The City of Playford (COP) is calling on the state government to release infrastructure deeds immediately so it can move forward with plans to upgrade footpaths and stormwater systems in the growing community of Angle Vale.
Councillors say there is a disparity between the infrastructure delivered in new estates in the town and those of the older, more established parts.
Cr Clint Marsh is taking up the charge, and is now asking local residents to directly contact the relevant ministers to voice their concerns and frustrations.
“Angle Vale is one of the areas within the City of Playford the State Government has zoned as a growth area,” he said.
“This forms part of the South Australian 30-year plan.
“Angle Vale is currently a township that lacks basic infrastructure for the current residents that live there.
“Many residents do not have safe access to footpaths (and) regularly deal with flooding from rain events and stormwater.
“The township core infrastructure is sub-standard and does not cater for the current number of residents, let alone for future growth.”
Cr Marsh said the state government has control on the release of growth deeds, which would unlock funds for road, footpath and stormwater improvements.
“Growth deeds are a good administrative system,” he said.
“Where the system’s weakness is, is in the release (timing) of funding to upgrade infrastructure before estates are established.
“Currently the new estates are disconnected from the township, meaning footpaths do not connect with the current network (and) stormwater infrastructure continues to be a major issue.
“I am calling on the Minister for Infrastructure Corey Wingard to come out to Angle Vale to experience and understand what the community is saying, and why there is a need to release the road infrastructure funding now.”
Cr Marsh says at a local government level COP has identified the need to refine the road infrastructure roll out plan, something fellow councillor, Marilyn Baker whole-heartedly agrees with.
“With the number of people that we have out here, with just that total lack of infrastructure, it’s just not right,” Cr Baker stated.
“You only have to look around to see the sad state of the infrastructure.
“We’ve been talking about this in our annual business plan for the last two years, we’ve got funding to do these sorts of things, but until the state government releases those infrastructure deeds, there’s nothing we can do.
“We can’t move forward, we can’t make a start because it’s all up to the signing of those deeds by the state government.
“It’s actually becoming quite dangerous and it’s a great disrespect to the local community.”
Cr Peter Rentoulis believes that sadly it will take a disaster before the state government takes action.
“It’s an issue of safety, particularly on Angle Vale Road when you’ve got children that are walking that stretch of road during the winter months, they have to navigate around puddles on their way to school, the trucks as well, seriously, it’s only a matter of time before there is a fatality,” he said.
“God forbid that’s what it takes for someone to come out and say we’re going to roll out infrastructure.
“That shouldn’t be what it takes, but sometimes that’s how governments respond, and that’s inappropriate.
“We have to wait for the department of infrastructure and transport (DIT) to do their part before Playford Council can do its part.
“It’s just backward thinking, it’s ridiculous thinking.”
“It’s getting beyond ridiculous to be honest,” COP’s youngest councillor, Katrina Stroet, added.
“The footpaths and stormwater in Angle Vale and surrounds, all the puddles and water around the streets.”
Councillor Marsh organised a meeting for concerned locals in the town to discuss the infrastructure deeds and provide an opportunity to voice their frustrations on April 18.
He invited Infrastructure Minister, Corey Wingard, to take part but he did not attend.
“They’re prioritising Angle Vale Road East over West,” Cr Marsh claimed.
“A hundred houses on West are being ignored, there’s probably 20 houses on the East that are probably going to get a new footpath all the way to the new super school.
“I support the forward thinking of the infrastructure but they’re leaving behind the areas that have been sitting here for quite some time.
“At the end of the day this is growth funding, it’s not rates.
“We are not asking to rate rise to fund this infrastructure, we’re asking Corey (Minister for DIT) to release the growth funding.
“The issue with the growth program is that they wait for money to come into a bucket and then release the project.
“What the COP administration is trying to encourage is that DIT reverse it; bring infrastructure first and then fund it through the growth, which is a contribution from developers, council and/or the state.
“It’s going to be a game changer, but I think we can prove why it needs to be done.
“We are disconnected and we’re growing our community not as one in connection with the past, and it’s not working, it’s wrong”.
Minister Wingard did not respond to The Echo’s requests for comment for this story.