More people are now looking at the possibility of moving to Australia with expat numbers continuing to rise. But why are so many people looking at moving to Australia from the UK and what exactly does Australia have to offer those from the UK?
There is no doubt that the weather in Australia is one of the prime reasons why many people even considering moving to Australia. We see the golden beaches of the coast, hear about the warm weather and very favourable living conditions and when we compare these to the UK there is very little reason why anybody looking at Australia would look to change their mind. However, there are some parts of Australia where the weather conditions and the heat are almost unbearable but as you might expect, those looking to start a new life in Australia tend to focus on the more friendly weather conditions in some of the more popular areas of the country.
Surprisingly, many people may not be aware that while Australia is predominantly seen as a very warm country it does host a number of different climates. We have the rain forest climate, woodland, grassland, mangrove swamps and deserts. We also have cyclones in the North of Australia and periodic droughts brought on by the ocean currents which include the Indian Ocean dipole and the El Niño effect. There is more to Australia and you sea, sun and sand!
There is a very strong correlation between the UK and Australia and a history which goes back many years – as well as a sporting history with particular emphasis on cricket and the Ashes series. While many people would not readily recognise the correlation between the UK population and the Australian population, there are a number of similarities and these appear to be attracting more and more expats from the UK.
The “friendly banter” between Aussies and Poms goes back many years and while in some cases it has boiled over, in particular with the Ashes cricket series, there does seem to be a genuine respect between the two different cultures. It is also worth noting that the Queen is still the head of Australia despite a number of attempts by politicians to remove her. The obvious historical connection between the UK and Australia goes back hundreds of years and while it has attracted controversy in the past, many UK citizens have moved to Australia and vice versa. So maybe moving to Australia from the UK is not that big a change in lifestyle for many people?
The Australian economy
Australia is still very much part of the Commonwealth and has an economy which continues to grow and develop. Indeed, Australia was one of the first countries to escape from the clutches of the credit crunch and the worldwide economic downturn, an achievement which has been recognised around the world. This was due in the main to the foresight and skill of the politicians in Australia who quickly recognised the problem and then attempted to focus upon the strengths of the country, a strategy which has assisted the economy in the short to medium term.
The political scene in Australia has not always been as settled as it could have been but the last few years has seen the creation of a solid reliable government and indeed even opposition parties have played their part. There is a very firm foundation for the Australian economy, a foundation which has seen the creation of many jobs over the last decade with a growing number of UK citizens looking to take up positions in the country.
While English is one of the most common languages in the world and spoken in numerous countries around the globe, the very fact that English is the first language in Australia is obviously a plus point for many expats looking for a new life. Even though there are obvious differences between the Austrian language, and accents, compared to the UK, in 80% of homes in Australia English is the only language which is spoken. Aside from the fact that moving to a new country and attempting to find not only employment but also your own social circle can be difficult it can be all the more difficult if a foreign language is part of the mix.
Therefore, when you throw in the weather, economic environment and also the language it is no surprise to see that more and more UK expats are looking to Australia.
Cost of living in Australia
Prior to the year 2000 there was a significant difference between the cost of living in Australia and the cost of living in the UK, with the UK by far and away the more expensive. However, many people believe that the Australian Olympics of 2000 really put Australia on the map and led to an increase in the general cost of living which has continued to increase to this very day. However while city such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth have moved up the cost of living league tables, in general Australia still offers a lower cost of living compared to the UK.
When you also take into account the massive variety of living conditions in Australia, due in the main to the size of the country and the varying climate, the cost of living in the sparse countryside of Australia is very different to that of cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. However, unfortunately for those moving to Australia the only long-term employment positions are likely to be in and around the major Australian cities where the cost of property and the cost of living is probably at its highest.
The Australian government introduced a positive immigration program some years ago as the need to increase the Australian population and fill many vacant employment positions came to light. While some professions will be able to apply for a fast-track immigration visa for Australia, there are still opportunities for many people outside of this closed list. As the Australian economy continues to grow it is likely we will see more employment opportunities arise and the future looks rosy for not only Australia as a whole but also for those looking to move from the UK and make a new life for themselves.
The good hearted banter between Australian and UK citizens continues to this day and is part of the make-up of the relationship between the two countries. Moving to Australia from the UK is something which more and more people are planning for the future!