I use CFDs to trade indicies. I live in London.
Not quite sure what you mean by CFDs are heavily leveraged AGAINST the trader in favour of the broker. Yes, I believe Aussie CFD brokers/market makers will give you 20x leverage, but essentially all it means is you need less margin to trade the same position size. If you are sensible and manage risk the high leverage won't be a problem. In fact, in the UK, since 2018 after the ESMA rules to restrict leverage to protect retail traders (think gamblers) index CFDs have been restricted to 5x leverage. I actually have both an Aussie and UK account with the same broker. I just need to have less money in my account in order to trade the risk that I want (when using the aussie account) Since I only really swing trade indicies and commodities occasionally, I don't want a chunk of money sitting in my UK account doing nothing, I would rather have 4 times less in my Aussie account in order to trade the same size.
The thing to remember with CFDs is the spread, especially on equities intra-day which can make them difficult to trade, at the open at least. Take AMD for example, at the open the spread on the underlying is 1c, most CFD brokers wrap their own 10-15c spread around that, or charge prohibitively expensive execution costs. I believe interactive brokers offers CFDs (at least in the UK), and they are probably your best bet.
If you are looking to just trade ASX, when it comes to indicies and some commodities, most of these brokers offer fairly decent spreads as the retail market place has become quite competitive.
Hope this helps