90 second statement – Changes to address GP shortage
Mr PITT (Hinkler): I rise to speak on the recent changes from the districts of workforce shortage to distribution priority areas. I know that this is an issue of importance even for your good self, Mr Deputy Speaker. What it has meant is that areas in my electorate of Hinkler are now considered to be within the DPA, which of course means that this change will allow some practices in the Bundaberg area, in particular, to recruit restricted doctors such as overseas trained and Australian bonded doctors, providing a greater pool for greater services. This has been an issue for the people of my electorate for some time. Like all of us, I wish it would’ve happened a little bit earlier, but we have succeeded, the parliament works, and we’ve made changes which will make a difference.
But my real call is to all those health practitioners who may be out there listening to the broadcast, watching the broadcast or looking on the internet. If you are a GP, a specialist or any form of health practitioner, there is no better place to shift in Australia than my electorate of Hinkler. Come and live at the beach. It’s cheap to live. There are great people. There is plenty of work because one of the things we do have is an older demographic, and they have a greater need. They do need more health services.
This change to distribution priority areas will allow us to deliver more doctors into our region, and we simply need them to move. Come up. Live near the beach. You’re near the barrier reef. You can see Fraser Island. You can eat seafood every single day, if you so choose. We’ve got fantastic schools, fantastic opportunities and plenty of houses for you to buy. We need your services. So once again I say: it’s time to move if you are a practitioner in Australia.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hogan): Great sales job, member for Hinkler! I call the member for Chifley.