Excerpted from the Australia Career Guide
Cost of Living
Living in Australia is expensive for expatriates The Deutsche Bank rates it the most expensive major economy in the world, in spite of recent changes in exchange rates that have lowered prices. But even with those lower prices, the country’s major cities remain among the costliest in the world. Ten years ago, no Australian cities ranked among the world’s 50 most expensive cities.
Rental costs in the five major Australian cities are among the world’s most expensive for expats. Rental housing is not only expensive, it’s also difficult to find. Rental properties are advertised online and in newspapers, but they are snapped up quickly.
Rental rates vary from state to territory, with the highest rents in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. Rental prices are often advertised by weekly -- not monthly – rates.
In Australia, as in many large countries, ‘the car is king.’ The vast majority of Australian adults own cars and would not seriously contemplate being without one. Road transport accounts for the majority of domestic passenger trips. A good portion of that travel consists simply of commuters getting to and from work. Needless to say, a car is almost essential to work life in many places in Australia. In the cities, however, there are many other transportation options, and air travel is commonly used to cross from capital city to capital city.
All residents are required to submit Australian income tax returns each year. Residents do not pay taxes on the first 18,200 AUD earned. Above that amount, Australia’s income tax is progressive up to a maximum rate of 47 percent, and is levied on salaries and wages earned in Australia and on other income, including capital gains. The employer usually deducts this amount from the employee’s pay and sends the tax payment to the Australian Taxation Office.
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Australia Guide.