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The Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has officially launched a $100 million research centre in Perth, which has been set up to help Australia win a massive radio astronomy project.

Western Australia and South Africa are the front runners to secure the $2.5 billion Square Kilometre Array project, with the decision expected in 2012.

To strengthen WA’s bid, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia have set up the International Centre for Astronomy Research with extra funding from the State Government.

The International Director for the S.K.A project Richard Schilizzi says the centre will enhance Australia’s chances.

“It shows that the infrastructure for radio astronomy in Australia is very strong and that means that the ability to exploit the telescope role will be ensured,” he said.

Source  :  www.abc.net.au

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I ended up being a bit under the weather last week so the blog post from last week is now this weeks blog post.

While I was off work recuperating, I started thinking again about our very first blog post which looked at the most popular location for graduate jobs in Australia. Our very first blog post was about how Melbourne was the most attractive city for graduate job hunters and re-reading it over the week got me thinking about how ready Australian graduates are to relocate for their first graduate job on leaving university.

From that first blog post we found that 55% of graduate job hunters were interested in Melbourne as a place to take up their first graduate position. This fact gets even more interesting when you consider that only 30% of the visitors to our site were actually based in Melbourne to begin with.

Relocate? Sure why not

Relocate? Sure why not

To take things a step further I thought it would be interesting to have a look at how many graduates were interested in relocating to multiple cities after they had finished up at university, so as you do when you’re sick, I ended up sitting down and hitting our database to see how many graduates were interested in relocating to secure their first graduate job and the results were as follows:

Relocation Locations % of Graduate Respondents
3 39.5%
2 16.5%
1 44%

The Breakdown

This is an interesting insight into the attitude of graduates as they are searching for their first graduate job as it shows 3 distinct mindsets.

Firstly there are the 44% of grads who only want to work in one location after they finish their university studies. My thinking on this is that these graduates either want to work and live in their home town or the town they have relocated to for university.

The next group which accounts for 16% of graduates are interested in moving to 2 locations. I think this shows that these graduates have relocated for university and would want to either stay where they are studying or return to their home town.

The remaining 39% of graduates are out to work in 3 or more locations after they finish studying which shows that a large proportion of graduates coming out of university in Australia are very flexible and are keen to do whatever it takes to find a good opportunity. I think this is the group I would have fallen into when I finished studying at university as I was keen to move anywhere  I could secure an opportunity, I even considered going to Norway at one point.

Summing Up

So it seems that the majority of Australian graduates, 56% to be precise, are motivated to relocate once they finish studying which is a good sign for locations such as Western Australia, Queensland and Canberra as these centres do have a high demand for graduates but don’t’ have the largest numbers of graduates studying there compared to Sydney and Melbourne.

Source  :  http://www.gradconnection.com.au/blog/goverment-graduate-recruitment/australian-graduates-ready-to-relocate-for-graduate-jobs.html

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STAMP duty on housing loans could be abolished after the Henry tax review, which is likely to recommend states be given a share of income tax to make up the difference.

The most likely path to do this would be for the Commonwealth to give the states the ability to impose their own surcharge on income tax, which would be collected for them by the Australian Tax Office.

 The Henry review has been inundated with submissions calling for the end of stamp duty.

Tax economists argue that the tax on moving house, although easy to collect, leads to poor use of the housing stock and poor labour mobility, The Australian reports.Having to pay stamp duty not only discourages elderly people from moving to more appropriate accommodation, it also deters people from moving house to a better jobs market. 

At a conference conducted by the Henry tax review at the Melbourne Institute last week, both international and Australian tax economists said stamp duty should go, with Melbourne University professor John Freebairn describing the tax as “a piece of garbage”.

The review panel is being influenced by state submissions arguing that replacing stamp duty by extending other state taxes, such as payroll tax or land tax, would be too difficult to implement nationally.

Tasmanian Treasury secretary Don Challen, who is close to the inquiry’s head, federal Treasury secretary Ken Henry, told last week’s conference that reform of state taxes would succeed only with leadership from the national government.                                                                                                                                                      stamp duty

“If you want to achieve a difficult reform, you’ve got to make it a national one,” Mr Challen said.

