Begging the same question

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I read today that the Australian Medical Association(AMA) has decided to questionwithdraw its support for a system whereby doctors trained overseas, or overseas citizens who train in Australia, need to spend 10 years in rural and regional locations before being able to practise in major metro centres.

Amongst  the inevitable hue and cry which will ensue following the ‘going live’ of the MySchool website next week, there will no doubt also be questions around the vexed issue of attracting and retaining a whole range of services to hard to staff locations: including teachers and other educators.

Traditionally, we have always looked at ideas which either suggest greater financial reward, or systemic routing through a process of progression toward a final transfer reward to somewhere else.  By and large, differential pay has never flown far, and I’m sure that the average punter won’t really be surprised to discover that certain places which most people seem to have heard of, but no-one you know has actually been to, are traditionally hard to staff.

Now, amongst other things which put me further down the rungs on the league table of life, economics and accounting are not my strong suit.  I have often wondered, however, whether it would be possible to use a similar classification system to the existing NSW Transfer Points system, and declare a range of differential tax rebate zones for salary earners throughout the country.  That is, if you work in location X, you may pay a different rate of tax on your taxable income than if you live in location Y.

State governments should like it, as it would mean that the Federal government was then carrying a big can, in the form of lost tax revenue, but, as we have seen: this is a Federal government willing to fund education as a major priority.  Other ‘incentives’ don’t seem to have had the bite that they might have, maybe this may be another way to go?

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