Relocating from NSW to NT

I'm based in Sydney and my company advertised the exact role in Darwin which I have expressed interest in.

Both my employer and myself are on board with the idea, just trying to figure out logistics. Ideally I would want to move mid-september 2020.

My concerns are:

1) relocation costs setting me back. I assumed companies would offer packages for relocation, but I think this is something I have to negotiate.
2) ideally i would want a car. is it worth driving my 2002 camry from Syd to Darwin (42hr drive, approx $500 fuel and 5 nights accomodation to consider?). this way i can take some items of furniture
alternatively i would fly there, and buy a car over there?
3) need to consider self isolation laws if restrictions haven't eased by september. employer said i can work from my new home in dawrin for 2 weeks
4) i understand NT govt is providing support to relocate to NT https://theterritory.com.au/live/register#item-2
should i bring this up to my employer after negotiating relocation? ideally I'd want this govt support on top of my employer's relocation package.
5) im an engineer, the pay wasn't really discussed as its the exact same role. i understand engineers are paid more in NT? is costs of living higher?

my question is, has anyone else reloacted for work? what has your company offered you that i should consider negotiating for? should i keep my car, or buy a 2ndhand car over there? is it worth 4WD? i plan to camp at national parks.

Comments

  • 1) relocation costs setting me back. I assumed companies would offer packages for relocation, but I think this is something I have to negotiate.
    Not all companies do, it depends on how much they want/need you to work there rather than NSW. It doesn't hurt to ask

    2) ideally i would want a car. is it worth driving my 2002 camry from Syd to Darwin (42hr drive, approx $500 fuel and 5 nights accommodation to consider?). this way i can take some items of furniture
    It probably depends on how much you like your car
    How used to driving long distances are you? To be honest I don't drive long distances often, so after 5 hours (even with some coffee breaks) I'll get tired, and knowing myself it will be too dangerous to drive. So bear in mind it may take longer.
    If you're getting some things shipped it won't cost much more to ship what will fit in a car. Often they will charge by 9-12-15 cubic meters, so you could even be in the same bracket. I would only take any delicate items (computers etc) in the car.

    5) im an engineer, the pay wasn't really discussed as its the exact same role. i understand engineers are paid more in NT? is costs of living higher?

    I'm not as familiar with this, but I think the higher wages are to encourage people to move to places that many Australians don't want to live. Most want to live in the major capital cities, so need an incentive to move to NT/Northern QLD, away from family and friends.
    Some companies still have wage parity Australia wide, so depending on your company you may not get paid more. Some will only offer higher to new employees rather than someone who has expressed an interest in moving there. So it depends on what you negotiate.

    • If you're getting some things shipped it won't cost much more to ship what will fit in a car. Often they will charge by 9-12-15 cubic meters, so you could even be in the same bracket. I would only take any delicate items (computers etc) in the car.

      shipping cars is pretty specialised and can be more expensive than just shipping items.

      • +1

        That was assuming he either drives or buys a new car there as he hadn't mentioned shipping the car. So I was talking about the items that would fit in a car if he decided to drive :)

  • +4

    Negotiate for company to pay for relocation costs - generally this includes everything (car, furniture etc) plus 2 weeks accommodation for you to find place to rent.

    TBH, if i were you, I would have brought this up first thing before showing interest in the role. You lose bargaining power if you show too much interest too early. Always hold your cards close to your chest! Golden rule of any negotiation!

    The way to play this (even if you were very keen) is to see the role and have an informal chat - say you are interested but concerned about the relocation costs. Also generally people get paid more to move to regional areas because not everyone wants to move there. So I would expect to be paid more to move there.

    Govt incentives - check Terms and conditions, i am sure there will be strings attached. Plus any incentive is from the Govt has nothing to do with Employer. I would not bring this up but check that you meet the criteria and you can apply separately and get whatever you need from your employer at the time of application.

  • If you're planning to buy a jeep, previously i saw prices in WA are few thousand cheaper than in NSW…not sure if it's the same for NT

    You also should get the salary correct…because NT is not much like NSW, if you have freinds/fam here then you need to make sure the salary diff is worth it..good luck!

    Have you been there before? Ask if you can get transferred there for a few weeks to see how you like it before making the decision….?

  • Only gonna comment on 2, 4 and 5

    2) Consider re-registration costs in NT There may be a process with additional fees and whilst likely not huge, it may be disproportionate to the value of a 2002 Camry. You would also have to bring your next major service forward and do that before you leave as the trip is stressful on a vehicle of that age.

    Further, consider what additional purposes you may need for a car in the NT - you've said you want to go camping. One of the great things about living up there is getting to explore the outback - you may want to consider a 4wd vehicle theres many 4x4 only roads. Even if not in a 4x4 area, you will need more space than you think to camp up there - usually have to bring a lot of water and who knows what hobbies you'll pick up (fishing etc)

    4) Don't bring up the relocation incentives with your employer. See what they offer first and the see if you are eligible for Govt assistance before accepting any offer

    5) Please discuss salary, you would expect better pay or less hours moving to the NT as skilled workers are in demand relative to Sydney. Expect the same pay if you don't bring it up, expect more if you press for it.

