Politicians need to move beyond the rhetoric

AS I write this, I have just come down from a classic rock-climb on the southwest face of the Torre Grande di Falzarego in the Italian Dolomites.

It was a delightful climb in a beautiful area, but like many things when viewed from afar, a paradox when experienced up close. The route is daubed with paint to show the way and belays are marked with cigarette butts.

The Italians take their climbing seriously. If you’ve ever driven on the autobahns, you’ll know what I mean. You have to drive fast to survive, and on the rock you have to climb fast, otherwise you’ll be overtaken, ropes trampled, belays scrambled over and the inevitable loose rock dropped from above.

Meanwhile, in rural Australia, there is a growing paradox about medical workforce numbers, fuelled by the deceptive Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system that treats small rural towns (with their limited services and