Fi­nal pieces in jig­saw

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

The im­por­tance of ap­pro­pri­ate in­fras­truc­ture for a com­mu­nity’s pros­per­ity has been well doc­u­mented. It pro­vides the foun­da­tions on which growth can be built.

In­fras­truc­ture im­prove­ments that are cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion in De­niliquin, as well as those start­ing soon, will pro­vide an im­por­tant boost for the town and sur­round­ing re­gion.

It started with the long-awaited po­lice sta­tion which is near­ing com­ple­tion. This will be com­ple­mented by a new child­hood ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity to be built next year and fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of Na­vo­rina Nurs­ing Home.

Each will play a role in pro­vid­ing vi­tal ser­vices, as well as em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Ed­u­ca­tion is another area that will soon ben­e­fit from im­proved in­fras­truc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties. Dur­ing the re­cent by-elec­tion cam­paign the NSW Gov­ern­ment an­nounced a $6 mil­lion Con­nected Learn­ing Cen­tre will be built at De­niliquin TAFE. Un­like the po­lice sta­tion, which took a decade from an­nounce­ment to com­ple­tion, the new TAFE cen­tre is sched­uled to be com­pleted in less than a year and sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the cour­ses avail­able to lo­cal stu­dents.

The other ed­u­ca­tion boost next year is ex­pected to be the Ausway Col­lege cam­pus at Mur­ray Val­ley In­dus­try Park, with 50 Chi­nese stu­dents and their tu­tors be­ing ed­u­cated at the new cen­tre in 2018, in­creas­ing to more than 100 stu­dents plus sup­port staff within two years.

The com­bi­na­tion of th­ese projects rep­re­sents one of the most sig­nif­i­cant pe­ri­ods of de­vel­op­ment in De­niliquin’s his­tory.

They may also be com­ple­mented by an air­port up­grade and a new ethanol plant which, while still in the plan­ning stages, will hope­fully come to fru- ition sooner rather than later.

The fi­nal pieces in the jig­saw that could guar­an­tee this re­gion’s pros­per­ity for many years are un­doubt­edly water and health.

Gov­ern­ments still have a long way to go in their ef­forts to im­ple­ment ef­fec­tive water pol­icy that finds the right bal­ance be­tween en­vi­ron­men­tal and pro­duc­tive needs, but have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­tinue work­ing to­wards this goal.

From a health per­spec­tive our re­gion, like many oth­ers in ru­ral ar­eas, has been largely ne­glected by gov­ern­ment pol­icy that has at­tempted to cen­tralise key ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties.

The un­for­tu­nate con­se­quence is a re- duc­tion in lo­cal ser­vices that puts in­creas­ing pres­sure on the iden­ti­fied hubs, to the point where th­ese also strug­gle to cope with the de­mand.

We be­lieve it is in the in­ter­ests of both our health sys­tem and the com­mu­ni­ties it serves if ad­min­is­tra­tors worked harder to pro­vide es­sen­tial ser­vices across more fa­cil­i­ties. Ma­ter­nity is­sues as De­niliquin Hospi­tal rep­re­sent a case in point - not pro­vid­ing this es­sen­tial ser­vice in De­niliquin is not an op­tion.

The chal­lenge of gov­ern­ments is to fix the mess they have made in ar­eas such as water and health, and in do­ing so pro­vide the fi­nal pieces of sup­port to guar­an­tee a pros­per­ous fu­ture for our vi­brant com­mu­nity.

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