Male suicide is two and a half times more likely in remote Queensland than in our cities. Last week Mental Health Minister Mark Butler released the Suicide in Rural and Remote Areas of Australia report, which studies suicide in detail but offers precious few solutions.

Illustration: Sturt Krygsman

It is yet another document launch from a federal government with a patchy record in both rural health and mental health policy.
Mental heath is the challenge of our generation. It costs Australia around $6 billion annually, with the bush bearing more than its fair share. The Government doesn’t even have a regional health portfolio. That leaves the Coalition to doggedly pursue Labor to maintain any focus on mental or rural health.

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  • JB says:

    06:05pm | 26/11/12

    @True Blue When I hear of stories like your daughter’s I weep inwardly. The pain can be overwhelming. I have suffered since I was 8,  I am now over 50. Every day can be a battle. Beyond Blue may be a lobbying group to harvest research funding, but I believe… Read more »

  • Greg says:

    03:23pm | 26/11/12

    The victims are overwhelmingly white men, who are not allowed to have any lobby groups, because it would be racist and sexist if they did. So it is not a political problem, and it gets little attention, especially when the victims get blamed for having “male identity and masculinity”, “macho… Read more »


Every cigarette might be doing you damage but over the past few years it hasn’t been hurting Treasury. Smoking was already a ludicrously expensive pursuit by world standards in this country before the straight-laced uber-nerd Kevin Rudd and his nanny-in-chief Nicola Roxon were elected at the end of 2007.

Oh James, you'd look so much cooler with a taxpayer-funded nicotine patch.

By the beginning of last year, barely two years into Rudd’s brief and clean-living reign as prime minister, the price of a packet of smokes had jumped by more than one-third, with a one-off 25 per cent increase last February adding another $2.16 to a packet of 30 cigarettes.

Smokers fume, splutter and wheeze indignantly about this price-gouging and in my darker moments at the 7-11 as I empty the ATM to fuel my habit, I’ve often found myself among their number. No-one else cares of course. When it comes to public sympathy, smokers are on a hiding to nothing asking for understanding.

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  • neverSayNever says:

    06:37pm | 19/12/10

    Anti smoker says: 11:07am | 13/12/10 “Smoking is a killer no matter what you smoke. It must cost the country billions every year” Check out the tax raised from nicotine tax revenue.  Nicotine tax pays for most of the hospital system. Read more »

  • Damo says:

    11:39pm | 15/12/10

    Why are people so worried about the health of others? People know the health risks with smoking. If they want to smoke, let them. People also know that eating too much junk food is bad for their health. If they want to keep eating it, let them! Stop trying to… Read more »


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