Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

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I love helping people via Moving to Australia. Providing the answers to questions we all ask when deciding whether to […]
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Oct 26, 2023

I love helping people via Moving to Australia.

Providing the answers to questions we all ask when deciding whether to make the move from New Zealand to Australia. Even giving individual-specific advice where needed.

I have learned a lot over the last 15 years from personal experience and through interacting with visitors. This is my job, I spend hours making sure the information here is up to date.

In turn, if you would like to help me, you can use one of my referral partners.

They pay me a small amount per referral and, you get a quality service while saving hours of research time.

By nature, I love to get the best deal available and always research thoroughly any purchase, or company and evaluate all my options. So trust me, I’ve done the research for you.

I only recommend companies that I have used personally or know someone who has and that they measure up to my referral partner standards:

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You will find them scattered throughout the site.

Please email me if you require further information.

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Sep 11, 2023
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I’ve scheduled the subjects from ‘need to know’ to ‘it might apply to you’, e.g. having a baby in Australia, which doesn’t apply to everyone.

Most New Zealanders moving to Australia start researching the move, months to years out and this way you can get all the information you need with one simple free subscription.

You can also view many subjects on my Facebook page Moving to Australia. I also share any relevant news items on this page.

Moving to Australia Newsletters 🌏

If you are moving to Australia in the near future and have only just stumbled across my site, then you can read through my newsletter list below and have a read of what is of most interest to you:

  1. Welcome to the MTA Newsletter 🌏
  2. Moving to Australia Process 🌏
  3. Which city to move to in Australia? 🌏
  4. Jobs in Australia 🌏
  5. Australian Visa 🌏
  6. Schools in Australia 🌏
  7. Renting and Accommodation in Australia 🌏
  8. Buying a house in Australia 🌏
  9. Transferring your money to Australia 🌏
  10. Open an Australian Bank Account 🌏
  11. Moving Company to Australia 🌏
  12. Can you drive in Australia? 🌏
  13. Medicare Australia 🌏
  14. Australian Tax 🌏
  15. Become an Australian Citizen 🌏
  16. Australian Age Pension 🌏
  17. Moving to Australia Checklist 🌏
  18. Having a baby in Australia 🌏
  19. Moving to Australia Newsletter 🌏

On top of the above, I send out the occasional newsletter with the latest news that relates to New Zealanders moving to Australia.

If there is a subject I haven’t covered above that you would like to see, please comment below.

Australia opens to international tourists after Covid Pandemic

From 21 February 2022 Australia is open for quarantine-free travel, to all states apart from Western Australia (closed until 3 […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Australia borders open

From 21 February 2022 Australia is open for quarantine-free travel, to all states apart from Western Australia (closed until 3 March).

On Monday the 21st of February the drawbridge came down on ‘Fortress Australia’ after 100 weeks of self-imposed isolation.

For the first time since March 2020 vaccinated non-residents and international travellers can enter Australia quarantine-free, without a travel exemption. There were approximately 1.2 million visa holders who until today were locked out of the country.

Global Shipping Crisis Caused by Coivd-19

Supply chain crisis and its effect on the international moving industry and its customers. There is currently a shipping and […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Global Shipping Crisis Caused by Coivd-19

Supply chain crisis and its effect on the international moving industry and its customers.

There is currently a shipping and supply chain crisis directly affecting every facet of international commerce; its impact is farreaching enough to touch the lives of consumers and businesses everywhere in the world.

Pfizer vaccine approved for use in Australia

In a major breakthrough, Australia has approved a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s when the jabs will begin, and who is first […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Pfizer vaccine approved for use in Australia

In a major breakthrough, Australia has approved a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s when the jabs will begin, and who is first in line.

Australians will receive their first COVID-19 vaccines in late February 2021 after the Pfizer jab was approved for use, but the Prime Minister has warned it will not mean an immediate return to normal.

Sydneysiders ‘on track’ to be allowed into SA as early as Sunday

Sydneysiders could visit South Australia within the next week as long as there are no more locally acquired COVID-19 cases […]
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Jun 16, 2023
South Australia Opening Borders to Sydney

Sydneysiders could visit South Australia within the next week as long as there are no more locally acquired COVID-19 cases before then.

Sydneysiders could travel to this state as soon as Sunday if the Harbour City continues with its streak of recording no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19.

SA health authorities have long called for 14 days of no recorded community transmission before lifting its border restrictions with another jurisdiction.

Premier Steven Marshall said Greater Sydney was “on track” to have its border restrictions eased at midnight on Saturday.

“We have the reports in now from Queensland, NSW and Victoria and there are no new cases of community transmission in those three jurisdictions, so we remain on track to open up to Sydney,” he said on Monday 25th January.

“I know that would be a huge relief to many people who are dislocated from family and friends at this particular time. I think it’ll also be great to make sure that we can continue to focus on growing our economy.”

Mr Marshall warned the border ban would not be lifted if health authorities deemed it not safe to do so.

SA reset its 14-day countdown after six locally acquired cases were recorded in the Greater Sydney hot-spot area on Sunday, January 24. It has been eight days since the last reported case of community transmission.

NSW had three new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday but all were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, while SA recorded no new infections.

News.com.au article: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/coronavirus-australia-sydneysiders-on-track-to-be-allowed-into-sa-as-early-as-sunday/news-story/f4e3940ad2c76e51191a93f7e82be8bf.

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Australia suspends travel bubble with NZ for at least 72 hours

Australia is suspending its green zone travel bubble with New Zealand for at least 72 hours — effective immediately — […]
by , on
Jun 16, 2023
Travel Bubble Suspended for 72 Hours

Australia is suspending its green zone travel bubble with New Zealand for at least 72 hours — effective immediately — over a “significant” concern.

Australia suspended its green zone travel bubble with New Zealand for at least 72 hours from yesterday (Monday 25th January 2021) out of an “abundance of caution” over a highly infectious strain of COVID-19.

25 February 2021
Quarantine free travel from New Zealand to Australia has resumed

All of New Zealand is now at alert level 1. Face coverings are mandatory for all public transport and domestic flights in New Zealand. The Safe Travel Zone allowing quarantine free flights from New Zealand to Australia resumed on 21 February 2021. If you’re travelling on a green zone flight and have been in Auckland in the last 14 days, you’ll need a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to departure. These conditions will apply until 1 March 2021.

More info: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/new-zealand.

The federal government received advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee of a “significant case of concern” in New Zealand regarding the South African variant.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said “The possibility that that may lead to a transmission event, and out of an abundance of caution, the AHPPC has recommended to the government … that there should be a suspension,” he told reporters on Monday.

“This will be done out of an abundance of caution whilst more is learnt about the event and the case.” Mr Hunt said the suspension would begin immediately.

“It’s recommended that all passengers from NZ with a green safe travel zone flight scheduled in the next 72 hours, reconsider their need to travel. They will, as a consequence, have to go into hotel quarantine,” he said.

Anyone who arrived from New Zealand on or since January 14 must also isolate and be tested.

“We apologise to those who may be inconvenienced. This has been taken on the basis of strong, clear, immediate medical advice,” Mr Hunt said.

Deputy chief medical officer Michael Kidd said authorities were advised on Sunday about a NZ case of COVID-19 involving a person who had completed hotel quarantine in Auckland and developed symptoms a few days later. But it was only revealed on Monday that the person had contracted the highly contagious South African strain.

“The infected person visited at least 30 locations. This new variant is more transmissible and presents a heightened level of risk.”

Professor Kidd said 72 hours would allow authorities to find out what actually happened in NZ.

“This case, of course, has only been detected over the last two days. People who have been to … those 30-odd venues in NZ are now doing as we would be doing in Australia — they’re isolating at home, they’re arranging to get tested. We are waiting for those test results to come back.”

Professor Kidd said there were two green zone flights from New Zealand that were due to travel to Australia later on Monday. It is not yet clear how many people have arrived from NZ since January 14 2021.

Asked if there were concerns that some variants had a longer incubation period than 14 days, Professor Kidd said the advice coming from NZ authorities was that it was probably an infection that occurred while the person was in quarantine.

“We’re waiting for further advice from the NZ authorities on that. We are concerned about these variants,” he said.

Mr Hunt said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a “very productive and convivial conversation” with his NZ counterpart.

He also described NZ as a global success story and said Australia would not usually suspend travel as a result of one case.

“We have the absolute highest belief in the quality and the ability of NZ to contact trace. It’s just the combination of the transmissibility of the variant and the circumstances of the particular case … which led the AHPPC to give us categorical strong, clear, unanimous advice,” Mr Hunt said.

News.com.au article: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/australia-suspends-green-zone-travel-bubble-with-new-zealand-for-at-least-72-hours/news-story/51ba5abe77bda3ddf165cfea0549a508.

Australia suspends travel bubble with NZ – NZ Hearld

Any passengers from New Zealand with a green card flight scheduled within the next 72 hours will need to rethink their need to travel. Those who do travel to Australia will need to go into hotel quarantine for at least 72 hours and potentially for up to 14 days.

Anyone who has arrived in Australia from NZ on or since January 14 is asked to isolate and get tested. They should isolate until they get a negative test result.

Hunt has apologised to anyone inconvenienced, but he says this has been taken on the basis of strong, clear, immediate medical advice from health authorities.

“In brief, the Australian Government has received advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee of a significant case of concern in NZ regarding the South African variant,” Hunt said.

There is a “possibility that that may lead to a transmission event,” Hunt continued, “and out of an abundance of caution, the AHPPC has recommended to the government … that there should be a suspension.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had informed her about the move. “I was advised late this afternoon of Australia’s decision by the Prime Minister. I advised him that we have confidence in our systems and processes, but it is Australia’s decision as to how they manage their borders.”

Air New Zealand released a statement acknowledging the travel bubble suspension (https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/covid19-international-travel).

“Air New Zealand currently operates quarantine-free flights between Auckland and Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and transiting flights through Norfolk Island,” the statement reads.

The travel bubble suspension “will impact 5 services over the next 72 hours including flight NZ149 To Brisbane this evening. Customers booked on these services are being contacted and the airline will re-accommodate customers once further advice has been received from the Australian Government.

“We understand this is disappointing news for customers and we thank them for their patience and understanding.”

NZ Hearld article: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/covid-19-coronavirus-australia-suspends-travel-bubble-with-nz/ZYDDKVR3DKRPBQLIYQHR7AKKGA/.

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Australia borders reopening

After a long year, Australia has hit a major COVID milestone with interstate travel now possible. Here’s everything you need […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Australia borders reopening

After a long year, Australia has hit a major COVID milestone with interstate travel now possible. Here’s everything you need to know including the latest rules and forms to fill.

Australia has hit a major milestone with state border restrictions being almost completely eliminated by this weekend, marking the first time the country has been open for months.

25 February 2021
Quarantine free travel from New Zealand to Australia has resumed

All of New Zealand is now at alert level 1. Face coverings are mandatory for all public transport and domestic flights in New Zealand. The Safe Travel Zone allowing quarantine free flights from New Zealand to Australia resumed on 21 February 2021. If you’re travelling on a green zone flight and have been in Auckland in the last 14 days, you’ll need a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to departure. These conditions will apply until 1 March 2021.

More info: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/new-zealand.

But there are rules, forms, catches and exemptions to be aware of, along with warnings and promises that any outbreak will immediately see new closures and rules put back in place.

South Australians face the toughest restrictions with Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory closing their borders, but hope is finally here.

Before you travel within Australia or from New Zealand

It is important you find out about the restrictions and conditions for the place you are travelling to. You should do this before booking or leaving your home.

The Australian aviation industry has developed Domestic Passenger Journey Protocols. These protocols provide clear and consistent guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in domestic airports and on aircraft.

Mandatory quarantine applies to travellers entering Australia from overseas, except if arriving from a green zone country (New Zealand). Read more about international travel restrictions and quarantine exemptions for travellers arriving in Australia.

State of Australian borders

Western Australia

Travellers from NSW, VIC, NT, QLD, ACT, and TAS can enter without quarantine having completed a G2G PASS declaration (find more info below). The border was closed to SA until December 11 (yesterday), when it moved to “low risk” status. Travellers will then be able to enter with some controls, including quarantine (https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/covid-communications/covid-19-coronavirus-controlled-interstate-border).

Travellers from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS, NSW and VIC will not be required to quarantine while those from SA will need to self-quarantine for 14 days in a “suitable premise”.

“When the risk from SA is considered ‘very low’ by the chief health officer or when they have not had community cases of COVID-19 in the past 28 days, easing of the restrictions on these states will be considered,” the WA government has stated.

G2G NOW

If you are entering WA and required to self-quarantine, you can download the G2G NOW app which enables WA Police to conduct quarantine compliance checks using facial recognition and mobile location data. Police can send remote check-in requests through the app.

Police will conduct in-person visits for people who do not download and use the G2G NOW app.

Find out more about G2G NOW.

Northern Territory

The border is open to all Australian states and territories as there are no COVID hotspot declarations in place. All travellers must complete a border entry form.

You will have to quarantine if you have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days before you arrive in the Territory.

NT Border Entry Application

You must fill in this application if you are travelling to the NT from another location within Australia or overseas. Anyone seeking to enter the NT must declare:

  • if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot
  • where they have been in the last 28 days
  • their personal contact details

Complete this application no more than 7 days prior to arriving in the Northern Territory. You should be aware of the Chief Health Officer directions regarding entry to the Northern Territory.

This application will take around 5 mins to complete: https://forms.nt.gov.au/Produce/Form/COVID19/Northern%20Territory%20Border%20Entry%20Application/.

South Australia

SA is open to travellers from all other states and territories, having completed a Cross Border Travel Registration. Some states have imposed restrictions on travellers from SA.

Cross Border Travel Registration

https://forms.police.sa.gov.au/Runtime/Runtime/Form/CrossBorderTravel

Queensland

Queensland borders are open to all of Australia and the New Zealand safe travel zone.

You do not need a border pass to enter Queensland.

New South Wales

The border is open to all Australian states and territories and New Zealand, but anyone who has been in SA in the previous 14 days must complete an entry declaration form. Some specific locations in SA are deemed “areas of concern” for particular time frames, and travel will be restricted for non-NSW residents.

Complete a NSW entry declaration form

https://apply.service.nsw.gov.au/nsw-entry-declaration

You can do this:

  • within the 24 hour period before entering NSW, or
  • when you enter NSW.

You’ll need to complete an entry declaration form each time you enter NSW, but not more than one per calendar day.  Keep a copy of your declaration with you at all times while you’re travelling as you’ll need to produce it if requested by an enforcement officer. You also need to carry any supporting evidence associated with your travel, at all times.

