Useful links for new residents

International Students Coming to Australia Useful links for new residents

Electricity

If you need to apply for electricity to be connected to your rental property or if you have any concerns about the electrical connection at your property contact Ergon Energy.

Gas

Gas is not used in every household as many have electrical appliances only. Check whether your house/unit has a gas supply. There are several companies that provide gas services, the main ones being Origin Energy and Elgas.

Water Supply

Payment of water rates in Cairns and Townsville is the responsibility of the house owner. Please be aware of the water restrictions that are in place in Cairns and Townsville and that if you use more water than is allocated, you may have to pay an excess water bill. Please discuss water allocation with your landlord/real estate agent.

Garbage Disposal

Every household has at least one large green plastic bin for garbage disposal. In most areas there may be two bins: one for rubbish (green/red lid) and the other for recycling (yellow lid). You are required to leave your rubbish on the kerb side of the footpath for collection. Rubbish bins are collected every week, recycling bins every two weeks. Contact your real estate agent, landlord, or neighbour to find out what days to leave your bin out for collection or check the website or Cairns Regional Council website for further details.

Telephone

To organise a telephone connection in your house or apartment, you will need to choose from one of several telephone companies in Australia. International Direct Dial provides links to the top residential telephone providers in Australia. For information on where you can buy calling cards, refer to the information under ‘How can I phone home’ at Your First 48 Hours.

Internet Service Provider

There are many internet service providers in Australia. Youcompare.com.au lets you compare internet plans from major providers to find the right one for your needs.

Council

The Townsville City Council has put together New Residents Guide which provides information about Townsville, the Council’s services and living in North Queensland. Cairns Regional Council also provides this information on its website.

Tenancy Advice Services

The Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) offers a number of services including holding and refunding of rental bonds, providing free information on all tenancy matters, and offering a negotiation service for disputes.

The RTA site (RTA) also provides you with details on your rights and obligations as a tenant in Queensland and we recommended that you become familiar with this information prior to signing any leases for off-campus accommodation and during the tenancy. If you are about to enter into a lease for a rental property, we suggest you read Tenancy Agreements for specific information. It is important that you read through and understand the agreement before signing it as it sets out important details of the tenancy including when and how the rent should be paid and any special terms that are agreed on.

The RTA also provide a number of fact sheets in both English and other languages which provide information for tenants who are about to enter into a lease – these can be found at RTA Fact Sheets.

The Tenants' Union of Queensland is a statewide community organisation that provides an advisory service for residential tenants in Queensland.