Regional needs

Infrastructure SA’s inclusion of the Hills’ public transport woes among the State’s priority projects is a positive signal that the matter is likely to gain traction.
With a ballooning population that’s showing no signs of slowing, ensuring that infrastructure keeps up is essential.
Public transport has been flagged as a key concern by the Mt Barker Council, whose chief executive fears the region could become a less attractive place to live if solutions are not found and traffic pressure increases along the freeway as the population grows.
But transport is not the only gaping infrastructure need flagged for the region in recent times.
The Adelaide Hills Council has repeatedly highlighted the failure of mobile phone infrastructure during December’s horror bushfire. During the disaster internet and mobile connection were vital tools used by on-the-ground emergency services and by members of the public who were trying to stay safe.
But in many cases they failed.
That issue has been raised as part of the Federal Government’s Royal Commission and it’s vital that both levels of government take note of the cries of disaster prone communities and those feeling the growing pains of mass development.
Infrastructure SA’s 20-year strategy is a valuable planning tool for the State Government and it is important that its recommendations, such as the transport study, are made priorities so that vital projects reach shovel-ready stage as soon as possible.
Likewise, addressing other infrastructure needs, such as telecommunication infrastructure in the high fire danger region of the Hills, needs to be a priority for the Federal Government.
Like the outcome of the Infrastructure SA strategy, it’s pleasing to see that the Federal Government is looking at ways to make remaining mobile black spots, especially those in disaster prone areas, more attractive to telecommunication companies.
It’s good to see that the Federal Government has recognised the issues with the latest round of the Mobile Black Spot program and taken action to rectify them.
But in both circumstances and at both levels of Government the real proof will be in the results – if and how soon we see vital infrastructure needs met.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.