ACT

The border is open to all states and territories, including South Australia.

However, if you have been in a geographical area of risk you are not able to visit or work in high-risk settings (like aged care and health care facilities) for 14 days after leaving the designated area. Please visit the Chief Health Officers alerts page for more information.

Victoria

Everyone who arrives in Victoria from South Australia requires a Victorian Border Crossing Permit, which is issued based on locations visited in SA. Victoria is open to travellers from other states, including New Zealand.

Victorian Border Crossing Permit

Information for people travelling to Victoria from South Australia: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/south-australian-border-permit.

You can apply for a permit at the Services Victoria website.

Tasmania

Travellers from low-risk areas – VIC, NSW, QLD, ACT, WA, NT and NZ – can register with Tas e-Travel and need not quarantine. SA is generally classified as low risk, but specific locations may be deemed high risk, restricting travel. Current travel alerts are listed on the Tasmanian Government website: https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors.

Register your travel

Travellers to Tasmania, including returning residents, need to provide their contact and travel details before entering the state, to help manage the risk of COVID-19 at Tasmania’s borders.

Register through the Tas e-Travel system, no more than three (3) days before arriving.

Further information

You can read the full news article here on News.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/health-safety/australia-borders-reopening-can-i-travel-to-another-state-all-the-latest-rules-and-forms-to-fill/news-story/80263a7a6fc942a364cddb3f77fe078f.

You can find more information on the Australian Government Department of Health website, including remote area access: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions/coronavirus-covid-19-domestic-travel-restrictions-and-remote-area-access.

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Moving to Australia? Guide to everything you need to know

XE’s moving to Australia guide is a must-read for every ex-pat thinking of relocating to the land down under. It’s […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Moving to Australia

XE’s moving to Australia guide is a must-read for every ex-pat thinking of relocating to the land down under.

It’s no secret that Australians enjoy a high quality of life. Australia has breathtaking landscapes, a low population and numerous career opportunities, and is considered one of the best countries to live in because of its low pollution levels, high socioeconomic status and high life expectancy. It also offers easy access to quality education.

Australia is also very welcoming to immigrants! 30% of its residents were born overseas and people flock to the country each year for better opportunities. Between June 2018 and June 2019, 538,000 people moved to Australia.

Quick facts about Australia (for ex-pats):

  • Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

  • The biggest cities are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth (in that order).

  • You need to get a visa that fits the work you intend to do in Australia (read below).

  • Australia has a high cost of living, probably because it is the world’s 12th-largest economy.

  • The country’s public school system follows the British system and meets international standards. However, some ex-pats prefer the private school system.

  • Australia is considered one of the world’s safest and most stable countries.

Interesting facts about life in Australia:

  • Australia is the land of no worries. You’ll hear Aussies say “no worries” many times a day.

  • There are no deadly animals and insects waiting around the corner to kill you. They live mainly in the Outback.

  • If you have food allergies or intolerance, restaurants will cater to your needs.

  • Most companies pay well. The average weekly wage is $1,713.90 AUD.

  • Aussies eat outside on a regular basis, and love a good BBQ. They also participate in sports and recreational activities more than people in other developed countries.

  • Holidays are not a big deal. While everyone gets excited about Christmas and Easter, the festive spirit is not as pronounced as in the US and the UK.

  • Aussies don’t tip all the time. They only tip to reward genuinely outstanding service.

  • Smoking is extremely expensive. Smokers pay $35 AUD for a pack of 20 cigarettes.

  • The most popular car is the Toyota Hilux.

Sound good to you? If you’re planning on moving to Australia, there are a few things you should be aware of.

6 things you should do before moving to Australia

Moving to a new country can be daunting. But many people still decide to take the plunge and move to Australia every year, and we can’t blame them. With its picture-perfect beaches, laid-back attitude and glorious climate, it’s not surprising that so many foreigners make the move.

But before you book that flight in a hurry, there are a few things you should do…

1. Get the right work visa

If you already have an employment contract or a job offer in Australia, all you need to do is apply for one of the Australian work visas. There are visas for skilled workers, highly specialized workers, people participating in specific activities, and more. If you’re an experienced businessperson or investor and meet the necessary criteria, you qualify for an Australian self-employment visa, which is known as the Business Talent Visa.

Australia offers employment-based visas and work permits for different expert workers relocating to the country for job-related purposes. Be sure to get the right work visa by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website. If you’re not sure which visa is suitable for you or don’t know how to proceed with your application, you can contact an immigration professional who will guide you through the entire process.

2. Know the cost of living for your city

The cost of living in Australia is high. However, it differs from region to region. Sydney and Melbourne are Australia’s most expensive cities. You’ll need $3,671 AUD a month to live comfortably in Sydney. Outside Sydney and Melbourne, life is relatively affordable. You can get by on $2,364 AUD a month in a smaller city like Hobart. Rent is quoted by the week.

If you live a minimal lifestyle, you can expect to spend $600 AUD per week. Add 1/3 of that for Sydney and Melbourne and about 10% for the other big cities. You’ll have enough money to pay for a modest shared flat in a relatively safe suburb. The money will also cater for food, low-cost entertainment, basic utilities and a public transit card for commuting. You can visit Numbeo for accurate and timely information on the cost of living in Australia.

3. Open a bank account with one of the top banks in Australia

The most popular banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Commbank), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac Banking Corporation and HSBC.

Some Australian banks allow you to open an account before moving to the country. But before you open one, consider your banking requirements and your personal situation. Some banks offer better solutions to people who save large sums of money or transfer money to Australia to invest in a business or buy a house.

Opening a bank account in Australia can take 5-10 business days, depending on the account type. Some banks accept a photocopy of a driving license or a passport, but it may have to be certified by someone in a position of responsibility, like a civil servant or a doctor.

Please note, it will save you a lot of time and paperwork if you open an Australian account before you leave your home country.

4. Transfer money to your Australian bank account

Bank fees are expensive, so don’t try to transfer your money internationally with a bank. It may seem convenient, but banks have unfavourable exchange rates and high, numerous fees. Some banks claim to only have one service fee, but they often have several additional third-party and transaction fees, cleverly hidden in the total transfer cost.

As soon as you open an Australian bank account, open an account with XE to transfer your money. Unlike banks, XE doesn’t hide additional third-party fees after you’ve confirmed your money transfer. The amount you pay for the transfer is all you’ll need to pay.

You can use their currency converter to check the exchange rates, informed by data straight from the live currency markets. If you have any trouble, their amazing customer service team.

5. Book your flight in advance and save

According to Investopedia, flights to Australia are cheapest two times a year:

  • May 1st up to the first week of June

  • The third week of July up to the third week of September

During peak season (December), airfare can be as high as $3,000 USD, so it’s best to fly during the low season. If your travel days are flexible, you can save more money by flying on a weekday (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Monday mornings, Friday evenings, and Sunday afternoons are not great times to fly unless you have a few hundred dollars to spare.

Travelling to Australia is pricey and the airfare alone can bust your budget. Book your flight as early as possible, at least two months in advance. If you book a flight just before your travel date, you’ll have to pay more for a seat.

It’s also worth mentioning that most travel agencies hold seats for their clients. In case the clients change their travel plans, the seats become available for purchase. This is another great way to find cheap flights. But it’s better to book your flight early to avoid disappointment.

6. Find out about healthcare

Australia has a universal medical coverage system called Medicare. The publicly funded initiative provides primary healthcare to citizens, permanent residents and some visitors. People with medical coverage pay their medical charges upfront and then get reimbursed by the government.

However, Medicare isn’t available to ex-pats with temporary visas. You’ll have to pay for private health insurance. If you hold a permanent visa, you’re eligible for public healthcare. When you apply for an Australian working visa, you’ll be asked to show evidence of a private health cover that you’ll use until you get a Medicare card or private healthcare insurance.

If you decide to get private healthcare insurance, visit privatehealth.gov.au. The government-run website lists all the insurers that get a tax rebate on insurance. You can also use the insurance policy comparison tool to compare policies.

How to Find a Job in Australia

Jobs in Australia are advertised online and in national and local papers. If you’ve moved to the land down under and want to find your dream job, visit job boards like CareerOne, Seek, JobSearch, and Adzuna. Most of the sites send out automated email updates, keeping you informed on jobs you might be interested in.

You can also find out about jobs in your industry or field of expertise on social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Let your connections know that you’re moving to Australia and they may use their networks to help you. If you belong to any professional associations, ask them if they have any counterparts in Australia.

You can also send a general job application to companies you’d like to work for outlining your skills and experience. You can submit your application through the company website or send it to the recruitment manager. If something suitable comes up, you’ll be first in line.

XE wish you the best of luck with your upcoming move and know they’re there to help with any of your foreign currency needs. Log in or sign up for a free account today to see what we can do for you.

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CBA accepting requests for new FHLDS places

CBA will now start accepting new requests from eligible first home buyers purchasing new homes to join the FHLDS: New […]
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Jun 16, 2023
CBA accepting requests for new FHLDS places

CBA will now start accepting new requests from eligible first home buyers purchasing new homes to join the FHLDS: New Home Guarantee waitlist.

CommBank announced today that even more home buyers will be able to realise the Aussie dream of owning their own property under the extension to the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (the Scheme).

From the 21st of October 2020, eligible first home buyers looking to build or purchase a newly built home are able to request a place to join CBA’s waitlist.

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the Australian Government announced the New Home Guarantee, an additional 10,000 Scheme places specifically for first home buyers purchasing new homes with a deposit of between 5 and 20 per cent of the property’s value.

The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme is an Australian Government initiative to support eligible first home buyers purchase their first home sooner.

Usually first home buyers with less than a 20 per cent deposit need to pay lenders mortgage insurance. Under the Scheme, eligible first home buyers can purchase a modest home with a deposit with as little as 5 per cent (lenders criteria also apply). This is because NHFIC guarantees to a participating lender up to 15 percent of the value of the property purchased that is financed by an eligible first home buyer’s home loan.

All applications for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme need to be made directly with one of the Scheme’s participating lenders. NHFIC doesn’t accept applications directly from first home buyers.

Angus Sullivan, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive said: “We have already helped more than 3,000 Australians purchase a house under the Scheme and are extremely supportive of the move to extend this to an additional 10,000 Australians looking to buy their first home.

“We know that saving for a deposit can be difficult. Given the challenges faced by many of our customers over the past few months, we support any initiatives that play a constructive role in helping first home buyers get onto the property ladder and support the broader economic recovery, specifically in the construction industry.

“We are proud to have been a major participant in the Scheme since its inception and have helped more Australians purchase a home under the Scheme than any other lender. One in four Australian home loans are with CommBank and with some of the lowest fixed rates on record our Australian-based call centres and industry-leading processing remain open for business and ready to assist.”

Under the New Home Guarantee, a revised set of property price caps will apply for eligible properties.

For more information on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, read this Australia Government fact sheet: https://www.nhfic.gov.au/media/1308/fhlds-fact-sheet-july-2020-final.pdf.

Read more about CommBank and why you should open a bank account here in my Open an Australian Bank Account post.

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Big news can create big moves in foreign exchange

What a 2020 we’ve had so far, and with the upcoming US election we’re in for more market volatility. This […]
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Jun 16, 2023
Big news can create big moves in foreign exchange

What a 2020 we’ve had so far, and with the upcoming US election we’re in for more market volatility. This can be a lot to keep up with. So, if you’re in the market to move money and need some currency confidence, OFX can help.

The OFXperts can help you navigate exchange rates with advanced currency tools to help reduce currency exposure:

  • A Target Rate Transfer or Limit Order allows you to set a transfer at a target rate. If your rate hits we’ll process the payment to complete your transfer. Simple.
  • If you prefer to know when the market hits a specific rate before you transfer, why not set up a Rate Alert? You can set a Rate Alert yourself online or speak with one of the OFXperts.

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With a currency risk management strategy in place, you’ll be less worried by volatility. For more insights:

In times like these, don’t forget we have OFXperts available 24/7, day or night who can help you navigate currency volatility.

OFX is a foreign exchange company that helps thousands of clients every year to transfer monies overseas.

In essence they offer sharper exchange rates than the high street banks and have lower transfer fees. Their service is simple to use with 24 hour online access and 24 hour support through our phone based dedicated dealing desk.

Find out below more about OFX, how OFX works, OFX tools, the registration process and why use them instead of a bank.

OFX NZForex - Register Button
Read more about OFX and why you can trust them with your money transfer in my post OFX Global Money Transfers (NZForex).

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Moving back to New Zealand

COVID-19 has changed all our lives in one way or another and some New Zealanders need to move back to […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Moving back to New Zealand

COVID-19 has changed all our lives in one way or another and some New Zealanders need to move back to NZ from Australia.

Read below what you need to know about moving back home to New Zealand from Australia:

Update on the Trans-Tasman Bubble

We all want to visit our friends and family in Australia and vice a versa, some kiwis have had to […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Update on the Trans-Tasman Bubble

We all want to visit our friends and family in Australia and vice a versa, some kiwis have had to put their plans to move to Australia on hold… and now the travel bubble is open we can!

8 July 2021
Travel-Bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been paused/almost resumed/resumed

Quarantine free travel from New South Wales and Queensland remains paused until further notice. Quarantine free travel from Northern Territory and Western Australia will resume from 11.59pm NZT on 9 July. Quarantine free travel from the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to New Zealand has resumed. You’ll need a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure if you’ve been in Australia for more than 72 hours. COVID-19 outbreaks can occur and NZ authorities could implement measures, including alert level changes at short notice, which may impact your ability to move freely (see ‘Travel’). Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel. Follow the advice of local authorities and contact your airline or travel provider for the latest update.

More info: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/new-zealand.

Read latest news on the Trans-Tasman Bubble here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/trans-tasman-bubble/.

Travel between NZ and Australia (as at 8 July 2021):

  • Quarantine free travel from New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland remains paused until further notice. From 11.59pm NZT on 9 July, returned green flights will commence from these states. This is for people who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand and have been unable to return due to the pause on quarantine-free travel.
  • Quarantine free travel from Northern Territory and Western Australia will resume from 11.59pm NZT on 9 July. Quarantine free travel from the ACT, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria to New Zealand has resumed. You’ll require a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure if you’ve been in Australia for more than 72 hours.
  • COVID-19 outbreaks can occur and authorities could implement measures at short notice, which may impact your ability to move freely. Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel.
  • New Zealand is exempt from the ban on overseas travel from Australia for travellers who have been in Australia or New Zealand for 14 days prior to departure. Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel if authorities implement measures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • If you haven’t been in Australia or New Zealand for 14 days before you travel to NZ you’ll still need to register to secure a place in managed isolation before departing for New Zealand. You’ll be required to isolate for 14 days. You may be required to contribute to the cost of your managed isolation. If you’re arriving from any location except Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, you’ll be required to provide written evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure. For further information see NZ COVID-19.
  • Travel into New Zealand from some countries is restricted. Additional measures apply if you meet the conditions to be permitted to enter New Zealand from a country considered to be very high risk.
  • If you’re transiting a country for more than 96 hours that is not on the exempt list you’ll need to be tested before leaving that country. If you’re arriving without evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or medical certificate you may incur an infringement offence fee or a fine of up to NZD1,000 (except those arriving from an exempt country).

