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Posts Tagged ‘nationally’

RELIEF may be in sight for renters who have been hit in the hip pocket by skyrocketing rents over the past few years.

There has been a small decrease in rental rates across Australia’s capital cities over the June quarter, suggesting rental yields may have hit their peak, leading property statistics agency RP Data says.

Weekly house rents fell by 3.5 per cent nationally over the June quarter while unit rents dropped 0.6 per cent.

The largest fall was in the Canberra market with a drop of six per cent for the June quarter in the housing market, where the median weekly rent fell from $530 in March to $498 in June.

The only mainland capital city to experience a nearly six per cent rise in rent was Darwin, where renters can expect to fork out about $100 more per week than those in Sydney, where rents dipped by about five per cent.

“It now appears that the rental market may have peaked with national weekly median rents falling slightly in each month post March 2009,” RP Data’s Tim Lawless said in a statement.

“And with rental rates now coming off the boil and property values rising we are seeing the first signs that rental rates are eroding.”

Rental vacancies remain tight across the nation with all capitals recording less than three per cent vacancy in stock.

Source  :   www.news.com.au  

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western_Australia_hotel_MapWESTERN Australia has the fastest growing population in Australia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

WA’s population growth rate has hit 3.1 per cent for the year ending December 2008 – well ahead of every other state or territory.   

Next was Queensland, growing at 2.5 per cent, Northern Territory, 2.0 per cent, Victoria, 1.9 per cent, ACT, 1.7 per cent, New South Wales, 1.4 per cent, South Australia, 1.2 , and Tasmania, 1.0 per cent.

WA, along with Queensland, had the highest rate of intra-state migration, with WA attracting 6300 people from other states and territories and Queensland luring 21,200 interstaters.

At December 31, 2008, WA’s population was 2,204,000 — the fourth largest in Australia, with NSW the most populous state (7.04 million), followed by Victoria (5.36 million) and Queensland (4.35 million).

Nationally the population increased by 1.9 percent  from 2007 — the highest growth rate recorded since the 1950s and 1960s, which was boosted by post war migration and high birth rates. 

These rates compare with a 1.2 per cent growth rate recorded five years ago.

At the end of 2008 Australia’s population had swelled by 406,100 people to 21,644,000.

Of the 406,100 new Australians,  62 per cent, or  253,400, were overseas immigrants. The excess of births over deaths contributed 152,700. 

The states losing the most people to interstate migration were New South Wales (down 22,700), South Australia (down 5200) and Victoria (down 1000).

Source www.news.com.au

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Fertility doctors are worried they will be under pressure to implant multiple embryos into women who cannot afford ongoing treatment due to new financial safety net caps, a leading IVF specialist says

Having two embryos implanted into the uterus instead of one raises a woman’s chance of having a multiple birth, says IVF Australia chairman Professor Michael Chapman.

As part of Medicare Safety Net restrictions unveiled in Tuesday’s budget, payments for IVF will be capped at different rates for each stage of treatment once a person reaches the safety net threshold for out-of-pocket medical expenses, which is $1,111.60, or $555.70 for those on low incomes.
This could hit women with an extra $1,500 to $2,000 of out-of-pocket costs per IVF cycle.

There are also caps on safety net payments in other areas including obstetrics, varicose vein and cataract surgery.                                                        embryo

Under the changes, pregnant women who choose to see a private obstetrician will be out of pocket by $550 unless doctors lower their fees.

“That is why the government is urging women to question their doctors about their fees,” Health Minister Nicola Roxon said.

An average of $4.5 million of taxpayers’ money is paid to the top 10 per cent of IVF specialists each year.

But Prof Chapman said the government, which says it wants to crack down on specialists who charge exorbitant fees, was using the figures for political gain.

“For every doctor that gets money, there are 10 staff members, the scientists, counsellors and nurses, they get funded through the rebate,” he told AAP.

Prof Chapman said he accepted there had been a 40 per cent rise in IVF fees over the past five years but said that it was in line with general medical inflation.

Current Medicare rebates, which work out to about $4,200 per child, go towards employing about 2,000 people in private IVF clinics nationally and investing in research and facilities, Prof Chapman said.

He estimated out-of-pocket costs for patients would rise from $1,600 to between $3,000 and $3,500 when the safety net caps come into effect on July 1, 2010.

It can often take more than one IVF cycle for a woman to fall pregnant.

“Certainly, patients are going to be more out of pocket for IVF than they have been in the past,” Prof Chapman said.

He warned doctors would be under pressure to implant more than one embryo per cycle into women as a result of safety net restrictions, increasing the chance of multiple births.

“Over the last five years in Australia the twin rate has dropped dramatically because we have been able to put one embryo back,” he said.

“But if patients think they won’t be able to afford the next cycle they will put a lot of pressure on the doctor to put two embryos back.”

Ms Roxon said her department would work with medical professionals to restructure the system to better reflect stages in a treatment cycle.
www.sbs.com.au

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