Zonal taxing may bring doctors to regions says Palmer
INTRODUCING zonal taxation would help attract high-quality doctors and teachers to regional Australia, Clive Palmer says.
The leader of the Palmer United Party believes keeping such professional staff would allow regions to decentralise and develop.
"(Zonal taxation) will provide the incentive regional areas need to ensure regional hospitals have doctors and regional industries develop for the benefit of their communities," he said.
Mr Palmer said the Queensland LNP's move to introduce telehealth facilities, which involve doctors consulting with patients over live video links while medical staff on the ground perform necessary procedures, could never be the same as having a doctor in a rural town.
"Every local community wants to have the security of a doctor close by," he said.
Mr Palmer said the 1980s Fitzgerald Inquiry, which investigated police corruption in Queensland, recommended the police department be broken up into regions to crush the Brisbane-centric system that had gone so wrong.
"Yet the LNP wants to destroy that regional community policing and return it to Brisbane," he said, referring to a reduction in the number of policing regions introduced earlier this year.
"Queensland is a decentralised state, it's not just Brisbane and that's not being considered," he said.
The Palmer United Party also believes 25% of the wealth generated from regions in Australia must be returned to that region so it can be reinvested.
He has even suggested North Queensland, down to Mackay and across to the Northern Territory border, become its own state so it can reap the benefits of its own wealth instead of handing it to Brisbane and Canberra with little returned investment.
The Nationals have floated the idea of trialling special tax zones for low-income local government areas with an aim to boost economic development, particularly in regional areas.
Despite opposition to the idea within Coalition ranks, Nationals Leader Warren Truss told ABC radio it was one of a number of "aspirational" policies the party would agitate for in government.
Rival mining magnate Gina Rinehart also has pushed for zonal taxation in the past.
Mr Palmer said he would also fight for roads and infrastructure needs for regional Queensland, ensure proper food labelling and packaging so Australian knew clearly what products were Australian and support for the nation's live cattle export industry.
He said the Bruce Hwy fell into a bush track past the Sunshine Coast and too much money was disproportionably going to NSW and Victoria.