News from 6th April 2021

Transtasman travel bubble: All you need to know

New Zealanders and Australians can start crossing the Tasman in droves again after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced quarantine-free travel will begin from 19 April between the countries.

So whether you are chasing a holiday under the Australian sun or visiting loved ones, here’s what you need to know when planning a trip across the ditch.

When can you leave?

New Zealanders can not only book flights right now but also take off as New Zealanders are already able to travel to Australia without having to quarantine on arrival.

Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Qantas, meanwhile, are planning to ramp up flights from NZ to Australia once the two-way bubble opens (19 April).

Air New Zealand expects to fly between three and five flights per day from Auckland to Sydney after 19 April. Currently it has three flights leaving to Sydney on 19 April, with the cheapest costing $283. It then has two flights per day leaving on 20 and 21 April, four flights leaving on Thursday, 22 April and five on Friday, 23 April.

It also plans to offer one-to-three flights per day from Auckland to Melbourne and one-to-two per day to Brisbane.

Aucklanders will also be able to fly to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Adelaide and Hobart, with plans to include flights to Perth. Air NZ will also offer direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown to Australia.

Qantas and Jetstar plan to operate up to 122 return flights per week after 19 April.

That includes two new routes into Queensland, Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast, a move that will provide competition to Air New Zealand.

The 122 return flights per week will initially fly 15 routes and offer more than 52,000 seats each week.

Where in Australia can I go?

New Zealanders can enter every Australian state and territory without quarantining including Western Australia. However this does change regularly for short periods so it’s important to check:

That means New Zealanders can plan holidays in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Who will travel?

Families separated by border closures will be the big winners, while New Zealand tourism operators hope visiting Australians will boost their businesses.

Do I need a Covid-19 test to travel?

No, but if you’ve tested positive for Covid in the last 14 days or you are still waiting for a test result to come back, you won’t be allowed to travel.

If there is an outbreak while you are in Australia, you might also need a Covid test to be able to return to NZ.

Will I have to get the vaccine?

No, you will be able to catch your flight without a vaccine.

Keep an eye on individual state restrictions

Individual Australian states and territories may have different entry requirements and you should read up on what these are before you travel (https://www.interstatequarantine.org.au/state-and-territory-border-closures/).

What should I expect at the airport?

Australian and New Zealand airports will be set up to ensure travellers between the two countries do not mix with those returning from other countries. That means you’ll be taken through so-called green zones with Auckland Airport’s international terminal split into two parts.

Travellers will also have to declare that they’ve only been in either NZ or Australia for at least the last 14 days and could be subjected to random temperature checks.

Expect to wear a mask

Yes, masks will be compulsory on all flights crossing the Tasman.

Will I need to quarantine?

The transtasman bubble is designed to allow Kiwis and Aussies to travel quarantine-free between the two countries.

But the exception to that could be if an outbreak occurs in Australia or New Zealand while you are visiting. You may then have to enter a managed isolation facility on your return to NZ or Australia.

How will the Government manage the risk?

The Government has set up a green, orange and red traffic light system to deal with Covid-19 outbreaks in Australia.

You should be able to continue travelling quarantine free if a Covid case occurs where authorities think there is a low risk of further transmission, such as if it is a border worker who tests positive. But if there is a Covid case from an unknown source and that Australian state goes into a short lockdown then flights to New Zealand could be paused for up to 72 hours. Multiple cases from an unknown source could lead to flights to New Zealand being suspended for a longer period.

If you are stranded by the suspension of flights, you will be on your own with the Government not planning to provide any accommodation. This means you should plan to have extra money and emergency contingency options in place.

You should also be prepared in case you need to stay in a managed isolation facility if you are returning from an Australian state that has been in lockdown.

Read article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/transtasman-travel-bubble-all-you-need-to-know/TE4JFI3OTXOY4IVJ5XXOINQQ54/.

News from 20th October 2020

A lot of New Zealanders plans to move to Australia had to be put on hold due to Covid-19. I’ve personally heard from a lot people who have had to deal with cancelled flights, furniture moved to Australia without the owners, money transferred over and then refunded and a lot of missed family events.

Finally we have good news… the New South Wales and the Northern Territory’s borders have opened to New Zealanders from October 16 2020, provided they have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days. This means New Zealanders can finally make the move they have been planning, without having to quarantine upon arrival.

This doesn’t help those who want to move to Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, but it does give us hope that it won’t be too long before New Zealanders can move there too.

However, a few New Zealanders put the Tram-Tasman Bubble at risk by and have angered Australian’s.

There were a number of New Zealanders who used the NSW open border to their advantage and after flying into NSW they boarded domestic flights into other states.

About 23 Kiwi travellers slipped into Western Australia despite the state having a hard border with overseas arrivals.

In Victoria, the state which has battled Australia’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, 65 New Zealanders entered the Garden State without the State Government’s knowledge, and another five into South Australia.

Let’s hope it doesn’t hinder other borders opening, so those who want to move can.

Read article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/covid-19-coronavirus-australian-travel-bubble-in-doubt-as-anger-rises-over-kiwi-travellers/NIL7ZW2F2WICISGGSRQUBXNV2A/.

News from 15th October 2020

From the 16th of October New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory in Australia without having to quarantine upon arrival. Provided they have not been in a designated Covid-19 hotspot in the 14 days before they fly out. A hotspot is defined as a place with a rolling three-day average of three cases a day.

On return you would have to complete 14 days of managed isolation in New Zealand and pay the $3100 quarantine fee.

These passengers must travel to Australia on a “quarantine-free flight”, which only carries those who meet the requirements.

You do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia quarantine-free if you meet the above criteria, but you will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia.

The arrangement is currently limited to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory, but other states and territories may be added at a later date.

Before travelling to Australia, passengers must print and compete a Covid-19 declaration form and present it at check-in at the airport: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid-19/Documents/covid-19-declaration-form.pdf.

If passengers don’t present this form, they may not be able to board their flight.

On arrival in Australia, there will be green and red zones at the airport to separate passengers arriving on “quarantine-free” flights and those who must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine.

If you travel on a quarantine-free flight, you will be guided through the green zone to complete all border clearance processes in the airport of arrival in Australia.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said in a statement the airline has introduced “quarantine” and “quarantine-free” flights to Australia in line with the safe travel zone requirements.

The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the safe travel zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

Air New Zealand is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and would look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.

Between October 16 and 24, the airline would operate three quarantine flights – on October 17, 22 and 24 – and all other flights would be quarantine-free. On October 22, the airline would operate both a quarantine-free and a quarantine flight.

The airline said it was working through flights from October 25.

Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales would need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions and approvals to travel.

Customers would not be able to book onwards domestic flights via Air New Zealand due to Australian state restrictions.

The safe travel zone is currently only one-way, with passengers returning to New Zealand from Australia still having to complete 14 days of managed isolation on their return.

Australians are still not allowed to travel to New Zealand.

Officials from New Zealand and Australia are continuing to discuss all aspects of two-way trans-Tasman travel, which New Zealand remains committed to introducing as soon as it is safe.

The limited Trans-Tasman bubble will generally only benefit New Zealanders wanting to travel to Australia for emergencies and major events, along with those Australia-based Kiwis who have been in NZ during the pandemic and want to return home to Australia.

The extremely limited cap on flights and the exemption process for non-Australian citizens has made it difficult to get customers across the ditch until now.

Read more:

News from 2nd September 2020

Winston Peters says ‘disaster’ Auckland and Melbourne outbreaks have set back trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the “disaster” Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and Auckland have set back plans for the trans-tasman travel bubble.

Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, said he was still keen to establish travel arrangements with neighbouring countries and he hoped they could be in place by Christmas one media outlet reported.

But Peters today wasn’t so sure, though he wouldn’t be drawn on whether Christmas was too optimistic.

Peters said “We’ve been set back so hard. We had the Melbourne disaster and then we had our own disaster. If we can fix it up in the way that we’ve got confidence in the Australian system and they’ve got confidence in ours, then yeah we can do that.”

Peters said the travel bubble depended on both countries having tight borders.

“The protocols could be put in place in two days flat, quite frankly, but what you need to have ensured is the maritime and aviation surveillance in both countries is good enough to assure us that we’ve got a safe bubble.”

Peters said a team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still working on the arrangements and he continued to think it was a “great idea”.

Read the full NZ Hearld article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12361510.

News from 24th August 2020

New Zealand top of Australian travel wish list, but expect delays

As the global aviation sector battles to claw back its lost billions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians dreaming of a jaunt abroad could be dusting off their passports within the year.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO, gave his insights into when we will be heading overseas again. Earlier this week during a trading post in which the airline announced they’d made a $2 billion loss for FY20, Mr Joyce gave a rather optimistic forecast on overseas travel.

Mr Joyce predicts international travel to return by mid-2021, after the Federal Government put a ban on overseas travel in March.

But a small detail in his address points to a sign that longer overseas routes that require larger aircraft, such as A380s and the like, could be a lot further away, shedding some light on where Australians will be able to travel to first.

Read the full article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12358898.

Updated information on the Trans-Tasman Bubble

I will continue to search Australia and New Zealand news websites and keep the information on this page up to date.

As soon as there are major announcements on when the Trans-Tasman Bubble will happen I will email the newsletter database, so make sure you subscribe to our monthly newsletter (right side or bottom of screen).

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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce gives update on NZ, Australia travel bubble

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has given an update on the hyped trans-Tasman travel bubble as he announces major changes to […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce gives update on NZ Australia travel bubble

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has given an update on the hyped trans-Tasman travel bubble as he announces major changes to rock the airline.

Qantas is hopeful the highly anticipated trans-Tasman travel bubble may proceed in the coming months, despite its less positive forecast for international travel generally.

The airline’s chief executive Alan Joyce gave an update on the status of international travel as he announced massive job cuts at Qantas and Jetstar as part of a drastic three-year plan to survive the COVID-19 crisis.

The survival strategy will also see Qantas mothball its flagship A380 jumbo jets, which will be confined to a desert facility in the US, put its Boeing 747 fleet into early retirement and defer deliveries of new aircraft.

Mr Joyce said while domestic travel was starting to return, international travel wouldn’t be back until mid-2021 at least.

“(For) international, we have to be realistic about it and in staying with what’s happening in the rest of the globe, it is probably an extended period of time before we’ll open up those borders,” he said.

“We’re parking the A380 for at least three years because they don’t have any use, we think, during this period of time.”

But it could be a different story for the much-hyped “travel bubble” with New Zealand. A Qantas spokesperson told news.com.au flights to New Zealand are expected in the coming months.

In a press conference today, Mr Joyce said a trans-Tasman travel bubble could operate with aircraft mainly used for domestic flights, including the Boeing 737 and A330.

“It is a massive market and volume,” Mr Joyce added. “The New Zealanders are the second largest tourism group to come to Australia. And Australians are the largest tourism group to go to New Zealand.

“So this is really, really good for tourism of both countries and we are hoping with the pent-up demand we are seeing there for people to fly into destinations that that could generate some good volumes and, potentially, before July of next year, which we believe is potentially feasible.”

Mr Joyce said a recent Jetstar sale on domestic and New Zealand flights showed the massive interest from Australians in visiting our trans-Tasman neighbour.

However, the Qantas announcement follows comments last week from Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, who said it was “more likely” Australians will be banned from overseas travel until 2021.

NZ outbreak upsets travel bubble plan

Hopes for the trans-Tasman bubble hit another setback last week after cases of COVID-19 returned in New Zealand.

After going more than three weeks without a single case of COVID-19, New Zealand’s road to recovery was seen as having led the way in its response to the global health pandemic.

But virus has now returned to New Zealand, having been brought back into the country by two women who travelled to Auckland from the UK on compassionate grounds to see a dying relative.

Related: Jacinda Ardern’s fury as UK travellers bring coronavirus back to NZ

According to the New Zealand Herald, the pair were allowed to leave their managed isolation at a hotel in Auckland to drive to Wellington, on the basis they were tested in the capital.

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the condition to allow the pair entry and ability to travel the North Island of New Zealand have highlighted a “failure” of her country’s border system, with MPs calling for heads to roll over the bungle.

The two new cases of COVID-19 have highlighted unforgivable and unacceptable “ineptitude”, with some suggesting the process failure may extinguish any chance of a trans-Tasman bubble across the ditch in the near future.

New Zealand’s National Party leader Todd Muller says Health Minister David Clark should be sacked, highlighting the “unacceptable” border bungle puts New Zealand’s economy – and chance or forming international travel bubbles – on the backburner.

“The errors at the border was a major economic setback,” Mr Muller said.

“The opportunity to open up to international students has definitely been delayed.

“It undermines confidence in our border management, and that is completely unacceptable when you think about the thousands of jobs that are expected to be lost over the next weeks and months.”

Related: When can Australians travel to New Zealand?

The trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been spruiked for weeks as our first step back to international travel normality.

Discussions between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern have been bubbling away since early May, with launch dates tipped anywhere from July to September.

But with the majority of Australia’s state borders still closed, a suggested July 1 corridor across the ditch is looking less and less likely – especially now.

With Australia still recording outbreaks, with 21 new cases of coronavirus detected in Victoria alone overnight, will our Kiwi neighbours want us dropping in anyway?

Dr David Beirman, a senior tourism lecturer from Sydney’s University of Technology, said New Zealand’s claim of eliminating the virus was a “dangerous” standpoint, and one that may have backfired on the nation’s road to recovery.

“I always find it dangerous in the current environment, for any head of government to claim that it has eliminated a global pandemic,” Dr Beirman told news.com.au.

“New Zealand has certainly been very successful in containing COVID-19, but as Yes Prime Minister’s fictional civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby often stated when his PM was about

to announce an ‘achievement’ … is that it could lead to an embarrassing backdown.

“Jacinda Ardern’s ‘courageous’ claim is a case in point.”

While Ms Ardern has been relatively coy around a start date for any kind of trans-Tasman corridor, the latest virus cases could result in New Zealand backtracking on any discussions.

