FAIR GO: Hannah Gusthart's parents want her to have the best opportunities in life, regardless of where she lives.Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times
FAIR GO: Hannah Gusthart's parents want her to have the best opportunities in life, regardless of where she lives.Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times Kate Darvall

The fight for a fair go in South Burnett

HANNAH Gusthart is just 10-months old, but her parents are already considering a move to Brisbane to give her the best schooling opportunities available.

Danielle Gusthart, Hannah's mother, said the South Burnett was a "great place to live" but as a young parent there was more to consider.

"We'd prefer to be somewhere where there were more options for schools and facilities," Mrs Gusthart said.

The new mum said a move to the city was not a definite at this stage, but they would consider their options when Hannah reached school age.

"At the end of the day, we'll do what's best for Hannah, whatever offers her the most," she said.

But the young mum said parents should not have to consider a move in order to give their children the best opportunities.

"No one wants to uproot their kids," she said.

"And for people who live on farms, like many around here, it's a big deal to transition."

A special South Burnett Times investigation revealed how regional Australia was let down, with health, education and infrastructure funding, failing to help those who need it most.

Data shows Hannah is at risk of dying 4.6 years earlier than Sophia Milosevic, a 12-week-old from Ryde, Sydney

In the South Burnett, the life expectancy for a baby born in 2014 is 80.7 compared to 85.3 where three-month-old Sophia lives in the Sydney suburb of Ryde. 

Data shows Hannah is at risk of dying 4.6 years earlier than Sophia Milosevic, a 12-week-old from Ryde, Sydney.

Meanwhile, Ms Milosevic said there was no better place to raise a child than Ryde.

"It is a Liberal seat so it seems to do very well for itself," she said.

"There are constantly things happening, new playgrounds and projects with new funding.

"It's brought a different demographic of people and the area has become quite affluent."

Public health policy expert Dr Rob Moodie said Gympie's life expectancy rates and median age of death would not improve until the region matched its metropolitan cousins on income, education, employment and access to more top quality health services.

The University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health lecturer said rates of smoking and drinking in low socio-economic communities also added to the problem.

"One of the biggest drivers around life expectancy is not whether you get treatment, it's around how wealthy you are, what your education level is and what your income levels are," Dr Moodie said.

"Your risks of chronic diseases from smoking will be greater; the risk from dying from alcohol-related diseases will be greater."

Ms Milosevic said some people were moving to Ryde to enrol their children in public schools in the area.

"You hear about regional areas in trouble all the time and one big thing I think is education and people just don't seem to have the same opportunities," she said.

"And other mothers have praised the public health here, too.

"It would be awesome if that sort of opportunity and lifestyle was available everywhere, especially in regional areas where things seem to be tough."

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