Settling In

Some usełul apps that will help you settle in a bit easier:

Cellopark

This is a great app for paying for parking. The app will invoice you monthly, it only charges you for the practice time you park, and if you pay for the upgraded version it also reminds you to switch off the app if you drive o and forget to cancel your parking. We love Cellopark!

My Translink

My Translink

This app will help you get łrom A to B, and then on to C. It’s a Queensland Government App and it will look up all forms of transport for you and help you plan the best route. It will also provide fare information and up-to-date travel into from Translink.

Medicare

Medicare

This app lets you view your member details, submit claims, download your history, and loads more. It’s very handy to have all this info at your fingertips from the word go as you can also have access to your family records too which is great when needing the kid’s immunization records or your claim history should you need it.

Water3

Water 3

Water 3 is changing the way we assess Water. These handy little kiosks are dotted around our beautiful city. These kiosks allow you to refill your water bottle on the go with filtered chilled, still or sparkling water. Download the app in order to always know what your nearest Water refill station is and help us reduce our plastic waste.

My Gov

This is the easiest way to access all your government online services. It will link your Centrelink, Child Care Rebaters, your health record, your tax office, Medicare, and Au Job Search.

Banks

Banks here may still charge łor withdrawals if it isn’t your bank. This is usually around $2 but will vary from bank to bank.

ING are the only once who know that definitely don’t charge and you can withdraw from any bank anywhere if your account is with ING.

NAB, ANZ, Commonwealth and Bank of Queensland (BoQ) are the big 4 banks here, and you will find their cash points all over the place. If you can’t, then head to Coles or Woolworths supermarkets and they will let you take cash out with a purchase.

Be sure to update your bank with your Tax File Number (TFN) as soon as you have it, otherwise, they will try and hit you with something called a ‘non-resident tax’. This will disappear as soon as you give them the TFN so don’t delay on that front.

NAB, ANZ, Commonwealth and Bank of Queensland (BoQ) are the big 4 banks here, and you will find their cash points all over the place. If you can’t, then head to Coles or Woolworths Supermarkets and they will let you take cash out with a purchase.

Cash and Card Purchases

If you are buying goods in a shop with cash the teller will often round up or down. There are no 1 or 2 cents here, only 5 cents, so if an item comes to $1.98, they will charge you $2. If something is $1.92 then they may charge $1.90. If you pay bycard then this will not occur and you will be charged the exact amount.

An electronic purchase here is called EFTPOS. ‘Electronic funds transfer at point of sale’. If you want to pay by card, you can PayWave or Eftpos.

If you buy something over $100 you may need to enter a PIN and you may be asked Credit, Cheque or Savings.

Every debit card payment terminal you see at a supermarket, service station or any other retailer in Australia has three buttons: cheque, savings, and credit.

Credit. You press this button when you either pay using a credit card, or with a debit card that can also be used as a credit card. Of course, you’ll need to make sure your card is linked to an account relevant to the button you press in order for the transaction to work.

Cheque. Press this and the money to pay for the purchase will come out of your everyday transaction or cheque account.

Savings. The purchase you make will be charged to your savings account. If there is no specific savings account linked to your debit card, the funds will be taken from your everyday transaction account.

Does it matter?

It’s always important to be sure that the funds used to pay for your transaction are withdrawn from the right account. For example, do you want to pay for an item on credit (and run the risk of earning interest on your debt if you don’t pay it off in the next 30 days) when you could pay with money from your transaction account?

If your card is linked to multiple accounts, pressing the right button will make a big difference!

Driving & Licenses

If you are buying goods in a shop with cash the teller will often round up or down. There are no 1 or 2 cents here, only 5 cents, so if an item comes to $1.98, they will charge you $2. If you get too many demerit points, they will send you a notice telling you that your authority to drive in WAwill be withdrawn (suspended).

The length of your suspension will depend on the type of licence you held when you committed the demerit point offences.

You must get a WALicense if you plan to stay more than 3 months.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR or TMR for short) are who you need to speak to in order to get a WA License. For UK drivers this should be a fairly straight forward process and you will just have to complete a form, pay the fee and have your photo done.
For all licensing or transport queries please go to the DOT website:

https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/

U-turns are only allowed at where the U-Turn permitted sign is, if you can’t see a sign, don’t do one.

Traffic lights and pedestrians: A neat trick here that may trip you up the first few weeks is that the pedestrians can cross at the same time as the drivers can turn into that road, so it may be green, but check for pedestrians before you go as they often have right of way!

Undertaking: this is a thing here. It’s not supposed to be, and it will drive you mad but beware and check both sides before crossing lanes as people will be undertaking at all times.

