If you have children and are considering a move to Western Australia on a 457 Visa then I’m afraid your journey down under looks likely to be a slightly more expensive one.
Following changes flagged in the recent Western Australian budget, from January 2014 a new $4,000 fee per child per year will apply if you choose to send your children to the state’s public schools.
The Western Australia treasurer Troy Buswell said Western Australia had experienced record growth in student numbers over the past two school years, driven by a baby boom in the middle 2000s and high levels of overseas and interstate migration.
The number of dependents of 457 visa holders attending WA government schools has increased from 290 in 2005 to 8,600 in 2013, according to the state government.
It says the measure will raise an estimated $17 million in 2013-14 and a total of $120 million over the four years to 2016-17.
The average cost of education is estimated at $15,621 per student, according to budget papers. It’s estimated the new fees will cover 26 per cent of that cost.
Western Australia is currently the most popular state for migrants who come to Australia on a 457 visa.
The WA move is not a first in Australia, with NSW charging between $4500 and $5500 a year depending on the child’s school year and the ACT charging up to $13,900 for the final year of high school.