old boom and bust cycle before and no doubt it will happen again. The trick is to recognise when you are in a boom and make some preparations for the bust.
  2. Warnbro

    Construction industry

    I agree. Some of our best workers are new arrivals. I suppose it makes sense. Lazy people don't up sticks and move half way around the world for a better life. I think some of the problem is that there is this perception that the newly arrived Pom may well decide they have made a mistake and decide to turn tail and go home. The longer you have been here, the less this is a concern for potential employers. You can't claim benefits for the first two years, so you lose nothing by doing a bit of unpaid voluntary work. I didn't do that myself, but I know an ex civil servant from the UK who came over on his wifes visa (Nursing). He volunteered to clean the windows at the local aged care facility and also did three days a week at the local Good Sammy sorting through donations. He's now manager of maintenance at the aged care facility. In my first week, I took my forklift ticket and paid the instructor some extra to let me play around on it for a couple of hours to hone my skills (I was a bit rusty). I signed up with a couple of labour hire companies and took anything they offered even if it meant travelling 50kms for half a days work. I got myself a reputation for never turning anything down and always being on the other end of the phone. They could ring me at 9am and I would be on site at 10am. My first full time job was pretty rubbish with long, unsocial hours but I used my free time to write off for things I wanted to do. Eventually, I got myself into what I am doing now. I think Vicky87's hubby may have also struggled last time around because they were on a working holiday visa. I expect being here on a PR next time will change things a bit.
  3. Warnbro

    Construction industry

    FIFO probably wouldn't be an option anyway for a new arrival. The FIFO jobs tend to go to those who have done it before. But the plus side is that when a FIFO project starts, it creates vacancies in Perth. As for finding work when you first arrive, it's best to just take anything you can get so that you gain some local experience. I started out doing forklift work through an agency. A day or two here and there to start with and then one of the contracts turned into a full time job. The longer you are here, the easier it becomes to find work (employers are reluctant to take on people who have just stepped off the plane).
  4. Warnbro

    Construction industry

    I wouldn't get too carried away with this story if I were you. In comparison to the period 2010 to 2014, these projects are chicken feed. Back then we had all of the Iron Ore and Oil and Gas majors building some of the worlds biggest projects all at the same time. Ports needed expansion, rail networks had to be built. The huge influx of new people created an unprecedented demand for housing and wages went through the roof. Big projects blew out their budgets and a lot of lessons were learned. This is not what is going to happen this time. Of course, there will be job opportunities but they will generally go to those who have done fly in/fly out work before (FIFO). FIFO is a pretty hard game to get into especially since FIFO worker welfare became a major issue. The big miners would rather employ someone who has done it before than take the risk on a newbie. However, every FIFO worker who is currently doing something else, will leave behind a job in Perth. These newly vacated jobs will become easier for a new arrival to walk into.
  5. Warnbro

    Good news for Perth and WA

    Of course this is good news but it won't be anything like what WA experienced a few years ago. These expansions were always coming and anyone in the industry has known about them for years. They are part and parcel of the life cycle of a mine. Build it, get it up and running, expand it. The South Flank project is pretty big though and it will create a fair few FIFO construction opportunities. I'd bet though that most of those jobs will be filled by former resource construction workers who are currently in Perth doing other things.
  6. Warnbro

    Renewal of UK driving licence??

    I've done a bit of ping pong pomming in my time and a few years back, I moved back to the UK for a spell due to family reasons (I'm currently back in WA). To make life easier for myself, I renewed my UK licence. It was actually very easy as I still had my nine year old card. All I needed was proof of my current address such as a council tax or utility bill and a current form of ID such as a passport. Took about five minutes in the post office. If you were coming back for a year or less (simply for a holiday or something), use your Aussie licence. I've done that many times and had no problem with hiring cars or anything else for that matter.
  7. Warnbro

    Has anyone gone to WA on a 188 Visa

    I've been pretty lucky in that the firm I work for secured a decent long term contract with an overseas client just before things started to "go south". Life is still pretty good in Perth, but it isn't what it was a few years ago. The great majority of people I know have suffered to some degree from the downturn.
  8. Warnbro

