When it comes to opening an Australian bank account without being in the country yet, there are a number of different banks that provide an online application service. Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB all offer an easy web-based sign up process and have received good feedback from former migrants to Australia.
Like the rest of Australia in Brisbane you will see drivers using the left-hand side of the road. The speed limit is 50km/h in built-up areas unless stated otherwise and 100km/h on highways or freeways.
A valid overseas license allows you to drive in the state of Queensland for up to three months after arriving. The conditions of this are that you must:
• Only drive the class of motor vehicle authorised by your license.
• Comply with the conditions (if any) of your license
• Show your license to a police officer when asked to do so
You become ineligible to drive on your overseas license if:
• You are deemed medically unfit to drive safely
• You have been residing in Queensland for over three months on a SCV or resident visa
After three months in Brisbane on an overseas license you’re legally required to hold a Queensland State driving license. To obtain a full license you will need to contact one of the local Transport and Motor Service Centres around the Brisbane area.
If you are a New Zealander holding a current New Zealand license then you will not need to pass the written road rules test or the practical driving test to get an Australian license. For more details about how to go about securing an Australian license Click Here. Australia is subject to International Driving regulations – which mean that the acquisition of an International Drivers Permit or license allows overseas drivers to continue driving in Australia without further tests or applications, provided that a current drivers license is still held. More can be found out about International Driving Permits from The National Roads & Motorists’ Association website.
In terms of public transport Brisbane City Council boasts one of the largest bus fleets in Australia along with trains and state of the art ferry services. There are also 19 ‘CityCats’ which are modern, sleek ferries as well as nine mono-hull City Ferries, which operate seven days a week and operate along a network of 24 terminals on the Brisbane River, a popular way for people to travel to the CBD. For more information about Brisbane’s public transport services including timetables visit the Translink website.
The standard of education is high across most areas of Brisbane. An estimated 70 per cent of school students in the Queensland state are enrolled in the public schooling system – this is the most common choice for expatriates when it comes to deciding where their children will study. Entry into public schools is most commonly determined by whether you are living in the particular zone or boundary of the school.
Brisbane also has over 190 independently run, non-government schools to choose from. It’s common for these private schools to have waiting lists so it is advised to inquire as early as possible. If you are having trouble deciding on a school do not hesitate to contact Crown Brisbane for assistance. Schools in Brisbane typically run on a four-term schedule: Term 1 goes from late January through mid-April, Term 2 from late April to early July, Term 3 from mid/late-July to late September and Term 4 from mid-October through mid-December.
Public school students often use public transport as a means of getting to and from school. Student concession cards are available for bus and train services in the Brisbane area. Independent schools often provide their own bus systems for students.
Like other cities in Australia, health care in Brisbane is of an extremely high standard. Brisbane has both public and private health care systems. Most residents are covered under Medicare Australia – the government health agency that is responsible for providing public health services. Medicare provides payments and services that can help when you, or someone you provide care for, use health care services or buy medicines.
Eligibility for Medicare depends on a number of factors. You are able to sign up to Medicare if you:
• Are an Australian or New Zealand citizen
• Are a permanent resident
• Have applied for a permanent visa
• Are covered by a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with another country.
If you are a New Zealand citizen living in Australia but have not signed up with Medicare then you are still entitled to free emergency services but must pay full price for doctor visits. Medicare provides free hospital care and free or subsidised doctor and specialist visits, however many Australians, almost 50% still opt to get private health insurance. This is recommended by the Australian government as private health insurance covers costs which Medicare does not, such as; ambulance use in emergencies and dental care.
If the insurance company you were with in your home country is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to Australia without penalty -- at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details.
As Australia’s fastest growing city, certain areas of Brisbane have seen large population increases - the population of the CBD has doubled in the previous five years. Due to this rapid increase there has been a large number of apartment complexes constructed in the CBD and surrounding metropolitan areas of the city.
As well as apartment living there are a range of different types of housing that are common across Brisbane:
• A typical Queensland home sits high on stilts to help with air circulation, as there are not many homes with air conditioning.
• Colonial, brick and new Tuscan styles.
• Master-planned communities such as North Lakes and Springfield Lakes in the west of Brisbane have been developed with modern-style homes and a renowned community spirit.
Proximity to workplaces and schools are often the deciding factor for expatriates when they are looking for a new home. The most popular areas of Brisbane are; Ascot, Hamilton, Clayfield and Hendra. These suburbs are situated 15 minutes from the airport and CBD with a wide range of private and public schools near by. Other popular areas to live are New Farm and Tenneriffe, which are Brisbane River-side. As well as St Lucia, Indooropilly, Chelmer, Paddington and Bardon which all offer excellent facilities.
There are some restrictions in place when it comes to non permanent residents buying property in Australia, for more information about this please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website. Expatriates most often choose to rent homes in Brisbane, this is due to high taxes (known as stamp duty) on the purchase of any real estate. When organising a property to rent, landlords typically ask for four to six weeks rent in advance before the collection of keys. There is also a security deposit or bond to be paid before moving in.
For more information on renting a home in Brisbane visit the Residential Tenancies Authority.
The electric current for Australia is 230/250 volts. The electrical Hertz (Hz) is 50 cycles per second, which is compatible with UK appliances. Standard plugs have three flat pins (Australian pattern) and lamp fittings are of the bayonet type. Television and video communications operate on PAL color, System B.
Newcomers to Brisbane most often integrate in to the wider community with ease. It is less common to assimilate into a close-knit group on arrival, however there are multiple newcomer groups that expats can choose to join. Families are typically able to network through either their workplaces or their children’s school and corresponding events such as sports and fundraising activities.
Brisbane has a well-renowned sporting culture and attending sports events is a popular choice for a social night out. The vibrant nightlife scene also offers locals with opportunities to socialise in style. There are also several reputable singles networking associations that arrange evening and weekend activities such as dinners at restaurants, sightseeing and touring. For more information on such associations, please contact Crown Brisbane.
Crown Relocations has 50 years of experience moving individuals and families to Brisbane and throughout Australia, contact us today for more information about our services.
To arrange a quotation call our office Free on 0508 227 696, get an online Ballpark estimate, complete our Home Visit Request, get a Full Quote or Email us now.