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 fruition 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 reduction 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.