“I think the two cases will certainly prompt New Zealand to maintain its caution about the trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia,” Dr Beirman said.

“My thinking, and that of other travel industry leaders in both countries, is that New Zealand (and Australia) will be understandably cautious about how the reintroduction of tourism trans- Tasman will take place.

“Issues such as medical screening, social distancing and protective clothing will need to be taken into consideration.”

Despite domestic travel being included in the Morrison government’s three-stage road map to recovery, there was no information about when international travel will re-open.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced the ban on international travel will be increased until September pending further reviews.

But as part of our domestic tourism sector begins to reopen – with South Australia now allowing for incoming visitors from selected Australian states – New Zealand’s reliance on Aussie tourist spend could force their hand on the opening of a corridor.

In New Zealand, tourism is the country’s biggest export industry, generating $16.2 billion directly to the GDP.

Australians are the biggest contributor to that, with 1.5 million of us visiting the country in 2019 alone, contributing $2.5 billion into the New Zealand economy.

Roles reversed, New Zealanders are the second biggest tourism group behind China to come into Australia, with 1.43 million travelling across the ditch for a holiday last year.

“The big picture issues are that the economic benefits to both Australia and New Zealand of reopening bilateral tourism are compelling,” Dr Beirman said.

“These numbers and the billions of dollar in income they generate (and the hundreds of thousands of jobs they create and support) to both countries have fallen off a cliff in 2020.

“While health and safety will remain a top priority for both countries, the economic impact of resuming tourism can’t be ignored.”

Dr Beirman expects any kind of travel corridor across the ditch to come in stages, and only when our domestic borders open to each other.

“In July, there is a good chance that we can seriously make a start when we have a situation where the Australian travel bubble is nationally consistent,” he said.

“A trans-Tasman bubble may open in stages with business and official travel being the first cab off the rank, and then gradually open up to students, visiting friends and relatives and then general tourism.

“I would be surprised to see any resumption of trans-Tasman travel as open slather.”

Source: news.com.au.

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Aussie airports push plans for trans-Tasman bubble

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern says opening the country’s borders is “frankly dangerous” – but Australian airports are still keen to […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Aussie airports push plans for trans-Tasman bubble

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern says opening the country’s borders is “frankly dangerous” – but Australian airports are still keen to see the trans-Tasman bubble launch.

Thousands of jobs in the tourism sector will be lost if domestic travel isn’t opened up over the next three weeks, according to the Australian Chamber of Tourism’s John Hart.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says opening the country’s borders would be “frankly dangerous” until coronavirus cases begin to drop across the world, as Aussie airports push for the trans-Tasman travel bubble to go ahead.

Ms Ardern was responding to Opposition Leader Todd Muller’s suggestion that keeping the borders closed would be “untenable”.

She said some parts of the world had not even reached their peak in terms of cases, and that global diagnoses had topped 10 million in a matter of months.

“Any suggestion of borders opening at this point, frankly, is dangerous and I don’t think we should put NZ in that position,” she said.

Her position on Australia, where cases appear to have stagnated in most states, appeared was more generous, with the PM noting she would consider travel to COVID-free Australian states, should the Australian Government allow it.

“Ultimately, it’s up to Australia to decide whether or not they’ll go for a whole country approach or a state-by-state approach,” she said.

“Obviously, where there is community outbreak, that is a no-go for New Zealand.

“Where they have border controls in place and where they’ve had no community transmissions for sustained periods of time … that may be a different scenario.”

The first flight between the two countries – a charter flight from Canberra to Wellington, was hoped to have taken off today, but was delayed after Victoria experienced a huge spike in community-transmitted coronavirus cases.

Stephen Byron, the managing director of Canberra Airport, said ongoing government discussions and the situation south of the border had put a pin in it.

“The nature of the return of the virus into Melbourne, together with continuing discussions with governments in Australia and New Zealand has meant we’ve pushed back flights,” he said.

“We’re targeting the last 10 days of July, but it’s really dependent on the health situation and decisions of the Government.”

Canberra Airport called out for expressions of interest in the travel route last month, and Mr Byron said to date 4000 people had registered.

“People do want to travel between Australia and New Zealand, people want to come home, so both ways, and they want to do it without quarantine,” Mr Byron explained.

To open the bubble, the Government first needs to allow Australians to fly to New Zealand – which currently can only be done via a hard-to-get exemption and National Cabinet must end the requirement for quarantine between the two countries.

The third component of the opening is airports must schedule flights and processing of passengers so there are two clear sections – one for passengers heading to quarantine and a “green lane” for those who will be able to go straight to their destination.

“If you’ve got a flight to New Zealand going out of gate 23 at Sydney Airport, (the green lane means) the flight arriving from Delhi is probably going to arrive at gate 63,” Mr Byron explained.

The executive said Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne airports were all developing green lanes, with Sydney’s understood to be “advanced, finalised and in for approval”.

Canberra’s international airport will only have flights from and to countries within the bubble – making it a safe choice for the first journeys.

“Not only are these areas entirely free from risk of infection from quarantining passengers, but all staff will be COVID safe because they will not be subject to processing passengers bound for quarantine,” Mr Byron said.

He said Canberra, which has never had a case of community transmission, and Wellington, which has had an enviously low rate of cases throughout the pandemic, were obvious choices for the first flights.

“If you want to start absolutely risk free, start with Canberra and Wellington,” Mr Byron said.

“Ours is the least risky, the most safe and the most ready for the earliest possible start date.”

Mr Byron said it was “entirely logical to be wary of Melbourne”, which recorded 75 new cases on Monday.

The airport boss suggested Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane could slowly start to increase flights, with Melbourne joining when it had controlled the community transmission of the virus throughout the state – a staggered start similar to the government approach in schools and cafes.

“As an industry, I think the airports are ready, we are ready, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports are ready – organisations such as the Transport Tourism Forum and others have done a huge amount of work … whatever strategy works to achieve the earliest possible start date is the strategy we want to follow,” Mr Byron said.

He said the four major airports were all expected to receive approval for their green lane setups within the next fortnight, and while recognising the importance of caution, he urged the Government to push forward with the plans.

“If you’re going to wait until September, a lot of tourism businesses will go broke,” he said. “You need to set a date.”

Source: news.com.au.

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How coronavirus second wave will affect economy

As the state braces for tough lockdowns, a new chart from ANZ shows the devastating economic impact of a second […]
by , on
Jun 17, 2023
How coronavirus second wave will affect economy

As the state braces for tough lockdowns, a new chart from ANZ shows the devastating economic impact of a second wave of COVID-19.

Australia has moved heaven and earth to get the economy up from its coronavirus slump.

We have endured incredibly tough lockdowns. The government has unleashed unprecedented multi-billion dollar spending programs. We have been through complete upheaval. And it has worked. The virus is down and the economy is up.

But now a new chart shows just how fragile the economic recovery is. Victoria’s new coronavirus outbreaks show that just a handful of cases can spiral out of control and suppress the spending that keeps the economy moving.

“Health risks and lockdown conditions in VIC are delaying the spending recovery,” said ANZ economist Adelaide Timbrell.

Ms Timbrell shared the following chart, which shows how Victorians’ spending has shrunk. The chart uses ANZ data and reveals that in the rest of Australia, spending is still higher in 2020 than in 2019. In Victoria that was also true – until the most recent week. Now, with the coronavirus once again tearing through the lungs of hundreds of Victorian citizens, and the state responding with tough lockdowns, spending is shrinking again.

An ANZ Research new chart shows that as cases of COVID-19 spiked in Victoria, spending went down:

Spending growth in Victoria down

The chart shows the recent fall in spending is not nearly as large as the fall in March and April. (Neither is it as large as the fall in late December, caused by bushfires.) But it is a worrying signal of how rapidly the progress of the economy follows the virus.

If Victoria is unable to get on top of the virus, its economy is at risk. For now, as the next graph shows, the state can still claim its unemployment rate looks better than other states.

That relative success won’t last if the virus keeps trending upwards – and Victoria’s weakness will also weigh on other states.

Current unemployment rates state by state:

Current unemployment rates state by state

The state government is working hard to suppress the viral outbreaks, bringing in tough new rules. Instead of locking down the whole state, or even the whole city of Melbourne, the lockdowns are focused on postcodes that have seen a high number of virus cases.

The new lockdowns are designed to keep as much of the economy unaffected as possible. Most of the state can continue to operate as normal, working, shopping and travelling around.

But will this work? One risk is it might not contain the virus properly. Viruses don’t respect postcode boundaries and the coronavirus may already be beyond the areas in lockdown. The other risk is that all Victorians react to the news of the viral spread and new lockdowns by reducing spending – even if the lockdowns don’t apply to them.

What if the reason is winter?

The second wave in Victoria’s viral cases has come as the thermometer drops. Temperatures in Melbourne have been frosty in recent weeks, with minimums as low as two degrees Celsius.

This raises a question with global relevance. Will Asia, Europe and North America also see an upsurge in virus cases when winter returns?

Winter weather is not the only factor making the virus spread, but it makes suppression harder. It may be that the virus lasts longer in cold air, and low temperatures encourage people to huddle inside where transmission is more likely.

Take a population with a few residual infections, add some cold weather and viral spread can take off. The first wave of viral outbreaks happened in cold places (Wuhan, Northern Italy and New York) in midwinter.

Victoria’s uptick in cases could be a lesson for the world – lockdowns work tremendously in summer, but they need to be extremely strict in cold weather to get the same effect.

If this is the case, the current success in suppressing the virus in the northern hemisphere might be partially because of summer. Ninety per cent of the world’s population lives in the northern hemisphere and they could be facing a second wave by December.

If so, this has potentially disastrous implications for the global economy. The IMF has forecast that the global economy would be 4.9 per cent smaller in 2021 if there is a second outbreak.

If the seasonal theory is correct, Australia’s summer would bring a reduction in virus cases but also a steady stream of bad news from the rest of the world. A weaker global economy is bad news for our economy – it would make unemployment higher than it would otherwise be, and lock in weaker wage growth for at least another year.

Source: news.com.au.

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Coronavirus Australia – Victoria back into lockdown

Victoria’s newly enforced restrictions in place It’s day one of strict, newly enforced coronavirus restrictions that have divided Victoria amid […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Coronavirus Australia - Victoria back into lockdown

Victoria’s newly enforced restrictions in place

It’s day one of strict, newly enforced coronavirus restrictions that have divided Victoria amid a second spate of cases.

Victorians thought they were moving onto greener pastures from the peak of the pandemic, but today the state has been placed under strict new restrictions amid a second wave of the coronavirus.

The state now has a total of 2231 confirmed COVID-19 cases, after it recorded 73 new infections in Victoria’s highest ever single-day increase in virus cases acquired through community transmission.

Stage three coronavirus restrictions were implemented at 11.59pm last night, with the more than 310,000 residents who occupy the 10 hotspot postcodes only able to leave the house for four reasons. They are: exercise, food, caregiving and work/school.

The postcodes subject to the new stay-at-home orders include:

  • 3012 (Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray)
  • 3021 (Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans)
  • 3032 (Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore)
  • 3038 (Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens)
  • 3042 (Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie)
  • 3046 (Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park)
  • 3047 (Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana)
  • 3055 (Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West)
  • 3060 (Fawkner)
  • 3064 (Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo).

The measures will be in place until at least July 29, with fears the rest of Victoria is also headed for the same restrictions as case numbers continue to spike.

Hundreds of police descended on the neighbourhoods under stay at home orders last night with amped up patrols expected over the next few weeks, while supermarket shelves are again being ravaged for essentials including toilet paper.

Acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly said residents caught out and about without a valid reason would be transported back home in a booze bus.

If caught people could face an on-the-spot fine of $1652, with businesses risking penalties of up to $100,000 if they ignore the rules.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said officers will be out enforce ensuring the rules are being followed.

“They‘ll have mobile teams, so they’ll be pulling up people randomly,” she told Nine.

“They‘ll look at things like on and off ramps at arterial roads, so using a booze bus type model where you pull people over, check where they’re going in, why are they going in, why are they leaving.

“They‘ll be at transport hubs – who’s getting on the transport system and why they’re doing that.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said he was fearful of a statewide shutdown, as he urged the community to take restrictions seriously.

“If we don‘t get control of this really quickly we will end up with … a whole state shutdown,” he told 3AW.

“This is not over. This is so wildly infectious that even minor breaches of the rules can lead to this random movement of the virus around the community.”

The Premier also told The Project last night he was disheartened about the number of people refusing tests as health officials embark on a door-to-door testing blitz in the affected suburbs.

One in ten residents are refusing testing in the hotspots.

“I think there might be some people that don’t have access to pay, whether it be sick pay or holiday pay,” the Premier told Lisa Wilkinson.

“Their economic circumstances might be very uncertain and the notion of having two days away from work while you wait for your test result may be a big challenge.

“That is why we’ve put in place essentially a no questions asked hardship payment, a $1500 payment to deal with that perhaps as a disincentive to getting tested.

“Beyond that there will be many different reasons and I’ve got my public health experts trying to analyse the data from people who have said no.

“If someone knocks on your door and says ‘I’ve got a test kit for you’, your only answer should be yes. It is very disappointing whenever someone says no to a test.”

Source: news.com.au.

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Covid-19 – Traveling to Australia

Yes, the Australian borders are open! And you don’t need to be vaccinated to enter Australia. From 6 July 2022 […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Covid-19 and the Trans-Tasman Bubble

Yes, the Australian borders are open! And you don’t need to be vaccinated to enter Australia.

From 6 July 2022 Australia is open for quarantine-free travel to everyone! You don’t even need pre-departure tests.

All travellers should be aware that:

    • People entering Australia do not need to provide evidence of vaccination status
    • People entering Australia do not need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration
    • People leaving Australia will not be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status
    • Unvaccinated visa holders do not​ need a travel exemption to travel to Australia
    • Masks are still required on flights travelling to Australia.

Source: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions.

Information in this post:

Traveling to Australia

Traveling to Australia has almost gone back to normal. All the Covid precautions, apart from mask wearing, have gone.

Even unvaccinated travelers are allowed to travel to Australia. You will not be asked about your vaccination status.

Please note, that this may change at any stage, so check the below websites to check if there are any travel restrictions:

Old News (before June 28, 2022)

Preparing to travel to Australia from overseas

Follow the steps below when you are preparing to travel to Australia.

Check if you are exempt from Australia’s travel restrictions

Australian citizens, permanent residents and visa holders who are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes can travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption.

