Regional development inquiry told transport, liveability keys to regional SA's future

Some of the attendees at the forum in Murray Bridge. Photo: Adrian Pederick/Twitter.
Some of the attendees at the forum in Murray Bridge. Photo: Adrian Pederick/Twitter.

Better transport services and more liveable towns are key to the future of regional South Australia, local leaders say.

A handful of council officials and others with an interest in regional development attended a forum in Murray Bridge on Wednesday, part of an effort by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) to find out about the needs and wants of country people.

PIRSA's representatives were told transport services would help regional South Australians access jobs, and employers access workers.

Unemployment was higher than it should be, considering hundreds of jobs were going unfilled in the Murraylands, though state MP Adrian Pederick suggested young people could sometimes have unrealistic expectations about the type of jobs available.

Lifestyle would also keep young people in the regions, Coorong Mayor Paul Simmons said: fast food, mobile reception and quality housing.

Perhaps the solution, then, was focusing on liveability in a select number of regional centres, Mid Murray Mayor Dave Burgess suggested.

"Pick half a dozen ... how to you make them somewhere people want to live?" he asked.

Other issues raised included older people losing connections with their communities as they moved into aged care facilities; a need for a greater focus on tourism; and the banks' aversion to lending in certain postcodes, making it hard to buy and sell homes and businesses.

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