For many years, our country communities have been suffering because of the chronic shortages of doctors in the bush. Country people know there is an abundance of doctors in the cities, and they are acutely aware of this divide and this inequality between the city and the bush. The Murray Darling Medical School aims to fix this problem by training doctors in the bush for practice in the bush. Charles Sturt University knows that country students who train in the country are far more likely to live and work in the bush after they graduate. For example, 75 to 80 per cent of CSU's country allied health graduates stay in regional areas. In pharmacy, 92 per cent of on-campus country students find work in the regions, and CSU's philosophy of training and building our country workforce is now having a positive effect across a range of professions. For example, 70 per cent of accountants in inland New South Wales are CSU graduates.
On Friday, we officially opened the new engineering building at Charles Sturt University, which is training the next generation of engineers, who will literally build country Australia. The Murray Darling Medical School will tailor its medical degree to prepare graduates for practice in country Australia. Eighty per cent of places in the Murray Darling Medical School will be quarantined for country students, and we know that it works. James Cook University has pioneered this model in North Queensland. No-one has been able to land a glove on the case for the Murray Darling Medical School. Country communities now want it delivered, the real thing, with no ifs or buts. The time for the Murray Darling Medical School has come.