READER REPORT:

I miss New Zealand

DEBORAH WHITING
Last updated 05:00 23/03/2014
brisbane
Wikimedia Commons
NOT SO GREAT: Despite the benefits of Brisbane life, Deborah Whiting misses home.

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I moved to Australia in 2000 with my partner when his job transferred us here.

We had three years in Melbourne, which was fantastic. We found it an amazing city to live in, with so much to see and do, and fabulous restaurants. It's a great cosmopolitan city with a European feel to it.

We lived in a spacious apartment within walking distance of the city centre and both had good jobs with generous superannuation and other benefits.

In 2003 my partner's job transferred us to Brisbane and we swapped the cafe culture for barbeque culture. We were able to buy a nice, yet affordable house within a 10km radius of the city centre and now live in a great suburb.

We again both have well paying jobs with generous benefits - the same jobs in New Zealand just don't compare on any level.

However, Brisbane is definitely not a place I want to live forever. It is not a pretty city. The state government and city council are very short-sighted in terms of policy and planning, and thanks to a massive campaign to lure people here, there is a lack of affordable housing, endlessly gridlocked streets and the crime rate is rising all the time.

We endured a seven-year drought and Draconian water restrictions thanks to a lack of planning and then when the drought broke, the same lack of planning lead to widespread floods and years of misery for those affected. Prices for utilities have skyrocketed in recent years (water rates increased 22 per cent in the last year).

Food is expensive here and quality indifferent. Even in restaurants you cannot guarantee if you had a good meal one time you would get the same standard the next time. I miss the laid back friendliness of New Zealand, my friends and the fresh food.

While Australia suits for now and is a good place to get ahead in terms of future proofing retirement funds, it is definitely not the place to see out my days.

Tourists, there is nothing much to see in Brisbane and the Gold Coast is crime ridden and very common these days, luckily the Sunshine Coast still has a lot to offer.


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