Election promises

Mt Barker’s promised new emergency department will be under pressure as soon as it opens and isn’t big enough to cater for the region’s growth, the head of a local GP service has warned.

The Labor Party’s promise to build a new $220m hospital at Mt Barker is welcome news for a community that has suffered years of neglect.
While the details surrounding the new $220m hospital are yet to be revealed, it is aimed at ease pressure on the health system by providing 68 new beds.
The Liberals have been fast to dismiss the proposed facility as a waste of time, declaring that it would be more effective to work with what the region already has.
The Liberal Party, which has already opened a new priority care centre and is delivering a new Mt Barker emergency department, says it would expand the existing hospital, rather than build a new one.
However the Government is yet to announce funding or a timeline for the expansion.
It has instead promised millions of dollars in funding for freeway and transport projects, including a $45m Mt Barker freeway bridge duplication and a $17m express bus package.
Labor has been quiet on whether it would match the Government’s transport promises if elected on Saturday and – apart from promising to undertake a study to determine the best transport options for Mt Barker and backing an overseas plan for a train trial to the Hills – has offered little by way of transport solutions for the Hills.
Hills residents have the chance to make their voices heard on Saturday when SA goes to the polls and it’s important that they consider the region’s most important needs.
Neither major party is offering a complete solution for the growing Hills region, and much more investment will be needed over the coming years if the needs of Mt Barker are to be addressed.
But no matter which Party forms Government after Saturday’s poll, it’s vital that the promises made over the past few weeks are followed through and, what is perhaps more important, that those promises prove to be the beginning of investment in the Hills, not the end.