Beaches

Obviously, you will be spending time at the beaches now you are here. Western Australia has some of the best beaches you will ever come across. We recommend a trip as soon as you have the time. Rottnest Islands Cottesloe Beach, Mettams Pool, City Beach, Moreton and Bathers Beach to name but a few.

Most beaches are patrolled and will have a chalk board near the surf life savers that will break down the daily temperature, water conditions and any wildlife concerns.

Please swim between the flags! This area between the flags has been checked for rips and is under supervision by our awesome surf lifesavers.

  • Should you get into trouble with a rip ¡ust go with it! Do not try to fight the current as you will lose and tire yourself out.
  • Avoid channels of water that appear to have a quick gap in the waves
  • If you łccl a strong pull whilst in shallow water, get out. A rip is difficult once chest deep Stay Calm. A rip will not drag you undcr, only out. Good swimmers arc not in immediate danger unless they exhaust themselves trying to fight the current.
  • Try to signal łor hclp
  • Swim parallel to the shore to get out of its path, swim in thc dircstion oł thc nearest breaking wave.
  • Conscrvc your energy by floating on your bask and when possible swim diagonally back to shore to avoid being pulled back into the rip.

 

For more information on this visit the Surf Life Saving Beach Safe site

https://beachsafe.org.au/surf-safety/ripcurrents

Snakes

Most snake bites happen when people try to kill or capture them. If you come across a snake, don’t panic. Back away to a safe distance and let it move away. Snakes often want to escape when disturbed. A dry bite is when the snake strikes but no venom is released. Dry bites will be painful and may cause swelling and redness around the area of the snake bite. Because you can’t tell if a snake’s bite is a dry bite always assume that you have been in¡cstcd with venom, and manage the bite as a medical emergency. Once medically assessed, there is usually no need for furthcr treatment, such as with antivenom. Many snake bites in Australia do not result in envenomation, and so they can be managed without antivenom. For all snake bites:

  • Provide emergency care including sardiopulmonary rcsussitation (CPR) ił needed.

  • CALL TRIPLE ZERO (000) FOR AN AMBULANCE.

  • Apply a pressure immobilization bandage and keep the person calm and as still as possible until medical help arrives.

  • Avoid washing the bite arca because any venom left on the skin can help identify the snack.

  • DO NOT apply a tourniquet, cut the wound or attempt to suck the venom out.

Pressure immobilisation bandage

A pressure immobilization bandage is recommended for anyone bitten by a venomous snake. This involves firmly bandaging the area of the body involved, such as the arm or leg, and keeping the person calm and still until medical help arrives.

Follow these steps to apply a pressure immobilisation bandage:

  • First put a pressure bandage over the bite itself. It should be tight, and you should not be able to easily slide a finger between the bandage and the skin.

  • Then use a heavy crepe or elasticised roller bandage to immobilize the whole limb. Start just above the fingers or toes of the bitten limb and move upwards on the limb as far as the body. Splint the limb including joints on either side of the bite.

  • Keep the person and the limb completely at rest. If possible, mark the site of the bite on the bandage with a pen.

Creepy Crawlies and slithery things

Everyone is aware that Australia has a lot of things that want to kill you. It’s not as bad as everyone makes out though; we just like to do that to scare the newcomers.

Spiders

Spiders are one of the most seen, least known but most feared of the land animals of Australia. Although all but one family has venom, most are probably quite harmless.
Australia has about 2,000 species of spider, but most are relatively harmless to humans. Funnel-web spiders (indigenous to Sydney) and red-back spiders (found throughout the country) are perhaps the most venomous spiders in Australia.

Since the introduction of antivenom, there have been no recorded deaths in Australia from a confirmed spider bite.

The few Australian spiders that can cause potentially harmful bites include the funnel-web, the mouse, the red-back and the white-tailed spiders. People at greater risk of severe reactions to spider venom include babies, young children, the elderly and people with an existing heart condition.

Some people may also be allergic to certain venom and experience an adverse reaction. Immediate medical treatment is recommended. If in doubt, see your doctor, go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital or

dial triple zero (000) to call an ambulance.

Remember that first aid for a venomous spider bite depends on the species of spider. Suggestions include:

Funnel-web and mouse spider – firmly bandage the affected area. Splint if possible. Make sure the person lies still, because not moving will help to slow the venom moving through the body.

Red-back and white-tailed spider – wash the bitten area thoroughly. Do not bandage because pressure will increase pain. Apply an icepack.

In all cases, never cut a spider bite or tourniquet a limb. Don’t give the person anything to eat or drink. Seek immediate medical help.

