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  • Ellis Gelios

Ben Hood wants the political class to have better understanding of regional communities

The Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional South Australia, Ben Hood, appeared on the Country Viewpoint program this week to put South Australia's regions under the spotlight and outline his 2024 objectives.

Image credit: Ben Hood MLC official Facebook page

Hood told listeners it was his opinion that the needs of regional Australians are frequently pigeonholed and that it is a mistake to view all regional centres with the same lens.

"It's important that we listen to what's happening in the regional communities because at the end of the day, governments of the past have too easily reverse engineered policy for the regions," Hood said.

"It's not one size fits all, as your listeners would know.

"All the regions are different; we've got to make sure that we understand them and that we can form policy that's really practical and sensible for our regional communities."

Hood also acknowledged his hometown of Naracoorte as the perfect example of a thriving region which could appeal to critical workers when it comes to the notion of securing medical professionals in local towns.

Hood implied regional and rural Australian towns are becoming too reliant on locums and need to be better sold to medical practitioners as places of residency.

"We should be having greater rotations of regional training and utilising regional centres like Naracoorte, others obviously know I know that area well being from there, encouraging those young doctors to do rotations of training around regional centers," Hood said.

"The government just seem to be more than happy to spend just absorbent amounts on locums, flying locums into regional centres when there's some really practical measures that we can make to encourage people to move out to the country.

"Give them a taste of regional life, so hopefully that they want to go out and continue to be regional.

"We're hearing it across the board from a health perspective is that they're struggling to get doctors, regional GPs or rural GPs to stay in an area."


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