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That's settled: Melbourne on top
27 April, 2010
The couple had lived a busy inner-city life in Malaysia as IT consultants, with work often taking them to Hong Kong, Indonesia or other Asian cities.
But when the time came to make family their priority, Mr Yap and Ms Low were both sure Australia would provide them with the laidback lifestyle they desired.
After obtaining their visas in June 2007, the couple, who have two young daughters and are expecting a third child, travelled to Melbourne and Sydney to weigh up what each of the cities had to offer them.
"We went travelling to both Sydney and Melbourne - we didn't really go to any other cities - and we preferred Melbourne," Mr Yap said yesterday from his home at Burnside Heights in Melbourne's western suburbs.
Urban Taskforce chief executive Aaron Gadiel said: "Melbourne has proved far more capable of accommodating extra people than Sydney."
While the cost of buying property in Sydney is most often cited as the reason immigrants are settling elsewhere, Mr Yap said his family's decision to settle in Melbourne was motivated by personal reasons rather than finance.
"Our lifestyle has been so city-oriented, and Sydney is city to us. Melbourne offered more relaxation while still providing some career," Mr Yap said. "We just fell in love with Melbourne."
Frenchman Eric Bougeois, his English wife Janet and their two children were motivated by similar lifestyle factors when they chose to settle in Melbourne after Mr Bougeois made a brief work trip to Victoria in 2003.
"Melbourne was easier in terms of transport. In Sydney there's more traffic and it's a bit more stressful," he said last night from his home at Camberwell in the city's east.
"Melbourne is a very diversified city; there's a lot of culture, there's always something going on."
Mr Bougeois said Melbourne's rich dining culture clinched the deal for him. "I'm French - I love good wine and good food."
By Lauren Wilson - The Australian 27/4/10