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by Cheryl Goodenough

Looking to relocate to Australia and unable to decide between Melbourne and Brisbane, a writer to Sabona recently questioned whether to go where family are based (in this case, Brisbane), or where there may be more jobs available (in their view, Melbourne).

Putting the question to Sabona readers resulted in an overwhelming response. Many focused on the criteria that people should consider when deciding where to settle in a new country. Of course, such a decision really is a very personal one. There are people living happily in both cities, and many people do not have experience living in both cities, making it rather difficult to compare.

Interestingly, some people thought that family support should be the deciding criteria, while others said the job market should dictate. “Never underestimate the power of a support structure,” said Craig Oxford. “If the two are a close run then go to your family and friends.

Hey, you have just moved 10,000 kms. What is another 1,000kms in a couple of year's time if Brisbane is not everything you wanted in Australia?”

Family and friends were particularly important for Lara Ford, who said that she is not sure how they would have managed without them. “From what brand of washing powder to buy, to knowledge of different schools, areas to live, places to work, and so on.”

Climate was a key factor for a number of people who have already made the decision on here to settle. In addition, several people suggested visiting each location before deciding where to settle, even though a visit is somewhat different to actually living in a city. There were many references to the job market and the current economic situation, and many people said that it really is difficult to say whether job prospects in one state are better than in another. Avril Sellars questioned: “Who knows where the best opportunities lie? Her advice: “When it comes right down to it, having a job is just a start. As the present economic downturn has shown, no one should be totally dependent on a job. We should all be looking to diversity our income as much as possible. Australia is a land of tremendous opportunity to set up alternative sources of income.” Dickie Naidoo responded: “I think with the global crisis and huge shortage of jobs, let the job dictate where you should stay, and not the lifestyle for now. That should come later when you have got your feet in the door.”

Property buyer's agent Martyn Fleming provided a well researched response. On www.seek.com.au he found:

- 22,374 jobs in Victoria (of which 20,900 were in Melbourne)

- 19,628 jobs in Queensland (of which 13,574 were in Brisbane and 1,372 on the Gold Coast)

Then he considered the population for each state (2007 figures):

- Victoria 5,205,200

- Queensland 4,182,100

He calculated that the current opportunities per person are about:

- 4.3 jobs per 1,000 people in Victoria

- 4.7 jobs per 1,000 people in Queensland

Martyn also provided unemployment figures for March:

5.7% in Victoria and 4.5% in Queensland, while median house prices as at January 2009 were $439,005 in Melbourne and $442,060 in Brisbane.

Based on these figures, he declared Queensland a winner. However, he did caution that it depends on one's trade or profession as opportunities vary between states.

Martyn also stated that late last year Brisbane surpassed Melbourne as having the higher average wage and this occurred at a time when there were significant interstate migration patters, with many residents from Victoria and New South Wales moving to Queensland.

For added measure, Martyn has lived in Queensland and Victoria and said he preferred the lifestyle on offer in Queensland. Finally, the response from one reader showed how personal the decision is. She suggested settling in Adelaide: “It is the most beautiful city, slow and quiet!”

Posted in lifestyle |
Posted by Cheryl Goodenough
20 Aug 2009

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