Ping Pong Poms

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

Big ben ... big buses ... and a 'big issue' for British migrants to WA, "we're the new boomerang Brits" Lynne and Kevin ward belong to a select group of Brits ... known back in Perth, as 'ping pong' poms ... "they call it ping ponging back and forwards yeah that's quiet common and that might be us laughing"

The Wards are from Bedfordshire on the outskirts of London they packed up their things and moved to perth

nothing unusual, you say lots of poms move to perth. Then a couple of months later the Wards moved back. Kevin says "people are just turning around and going back, it's an empty promise" and now, back in the uk .... guess what "like ping pong poms ... we're thinking of going back again"

An hour out of London, Bedfordshire is a quaint rural area. Cosy pubs, cute cottages, and lots of that English rain. It's one of the reasons the Wards, like many Brits decided to pack up and leave to go to a place where they wouldn't be needing one of these ... 15 000 kays away on the other side of the world ... perth where the sun shines almost everyday a city of promise.

"Western Australia has always been a great favourite destination for overseas migrants from britain" A whopping forty percent settle in Perth but demographer Bernard Salt has noticed an intriguing trend. "They make their way all the way to Australia to set up a new life for themselves, and one in four decide it's not for them, and in fact head back home"

That's right, one in four make a thirty thousand kilometer RETURN trip. "I dont quiet understand why they think the grass is going to be greener AGAIN ... in the UK" Editor of Perth's whinging pom magazine, Simon Hollway suspects some Brits land ... only to feel let down. "Its a very rude shock and awakenig when you get off the plane and you really are back in Little Britian"

He reckons maybe it's Perth's rules, regulations, and red tape that puts the poms off, Simon says "you need fees permits and licences to breathe, burp or breakwind"

A plumber in the UK for twenty years, Kevin was told he'd be in demand in WA. "They said plumbing? No problem, you'll get work, earn loads of money no problems whatsoever"

Good enough to get a skilled migrants visa from the government ... not good enough, to get a job ..Kevin says "if your an english plumber with all the qualifications under the sun ... you may as well throw them in the bin, they're not worth the paper they're written on" Unable to get work and told he'd need to retrain they called it quits. "I dont want to get to the point at my age where im goinhg back to college to learn something someone taught me 10-20 years ago"

Kevin says "we ended up ringing the shipping company and saying leave the stuff in the container and send it straight back again" the whole exercise cost a hundred thousand dollars ... "we wanted to stay, we didnt spend all that money and time and effort for a laugh ... and to sit here and moan about it"

Tessa Steven puts the migrant merry go round, down to mis-information, and poor planning. Her dvd's have sold across the UK a close up look at life in perth and the pitfalls. "Do your homework and understand your licencing and what you need to work here, especially if your coming on a skills visa"

Simon Hollway says "I would suggest they're wiser to stay here and not yo yo back and forth" back in the UK, the Wards are now wondering if they've made a mistake so, just like a boomerang there's a good chance, they'll come back again. Tessa says "definately come back to australia and give it a go its definately the best place in the world to live" Kevin says "anyone out there who's looking for a plumber ... give us a call, im your man"