Check if you can access reduced quarantine requirements

Your vaccination status will impact the options available for travel to Australia. If you are fully vaccinated for international travel purposes, you may be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements when coming to Australia. However, this can vary depending on quarantine arrangements in the state or territory to which you are travelling.

In general, you can only leave self-isolation once you receive a negative result from your rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival

Before you book your flight, check the quarantine and other arrangements for the state or territory to which you are travelling. Make sure that you are prepared to comply with any requirements, including by providing any required information to the relevant state or territory, and complying with post-arrival testing requirements. This also includes complying with arrangements for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years old.

Obtain your foreign vaccination certificate

If you were vaccinated overseas and you do not have an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate you must obtain a certificate from the country in which you received your vaccination.

For more information see guidance on foreign vaccination certificates. Keep a hard copy or an electronic copy of your vaccination certificate. Airlines will check this when you check-in to your flight.

If you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons you must provide acceptable proof.

Complete a Digital Passenger Declaration within 72 hours before your flight

All passengers arriving by air into Australia should complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), unless they are flight crew.

You can start your DPD seven days before your flight and submit it within 72 hours prior to your departure for Australia. This is because you must provide your health information and declaration (vaccination status and COVID-19 test result) within 72 hours before your flight. The DPD requests details that are considered critical health information.

Undertake a pre-departure COVID-19 test

A negative COVID-19 test result is required for travelling to Australia. When you check-in to your flight you need to provide:

  • evidence of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or other Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) taken within 3 days of your flight’s scheduled departure, or
  • a medical certificate as evidence of a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken under medical supervision within 24 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure to Australia.

You can find information about the evidence you need to provide at the Department of Health. Where you can also find information about exemptions from pre-departure testing.

If your flight is delayed, you will still be considered to have met the pre-departure testing requirements. You will not need a new test.

However, if your flight is re-scheduled or cancelled, you will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR or other NAAT test taken no more than 3 days before the re-scheduled flight, or a Rapid Antigen Test taken under medical supervision within 24 hours before the re-scheduled flight.

At the airport

Travellers need to be prepared to present the below documentation to your airline:

  • proof that you meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated for international travel purposes, or proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. For information on proof, see Vaccinated Travellers
  • evidence of the negative pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test as outlined above
  • evidence of an approved Commissioner’s exemption to travel to Australia (where relevant)
  • evidence that you hold a visa, where not an Australian citizen (or NZ Citizen)
  • the usual travel documentation including passport, immigration and customs declarations etc.
  • evidence that you have provided critical health information, which includes your contact details for Australia, a declaration as to your vaccination status and travel history for the previous 14 days. This is via the Digital Passenger Declaration, submitted prior to departure as outlined above
  • evidence of your approved modified quarantine arrangements (where relevant)

Read more on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.

What you need to do once you arrive in Australia

You will need to check that the below is correct for the state or territory you are travelling to, but for most destinations you will need to follow the below steps.

Fully vaccinated passengers arriving from overseas

All international passengers travelling to Australia must comply with Australian Government entry requirements.

Upon arrival into most states, passengers who are fully vaccinated must:

  1. Go straight to your home or accommodation.
  2. Take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (see below).
  3. Self-isolate until you get a negative test result (if your 24 hour result is negative you may leave self-isolation).
  4. Take another rapid antigen test on or after day 6.
  5. Don’t visit high risk places for at least 7 days after arrival, and only if you have had a negative test on or after day 6.

Find out your requirements state by state  – https://www.australia.gov.au/states.

People who are not fully vaccinated arriving from overseas

If you are not fully vaccinated and are arriving in NSW from an overseas location, you will need to go into 7-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

To check if you are fully vaccinated, please visit the Australian Government website as other countries may have different definitions of what it is to be fully vaccinated. 

Find a RAT (Rapid Antigen Tests)

One of the main problems facing New Zealanders traveling to Australia is getting hold of a RAT (Rapid Antigen Tests), so they can complete their 24 hour Covid-19 test and get out of quarantine. However, there have been major problems getting a hold of one.

Therefore I highly recommend you plan for this before you leave NZ and get it delivered to your quarantine location.

A new website is helping desperate people get their hands on rapid antigen tests (RATs) as demand for the DIY kits soars during the Omicron surge.

The website ‘Find a RAT’ launched on Monday the 3rd January and acts as a testing kit locator, helping people across the country find testing kits in their area. You can purchase a RAT online through Finder.com.au

Check current border status for NZ and Australia

With the constantly changing states of both the New Zealand and Australia borders you need to make sure you are eligible to travel before you book everything in.

Here are the links to check if you are wanting to travel between Australia and New Zealand:

New Zealand safe travel zone

One-way quarantine-free travel is available to New Zealand passport holders and eligible travellers from New Zealand travelling to participating Australian states and territories.

To be eligible, you must meet the requirements for Travelling from New Zealand to Australia quarantine-free.

If you meet the eligibility requirements you do not need to apply for a travel exemption.

You must meet all other entry requirements for Australia, including immigration, customs and biosecurity clearance.

Quarantine arrangements are managed by individual states and territories. All travellers are advised to check the arrangements in both their place of arrival and final destination before they travel.

To find out about quarantine arrangements check State and Territory Information for travellers.

Further travel advice is available at Smartraveller.

For more information, see the Australian Government’s Department of Health: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for international travellers

Note: Any change in the COVID-19 situation in Australia and New Zealand could lead to pausing or suspending quarantine-free travel arrangements without notice. You are responsible for managing any disruption to your travel plans, including if your return to Australia is delayed.

Travelling from New Zealand to Australia quarantine-free

You can participate in quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia if you meet the eligibility requirements.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be fully vaccinated with a completed dosage of a vaccine approved or recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
    • children under 12 and people who are medically exempt from COVID-19 vaccination can access the same arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers
    • arrangements are also in place to allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years to travel with a fully-vaccinated adult. Travellers should check the specific requirements with the state or territory to which they are travelling
  • present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 3 days of the departing flight to Australia (unless a medical exemption applies)
  • provide a declaration that you have spent at least 14 days before travel in either Australia or New Zealand if you are not an Australian or New Zealand passport holder, or an eligible visa holder.

You must also meet the health, immigration and other standard border clearance requirements in each country.

States and territories are responsible for determining and managing quarantine arrangements. Before you travel, check quarantine arrangements with the relevant state or territory.

You do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia from New Zealand quarantine-free if you meet the above criteria, but you will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia. If eligible, they will be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival.

Before you travel to Australia, you should complete the Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure. The ATD collects your contact details in Australia, flight details, quarantine requirements and your health status.

This information helps the Australian Government determine your quarantine arrangements (if required) and allows the relevant health departments to contact you if someone you travelled with tests positive for COVID-19.

Penalties will apply for giving false and misleading information, including potential criminal prosecution for providing false or misleading information. This is set out in s137.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995.

Travel exemption requirements

You will only need to apply for a travel exemption before you travel to Australia if:

  • you are not an Australian or New Zealand passport holder; and
  • you have been in Australia or New Zealand for less than 14 days before your planned departure (including travellers who are transiting New Zealand)
  • or you intend to travel to Australia by sea.

COVID-19 outbreak locations

A list of New Zealand’s COVID-19 outbreak locations are available at Ministry of Health NZ. If you have been to any of these locations during the times specified, you will need to identify this on your Australia Travel Declaration (ATD).

Arrival in Australia

If you arrive in Australia on a quarantine-free flight, you may be guided through a separate pathway for quarantine-free travellers. These arrangements are determined by the state/territory in which you arrive.

For further information for travellers arriving on quarantine-free flights is available at Department of Health.

Source: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand

Travel to NZ from Australia (as at 7 January 2022, still current at 17 January 2022):

  • For the latest information on quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand, see our New Zealand Travel Zone page and New Zealand’s Travel With Australia page. Check the latest requirements before you book your travel.
  • Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) has been extended from 7 to 10 days. See NZ COVID-19 for information about MIQ and whether you’ll need to contribute to the cost of your stay.
  • Most travellers will need a negative COVID-19 (PCR or RT-PCR) test taken within 48 hours of the scheduled departure of their first international flight (previously 72 hours). Other types of COVID-19 test will no longer meet requirements for entering New Zealand. If travelling from some jurisdictions, including Australia, you can provide results from a supervised negative rapid antigen test (RAT), or a supervised loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test, taken within 24 hours of your departure. See the NZ COVID-19 website.
  • If you’re not a New Zealand citizen, you need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter or transit New Zealand. You’ll need proof of vaccination with your last dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you travel. See NZ COVID-19 for details.
  • To be recognised as fully vaccinated in New Zealand and get a My Vaccine Pass, apply to have all your overseas vaccinations added to New Zealand’s COVID Immunisation Register (CIR). This process takes up to 10 working days. Once your overseas vaccinations have been processed, and you’ve received any additional doses you may need, will you be able to request a My Vaccine Pass.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of an extended stay or disruption to your travel if authorities implement measures in response to COVID-19 outbreaks.
  • Travel into New Zealand from some countries is restricted. Additional measures apply if you meet the conditions to be permitted to enter New Zealand from a country considered very high risk.
  • If you’re transiting a country for more than 96 hours that is not on New Zealand’s exempt list, you’ll need to be tested before leaving that country. If you arrive without evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or medical certificate you may incur an infringement offence fee or a fine of up to NZD1,000 (except those arriving from an exempt country).

Source: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/pacific/new-zealand.

You can see if you are eligible to enter Australia on the Australia Government Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia.   

Travelling to Australia advice from Air New Zealand (17 January 2022)

International travel has changed. There are extra steps to take before you fly to your destination and before your return journey. You can get prepared and find the updated requirements for your trip here: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/covid19-international-travel.

Key things to do for international travel during COVID-19

Research current travel requirements

Air New Zealand has created a very useful tool for checking the travel requirements for your destination, transit points and return journey. Please check the travel regulations carefully before you travel to understand the visa, entry, testing and quarantine requirements for each person you are booking to fly.

The information reflects current requirements which may change at short notice and therefore the information contained is guidance only. You should independently check all relevant travel, health and entry requirements before you travel.

Visit their Travel Alerts page for travel updates and news about travel restrictions.

I completed the form using NZ as my depart point, Australia as my destination, nationality as NZ and residency as NZ and this is the information supplied:

Border Restrictions

Passengers are not allowed to enter.

  • This does not apply to the immediate family members of nationals of Australia.
  • This does not apply to passengers who have only been in Australia or New Zealand in the past 14 days.
  • This does not apply to passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 7 days before departure and a visa issued by Australia listed at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers , and their accompanying minors younger than 12 years. Vaccines accepted are AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), AstraZeneca (Covishield), Covaxin, Janssen, Moderna (Spikevax), Pfizer-BioNTec (Comirnaty), Sinopharm (BIBP) (for passengers younger than 60 years only) and Sinovac.
  • This does not apply to passengers with a visa issued by Australia listed at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/vaccinated-travellers and a medical certificate of contraindication showing that they can’t be vaccinated. The certificate must be in English. More information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/yckfk3fy
  • This does not apply to passengers with a Special Purpose Visa.

Covid-19 test and vaccination requirements

Most travellers require a Covid-19 test or vaccination.

  1. Passengers entering or transiting through Australia must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 3 days before departure from the first embarkation point. Details can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y398dxv4 .
    • This does not apply to passengers younger than 5 years.
  2. Passengers traveling above the passenger caps, must have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 7 days before departure. Vaccines accepted are AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), AstraZeneca (Covishield), Covaxin, Janssen, Moderna (Spikevax), Pfizer-BioNTec (Comirnaty), Sinopharm (BIBP) (for passengers younger than 60 years only) and Sinovac.
    • This does not apply to passengers younger than 12 years.

Health Form/App Requirements

There are no health form requirements for most travelers.

Quarantine Requirements

Some travelers will need to go under a quarantine.

Passengers could be subject to quarantine for 14 days at the first point of entry; details can be found at https://www.australia.gov.au/states.

Other

Please check further requirements as they may apply.

  • Passengers must have a “Travel Declaration” form and present it at time of check-in. The form can be found at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/australia-travel-declaration
  • Passengers with an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) must travel with a passport. The passport number and nationality must match those stated on the card.

Soruce: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/covid19-international-travel.  

Current Vaccination levels in NZ and Australia (16 January 2022)

The biggest vaccination campaign in history is well under way. Delivering billions of doses is one of the greatest logistical challenges ever undertaken.

Vaccinations administered in NZ

Last updated 16 January 2022 (https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/covid-19-data-and-statistics/)

3,988,847

First dose administered

3,895,725

Second dose administered

35,481

Third dose administered

95%

Eligible population with 1 dose

93%

Eligible population with 2 doses

742,123

Booster doses administered

Vaccinations administered in Australia

Last updated 14 January 2022 (https://www.smh.com.au/interactive/2021/coronavirus/vaccine-tracker/)

20,891,525

First dose administered

20,006,998

Second dose administered

4,864,238

Third dose administered as booster

94%

Eligible population with 1 dose

92%

Eligible population with 2 doses

 

Updated information on the Trans-Tasman Bubble

I will continue to search Australia and New Zealand news websites and keep the information on this page up to date.

As soon as there are major announcements on when the Trans-Tasman Bubble will happen I will email the newsletter database, so make sure you subscribe to our monthly newsletter (right side or bottom of screen).

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COVID-19 Help for New Zealanders living in Australia

Covid-19 coronavirus: New Zealanders living in Australia able to access payments Here I have outlined what is the Australian JobKeeper […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Trans-Tasman Bubble

Covid-19 coronavirus: New Zealanders living in Australia able to access payments

Here I have outlined what is the Australian JobKeeper payment, Employees Eligible for JobSeeker, Employers Eligible for JobSeeker, the payment process, payment timing, how to apply, the Australia Government Coronavirus information and support website for businesses and information from the NZ Hearld Article, where I first found out about JobKeeper. Also where to get help if you have returned to New Zealand.

If you were employed on the 1st of March 2020, you will need to talk to your employer regarding the below, as it is them who need to apply.

Australia Borders closed

Currently Australia’s borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

You can see if you are eligible to enter Australia on the Australia Government Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia.

If you are eligible you may need to undergo enhanced health screening on arrival in Australia and then all arrivals will be quarantined for 14 days and state and territory travel restrictions may also apply.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for international travellers: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-international-travellers.

JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a Government subsidy to continue paying their employees. Employers affected will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from the 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. Please note this is able to get back dated to the 30th March.

This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the Covid-19 crisis is over. For employees, it means they can keep their job and earn an income, even if their hours have been cut.

The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses in Australia impacted by the coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the New Zealanders self-employed in Australia.

