Macau's legislators and administrators have one of the world's toughest jobs. With their city literally swamped by growth, putting in place the infrastructure and resources to keep up with the pace is a daunting task. They have themselves to blame. Lacking the foresight of formulating a firm development plan, they have paid insufficient heed to the demands of citizens and the needs of tourists. The strains are obvious. Despite 22 million tourists a year, electricity and water supplies are at near limits. Packed footpaths, choked roads and long waits for taxis - there are just 800 serving tourists and the 470,000 residents - are further evidence. Protests by residents in May revealed the widening gap between the rich and poor. Although unemployment is low and incomes rising, a sizeable sector of the population is being left out of the economic miracle due to a lack of education and training. Then there are the grim forecasts of Hong Kong security consultant Steve Vickers, who contends little is being done to loosen the grip of organised crime. He believes corruption is out of control and, without concerted action, could become endemic. Those running the city would have been hard-pressed to predict recent gross domestic product growth rates; in the second quarter, the figure was 31.9 per cent. Nonetheless, they have been well aware of the casino and hotel projects that since the opening of the gambling concession in 2002, have pushed tourism figures and economic data ever-higher. It is not too late to make amends. While quickly putting infrastructure in place will be challenging, an even more urgent - but attainable - objective must be to strengthen the public sector. As the lack of strategic planning shows, Macau has insufficient talent to do this effectively. But city leaders need look no further than Hong Kong for inspiration. Through attracting the best people for the jobs needed, we have gained advantage over our competitors. Improving attractiveness while beefing up education standards is not easy, but is essential for future growth. Macau was a sleepy backwater just five years ago. Growth has been phenomenal, even by the mainland's standards, but that is no excuse for a lack of planning. People with the talent to put the city on the right track should correct this.