Health pledge

Almost 1225 hectares of land was rezoned from Rural (Mount Barker) to a new Residential Neighbourhood Zone.

It is somewhat ironic the State Labor Party is today hammering the Marshall Government to improve health and transport services in this rapidly growing region.
When the rezoning of 1300ha of land around Mt Barker was first mooted more than a decade ago it was the then Labor Government which, despite significant community pressure at the time, refused to invest in any infrastructure to adequately deal with the expected population boom.
The Labor Party had the chance to either invest heavily in the area in 2010 or at least establish trigger points for funding to apply as the population grew.
Instead it did neither.
Today those growing pains which everyone knew were coming, have arrived.
The population pressure is already causing the existing infrastructure to fail with health and transport on the top of an ever growing list.
With Mt Barker expected to almost double in size over the next 15 years, the looming disaster is inevitable unless significant action is taken immediately.
Conveniently the Labor Party now finds itself in Opposition, the perfect place from which to offer free advice to those with their hands on the planning levers.
But that is politics and the reality is the mess Hills residents now find themselves in has to be cleaned up by someone – and that responsibility falls to the Government of the day.
With the whiff of an election in the air, Peter Malinauskas has promised to tip $100m into regional health and scrap Steven Marshall’s $600m Riverbank Stadium project which formed the centrepiece of last week’s Budget.
Mr Malinauskas says such a spend is not right for these tight economic and uncertain times and has decided health trumps entertainment.
This is perhaps a clever election move which does have the potential to resonate with the community.
The shortcomings in the region’s health and transport systems are obvious and a solution is likely to need Federal help.
Perhaps it is now time for all three tiers of government to have an open debate about identifying and prioritising the problems and developing a framework to tackle them for the betterment of the growing population.