Queensland country towns are facing a health and education crisis with many regional communities unable to attract trained teachers and other professionals including doctors, dentists, police officers and social workers.
Just 5 per cent of small towns in Regional Australia have access to a dentist.
18 per cent have a GP.
6 per cent have a psychologist.
A Regional Australia Institute study has revealed that between 1981 and 2011 Queensland towns such as Childers, Tully and Winton suffered significant service declines.
In Childers -
The number of primary school teachers fell 75 per cent to 65 per cent lower than the national average.
The number of registered nurses fell from 10 to three.
The number of GPs fell 40 per cent.
In Tully -
The number of primary school teachers fell from 20 to nine, 40 per cent lower than the national average per capita.
Secondary teacher numbers fell by 50 per cent.
In Winton -
The number of secondary teachers dropped by 38 per cent.
Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said financial incentive schemes introduced in the mid-1990s had only increased marginally over two decades and were not really attractive.
"Where we find the most difficulty in attracting teachers is to what we might call the middle ground right up through the middle of Queensland where those centres don't attract the same compensation and incentives for transfers, " he said.
The problem is cumulative - when a country town loses a teacher, a nurse or a policeman, it becomes even less attractive to the remaining professional residents.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the lifestyle gap between capitals and the regions was "bigger than ever before" with people now having higher expectations of the community they lived in.
"If a regional centre is struggling to get the professionals then its going to struggle to offer those services that modern families are expecting," Mr McCrindle said.
The NSW Liberal government seems to be experiencing similar problems in attracting teachers to work in 150 country NSW locations.
The NSW Liberal government has responded to the problem by offering NSW teachers and wannabe teachers what seems to be an amazingly good deal.
Sixty wannabe NSW teachers will have their HECS debt covered by the NSW government if they agree to take up postings at remote schools.
This would presumably mean that these new-graduate teachers would be offered permanent jobs!
Their degrees will be fully funded.
They will receive a stipend of $7500 per year.
They will receive a $6000 'sign on' bonus to help with the cost of relocation when they start their new job.
They will be offered work in both public and high schools in one of more than 150 locations across NSW.
Experienced NSW teachers who agree to move to an eligible school will earn up to $30,000 per annum on top of their base salary depending on the school and their level of seniority.
They will also receive a $10,000 'sign-on' recruitment bonus and a $5,000 'retention benefit' paid annually up to $50,000.
You have to wonder if the Queensland Labor government will offer Queensland teachers and wannabe teachers a similar deal.