    Approved business sponsors/TSS

    I'm afraid the cards are all stacked heavily against you. I know two bricklayers who were run off their feet until early 2015. One is now doing part time caretaking work and the other returned to the UK two years ago because he couldn't find anything here. Most brickies here are self employed. House building doesn't work the same way here as it does in the UK. Developers don't buy land and build 100's of houses in one go. They sell serviced blocks and the buyer then employs a builder to design and construct a house. The builders generally sub out all of the trades. House building was booming until a few years ago. WA had the fastest rate of population growth in Australia due to the mining boom and the relaxation of some of the migration rules (more trades on the most wanted list). This has now reversed and construction is suffering. There is no shortage of construction workers in WA, if anything, there is an acute oversupply. It is highly unlikely that any company would be able to sponsor you because to prove they have tried to employ a resident, they would have to advertise the job and there would be no shortage of applicants. Being over 45, you will never be able to become a permanent resident anyway.
  9. Warnbro

    Construction industry

    Headwinds facing WA constrction. 1. WA has spent ahead on resource infrastructure and has more than enough capacity to satisfy resources demand for many years ahead. 2. Perth has an apartment, Hotel and office space glut which currently sits at record levels. 3. The State Government has massively overspent on bling projects in the last decade (Stadium, Elizabeth Quay, Forest Highway etc.). 4. The State Government currently has a near record budget deficit. 5. Perth has a near record number of available properties for sale and rent and the lowest population growth rate in recorded history.
  10. Warnbro

    Construction industry

    Construction has picked up over the last year but Perth is still very very far from booming. Both posters were right. Perth is in the doldrums compared to just 4 or 5 years ago. Maybe things are improving, but it is very slow progress at best. It would be remiss of anyone on here to paint a false picture of reality just to suit the grass is always greener outlook of a prospective migrant to WA. Even back when Perth was boomtown central, local people with local work experience always got first dibs at the best jobs. But as there were so many jobs around, migrants could walk into positions with relative ease. Of course, if you are the best person for the job today, you will get it. But, if you are equal best along with a local person, you won't. Truth is though, there are a lot of very experienced local people in WA doing filler in jobs (handyman, shop work, Uber driving etc.) whilst they wait for things to pick up again. It is very stressful (making the big move). But please view this forum for what it is. Free advice which you can choose to take or not. Don't shout at those with experience who offer you free advice just because they say something you'd rather not hear.
  11. I took out citizenship four years ago and all I had was a certified copy of my Birth Certificate. Same one I used for my visa application years before. I had no problems.
  12. Most visa classes require that you are under 45 at the time of application. There are some classes with higher age limits but they involve having immediate family already in Australia or significant long term investment in Australia. I moved heaven and earth to get my application on their desk just before my 45th as a day late and it would have been curtains for my hopes. Sorry to say this, but I think you've left it a bit late.
  13. Warnbro

    At a turning point - Not sure what the future holds

    When you come here, you might as well be going to Mars or Venus if you want something similar to the UK. Australians look a bit like English people, talk a bit like English people but it ends there. You have to be prepared for a sea change in attitude, values and outlook on life in general. Every time you open your gob, you'll be a pom. If you complain about anything, you'll be a whingeing pom. After two or three years, you'll be a whingeing pom with a bit of a local accent. On the other hand, after a few years, your kids will be true Blue Ocker Bondi Aussies with dual nationality and the freedom of the planet. And after all, that is what is all about.
  14. Warnbro

    At a turning point - Not sure what the future holds

    Anyone who comes here thinking that life will be easier than back in the UK is fooling themselves. It's a bloody hard slog for a good few years at least. But stick it out for long enough and your endeavours will bear fruit. My best advice is to stick it out because every year under your belt brings a better year in front of you. I speak from experience. Good luck.
  15. Warnbro

    UK bank account trouble :(

    Because our bank accounts are for UK residents and our account address is not where we live.
  16. Warnbro

    UK bank account trouble :(

    We still have a couple of UK bank accounts. Before we left, we changed our account address to my mother in laws address. We also set up outlook email accounts (not linked to a particular broadband provider so totally portable). When family members want to give the kids money for Christmas and birthdays, they simply deposit some money in the UK bank account and we give the kids dollars to the same value (saves on currency exchange costs etc.). When we visit the UK, we use our UK bank cards. Not strictly in keeping with the T&C's of our UK accounts, but it works for us.
  17. Warnbro