The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

The JobKeeper Payment will support employers to maintain their connection to their employees. This will enable business to reactivate their operations quickly, without having to rehire staff, when the crisis is over.

Australian Employees Eligible for JobSeeker

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired)
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020)
  • are at least 16 years of age
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Payment from another employer

If your employees receive the JobKeeper Payment, this may affect their eligibility for payments from Services Australia as they must report their JobKeeper Payment as income.

Above information from this Government Australia website: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.

Treasury fact sheet for employees: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employees.pdf.

Australian Employers Eligible for JobSeeker

Employers will be eligible for the subsidy if:

  • their business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover has fallen by more than 30 per cent (of at least a month); or
  • their business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover has fallen by more than 50 per cent (of at least a month); and
  • the business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Read more about the eligibility of employers here on the Australia Government website: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.

JobSeeker Payment Process

Eligible employers will be paid $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Eligible employees will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax, and employers are able to top-up the payment.

Where employers participate in the scheme, their employees will receive this payment as follows.

  • If an employee ordinarily receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their prevailing workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employee(s).
  • If an employee ordinarily receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If an employee has been stood down, their employer must pay their employee, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • If an employee was employed on 1 March 2020, subsequently ceased employment with their employer, and then has been re-engaged by the same eligible employer, the employee will receive, at a minimum, $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
  • It will be up to the employer if they want to pay superannuation on any additional wage paid because of the JobKeeper Payment.

Payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO.

Payment Timing

The subsidy will start on 30 March 2020, with the first payments to be received by employers in the first week of May. Businesses will be able to register their interest in participating in the Payment from 30 March 2020 on the ATO website.

How to Apply for JobKeeper

Currently, employers can register their interest in applying for the JobKeeper Payment via The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) from 30 March 2020.

Subsequently, eligible employers will be able to apply for the scheme by means of an online application. The first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Read more here: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.

To read examples of what the JobKeeper payments look like read this: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment.

Australia Government Coronavirus information and support for businesses

COVID-19 update: The Australia Government has announced a JobKeeper Payment for employers, employees and sole traders. You can find this information and stay up-to-date on the latest support for business on their coronavirus page: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/~/link.aspx?_id=94034B42D77347C68B6E29D80EDEA7CA&_z=z.

Recently returned to NZ from Australia because of COVID-19?

If you have already returned to New Zealand because of COVID-19, then you need to read the New Zealand Government website COVID-19: https://covid19.govt.nz/.

This website has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place. Learn the simple steps you can take to unite against the virus and slow its spread. Find out what help is available and get the latest updates: https://covid19.govt.nz/.

Here is some of the information from the NZ Hearld Article

New Zealanders living in Australia on a Special Category visa (SCV/444 visas) will be able to access the AU$1,500 fortnightly payments, the Australian government has confirmed.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he had spoken with Jacinda Ardern about the arrangement.

Thousands of New Zealanders were forced to leave Australia after finding they were unable to access Centrelink payments after they had lost their jobs.

The SCV/444 visa is a temporary visa allows you to visit, study, stay and work as long as you remain a New Zealand citizen. It is applied for when you arrive in Australia submit your completed incoming passenger card with your New Zealand passport.

The changes were announced yesterady, as part of a new government package to aide those affected by Covid-19 in Australia.

Scott Morrison has pledged AU$130 billion over the next six months to help Australians who have found themselves out of work.

He said the AU$130 billion was to “support the jobs and livelihoods of the almost six million Australians who will need that lifeline in the months ahead”.

The Australian government is also introducing a AU$1,500 “Job Keeper” payment that New Zealanders on SCV/444 visas will be eligible for. Businesses will be paid up to AU$1,500 a fortnight for the next six months per employee.

The payment is a flat rate of AU$1,500 regardless of how much their normal wages are.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had spoken to Australia’s PM Scott Morrison that morning and had again pushed the case for New Zealanders to be covered by any job scheme (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120535935/coronavirus-jacinda-ardern-pleads-with-australia-to-help-kiwis-laid-off-during-economic-crisis).

“It is a group I am concerned about. I have seen ongoing reporting of some of the issues that they’re facing, and I see this as a unique situation. For me, this is a particular set of circumstances that I’m very keen to find a way to address.”

Last week she had criticised the decision to leave New Zealanders out of some Covid-19 support packages, because New Zealanders do not get welfare benefits in Australia unless they have become citizens. Australians do get those benefits in New Zealand, and Australian workers here are also covered by the Covid-19 specific support measures.

“If anyone falls on a hard time, it’s the same hard time,” Scott Morrison said. “We are all in this together, that’s what’s fair, that’s what’s Australian.”

Scott Morrison said the Job Keeper payment is to “to keep Australians in their jobs even when the work dries up”.

According to Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the payments would also be available to part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. Payments will start from the first week of May but will be backdated to yesterday. Employees stood down since March 1 will be eligible.

Ardern has responded to the news Kiwis are included in Australia’s wage subsidy scheme, saying she had pleaded New Zealand’s case several times. “New Zealanders are a core part of the Australian workforce. Many are working in essential services. Others have built their careers in Australia and paid taxes for years, so it’s really pleasing the Australia Government has agreed to provide them a wage subsidy.

“We need to unite and look after everyone to beat Covid-19 and Prime Minister Morrison and I are in regular contact about our respective efforts to beat the virus and support our people.”

Read more: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12321030.

Tran-Tasman Bubble

Trans-Tasman bubble possible at alert level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals.

The tourism industry is pushing hard to have a working strategy in place by the end of the May, getting ready for when the Government opens the borders in a Trans-Tasman bubble.

Read more: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/trans-tasman-bubble/.

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Know your options in times of currency volatility

NZD hits a monthly low ahead of RBNZ meeting The New Zealand dollar slumped yesterday morning, opening the week at […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Know your options in times of currency volatility

NZD hits a monthly low ahead of RBNZ meeting

The New Zealand dollar slumped yesterday morning, opening the week at its lowest level in nearly a month, after a three-month high against the US dollar only last week.

Further volatility is expected ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand meeting tomorrow. The meeting has been a point of much discussion amongst market analysts, with the majority expecting a rate cut of 25 basis points to 0.75%.

What are your options in times of currency volatility?

Buying NZD?

Take advantage of the low New Zealand dollar and lock in a transfer today, or speak to one of OFX’s currency experts to learn what options would suit you best. Register here: https://nz.ofx.com/registration?pid=1965.

Selling NZD?

Take control of your money in times of volatility and lock in the rate you want with a Limit Order. Find out more by registering here: https://nz.ofx.com/registration?pid=1965.

Why choose OFX?

Great rates

We’ve got better rates and fees than the banks, and have securely transferred over AUD $100 billion worldwide since 1998.

Trusted globally

Trusted globally – We have offices in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

Global support team

Our experienced support staff are in our global offices in Australia, USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore.

What OFX customers have to say

Read more on Trustpilot, an independent review site: https://au.trustpilot.com/review/ofx.com.

Learn how to save money on foreign exchange and money transfers.

Read more about OFX Money Transfers here.

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Do you have to pay tax on money transferred from overseas?

Multiple factors come into account whether or not you need to pay tax on the money you transfer overseas. The […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Do you have to pay tax on money transferred from overseas

Multiple factors come into account whether or not you need to pay tax on the money you transfer overseas.

  1. The source of the money: gift, inheritance, sale of a home, etc.
  2. The tax laws of both countries (where the assets originate from and where they are being sent, e.g. New Zealand to Australia.)
  3. The amount of money you’re transferring.
  4. Your residency status.

Please be advised that while we do our best to keep this information up to date, OFX does not provide tax advice, and you should always consult a tax professional about your individual circumstances.

Below you will find information on the below:

What are the tax implications of sending money overseas?

Generally speaking, if you are transferring your own money to yourself, you will probably not be required to pay additional taxes on the money. For example, if you are a New Zealander who has moved to Australia and you want to move your savings to Australia, you will usually not be obliged to pay additional tax, as you have already been taxed on your income. Transferring existing money to your spouse is also not usually taxed in most countries.

Once you become a legal resident of a new country, the income you earn from overseas will often be taxed, and that income can include capital gains, pension payments, and employment income. Because all countries have different tax structures, it’s best to research the specific countries involved before transferring. Here is a good article on tax obligations of Kiwis living in Australia: https://www.beyondaccountancy.com.au/something-every-kiwi-in-australia-needs-to-know/.

Transferring large sums of money abroad

If you’ve received a hefty inheritance or have sold a property overseas and wish to transfer the money, various taxes may apply such as inheritance tax, capital gains tax or gift tax. However, once those taxes are paid in the local jurisdiction where the assets originate and the funds are yours, you may not have to pay tax again to move the money overseas.

Many, but not all, countries have double-taxation treaties in place, which protect citizens from paying tax on money twice. However, you may be required to provide proof that you have paid the tax, e.g. estate or gift tax to the foreign government.

While you may not need to pay tax on large sums of money being sent abroad, some governments will require you to file a declaration that you are bringing the money into the country. Failing to declare the assets could result in a fine. Again, contact a professional or check the websites of the local tax authorities to see what you need to do to comply.

Moving retirement funds overseas

Pension or retirement accounts often have complicated tax limitations regarding early withdrawal or using the money to fund investments. You should check the local tax laws that apply in both jurisdictions when moving your pension overseas.

There may be different limitations depending on the amount you are planning to transfer, e.g. the entire balance of your retirement account or smaller monthly payments of $5,000.

If you are receiving regular payments from a pension abroad and want to reduce the costs associated with converting the money to your local account, use OFX to get better exchange rates and lower fees on recurring transfers.

Sending money or financial support to family overseas

Most countries make a distinction between financial gifts and other types of support for families overseas. For example, when paying tuition for study abroad, it is unlikely that you will be taxed on such an expenditure, especially if the child is considered a dependent for income tax purposes.

However, if you simply want to give your mature son or daughter a lump sum of money, it may be considered a gift and there could be tax implications. We recommend you check with your accountant to determine what if any tax obligations you both have.

If you are transferring money for a medical procedure or other health care costs associated with aging relatives, these are not usually considered gifts, but different governments have different guidelines for determining if tax is required.

Making tax payments to foreign governments

If your residency status changes during the tax year or you need to pay capital gains tax on assets sold overseas, you can use OFX to transfer money swiftly and securely while saving money on bank fees and margins. Banks often charge a margin of up to 5% on the daily exchange rate in addition to hefty transaction fees, so on a $10,000 transfer, you could pay $500 to your bank. This is too much.

When you are ready to make your overseas money transfer, use OFX so you don’t get stung by high bank fees and margins. Their exchange rates are consistently competitive, so you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.

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8 mistakes that first home buyers make and how to avoid them

It’s going to be the most significant purchase of your life that will either have you sitting pretty on the […]
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Jun 17, 2023
8 mistakes that first home buyers make

It’s going to be the most significant purchase of your life that will either have you sitting pretty on the property ladder or send your finances down the drain. Learn how to avoid some of the property pitfalls.

Don’t make mistakes that can impact your ability to buy, apply for a loan or end up costing you more in the long run.

Good news for first home buyers is the crazy panic of 2016 and 2017 has eased.

New housing loans brought prices down for the first time in years in 2018.

First home buyers accounted for 29% of owner-occupier loans issued in May 2019, which is the highest number of new mortgages since 2012 and it is still on the rise.

It’s now easier to get a loan, stamp duty exemptions, State and Territory duty exemptions and grants offering a helping hand in the shape of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (which will assist up to 10,000 Australians get into their first home with as little as 5 per cent deposit) from January 1, 2020.

However, make sure you do your homework before househunting and aviod these rookie real estate mistakes.

1. Not being budget savvy

Don’t start looking online before you know how much you have to play with.

Get a clear idea of your budget before you go house hunting. Aviod getting hung up on a dream home beyond your means.

How to avoid: Use an online home loan borrowing calculator, or speak with a lender or mortgage broker to understand what the banks will be willing to lend you.

2. Not having that 20 per cent deposit

You can get into your first home without the standard 20%, but you will need to take out Lenders Mortgage Insurance (aka LMI). An insurance policy protecting the lender (not the buyer) from financial loss in the event you can’t make your home loan repayments.

How to avoid: For buyers unable to save the 20% deposit, who want to avoid paying for LMI, could tap into the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme if they make the cut. Or have a parent go guarantor for the loan to provide the additional security.

3. Not getting the reality of rates

Understanding interest rates is power in the mortgage world. Rates may be at historic lows, but what goes down must go up eventually. A first-time buyer purchasing today will likely be in a home loan for up to 30 years so it’s worth pointing out that interest rates were more than double their current status just 10 years ago.

How to avoid: Prospective buyers should read up on what’s influencing interest rates, so they’re not blindsided when rates increase. Make sure you constantly compare home loans to determine if there are better offers available.

4. Not having enough left over

It’s not just about the purchase price. Beyond buying, you need to consider the hefty costs of stamp duty, building inspection or strata reports, transfer fees, solicitor fees, moving costs, new furniture or even renovations.

How to avoid: Research additional costs before buying so you have money left over to cover any unexpected expenses or repairs. Set a buying budget so you can tally up all the possible associated costs.

5. Not getting reports

Too many first-home buyers try to cut corners when it comes to building and pest inspections or strata reports. Not doing a building and pest inspection will save a few hundred dollars, but that’s one of the biggest mistakes first-home buyers make.

Building and pest inspections or looking into the strata report of an apartment building are vital steps. If you aren’t aware of a home’s problems you could be out of pocket by tens of thousands of dollars.

How to avoid: Get an independent building and pest inspection done on each house you are considering or order a strata report to get insight on the financials of an apartment block you’re looking at.

6. Missing out on grants

Markets change and so does the assistance offered from Federal, State and Territory governments. The First Home Owners Grant differs in each corner of the country, but in most cases the grant is only for first-timers buying or building a new house or unit. In some places it can be used for established homes. Just how much you can get depends on a number of circumstances.

How to avoid: To understand which grants they may be entitled, and how much, first-home buyers should visit First Home website.

7. Falling for the frills

First-home buyers just need to remember not to get too emotionally attached to a property because of the furniture or styling. The home has probably been staged. Real estate agents want to sell you the dream but it’s not going to look like that once you move into it.

He added that the same idea goes for house and land packages or off-the-plan apartments. Don’t get wowed by the new designs and inclusions builders are showing. It could cost $100,000 to $200,000 more to get the same home than the basic advertised price.

How to avoid: Read the fine print and ask lots of questions of the builder or developer. Get it down in black and white what you’re actually signing up to buy.