He said it would be too hard to win political consensus to extend land or payroll taxes.

“It requires eight lots of political commitment and eight lots of legislation and that path is doomed to failure,” he said.

However, he said he believed states would be willing to act on stamp duty if the commonwealth provided an avenue for alternative revenue.

The idea of giving states a cut of income tax was pressed two years ago by the OECD, which suggested the states “piggy-back” on income tax. The OECD also urged states to drop stamp duty.

One of the world’s leading experts on federal taxes, Canada’s Richard Bird, said the states were heading for a financial crisis because they did not have a sufficient tax base to support their burgeoning health and education costs, which were all rising much faster than the consumer price index.

One of the problems with stamp duty for the states is that it is vulnerable to the state of property markets.

Stamp duty usually raises about $14 billion a year for the states, but the recent state budgets showed big falls of more than $1bn each in NSW and Queensland, in 2008-09, for example.

“In Australia, it should certainly be feasible to permit states to impose a surcharge on the federal personal income tax base,” Professor Bird said.

He said that, ideally, Australia would follow the Scandinavian practice of allowing states to have a flat tax surcharge on income, rather than mirroring the commonwealth’s progressive taxation.

The states would be allowed to set their own level, making states more responsible for their own finances.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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A PERTH university student is more than $13 million richer after she presented her winning ticket this week, ten months after her numbers came up.

The Perth Student received the ticket as a gift from her father, purchased  from Beechboro Newsagency in a $50 million OZ Lotto jackpot draw on July 22, 2008.

The winning ticket was a Systems 8 Slikpik costing $8.70.

At first glance, the woman thought she had won just over $13,000 but was later informed that it was actually $13,185,273.                   dollars

“I checked the commas and decimal places and then realised,” she said.

The prize remained unclaimed for 10 months.

The woman said she only decided to check a bundle of tickets because she was worried about her family’s finances.

She was unaware of the 12-month expiry on Lotto tickets in WA.

“Something made me think to check the tickets and I thought that if I win something, then I could help Mum and Dad out,” she said.

“I always remember Mum telling me that if I won Lotto, not to start jumping up and down in the shopping centre.”

She is yet to decide what to do with the unexpected windfall.

“The people close to me will be looked after and I might give some to research or a charity of some kind. It’s nice to have this much to fulfil my dreams and the dreams of the people around me,” she said.

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A SET of ancient Aboriginal remains found during a clearout of a house in northern England are soon to be returned to Australia.
Workers stumbled across the two femurs, three skulls and an assortment of other bones while sorting through the Cheshire home of university professor John Kempster, a former Aboriginal Rights Association president, after he moved to New Zealand in 2008.

He had instructed auction house Andrew, Hilditch and Son to clear out his home and sell anything they thought valuable.

“After the removalists finished the clear-out they found a small wooden crate and jokingly said to me they were the dog’s bones in there,” auctioneer Tom Andrew said.

“I said ‘Let’s open it and see what’s inside’ and we found three skulls and one or two other pieces.

“I also found in another briefcase two femurs wrapped in newspaper.”

Not realising that Britain had an agreement with Australia to return indigenous remains, the bones and a selection of weapons given to Prof Kempster while he lived in South Australia in the early 1960s were put up for auction in November 2008.

But after about 20 minutes of frantic bidding, the remains were dramatically pulled from sale after the Australian High Commission telephoned to stop the auction.

A scientist was sent to examine the bones, which were confirmed as being of Australian indigenous origin.

They will be handed over on Thursday to two Ngarrindjeri elders who flew from South Australia to London to collect 16 individual remains held by three museums and the auction house.

Mr Andrew said he was happy to know the remains would soon be on their way to the National Museum of Australia, which will try to determine which indigenous community they came from.

“I’ll certainly be on the look out for more,” he said. “I think there are more around than we think.”

The Liverpool museum has two more sets of remains it plans to return to Australia at a later date.

Further south, the Brighton & Hove City Council has agreed to return two skulls and two femurs for further study in Australia.

However, it is still debating whether to give back a skull modified to be used as a water vessel and which has been stored at the museum since 1925.

www.news.com.au

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