    Emigrating next year with 15 yr old

    This is a common fear amongst new migrants. Their kids being put back a year and sitting with toddlers. Reality is that although the school year start and end dates are different, your kids will will be in a class of their peers same as they are in the UK. I am friends with people who came over three years ago with a fifteen year old. She found the whole thing very weird to start with, couldn't understand what the other kids were on about, sulked and wanted to go back home on the next plane. Within six months, wild horses wouldn't get her on plane back to the UK.
  18. The agencies did very well during the resources construction boom. I was employed on an EPCM job in Asia and I was paid via an agency. They were not involved in any part of the recruitment process (I was approached directly by the client). All they did was handle my timesheets, invoice the client and pay me my wages. They wanted 60% of the invoice price as their cut. I was doing 12 hours a day in a foreign country, they were shuffling a couple of bits of paper and wanted 60%. I told them to stuff it and threatened to change to another of the clients approved agencies. In the end, they took 20% which was still way too much for what they were actually doing. During the construction boom, these parasites (agencies) were all over you like a rash. Couldn't do enough for you. Once things started to quieten down, they lost interest. You say that July 2014 was before the recession began to bite? Technically yes, but the writing was on the wall a good year or so before that. All the big construction projects had one thing in common. They were all going to be completed and all at around roughly the same time. All of our Gorgon packages had to be on site by early 2014 as did our only Wheatstone platform package. We started getting process and mechanical engineers knocking on our door from around mid 2013. Most had brilliant CV's, had good site experience on some of WA's biggest projects. These guys would have been head hunted only a few years before but were now pacing the streets looking for work. Sooner or later, things will pick up again and those who are already here will reap the rewards. Those who turn up soon after will also do well. Those who arrive a bit late to the party will find themselves in your situation.
  19. Warnbro

    Whats new in Perth?

    Elizabeth Quay, the new stadium at Burswood.
  20. Warnbro

    Weather in Oct & favourite airline?

    In October you can get the odd weather front still coming in. On the whole though, it is a pretty decent month. The only thing about late October though is the chance of early flies. Generally, flies peak in November and December but late October can also see a lot of flies (depends on the weather leading up to that point though). I always fly with the cheapest airline on the day as there's not much to choose between them. The downside of a middle eastern airline is the 12 hour last leg on the way out. Try to time your flight to get into Perth in the early afternoon. By the time you get to wherever it is you are staying, had some food and a bit of a catch up, you will be ready for bed at a normal bedtime. Arrive too early and you will be tempted to take a nap and that will see you totally out of whack for the rest of your stay,
  21. The current value of the AUD/GBP is the sum of all of the currency markets participants’ beliefs in what the AUD/GBP will do in the future. Put simply, if currency traders think the Pound will rise next week, they will buy the Pound today. They won’t wait until it has risen. What they think will happen next week, will make it happen today. A good example is interest rate policy. If the Bank of England hints at a possible rate rise in a months time, the Pound will strengthen within seconds of the hint. For someone without very detailed knowledge of global economics, central bank policy, geo political tensions, commodities prices and a myriad of other factors, trying to predict the future of a currency pair is nothing more than a lucky dip. Brexit is already pretty much priced into the value of the Pound. The Pound nosedived after the leave vote and movement since then has been dictated by the likely hood (or not) of whether the transition will be smooth or rough. The strength of the Aussie Dollar is closely related to its commodities export market. Unless you can get to grips with the intricacies of both of these, you won’t have a chance of predicting future movements. In short, you wouldn’t put all of your money on a horse you know nothing about, so don’t bet all of your money on a currency market movement. You could move some money now (say 25%) and do the same each year until you move. This would even out any big swings in the currency pair (you won’t win big if the Pound strengthens by 50% but you won’t lose as much if it drops 50% either). How you go about this is best left to a currency dealer (how you transfer the money, how you store it in Australia, any tax implications).
  22. What you are looking at doing is hedging against a fall in value of GBP against the AUD. Buying AUD now is one option, but there are many other things you could consider. You could buy Australian Shares or Bonds. You could hedge in another currency such as the USD. If it were me, I would spread the risk by using a mix of strategies rather than placing all of my eggs in the same basket. It is not a given that the Pound will fall further due to Brexit. It is just as likely to rise in value. The current value of the Pound is reflective of the currency markets belief in what will happen in the future. Seek a couple of professional opinions though. Good luck.
  23. Warnbro

    Odd things I've noticed since moving!

    The one that always gets me is "marone" for the colour maroon. I was faction head (team captain) of the "marone" team in primary school. I always used to refer to it as maroon faction and the Aussie kids would always correct me and say "marone". Purple faction was called Purple, Orange faction was called Orange. But for some strange reason, Maroon faction was "Marone"?? But the band Maroon Five is not referred to here as Marone Five and people stranded on desert islands are marooned and not maroned? I have never got it, I never will.
  24. Warnbro


    We qualified on 3 years but we arrived before before 2007 when the requirement was upped. I think you will find that although the act hasn't been passed yet, it will apply to all applications made on or after 20th April this year.
  25. Warnbro


    No, it was 3 years with one year of PR. Total residency had to be 3 years or more.