8. Not negotiating

Not everyone is a born negotiator, but there’s no time like the present to learn some barter banter.

The power of negotiation doesn’t only apply to the purchase price but to haggling for a home loan. First-time buyers shouldn’t take the first mortgage on offer. You don’t know if you don’t ask.

How to avoid: Take a proactive approach and research what is available in the market and be prepared to negotiate on the interest rate to avoid paying too much.

Read the full article on news.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/buying/8-mistakes-that-firsthome-buyers-make-and-how-to-avoid-them/news-story/b3cb88138446fc747c82e03d57309fff

Related post: buying a house in Australia.

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Rents are dropping as more tenants become first home buyers

A change in the housing market is helping Sydney tenants save big on rent. Landlords are cutting their prices by […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Rents are dropping as more tenants

A change in the housing market is helping Sydney tenants save big on rent. Landlords are cutting their prices by up to $150 per week, $7800 a year, in some city pockets.

More tenants are becoming first home buyers, resulting in a wave of new rental homes becoming available and the need for landlords to drop their rent.

Median Sydney rent dropped 1% over the past quarter and 2% over the past year, with rents in some regions recording even larger falls. Data from CoreLogic.

Rents on Lane Cove houses dropped nearly 10% over the year, while rents on Mosman houses fell an average 7%.

The rent drop resulted in average savings of approximately $100 per week in Lane Cove and $150 per week in Mosman.

Rents in Cumberland council area dropped almost 4% or $20 per week. Cumberland includes the suburbs Granville, Holroyd and Lidcombe.

The falls in rent came as Sydney house prices increased 3.5 per cent over the last quarter.

The price drops were partly driven by increased first home buyer activity, with ABS stats showing first-time purchases reached a seven-year high over August.

Head of research at CoreLogic Tim Lawless said the first-homebuyer surge coincided with an increase in rental properties, offering more options for fewer tenants.

SQM Research director Louis Christopher said the market could get even better for tenants as there is still a long pipeline of new housing getting released.

Read the full article on news.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/rents-are-dropping-as-more-tenants-become-first-home-buyers/news-story/4cbe086e6e3b4722da855738e00f87e2.

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Australia’s housing market is suddenly heating up again

After a two-year slide, Australian house prices look to have bottomed out, sending buyers flocking back to the market. A […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Australia's housing market is suddenly heating up again

After a two-year slide, Australian house prices look to have bottomed out, sending buyers flocking back to the market.

A four-bedroom home went up for auction in the Sydney suburb of Ryde on Saturday. it attracted approximately 100 people. Spirited bidding pushed offers above the reserve price, where it finally sold for A$1.5 million, which was last seen during the boom years.

People are now getting concerned that property prices are going to start increasing in the next six to 12 months, so are trying to buy now.

The sudden turnaround is thanks to three main factors. The central bank’s back-to-back interest rate cuts that pushed mortgage rates to record lows. The regulator’s loosening of mortgage stress tests. And the surprise re-election of Scott Morrison’s government in May that killed off the opposition Labor party’s plans to wind back tax breaks for property investors.

The property rebound is being celebrated in an otherwise sluggish economy. Rising house prices may help consumer spending by making homeowners feel wealthier.

Dwelling values in Sydney, have risen in each of the past two months, according to CoreLogic Inc, which ended a nearly two year slide that saw prices tumble 15% from their July 2017 peak, and foreshortened a slump economists had forecast to extend into next year.

Home prices also rose in Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart and Darwin last month.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest home lender, also says the housing market has turned the corner.

Read the full article on nzhearald.co.nz: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12258666.

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Australian unemployment rate is stuck at 5.2 per cent, keeping ‘slack’ in labour market

Australia’s unemployment rate is stuck. And while that’s good news for some people, it’s terrible for anyone wanting a bigger […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Australian unemployment rate is stuck

Australia’s unemployment rate is stuck. And while that’s good news for some people, it’s terrible for anyone wanting a bigger pay cheque.

‘Not good enough’ was the verdict on Thursday’s new unemployment data that showed a lot of Australian’s moved into jobs but not enough to make the unemployment rate actually fall.

Australia’s unemployment rate is stuck at 5.2 per cent, which means the RBA is set to go for even more rate cuts.

Australia needs unemployment to go down so there’s not so much “slack” in the labour market, which will force firms to start offering higher wages.

The ABS data showed that the slack is still abundant. The month of July showed the economy actually did well in one sense by moving 41,000 people into jobs, which were mostly full-time. But that wasn’t enough.

However, with so many more people coming into the job market every month, the unemplyment rate did not reduce. In fact, the ABS showed the number of unemployed people went up by 800.

Then they have the underemployment rate, which rose meaning even more people would like to work more hours.

Sadly, wages growth in Australia remains weak.Weekly earning rose by only 2.5% over the last year, just keeping ahead of inflation. Wages used to grow by an average of 4% or more.

There are two big reasons weak wages growth matters:

1. The economy is a big cycle. One person’s spending is another person’s income, and weak wages growth slows down that cycle. If wages aren’t increasing then people generally spend less, making someone else’s wages fall.

This is called the “paradox of thrift”. One person trying to be frugal is fine, but if we all do it at once, the economy stumbles.

2. Australia has record high levels of household debt. Paying down a million-dollar mortgage is not so hard if you can rely on 4 per cent pay rises each year.

A mortgage holder counting on strong wages growth to pay off their home loan will find it harder than previous generations…

Read the full article on news.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/australian-unemployment-rate-is-stuck-at-52-per-cent-keeping-slack-in-labour-market/news-story/b483ba3ce5f367df1e702d53f40d1dd4.

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Have you moved to Australia? We’d love to hear your story…

Take a minute to write your story below. On movingtoaustralia.co.nz I have been giving advice to New Zealanders moving across […]
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Jun 17, 2023
Questions or advice

Take a minute to write your story below.

On movingtoaustralia.co.nz I have been giving advice to New Zealanders moving across the ditch for over 10 years.

Utilizing my experiences, questions from visitors like you and a lot of research online I post information you need to know when moving to Australia from New Zealand.

I’ve tried my best to cover everything you could possibly need to know, but everyone has different needs and requirements.

Now I’m looking to you… share your experience of moving to Australia and help other kiwi’s who want to do the same thing.

  • Where did you move to in Australia and what’s it like to live there?
  • How did you find a job?
  • Where are you living? Have you brought a house?
  • What is your new life like in Australia?

Share your story now using the form below. It could be a paragraph or a whole page. I will then share it on Moing to Australia and your advice or questions will help others as mine has done for over a decade.

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    Real Estate Investing – 5 Tips for Buying a Property in Australia

    Are you considering the purchase of a property in Australia? Have you been visiting real estate websites so much, you […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Real Estate Investing

    Are you considering the purchase of a property in Australia? Have you been visiting real estate websites so much, you are taking virtual home tours in your dreams?

    If you have your heart set on a retirement home in a Australia, and need to send a sizable deposit before another buyer beats you to it, an online money transfer is a fast and secure way to make your down payment. Maybe you’ve negotiated a lucrative price on a property based on a short closing timeframe, or maybe you just don’t want to miss out on your dream home.

    Whatever your motivation for buying a property in Australia, the financial and contractual processes don’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or fraught with legal risk.

    Here are five tips for expats (and soon-to-be expats) planning to move to Australia or expand their overseas property holdings.

    1. Do Your Market and Regional Research

    Whether you are buying your property from a stranger, a lifelong friend, or even a family member, it’s important to enter an iAustralia real estate transaction with your eyes open, your mind clear, and a firm grip on your wallet.

    If you were buying a property in your own city, or across the country, you would likely work with a competent real estate agent and spend a significant amount of time touring homes and doing your due diligence. Yet when it comes to a vacation property or retirement home, there are many emotions involved.

    Depending on your origin and destination countries, your eligibility and ease of securing a mortgage in a foreign countrywill vary. You may have to make a significant down payment of nearly 30%. Developer or seller financing arrangementsmay help you save on interest.  Be sure to budget for transfer fees or stamp dutyas part of your property purchase.

    If you’re preparing to buy a property in Australia, ensure you do as much research as you would on a domestic property, if not more. You can find great resources on websites like RealEstate.com.auor Domain.

    2.  Be Cautious about New Builds or Fixer-Uppers

    Many countries have new home warranty programs and regulations. If you’re looking at new homes abroad, be sure to do your research on local developers, and understand the implications of builder-responsible defects.

    Further, you can find reputable tradespeople through regional contractor associations like the Australian Construction Industry Forum.

    These groups can help you navigate the local renovation market, as well as the local rules of law related to home zoning, building standards, and renovations. Or before you start your journey.

    If you buy vacant land or a previously occupied home, avoid entering a private property transaction without representation. Get professional purchase advice from a certified local real estate broker, agent or reputable developer. You can also ask real estate professionals in New Zealand for referrals to their counterparts in Australia.

    3. Understand Your Tax Responsibilities in New Zealand and Australia

    You might live in your vacation home for a few months out of the year, the whole year around, or even use it purely as an income property via leases.  Do your due diligence on your tax responsibilitiesrelative to capital gains, safe-harbor provisions, income tax and any reporting responsibilities your home country requires, and the nation where you buy a property.

    Rules, laws, and regulations have been mentioned a few times in this blog, yet it can’t be overstated. Mitigating risk when you set up residence in a foreign country is well worth the investment in hiring a local attorney or solicitor.

    They can help you get important documents translated (not to mention translate the legalese) and advise you on potential legal exposures in your property purchase agreement.  If you already have legal representation in New Zealand, they might have a relationship with other firms in Australia.

    You can contact the Australia Bar Associationfor additional guidance.  When you’ve decided to acquire a vacation property in another country, or you’ve found the retirement home of your dreams overseas, your emotions play a central role in your thought processes. Take the time to research the links offered above. You’ll minimize your legal and financial risk and get more enjoyment from your investment.

    5. Mitigate Your Foreign Currency Exchange Costs

    When you are paying a significant amount of money for lease payments, maintenance fees or to purchase a home outright, transaction costs can be prohibitive. Many banks and foreign currency brokers charge high fees, bury hidden costs and offer less-than-desirable exchange rates. Before you go to your bank, check out the prices offered by amoney transfer service providerwhich monitors multiple currency sources.

    Fee-free, exchange-transparent money transfersare available, and you owe it to yourself to get the best return on your money. When you are buying a home, making your money go as far as possible is critical. Whether you are making a one-time lump sum property payment or incremental mortgage payments, remittances in the local currency can help you realize significant savings.

    XE International Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips XE Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips
    Director of Affiliates & Partnerships Australasia

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    Latest news on Sydney’s falling housing market

    Home buyers urged to capitalise on lower prices while they still can Buyers still have a chance to snag homes […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Latest news on Sydney's falling housing market

    Home buyers urged to capitalise on lower prices while they still can

    Buyers still have a chance to snag homes at well below prices being paid two years ago, but their window of opportunity could be closing due to recent market changes.

    Sydney’s housing market has dropped 15% since 2017, but it is set to be reawakened soon with interest rate cuts producing ideal conditions for up-sizing families and first home buyers.

    The cut rate is said to give new buyers an average saving of $700 per year in repayments. The cash rate is the lowest since the 1960’s.

    The increased demand is meant to stop prices from falling but will not drive another boom due to the weakening economy.

    Experts are hoping for much needed stability after years of boom to bust conditions. Buyers and sellers would get more certainty about pricing.

    “It will be a flat market, not a rising one,” My Housing Market economist Andrew Wilson said. “A flat market … is good for everyone.”

    Read the full article on News.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/sydney-nsw/home-buyers-urged-to-capitalise-on-lower-prices-while-they-still-can/news-story/be2730d48db0f62050d11768fc355b73.

    Sydney becoming more affordable as property prices, rents and rates continue to drop

    Things are finally looking up for Sydney’s long frustrated home seekers – buyers are spending less of their money on repayments and it’s quicker to save a deposit.

    New buyers need to divert less of their income into repayments, now 46% of their income, down from more than half two years ago.

    With the Reserve Bank of Australia announcing Tuesday a record cut to the cash rate, mortgages are set to become even more affordable. Several banks passed the cut on in full to their customers.

    The average time it takes a buyer to save their 20% deposit has shrunk from 13 years to roughly 11. Assuming they earned the average household income of $94,588 per year.

    The gains represented the first time Sydney’s housing market showed a prolonged improvement in affordability in nearly seven years.

    The median price of a Sydney home has dropped close to 15% since the market peaked in July 2017 and is now about $808,000.

    Home buyers are being helped by more affordable rents, which are making it easier to save. A home at Sydney’s average rental price will now chew up 32% of the average household’s income, down from 34% two years ago.

    Home owners could also expect further improvements in affordability as prices continue to drop…

    Read the full article on realestate.com.au: https://www.realestate.com.au/news/sydney-becoming-more-affordable-as-property-prices-rents-and-rates-continue-to-drop/?rsf=syn:news:nca:dt:spa.

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    Mortgage rates higher here than Oz: are we being ripped off?

    Bank’s mortgage rates remain higher in New Zealand despite the cash rate being the same. The NZ Herald wrote an […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Mortgage rates higher here than Oz

    Bank’s mortgage rates remain higher in New Zealand despite the cash rate being the same.

    The NZ Herald wrote an article today stating that New Zealaners are being ripped off by our banks.

    On Wednesday the Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut the official cash rate to be the same as Australia’s, from 1.75 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

    Our major banks have reduced their floating rates by 10 or 15 basis points but they haven’t passed on the full rate cut to customers.

    Sam Stubbs, managing director of KiwiSaver provider Simplicity, believes the difference in rates means Kiwis are being ripped off.

    He says it is because of the lack of competition in New Zealand vs Australia. The New Zealand market is dominated by Aussie owned banks, where there is more competition in Australia.

    He also said on a wealth adjusted basis, the New Zealand arms of the Australian banks made 20 per cent more from an average New Zealander than their equivalent Australian.

    The Australian banks have setup a giant money making machine in NZ, extracting over $14m in profits every day.

    However, everyone is not in agreement with Stubbs.

    Read the full article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=12229165.

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    XE’S Guide To Pricing

    The foreign exchange market – what is an interbank rate? The foreign exchange market is a global decentralised market also […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    XE'S Guide To Pricing-TopImage

    The foreign exchange market – what is an interbank rate?

    The foreign exchange market is a global decentralised market also known as an over-the-counter market where bank dealers make the marketto determine the interbank exchange rate, i.e. the rate the banks use when trading with one another.

    The interbank rate is the mid-point between the buy and sell rate for a currency on the open market and is the most accurate rate of exchange at any given time. You can easily check this at any time using the XE Currency Converter.

