Saturday, 9 February 2008

Wet Feet

I’ve just returned from my latest bush trip feeling cranky. There are two reasons for this. One is that the Leichhardt Highway was flooded on Tuesday and Wednesday which messed up my itinerary more than somewhat. The other is that I was thoroughly chewed by sandflies (midges) breeding in these same floodwaters, and I’m allergic to their bites. The consequent physical irritation doesn’t do much for peace and harmony.

In addition, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the drying-up of basic services (Physiotherapy – to name one) to people who have the temerity to live more than two hundred kilometres from Brisbane. Physiotherapists these days can earn a fortune ministering to footballers and baby boomers in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Consequently, they can’t be recruited west of Dalby.

Maybe it’s time realistic tax concessions were applied to rural communities. A measure of their standard of access to basic services could be computed, and tax concessions geared to this. Mind you – it would never fly politically. There are no longer votes in the bush.

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy. In 1995, he was appo...