What is it about political Kevins? The Labor Kevin was so agog at what came off in Scores that he doesn’t remember any of it, while the Liberal Kevin is devoting what could be his final days as a federal minister to securing pay rises for prost-tutes, rub-and-tug masseuses, strippers and dancers of both pole and lap variety.

The Howard and Costello promise that wages will be lower under a Liberal government seems to be occupationally selective. There is a catch though in Kevin Andrews plan to inflate s-x workers’ salaries – you have to be Aussies or at least permanent residents to benefit from his initiative to ban working girls on working holidays.

Kevin the conservative Catholic believes it is “morally inappropriate” for people on temporary visas to be allowed to work in the s-x industry, so while it’s acceptable for foreigners on student and working holiday visas to be exploited as lowly-paid kitchen hands and fruit pickers, they are now banned from removing their clothes for money.

With demand reasonably constant and supply reduced, prices should rise for Aussie prost-tutes. Dinki-di wh-res say thanks Kevin.

Of course, higher prices also makes trafficking in illegal s-x workers more attractive, so there’s a reasonable chance that there will be girls held as s-x slaves thanks to Kevin’s view of what’s morally appropriate.

But it’s not just prost-tutes in the eye of Kevin’s visa storm. The Oz runs large with the alarming headline that some 12 million Australians are without adequate primary health care, such is the extent of our doctor crisis.

The trick in officially declaring most of the country as suffering a doctor drought is that it allows overseas-trained doctors to jump on the Medicare bus without having to pass the usual Australian performance tests. This extends to the nation’s GP surgeries, the existing system that keeps most state hospitals open.

As The Oz reports, the number of “area of need” exemptions have more than doubled since 2005 to 4,148 in the year to October. In a clear demonstration of Pascoe’s Law of Political Planning (“Governments promise today to solve yesterday’s problem sometime tomorrow”):

The Coalition claims it has addressed workforce needs through its campaign pledge to increase the number of GP training places by 50 per cent, from the current annual intake of 600 to 900 by 2011.

This follows previous increases to undergraduate medical school places, which are to double to about 3,000 places a year by 2012.

Great. Just don’t get sick until the middle of the next decade.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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