Since the early 90s, a flood of environmental problems have overcome the understated river system, and transformed the pristine trickle upon which Adelaide was founded into a dam of algae blooms and poison. Rather than taking swift and definitive action to heal the gaping wound to Adelaide's health and pride that is the Torrens, successive governments have splurged money on 'quick-fix' solutions that, unsurprisingly, haven't fixed anything.
Despite millions of dollars in state and local government investment on such high tech solutions as “aerating the water” or “filling it with clay”, we have been left with this ever-present problem, compounding itself as each inactive year passes by.
The current new Royal Adelaide Hospital plans are to build the new RAH over a large swath of land currently inhabited by the railyards. What lies just beyond the railyards and outside the reach of prospective RAH plans is a thick stretch of currently disused land.
When the new RAH is built, it will be directly overlooking this area. Why not, as the new RAH is built, transform this eyesore into a wetland – an extension of the lake but rather than euro-style green lawns and exotics, it be filled with native shrubs and trees. Pattern it with walking trails, build a footbridge over the train lines, and it will enable us to treat patients of the RAH and other visitors to a beautiful melody of native wilderness just minutes away from medical help.