Cost of living
In terms of quality of life comparative to the cost of living, Perth offers a very comfortable lifestyle, often ranking as one of the most liveable places in the world.
Most people making the move to Australia want to know what their expenses will be when they make the move here. As everyone’s standard of living is different, this is a difficult question to answer. It certainly pays to do lots of research. Here are some handy hints to help get you started.
The REIWA website is a mine of information when it comes to housing. As well as finding properties to buy or rent, the website has the following features:
- Perth suburbs price data;
- regional towns price data;
- rental data; and
- home loan calculator.
Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with estimated costs for utilities and rates for a particular property.
Take into consideration the following:
- Medical and health insurance;
- childcare; and
- education including school fees, books and uniforms.
Consider the costs involved in owning a vehicle such as:
- purchase price;
- insurance; and
Costs for the use of public transport in Perth can be found on the Transperth website and on the Transwa website for regional areas.
Household groceries and miscellaneous items
Use the list of items below (costed in Australian dollars) to compare with prices in your country.
|Loaf of bread
|2 litres of milk
|1kg of rice
|500g of minced beef
|1kg of apples
|Pint of beer
|Bottle of wine
|Adult cinema ticket
|Stamp for local or interstate mail
|Mobile phone text message within Australia
Source: (http://www.thisperthlife.com/2006/04/living_costs_in.html) with 2011 updated prices
Banking hours are generally 9.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am - 5.00pm on Friday but it’s always best to check with the bank as some will have varying hours and others also open on Saturdays.
The State offices of the major banks are usually located in the city, with branches located throughout both the metropolitan and regional areas. Visiting the bank’s website is the best way to find branch locations. You can set up internet banking so that you can do your banking from home or work.
You can view a list of all the banks in Australia here.
Western Australia also has a selection of international and other domestic banks including Citibank, Banque Nationale de Paris, Bank of New Zealand, Chase Manhattan, and the Bank of Melbourne.
EFTPOS (Electronic Funds transfer at Point of Sale)
Many Western Australians pay for items using the electronic card based EFTPOS system which allows you to use your debit or credit card to pay for goods and services. The majority of businesses utilise EFTPOS, although some smaller business such as corner shops may not, or may have a minimum transaction amount.
Cash machines - ATMs
Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are located throughout the metropolitan and regional areas and are usually available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.
The majority of ATMs will accept a variety of cards from different banks although often they will charge a fee for different cards. The ATM will let you know if the bank will charge you a usage fee – usually between $1.50- $2.00.
Most banks are connected to the Maestro or Cirrus networks, allowing international visitors to access funds. To find out if you can access your money through ATMs in Australia, check with your bank.
There are various types of insurance that people living in Western Australia can choose to have. Insurance should be an important consideration as part of your migration plan. Some types of insurances available are listed below.
Private health insurance
Australia has an exceptional healthcare system and facilities, but if you would like the choice of being able to choose the place where, or practitioner who administers your treatment you may consider having private medical insurance.
The cover available under private health insurance varies. Generally you can opt for basic private hospital cover through to cover that includes a huge range of ‘extras’. The cost of standard private medical cover including the Commonwealth Government rebate is around $2,600 per family per annum. There are many private health insurance providers in Australia. The Commonwealth Government has a useful website that allows you find and compare private health funds as well as providing information to visitors and temporary residents. Visit PrivateHealth.gov.au for more information.
Health insurance is a personal choice and you should determine your own individual requirements. As an incentive to encourage more people to take out private health insurance the government provides a 30% rebate of the cost of private health insurance. More information on what private health insurance is and what it covers can be found on the Department of Health and Ageing website.
Various insurance companies will offer you a life insurance policy for yourself and your family. You can review the best policy for your needs by comparing the options available on websites such as iselect which shows all the policies available. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority website also offers a list of registered life insurance companies within Australia which may be useful when short listing companies.
Western Australia operates a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme, paid as part of your vehicle licensing in Western Australia.
The scheme provides motor vehicle owners with a third party insurance policy that covers their unlimited liability for personal injury caused by, or in connection with directly driving their insured motor vehicle in incidents to which the Motor Vehicle (Third Party Insurance) Act 1943 applies.
You can find out further information about CTP at the Insurance Commission of Western Australia website.
As the CTP scheme only covers a third party claim you can purchase various levels of cover from a motor vehicle insurance company. This ensures that both you and your vehicle are covered in the event of an incident.
If you decide to rent a property it is advisable that you insure the contents of your home (your personal effects and belongings).
The landlord of the property is responsible for insuring the structure of the house but you have responsibility for your own belongings within it.
If you purchase a property the same recommendations apply for insuring your belongings as well as the bricks and mortar.
Remember, if you take out more than one insurance policy with a company (for example, vehicle insurance and home insurance), you may be able to get a discount.
There are many different types of taxes and rates that apply to individuals or business owners within Australia.
Income taxes are the most significant form of taxation in Australia, and collected by the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). For information on individual taxation see the Australian Taxation Office website.
If you are planning on running a business in Western Australia the Small Business Development Corporation can provide information and advice about tax amongst other things.
For more information on what taxes are payable from a State level you will find more information on the Government of Western Australia Department of Finance website.
Guide to Western Australian industries
With a strong resource sector feeding the healthy economy within Western Australia, many industries within the State are also growing and increasing in size, leading to increased employment opportunities and business opportunities for investors.
Iron-ore, nickel, gold, wheat, and crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) dominate the State’s exports. Western Australia is taking a more powerful place in the Australian and global economy, developing and exporting a diverse range of value added goods and services.
The service sector accounts for around 70% of the State’s economic activity. Western Australian based businesses are exporting their expertise in health, education, building and construction, communications, tourism, business services and resources engineering.
The main industries within Western Australia have been profiled by the Department of Training and Workforce Development with statistics relating to:
- occupation types within the industry;
- Western Australian gross state product contribution for that industry;
- percentage of people employed in that industry over the past 10 years;
- level of qualifications achieved by people working within that industry; and
- age and gender of people employed in the industry.
To find out more about the industry types and for a detailed profile within the industry visit the Department of Training and Workforce Development website.
To assist the economy of Western Australia, the Department of Training and Workforce Development has developed a plan called Skilling WA – a workforce development plan for Western Australia. The plan aims to develop and increase the skilled workforce in Western Australia in order to meet the demand for skilled workers in a range of industries as listed on their website and mentioned above. Take a look on the website for more information.