    Unfortunately for most of us, this rate is reserved solely for banks and large financial institutions trading in large amounts of foreign currency. For retail or business banking customers looking to make smaller international money transfers, a margin (or spread) will be applied to the interbank rate to ensure a profit for the service making the transfer.

    As a retail banking customer, this margin may be anywhere between ~4-5% of the interbank rate. The graph below illustrates the rate that a customer may expect to receive from the bank when converting their AUD or NZD to GBP.

    Converting AUD or NZD to GBP

    What determines whether I receive a competitive rate?

    Naturally, when sending money abroad, it’s in your best interests to ensure you keep as much of your money as possible by locking in a favourable rate of exchange.

    The exchange rate you receive will be based on a number of factors, including:

    • Volume – the amount you are converting
    • Currencies exchanged
    • Knowledge and awareness
    • Frequency of transactions – ongoing or one-off

    However, one of the most sure-fire ways to ensure you are receiving a competitive rate is to look at using a money transfer specialist like XE who provides a much sharper rate of exchange than you would otherwise receive from the banks.

    Why you should look beyond your bank

    XE works closely with our broad network of referring partners to provide their clients with a competitive, secure money transfer solution. As such, when you choose XE Money Transfer via one of our partners, you will receive preferential rates of exchange that are more competitive than you would receive from other providers.

    Foreign Exchange Comarison

    …It’s not just about the rate

    At XE, we pride ourselves on delivering our clients value beyond a great rate, providing a much more comprehensive service than they could expect to receive from the banks.

    Exchange rates fluctuate at any given minute and as such our expert team are on hand to be your eyes and ears on the market and advise on how to ensure you lock in the best rate possible. We also offer a range of products typically not made available to retail banking clients, including Market Orders and Forward Contracts, that will help you reduce your exposure to currency risk.

    Currency snapshot

    The Australian dollar tracked lower through the latter stages of February and early March as weaker economic growth and falling house process lead many to believe that the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut interest rates once or twice through the second half of 2019.

    Given that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is currently expected to keep NZ rates on hold for the time being, the Kiwi dollar has been outperforming its antipodean cousin for some time.

    NZD now sits at its highest level vs the AUD since early 2017 and appears poised to once again have a crack at breaking parity with some of the major banks calling this to occur within the next couple of months.

    BREXIT deal progress still remains up in the air with further parliamentary votes this week with the likely outcome being another NO vote for PM May’s package. The UK parliament to then proceed to another vote, deciding to leave the EU with a no deal, or vote to extend the Article 50 deadline – the latter expected to allow more time for a deal to be agreed.

    The Kiwi dollar currently sits ~7% off post BREXIT lows whilst the Aussie dollar just ~1.50% higher.

    XE International Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips XE Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips
    Director of Affiliates & Partnerships Australasia

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    Hopes for a fairer deal for New Zealanders living in Australia in a change of government

    NZ Hearld’s Political Reporter Lucy Bennett wrote a article on New Zealanders living in Australia and what effect the up […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Change of government will help New Zealanders living in Australia

    NZ Hearld’s Political Reporter Lucy Bennett wrote a article on New Zealanders living in Australia and what effect the up coming election could have for us.

    The Labour party has pledged to champion the rights of 650,000 New Zealanders living in Australia if they win the election.

    Australia’s living in NZ have the same rights as us from arrival to a maximum of five years after living in New Zealand. Where kiwis are not eligible for unemployment or sickness benefits, student allowances and have no clear/simple path to permanent residency or citizenship.

    New Zealand has been pushing for equal rights since the law changed in 2001 when the Howard government stopped granting New Zealanders permanent residence on arrival. Those who arrived before 26 February 2001 are permanent residents with access to social security and student loans.

    Even though ALP’s National Policy Platform says there is an inequity for New Zealand citizens living in Australia under the terms of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements (TTTA). It is low on most party’s agenda’s because New Zealanders can not vote.

    So lets cross our fingers for Australia’s Labour party, because that is all we can do, and hope that equality for New Zealanders living in Australia is only an election away.

    You can read the NZ Hearld full article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12226666.

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    Navigating Market Volatility in 2019

    Foreign Exchange – 2018 in review 2018 proved a challenging year for both the Aussie and Kiwi dollars as they […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Navigating Market Volatility In 2019

    Foreign Exchange – 2018 in review

    2018 proved a challenging year for both the Aussie and Kiwi dollars as they both produced multi-year lows, AUDUSD retreating ~10% whilst NZDUSD faced calmer headwinds, falling ~6%.

    It proved a solid year for the Kiwi dollar against its Aussie cousin, as the ongoing US x China trade rift had a more profound downside effect on the Aussie dollar, NZDAUD ending the year ~5% higher and poised for further gains in early 2019.

    Back in early October, the Brexit news flow was glowingly positive – proclaiming that a deal was imminent. Five months on and Theresa May’s debacle continues to unfold with NZD and AUD sitting ~7% and ~3% higher from the October lows and braced to track higher should no deal be reached over the coming 6 weeks.

    XE - GBP - AUSDollar
    The GBP/AUD rate has moved between a range of 1.59 and 1.87. A distinct uptrend has occurred over the past two years with weak demand for Iron ore and a falling property market weighing on the AUD.
    XE - GBP - NewZealand
    The GPP/NZD rate has fluctuated 17% over the past two years, with a range between 1.73 and 2.04. Uncertainty over Brexit has been a major driver of the movements and we expect volatility to continue.

    Current key themes

    1. US-China trade talks | Markets are expecting progress this week, either a reduction, delay or removal of tariffs
    2. BREXIT | The outlook is till very uncertain, odds growing of a second referendum or hard BREXIT.
    3. The RBA | Have recently shifted to a neutral stance meaning that rate cuts could be occurring later 2019
    4. The RBNZ | Confirmed last week that rates are on hold and cuts not on in play for the time being
    5. NZDAUD | The Kiwi continues to march higher against its antipodean cousin with likely further topside as Aussie house prices continue to fall.

    What you can do

    The market forecast above highlights the importance in having a plan in place for navigating and protecting yourself from currency risk in the year ahead.

    Similar to a business’ foreign currency policy which provides them with a strategy as to how they manage their currency requirements, you too should have a plan in place if you have a need for a high value transaction this year.

    The team at XE will be your eyes and ears in the market and will be able to provide you with advice to navigate any currency risk on the horizon.

    We have a range of products designed to help you mitigate your currency risk, including:

    • Market Orders help protect against any adverse negative movements in the market
    • A Forward Exchange Contract (FEC) allows you to lock in today’s rate for a future settlement in the next 12 months
    • A currency option gives you the ability, but not the obligation, to sell your currency at a desired future date with an upfront premium
    • Whatever your needs or situation, feel free to get in touch with the team at XE to discuss the best approach to your foreign currency needs.
    XE International Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips XE Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips
    Director of Affiliates & Partnerships Australasia

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    Jobs in Australia for Expats

    When it comes to moving overseas and finding work, many things will determine your success, but we think the greatest […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Increase your success in Australian job market

    When it comes to moving overseas and finding work, many things will determine your success, but we think the greatest factor is preparation.

    At OFX, we’ve teamed up with leading professional recruitment consultancy company Michael Page to bring you some solid advice when it comes to looking for work as an expat in Australia.

    Michael Page is part of PageGroup, which helps facilitate matches between job seekers and employers, providing advice on salaries, employment markets and regional information for clients and candidates across more than 30 countries. When you arrive in a new country, it might take a while to truly settle. There are a few things you can do to speed things up and make a truly successful international career move.

    Do you have the right to work?

    It sounds obvious, but before you move to Australia in the hope of finding a job, it’s important you know whether you have the right to work. For example, those with a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (457), are permitted to work for one employer for up to four years, but this can be significantly shorter if the sponsor is a new business. The Australian Government’s border and visa page has more information on this and a number of other visa types.

    Michael Page’s Global Opportunities team provides guidance for job seekers moving between Australia, New Zealand and the UK on finding work in a new country.

    Decide when you want to arrive at your new destination

    Many professionals arrive in Australia during the summer, not knowing that December and January are typically slow periods for hiring. Hiring activity tends to pick up again in March. Similarly, many Aussies head over to the UK during the summer months, not knowing that this is when recruitment slows down. Conversely, temporary work may increase to cover employees on their annual leave.

    Transfer your qualifications where needed

    Some qualifications are not recognised in Australia, meaning foreign workers may require additional training to become fully qualified. For example, if you’re a professional in accounting, legal or construction, employers may have particular requirements for local qualifications. These could limit your job opportunities unless you can obtain equivalent qualifications to practice.

    Make financial arrangements

    Moving to Australia will mean exchanging your local currency to Australian dollars, and you’ll want to get as much out of your local currency as possible to make your funds stretch. Once you’ve set up your Australian bank account, send your money with a foreign exchange service to avoid your bank’s high exchange rates and transfer fees. At OFX, not only do we offer highly competitive rates, but we also give you the option to set up regular payments, which automatically transfer your money to your Australian bank account as often as you like (for up to 12 months).

    Get your resume suited to local standards

    Recruiters often make tweaks to candidate resumes to make them more suitable to local employers. Resumes in Australia are usually just a couple of pages and highly geared towards listing past achievements as well as responsibilities. You should also ensure you can provide references in English that can easily be verified, for example, providing a written reference with the referee’s contact details so the potential employer can quickly follow up.

    Zero in on the job search

    In today’s job market, there is an abundance of strong local candidates. It can be difficult to outperform professionals with a background in their home market. However, all is not lost. A combination of patience and a focused job search can go a long way. When searching and applying, here are some things to keep in mind:

    Research the market

    When you arrive in Australia, it’s advantageous to have an understanding of the company or companies you would like to work for. This may determine which State and area you want to move to. Other questions to ask yourself include: ‘Will it be suitable for my family?’, ‘Where is my industry experience most in demand?’, ‘Is the office relatively easy to commute to?’ Michael Page provides help with this in their City Guides.

    Be flexible

    Many candidates accept contract or interim roles before finding permanent work in the local market. This may allow you to get your foot in the door and gain more local experience, making you more competitive.

    A word of warning

    Many candidates assume they can shift careers as easily as they can move country, however, this is rarely the case so keep this in mind when considering a career change. Landing a new role in a foreign country can be difficult enough, let alone making a career change simultaneously. To find out how PageGroup’s Global Opportunities team can help your international career move, or for more general information, visit their Global Opportunities page.

    Finally, here are some additional things to consider for expats planning on working in Australia.

    • Factor in the shipping of your personal belongings which can be anywhere between 1-3 months.
    • Consider whether you want to rent or sell your current home.
    • Remember to change your mailing address across all your correspondences.
    • Apply for an international driver’s licence.
    • Depending on your country of origin, you may need travel insurance when visiting Australia.
    • Prioritise setting up a local bank account (which you can often do from home) and tax file number (TFN) to avoid being heavily taxed on your income.
    • Research the best superannuation fund for your retirement. You can redeem the super you have accumulated upon leaving Australia.

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    Why You Should Venture Beyond The Banking Relationship

    Common misconceptions about foreign exchange/money transfer through an online provider vs your bank “I trust my bank with my day […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Why You Should Venture Beyond The Banking Relationship

    Common misconceptions about foreign exchange/money transfer through an online provider vs your bank

    “I trust my bank with my day to day banking needs and on occasion call on them to provide me with mix of other financial services – surely they must be the best option for my foreign currency and international payments needs?”

    This is a typical view of many customers as they meet their need to exchange foreign currency.

    Some common misconceptions we often encounter:

    Surely no one can beat the bank’s rate?

    The reality for a retail client is that the daily buy/sell rates set by the banks incorporate a cost to transact of up to 4-5% plus additional sending and receiving fees. At XE, we do not charge transfer fees, and provide extremely sharp rates of exchange, simply applying a much smaller profit margin when you exchange your currency.

    The end result is that our clients regularly save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars compared to the bank rate on offer.

    The banks are more strictly regulated

    The international money transfer industry is one of the most strictly regulated industries. XE would not be permitted to transact your currency unless we complied with the same regulatory requirements as the banks.

    XE Money Transfer Australasia holds both an Australian Financial Services License and a derivatives issuer license issued by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA NZ) whilst also being a Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE).

    Is my money secure with XE?

    Security, trust and credibility are three key considerations when allowing a service provider to move your money across borders.

    XE provides the highest level of security via segregated trust accounts. In addition our Nasdaq listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide holds a standard and poors bank grade credit rating. You are dealing with a well-established, compliant and risk averse global currency team that are trusted by more than 330 million people per annum.

    Whilst we are on the topic of credibility – you may have seen the outcomes of the recent banking royal commission which highlighted widespread misconduct among most of the Australian banks. Please don’t blindly place your trust in a bank to receive the best possible outcome.

    The bank is more resourced and sophisticated, surely they can provide me with better advice?

    Foreign currency and cross border payments is all that we do.

    Our people are equipped with the skills, knowledge and technology that enables XE to move your funds cost effectively, efficiently and securely.

    There’s an extra step involved dealing via a broker. Is dealing outside my bank an inconvenience?

    The perceived inconvenience factor of dealing outside of the bank relationship is another common myth.

    The reality is that XE will provide a far more efficient, user friendly experience than a bank with an online platform built specifically for foreign currency and cross border payments. And if you need offline support, you’ll be speaking to a helpful, responsive, and accredited XE representative.

    There must be costs associated with opening an account, and I don’t have the time.

    Setting up an account is free, there is no obligation to use us, and we encourage you to benchmark the rates and service on offer with XE compared to your incumbent provider or bank. Our user-friendly online platform means you can set up a new account and transact within 5 minutes.
    XE International Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips XE Money Transfer
    Marcus Phillips
    Director of Affiliates & Partnerships Australasia
    Tel: +64 9 905 4664
    Mob: +64 27 250 9416
    Email: marcus.phillips@xe.com

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    Is Australia’s new Prime Minister good or bad for New Zealanders?

    Australia’s new PM Scott Morrison could be great for kiwi’s moving to and living in Australia but he could make it […]
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    Jun 17, 2023
    Is Australia’s new Prime Minister good or bad for New Zealanders?

    Australia’s new PM Scott Morrison could be great for kiwi’s moving to and living in Australia but he could make it worse too.

    New Zealanders living in Australia want equality – to be treated the same as other Visa holders in Australia. Be able to get student loans, unemployment benefits, parenting payments, youth allowances, disability support, access to public housing and be included in student concessionary travel in Victoria.

    So is Scott Morrison pro or against our trans-Tasmin relationship and New Zealanders living in Australia?