Ahome is an important part of our lives. It can be the place your family comes together and where you find respite at the end of a busy day at work.
Housing in the Murray region is often quite affordable, especially when compared to the costs in metropolitan areas such as Sydney and Melbourne.
It may be preferable to find temporary accommodation to begin with, when arriving in the Murray region. This would mean greater flexibility to relocate to another part of the region for employment, if necessary. Being locked into a lease can restrict the area of a job search. It is not practical to live in one side of the region and work in another because it can take up to six hours to travel.
Rental properties are listed on the real estate websites mentioned earlier. You may be required to show proof of income and rental history prior to securing a lease.
Rental Accommodation in Murray region can be a competitive market, with variability throughout the region in cost and availability. When searching for a place to live, it is practical to bring proof of income and rental history documents to rental inspections.
Real estate agents usually ask for a rental bond as a form of security – this is lodged with the Rental Bond Board, a government institution. This is generally a minimum of four weeks rent, so the cost should be factored into your financial considerations.
Know your rights and obligations as a renter:
www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au to learn all about renting in NSW
Some other useful sites are:
www.realestate.com.au allows you to key in a suburb and search for a house in the price range you can afford.
www.domain.com.au provides comprehensive listings of rental properties and houses and apartments for sale across NSW.
www.homepriceguide.com.au gives the average prices for suburbs and towns as well as a breakdown of a suburb’s population, public transport, demographics and more.
PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE AND MEDICARE
The Australian Government’s Medicare program allows Australians and some overseas visitors to access health and hospital services at little to no cost.
Unfortunately 489 Visa Recipients are not covered by Medicare, leading many to consider purchasing health insurance to aid in the often significant out-of-pocket costs if the need for health or hospital services arises.
The Australian Government provides independent information about private health insurance on the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s private health insurance website. Within this site, there is information about how health insurance works in Australia, a useful health insurance comparison tool, and a full listing of registered health insurers with links to their websites.
If Vevo does not list it among the visa requirements, then it is a matter of choice. While, it is not RDA Murray’s place to say you “must” have health insurance, we highly recommend health insurance for 489 visa recipients.. Even minor medical procedures or a visit to a doctor can be costly. If you have not got private health insurance and you are not a permanent resident of Australia, then getting it can be very practical in financial terms.
491 Skilled Work Regional Visa holders are covered by Medicare, however may chose to purchase health insurance for other benefits it may provide. The Australian Government’s private health insurance website provides a comparison between private health and Medicare to help make this decision.
The Department of Home Affairs also provides advice on adequate health insurance for visa holders on their website that may be useful to you.
It is important to note that most health insurance policies do not cover pregnancy and having a baby during the first 12 months of the policy.
TRANSPORT OPTIONS IN THE MURRAY REGION
The Murray region of NSW is a large geographic area that is not densely populated. Public transport exists in many areas, and includes direct travel to Sydney and Melbourne. It is likely that newcomers to the region will want to acquire a vehicle, if they do not already have their licence and vehicle organised.
Driving in NSW
The Transport for NSW website has information about driving in New South Wales with an overseas or interstate license as well as information about gaining a NSW driver’s license for overseas drivers and interstate drivers.
Transport for NSW also has helpful information about road safety, a road sign reference guideand the road rules in NSW. As you might expect, there are differences between the road rules in New South Wales and those in other countries, and there are also differences between the States and Territories in Australia. It is important for your safety, and the safety of others that you ensure you are familiar with the road rules before driving in NSW.
Vehicles that are used in Australia must be registered, and in NSW, this includes a vehicle roadworthiness check and a Green Slip which provides insurance for Injuries Caused in a Motor Accident. Transport for NSW provides a wealth of information about registering a car in NSW, including how to transfer an existing registration if the vehicle has a current interstate registration.
Australia is a large country, and it can take many hours, and even days, to travel between the capital cities of each of the states. For example, driving from Melbourne to Albury, will take 3 ½ hours each way. It is important that you take regular breaks for longer drives, with stops recommended every two hours.
While it may be possible to walk around some smaller communities in the region, it may be more practical to utilise public transport options, particularly in the larger communities.
The majority of communities have taxi services available and the following bus services are also available for travel in town and to surrounding areas. Public transport options are available in a number of communities in the Murray, including transport links between towns and to Sydney and Melbourne.
EDUCATION OPTIONS IN THE MURRAY REGION
Do you have children? Need information on schools? Here are some helpful links to get your started:
Special teacher support for children from non-English speaking backgrounds (with limited English ability) can be arranged and is at no extra cost.
Please visit this website to learn more about enrolling non-permanent residents:
Links to additional information:
TAFE Riverina Institute
Dependents of 489sc visas might be eligible for free short English language courses. The more you improve your English, the easier it will be to settle here and feel a part of the community.