If you can, catch the spider and take it with you to hospital so that medical staff can identify the species and quickly administer the correct treatment. Tips on how to safely catch a spider include:

  • Choose an empty container with a secure lid, like a jar.

  • Place the container over the spider.

  • Slide a piece of stiff cardboard beneath the container to seal it.

  • Hold the cardboard securely and turn the container upside down. The spider should drop to the bottom of the container.

  • Remove the cardboard and attach the container lid.

If you cannot catch the spider, it will help medical staff if you can describe it. Features to look for include size, colour, bulk and where the spider was when it bit you.

Favoured locations of venomous spiders

 

To assess your family’s risk of spider bites, familiarise yourself with the kinds of spider that tend to live around your home and garden. Each species of spider has a preferred home or hunting ground.

Signs you should look for include:

  • Funnel-web – found along the East Coast from Queensland to Tasmania and in some areas of South Australia. It likes to live in holes in moist soil, such as in mulched garden beds. Erratic (rather than symmetrical) web lines may fan out from the hole. Males tend to roam for females in autumn and summer. The funnel web is nocturnal (comes out at night). The male Sydney funnel-web is considered to be Australia’s most dangerous spider and is the only type of funnel-web responsible for recorded human deaths. The Sydney funnel-web is not found in Victoria.

  • Mouse – found all over Australia. It likes to live near water in ground holes that feature right-angled ‘trap doors’. Males are coloured either red on the jaw or bluish-white on the abdomen. Females are larger than the males.

  • Red-back – found across Australia but is less common in cooler climates. It looks shiny black with a red or orange marking on the abdomen. Only the female bite is venomous. The red-back does not live in the ground; instead, it chooses ‘man-made’ sheltered areas such as inside sheds or beneath stairs. The web is usually made in the shade. The top of the web contains a thickly spun ‘cone’, where the spider sits. Red backs are not aggressive. Most bites occur when people accidentally put their hand in the web and the spider feels threatened.

  • White-tailed – found across Australia. It is coloured grey to black with a white patch on the abdomen. It does not build a web. The white-tailed spider is commonly found in cool and tiled areas such as bathrooms and laundries, and may hide inside shoes, clothes and other items left on the floor. Outdoors, it lives under bark and logs and in leaf litter. It is nocturnal.

 

Common but relatively harmless spiders

Some spiders may look scary but are not dangerous to most people. Common examples include:

 

  • blackhouse – found in eastern and southern Australia. It may be found under tree bark and around windowsills. The webs are formed in messy ‘sheets’.

  • huntsman – likes to live under bark, rocks, and crevices. The two front pairs of legs are much longer than the back two pairs of legs. Despite its size, a huntsman is usually harmless. A bite, however, may cause some swelling and pain.

  • wolf – found across Australia. It is coloured brown to grey. The wolf spider has a distinctive set of six ‘eyes’ at the fore of its body. Typical symptoms of a wolf spider bite include some itching and pain.

Tips on avoiding spider bites.

Suggestions include:

  • Always wear gloves, long trousers, and shoes while gardening.

  • Wear shoes when walking around in the garden.

  • Inspect any suspected spider web or lair with a stick (or something similar), not your hands.

  • Shake out shoes before you put them on.

  • Don’t leave clothes on the floor – if you do, shake them out before you put them on.

  • Instruct children not to touch spiders.

  • Don’t assume that a spider at the bottom of a swimming pool is dead. Some spiders can survive on an air bubble for 24 hours or more.

Health

Health Insurance

Private Health Insurance is possibly a requirement of your Visa conditions. UK citizens will also have access to some facilities on the reciprocal Medicare system.

For a decent health fund, it pays to shop around. As with any other industry new customers are rewarded and existing customers are not. Most health funds will do all the changeover for you, so you just have to pick one, and review it annually.

 

If you do not have private healthcare, you may be penalised at tax time, this is known as the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is for people who earn above a certain amount so it’s best to check in with the tax office to see if you are included.

 

https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/medicare-and-private-health-insurance/medicare-levy

Medicare adelaide

Medicare

Medicare is the equivalent of the NHS. This is your free medical care. We advise you get a Medicare card as soon as possible for you and the whole family. You can apply for a Medicare card that covers all of you and you can do this online, or in person.

To find your nearest Medicare centre:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/medicare

When something is covered in full by Medicare this is called ‘Bulk Billed’. For example, a doctor’s visit will cost you in the vicinity of $70 per visit. Some doctors are Bulk Billed, and this means they bill the government for the whole cost and it is therefore free to you the individual. Most doctors will cover children as bulk billed, but it will vary from one surgery to the next so shop around to pick your doctor.

