Dec 28, 2009

Is the Australian immigration process fair

While many governments around the world which have talked about and introduced skills led immigration policies there can be few as rigid and as stringent as that seen in Australia. The skilled migration program has caused controversy and appreciation across the world in equal measures but is it fair?

At this point in time there is a ceiling of 133,500 immigration visas per year which includes both the skilled migration program and general applications. However, as a consequence of the current economic situation around the world and in Australia in particular the Australian government has recently tightened the criteria for migration into the country with the balance in favour of skilled workers who are needed by companies in the country.

What is the benefit of tightening the criteria now?

Like all developed countries around the world there has been a significant increase in unemployment throughout Australia as the worldwide economic slowdown continues to impact on many individual countries. There is now a need to ensure that Australian nationals are given the opportunity to take up new employment positions where possible without having to compete against those from foreign lands.

However, by tightening the criteria for skilled workers to be fast tracked through the immigration system the Australian government is ensuring that the economy is as well-positioned as it can be when the recovery finally comes. This mixture of ensuring Australian nationals have access to new employment positions while also allowing overseas visitors to take up positions which cannot be filled naturally is the best case scenario for the Australian economy.

Has Australia always had a skilled workers immigration policy?

The truth is that Australia has for many years fast tracked those applications from workers who offer specific skills and specific experience which may be lacking in the Australian economy. However, the last couple of years have seen a number of employers complain that many skilled workers were being placed in the ever-growing queue of those looking to move to Australia and the Australian economy was losing out. This is the reason why the criteria has been tightened and those who apply for employer-sponsored visas are in an even better position for a successful result.

Is it right to sort immigration applications on skills?

When you consider that the current Australian population are the ones who have paid taxes for years and continue to finance the economy it makes sense that they should have first refusal on employment positions they may be able to cover and have the necessary skills. There is little point in allowing those from foreign lands with no defining skills which they can put into the economy to enter Australia at the expense of those who can “pay their way”.

The more general immigrants who visit Australia with nothing to offer and limited employment opportunities the greater the pressure on the country’s social services and public services to the detriment of natural Australians. Whether this is illegal or morally correct is debatable and opens the argument as to whether any country in the world should be able to pick and choose who enters the country and on what terms.

Dec 23, 2009

Adelaide City Guide

Adelaide is a coastal city of the state of South Australia that is bordered on the west by Gulf St. Vincent. It is on the south by the Fleurieu Peninsula and on the east by the Mount Lofty Ranges. As you can imagine, these neighboring natural features make Adelaide a geographically diverse city.

This makes it an ideal starting point for a wide variety of nature tours, as well as offering many attractions of its own as well.
Residential Places in Adelaide

Adelaide has attracted a steady influx of visitors over the years, many of whom are drawn to the laid-back atmosphere and easy access to a wide range of cultural and leisure spots in the city, which range from pristine beaches and rolling hills, to charming cafes and fine museums.

Living in the heart of the city puts you right in the middle of the action, although apartment rental prices will obviously be a little bit higher. Recent ads for a one-bedroom apartment in North Terrace and a similar apartment in Frome Street for example, listed prices at AUS$400 a week. For this price, you can expect the construction to be top notch and the views excellent. The North Terrace apartment even offered amenities such as an indoor heated pool, a spa, sauna, a steam room, plunge pool and a gym.

In contrast, a townhouse over at King William Street was recently listed at AUS$360 per week, and it comes with 2 bedrooms, a double garage and a balcony.
Hospitals and Universities of Adelaide

The Royal Adelaide Hospital or RAH is the first hospital to be built in Adelaide, having been founded in 1840. It is still around to this day and is one of the major hospitals in the city, as well as serving as the teaching hospital of the University of Adelaide. There are two other RAH branches in the suburbs that specialize in specific health care services: the Glenside Campus Mental Health Service and the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre in Northfield.

In addition there are three other large hospitals in the city, namely: The Women’s and Children’s Hospital on King William Road in North Adelaide, which has a total of 305 beds, the Flinders Medical Centre in Bedford Park, which has 500 beds, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woodville, which has 340 beds.

In June 2007, the government announced plans to build a new 800-bed hospital that will take the place of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Known all over the world as a ‘City of Education’, Adelaide has a proud history of educational excellence as evidenced by the many public and private schools in the city. Adelaide has one of the highest numbers of schools that offer International Baccalaureate Diploma Programmes in the country, and three of South Australia’s universities can be found here. These are: The University of Adelaide, The University of South Australia and The Heinz School Australia.
Commercial Places in Adelaide

Adelaide’s Mediterranean-style climate, with its characteristic hot and dry summers, is ideally suited to that particularly Mediterranean pastime: al fresco wining and dining. You will notice that there is an almost European air to the city, and the great importance that the local residents place on enjoying their food and wine–outdoors more often than not–does nothing to dispel the comparison.

Shopping is an equally rewarding pastime in Adelaide, with the Norwood district offering some particularly interesting gems. Magill Road–with its dazzling array of antique shops–and The Parade–a vibrant strip full of caf├ęs and pubs and bookshops–are certainly worth a look, but save some cash for the Orange Lane Market. Held every Saturday and Sunday, you can browse through a wide selection of books, knick-knacks and new and used clothes here and you’ll be sure to walk away with something uniquely memorable for very little money.

If you have a bit–or a lot!–more money to spend, check out Unley Road for even more antique shops and a wealth of elegant boutiques that tend towards the upper end of the price scale.
Service Establishments of Adelaide

Different companies are responsible for providing each particular aspect of the gas and electricity supply services in Adelaide. Generation of electricity is handled by TRUenergy, while the transmission of electricity from the generators to the distribution network is handled by ElectraNet SA. ETSA Utilities (which was previously a government-owned company before being privatized in the 90s) is tasked with distributing electricity from transmission companies to end users, while gas and electricity retail services are handled by AGL.

A lot of effort has been made in the reinforcement and maintenance of existing electricity supply network in recent years, in order to ensure a continuous and stable supply.

The majority of the city’s electricity supply comes from a gas-powered plant at Torrens Island, which is operated by TRUenergy. Some of it is provided by power stations at Port Augusta and Pelican Point and by various connections to the national grid, and there is also a small amount provided by wind turbines located on Sellicks Hill. The city is currently assessing the further viability of wind-derived energy with the installation of more turbines on certain city buildings.

The government-owned company, SA Water is primarily responsible for supplying water throughout the entire city. It draws this supply from the reservoirs Happy Valley, Mount Bold, Millbrook, Myponga, South Para Reservoir, Little Para and Hope Valley. Increased water demand in recent years has necessitated the pumping of additional water from the River Murray.