  • +6

    I think a question you should ask yourself is - do you really want to go to Darwin ?

    It's easy to find the positives as everyone will talk about it and just suppress the negatives. There is a reason why the NT gov is handing out free money to people to move there - because no one wants to be there. Many reasons for that.

    I am sharing some of the personal reasons why I left Darwin here. I dont think its a place where one can raise a family with basic moral values and I was on the verge of health issues due to the anxiety.

    If you are raising a family with basic core values of working hard, being honest, truthful and not using cuss words - it will be impossible for you to do so. At every turn of a workaday life you will run into people (adults, teens) who are not in touch with reality. I have had to shush my kids everytime they see adults pick up a bottle of cola and just walk out without paying for it. Bus drivers get spat on and punched for asking itinerants to pay for the bus fare. I have personally witnessed domestic violence out in the open on the road in front of the police who turn a blind eye saying this is an acceptable phenomenon with a lot of native aborigines. If my boy witnessed this, I'd struggle to explain to him that hitting a woman isn't acceptable. The "why"s would never end.

    Rock throwing is a common occurrence in Darwin. Recent most rock throwing incident : https://www.bigrigs.com.au/news/rock-throwing-incident-damag...
    Can you imagine, just driving home after work and you get pelted with rocks ? Almost a brush with death ! Crime, burglary, property crime is rampant. I have had my unit broken into twice. In one incident the police told me the guy had over 100 charges and if I'd be happy to have repeated court appearances if I decide to press my charges-indirectly indicating that I go on with my life and forget about it. In another instance I was told the police had no idea who the guy was - despite Darwin being Darwin and being rife with repeat offenders. Living in Darwin gave me PTSD. I was anxious all the time - was just not worth it for me. I even had to get a PVRO against a housing commission neighbour who threatened to hack me with a machete when I asked them to turn their blaring music down at 2 in the night.

    Crime is a reality in every city - the issue in Darwin is no one cares about it. Including the CM, the police and judiciary. I'd encourage you to join a few Darwin based facebook groups and know the reality of everyday living. For all the good I came across in that town the bad just outweighed it all the time.

    • My thoughts exactly. OP, have you ever been to Darwin? Yes, you'll probably get paid more and save more, but is it worth it?

    • That was sad and frightening to read.

    • Cheers. I was never aware of this. I've only been once to do a presentation and then go in the branch, speak to guys in the chamber of commerce sort of thing and then go home. The business guys pointed out the mango growing areas, etc. and we talked business, but no one raised anything like this!

    • Did you live in an aboriginal community or something? You make it sound extreme and that's from someone that lives here.

  • interesting fact NT residents dont need a boat license. has anyone from NT thats moved back interstate tried getting boat license on the reciprocal state agreements?

  • even a bus and truck driver is on the list. for truck driver is says general, what does that mean HC and MC license holders qualify too?

  • Buy a camper trailer fill it up, and take a month to get there. What’s the worst that could happen…. you go back to NSW…
    There is also a ATO tax thing for those in NT too I think?

  • Harsh assessment of Darwin from tik tok! Been here since 2007 from ADL, big country town, everything only 10 mins away, have to like warm/hot weather though and no need for an extensive wardrobe (dress shorts and thongs become a thing). Its a younger population, lots of people moving to/from, many from somewhere else so easy enough to meet new people, playing social sports, alcohol are common bonding options as per most country towns. Everything very relaxed, no need to make long term plans for socialsing, can be done any night of the week. Never been assaulted, robbed, rocked, kids play multiple sports every week because everything so close, perhaps pick your area to live?. Also used to be great for short cheap trips to Bali, Singapore, Vietnam, etc but post Covid not so much.
    As for moving…
    1/ It may cost them recruiting fees (10%) and transfer costs to get experienced/qualified person so you could leverage off that to get some moving costs.
    Otherwise consider the genuine worth of your gear VS the cost of buying stuff off gumtree/FB, people are moving and selling stuff here all the time.
    2/ As for car, guessing its nearly worth about the same as the cost of driving/staying, again check web for purchase options. Nobody catches public transport, but if you live and work in the CBD you could get by with foot power/power scooter for a bit, uber/taxi as required to Casuarina shops, etc
    3/ No isolation after 17 July
    4/ NTG does hand out money for various things, economy is dropping past few years and they are scrambling, try your luck, I thought it was a personal app not via employer.
    5/ Consider negotiating LAFHA with your employer for 1st 12 months (google it), can get your rent and food paid pretax, which should save you ~35 - 40% on a chunk of your salary, then they can pay you more in year 2 when you show how great you are doing. Will also get remote area tax dedn.
    I wish I had moved here when younger, great opportunities and atmosphere, engineer friend who just returned to NSW after 6 yrs here said he was way ahead of southern colleagues re experience and income due to shallow pool of talent, Oil/gas/infrastructure spending, just stick up your hand and give it a go.

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