If a doctor is not bulk billed, you may be able to claim some money back from Medicare. The remainder that you cannot claim back is called ‘The Gap’ For example if a doctor’s visit is $70, Medicare will cover $35 of this, and you will be $35 out of pocket or the gap. What usually happens is that you pay the full amount at the time of your appointment and the money you get back is credited to the bank account you set up with Medicare. This refund normally happens within 24 – 48 hrs.

Dentists will also bulk bill, as will certain opticians, you just need to call around. The services that are free generally have more customers so you will maybe experience a wait time, but this is dependent on the surgery again, so another reason to shop around a bit.
The equivalent service to NHS 24 is called 13 Health so the telephone number is exactly that 13 43 25 84. These are 24 hours, they are fantastic, they will tell you whether or not to visit a hospital if you are in doubt and they have the ability to send a doctor to your home if required.

Tenants

As renters in Australia, there are a few governing bodies that you can go to for advice.

Real estate agents are governed by the Real Estate Institite for that state so for Adealide it’s the
REISA: https://www.reisa.com.au/home

They have some handy info for tenants that we advise you check out:
https://www.reisa.com.au/publicinfo/renting/information-for-tenants

The South Australian government page also has some information should you need it:

https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/housing/renting-and-letting

Claymore Thistle is also on hand should you have any tenancy related or house purchasing
queries

Cycle paths

If you wish to cycle, there are many bike paths in and around the area. Both the Council and Transport websites have links to allow you to plan your route.

 

https://www.yourmove.org.au/journey-planner/

https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/activetransport/riding-and-walking-maps.asp

Water

As a tenant, you will most likely only be billed for the actual water you have used, and the water bill every quarter with it clearly highlighted how much your share of the bill is. It is your responsibility to know if there is a leak so we recommend you check your water meter regularly to make sure it is only charging you for your usage and not a sneaky leak. The landlord will be responsible for water and sewer connection fees.

Shopping

Coles and Woolworths are the main supermarkets. They both have a loyalty card that can be used to accumulate points. We recommend you get both as they both have their advantages. Woolworths let you use the points on money off your shopping and Coles let you use the points to shop elsewhere, such as Target (similar to the Asda brand George, for clothes and school accessories), or First Choice (for alcohol)

The other thing we love…..COFFEE!! You will find that coffee if very popular here, along with going out for brekkie (breakfast). You will soon find your favourite shop to get your long black and your latte fix. We can’t recommend one as they are all usually so great it’s impossible to pick.

Keep an eye out for your local farmer’s market. These normally take place on a Saturday or Sunday from around 6am to lunchtime. The markets are normally a great place to get breakfast (and a coffee) and pick up some fresh produce for the week ahead.

Super

Super is your pension fund. It is compulsory here so as soon as you are earning your employer is obligated to send 11% to your nominated Super Fund. If you have not nominated one, most employers will recommend one.

We advise you shop around for a Super Fund once you are settled in and get one tailored to yours and your family’s needs.

Tax File Number (TFN)

Your tax file number (TFN) is your personal reference number in the tax and super systems.
Your TFN is an important part of your tax and super records as well as your identity, so keep it secure.

Your TFN is yours for life. You keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas.

You don’t have to have a TFN, but without one you pay more tax. You also won’t be able to apply for government benefits, lodge your tax return electronically or get an Australian business number (ABN).

Your employer should assist you with getting a TFN but if you are in any doubt you can check the Australian Taxation office (ATO) website for help.

https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/

Mobile Phones, Internet & Data

You may be asked how much ‘data’ you want. This is difficult if you are coming from a country where you are maybe used to having unlimited for a monthly fee. Our advice is to get a deal that
you can ramp up as you go. For $40 a month you can get a mobile phone plan that gives you 40GB (which is tonnes), calls abroad, unlimited texts and calls to other AU mobiles. We advise you to start low and increase as you find out how much data you actually use as once you have a plan you are often stuck with it and they probably won’t let you downgrade.

Telstra is large and a bit like the UK’s version of BT and has the best coverage outside of major cities. Vodafone is great too but once you are in the country/bush its not amazing yet. Optus is in-between the two. For your home internet, we personally like iiNet or TPG. This is just a personal preference though as we use it in Claymore Thistle and in our homes, we pay $70 a
month for unlimited data and we use A LOT!! Like everything else though, shop around!

Slang

Aussie’s love to shorten everything! Get used to it. Here is our quick guide to what the heck is going on.

Adelaide sea

South Australia

western australia sea

Western Australia

Adelaide sea

Queensland

New South Wales

New South Wales

Victoria

Victoria

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