A photo of Australia

Overview

The conventional long form is Commonwealth of Australia but most refer to the country in its short form: Australia.

Mainland Australia is the world’s largest island - but smallest continent, spanning 3 oceans. Three cities - Melbourne, Sydney and Perth - have consistently made it to the list of the world's most livable cities. Diverse comes to mind when describing Australia - from the different ethnicities, geologic landforms, mix of modern cities and remote rural communities. In fact, an estimate in July 2016 pegged Australia's population at 22,992,654 with the English representing the biggest ethnic group followed by Australian, Irish and Scottish. 

The capital of Australia is Canberra.  Administratively, Australia is made up of 6 states and 2 territories:  Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.

Australia has three time zones:

  • Australian Eastern Standard Time, or AEST, which is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 10 hours or UTC +10.  AEST is covers Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory or ACT;
  • Australian Central Standard Time, or ACST, which is equal to Coordinated Universal time plus 9.5 hours or UTC +9 1/2.  ACST covers South Australia, a town in western New South Wales called Broken Hill, and the Northern Territory;
  • Australian Western Standard Time, or AWST, which is equal to Coordinated Universal Time plus 8 hours or UTC +8.  AWST covers Western Australia.

Australia is the world's smallest continent but is the 6th largest.  Its total land mass is slightly smaller than the 48 contiguous states of the United States of America.

Visiting Australia as a tourist is a great experience and tourists will find something of interest the whole year.  Seasons are the other way around though as compared to the countries in the northern hemisphere.  Summer is from December to February while the winter months are from June to August.

 

Wages and Salaries

The minimum wages are reviewed every year by the Fair Work Commission's (or FWC) Expert Panel.  Once the review is concluded, a national minimum wage order is made effective, for the first full pay period on or after July 1 each year. 

Beginning July 1, 2017 the current national minimum wage for Australia is AUD18.29 per hour or AUD694.90 for a 38-hour work week, gross of taxes.  If you are covered by the national minimum wage and are a casual employee, you may be entitled to at least 25% casual loading.

Fair Work Ombudsman (2017). Minimum Wages. [online] Fairwork.gov.au.  https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/minimum-wages. [Accessed 17 Jul. 2017].

Cost of Living

The following information about living expenses were lifted from the website of Numbeo which routinely publishes living conditions for a number of cities.  Living expenses / costs are quoted in the Australian Dollar currency and represent the average cost per item.

Item

Sydney

Perth

Melbourne

Adelaide

Canberra

Gold Coast

Cost of Living Index

93.19

92.01

86.10

85.34

83.93

78.60

Meal, inexpensive restaurant

15

20

15

18

20

17

McMeal at McDonalds or an equivalent combo meal

10

10

10

9.99

10

9

Milk, regular 1 liter

1.50

1.43

1.35

1.49

1.42

1.18

Loaf of fresh, white bread 500 g.

2.89

2.57

2.39

2.56

2.50

2.06

Rice white 1 kg.

2.51

3.08

2.66

3.02

2.19

2.88

Eggs, 12 pieces

4.90

4.86

4.81

4.79

4.60

4.07

Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

10.64

11.54

10.22

10.28

9.63

9.81

Beef round 1 kg. or equivalent back leg, red meat

15.84

15.53

16.03

17.07

14.03

15.45

Apples 1 kg.

4.27

4.01

3.91

4.24

4.22

3.58

Banana 1 kg.

2.71

3.65

3.13

2.75

2.86

2.50

Oranges 1 kg.

3.42

3.99

3.48

3.57

3.20

2.98

Tomato 1 kg.

5.46

4.69

5.06

5.22

4.43

4.55

Potato 1 kg.

3.04

3.16

3.26

3.37

2.66

2.71

Onion 1 kg.

2.75

2.60

2.57

2.58

2.30

2.49

Lettuce 1 head

2.61

2.46

2.74

2.52

2.62

2.32

Water 1.5 liter bottle

2.28

2.24

2.19

1.59

1.83

1.75

Domestic Beer 0.5 liter bottle

4.97

5.29

5.34

4.35

4.63

4.81

One-way ticket, local transport

4

3.90

4

3.80

4.20

4.25

Monthly pass, regular price

160

132.72

144.50

121.80

100

80

Gasoline 1 liter

1.30

1.27

1.29

1.24

1.31

1.30

Toyota Corolla 1.61 97kW Comfort or equivalent car

23,975.03

24,843.07

22,966.54

24,623.75

22,832.50

22,500

Basic utilities e.g. electricity, heating, water, garbage for an 85 sq.m. apartment

180.91

183.80

181.65

263.67

172.68

196.88

1 min pre-paid mobile tariff local, no discounts or plans

0.64

0.28

0.18

0.29

0.12

0.12

Internet 60Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL

67.96

73.39

69.28

67.04

74

80.62

1 pair of Levis 501 jeans or similar

102.44

100.21

102.76

91.10

97.19

90.83

1 summer dress in a chain store e.g. Zara, H&M

65.24

70.29

67.49

65.92

74.62

47.27

1 pair Nike mid-range running shoes

140.95

137.12

135.25

124.30

136.39

112.64

1 pair men leather business shoes

153.64

140.54

153.64

133.45

128.75

100.82

Apartment rent 1 bedroom in City Centre

2,622.87

1,632.57

1,756.86

1,430.40

1,800.04

1,502.20

Apartment rent 1 bedroom outside City Centre

1,832.78

1,226.26

1,312.03

1,013.86

1,381.71

1,214.25

Apartment rent 3 bedrooms in City Centre

4,801.28

2,586

3,016.67

2,300.54

2,821.42

2,357.22

Apartment rent 3 bedrooms outside City Centre

2,985.22

1,879.51

2,007.54

1,461.82

2,033

1,854.27

Mortgage annual interest rate

4.31%

4.27%

4.37%

4.42%

4.43%

4.60%

 Cost of living expenses index indicated on the top row are relative to the cost of living in New York City.  If a city has a cost of living plus rent index of 75%, you can expect that consumer goods and rent in that city is 25% lower than what you will find in New York City.

Numbeo. (2017). Cost of Living. [online] Numbeo.com. Available at: https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ [Accessed 17 Jul. 2017].

 

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