Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

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cruel_world00
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Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#1 Post by cruel_world00 » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:53 pm

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/op ... 5936199774
It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling

Ian Smith From: The Australian October 09, 2010 12:00AM

SOUTH Australia's parochial capital declines further as other cities jostle globally.

ADELAIDE is stagnant. While the cliches are true - including its relaxed lifestyle, being a great place for kids, quality schools, beautiful and accessible surrounds including the hills, vineyards and beaches - the status quo is no longer good enough; certainly not if we want national relevance to be a goal.

Having once competed with Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, South Australia's capital is more of a match for Geelong or Townsville. Without action at all levels of politics, the city of churches' torpidity will remain in stark contrast to interstate vibrancy.

There is only one ASX-listed company of global significance headquartered in Adelaide, Santos. The big law firms, investment banks and other international professional firms service South Australia from afar.

Shops are closed on public holidays, and when they are open the city has few of the global brands seen in other states or overseas. While a couple of new hotels have opened recently, there is no accommodation of the quality international business leaders expect.

The "university city" tag was true more than a decade ago but we are now a long way behind others; indeed the University of Adelaide was 73rd in the world in this year's Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was behind the University of Melbourne (36th), the Australian National University (43rd) and the University of Sydney (71st).

A string of councils has been unable to embrace metropolitan development and successive state governments' reluctance to reform local government has seen Adelaide languish as other cities thrive. It is here we should start.

The coming city council elections offer little hope for change; what should be a group one event would be lucky to qualify for maiden status with five candidates of little apparent consequence.

Better candidates were not forthcoming because there is little appeal in the job. The paucity of experience offers the chance for the Rann government to take control. It would be in the state's interests.

If the SA government or indeed the opposition had the resolve, Adelaide could become a super council responsible for an expanded area, working constructively with all tiers of governments and generating more funds to benefit the city.

Brisbane did this many years ago and administers a budget of more than $3 billion, while Melbourne brought together local councils across the city to form effective local government conglomerates that work more efficiently with the state government.

My old boss, Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, dissolved 210 councils, dismissed 1600 elected councillors and created 78 new councils through amalgamations. That is reform.

From once being a drawcard to the state, leading nationally in areas such as the arts, Adelaide risks becoming a negative to SA.

The state economy is booming. Unemployment is at historic lows as immense wealth flows from mining. The defence industry has done well and agriculture should have a good year.

There are a number of successful niche companies led by many people who love Adelaide, too. They are in areas as diverse as renewable energy, biotechnology, health, new media and food, but the chances are their businesses will remain boutique or be picked up by interstate or international players.

While other capitals boast many global companies, Adelaide is starved of international business relevance.

Little has been achieved to woo new players to establish themselves in the city, to provide real corporate activity and, most critically, to provide employment alternatives for the state's young graduates.

They continue to flock west and east. Retaining smart people in their 20s and 30s is perhaps Adelaide's most desperate challenge.

The immediate future is also threatened by the state's comparative lack of political influence nationally.

Federally, we have lost the depth of powerful SA politicians who served in the cabinets of prime ministers Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and John Howard.

Senator Penny Wong alone has real clout, but she is in a catch-22 situation as the toe-cutting Finance Minister. She must be wary of conflict in looking too much after her own state from such an exalted position. Mark Butler in Mental Health and Ageing impresses many and Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, is of obvious influence in the party, but both are a long way from muscling in on big decisions.

With Nick Minchin retiring, Christopher Pyne is our only voice at the federal opposition's top table. While senator Simon Birmingham is on the rise, and senator Cory Bernardi and MP Jamie Briggs have a future, they are some time away from key roles.

Oh, for the days of Mick Young, Chris Hurford, Neal Blewett and Nick Bolkus or Alexander Downer, Minchin, Amanda Vanstone and Robert Hill.

Contributing further to the slowly sinking feeling is the demise of local media. First, Adelaide is a one-newspaper town. A strong and bold press should be one fundamental ingredient of a city's development. The Advertiser carries the burden alone.

Furthermore, there has been the demise of other local media, including a state-based The 7.30 Report and even A Current Affair. Those that are here tend to sweat the small stuff, despite the bigger issues demanding attention.

Time has been wasted in an extraordinary way on two urgently needed pieces of infrastructure.

Despite the fact existing sports facilities consist of the god-forsaken, windswept AAMI Stadium and a quaintly out-of-date Adelaide Oval, the debate about a new stadium has been embarrassing. Similarly, plans for a new hospital were derailed for months by a vocal few who chose to ignore the fact that, when built, the hospital could be the most modern and well-equipped in the southern hemisphere.

While other cities would have built both facilities by now, in Adelaide such sluggishness is nothing new.

A couple of years ago, the sandals and socks brigade prevented the upgrading of Victoria Park. This rare jewel, a racetrack literally minutes from a city centre, could not be developed to provide night racing or other activities for residents and visitors.

Melbourne or Perth would have jumped at such a chance, but Adelaide fostered tumbleweeds.

Those same parklands play host to the Clipsal 500, a successful event.

However, in line with the demands of the protesters who took NIMBY politics to a new level, Clipsal buildings are temporary; put up and taken down each year during a nine-month period. Amazing, but a fact.

Ian Smith is a partner in Adelaide-based advisory business Bespoke Approach with former ministers Nick Bolkus and Alexander Downer.
Grain of salt type stuff, or a few home truths? Normally I don't take much notice of this type of drivel but it certainly hurts when it's the top banner of the front page of the Weekend Australian under the title "What's Wrong With Adelaide?"
Last edited by cruel_world00 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#2 Post by Will » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:16 pm

What a load of shit.

Are you sure that article was written this year. It seems like Ian Smith is talking about the Adelaide of yesteryear; of the State Bank days.

To say that we have lost the University city tag because Adelaide University is ranked number 73 in the world, and then use the 71 ranking of the university of Sydney to put us down!? FFS, it is just 2 positions! Not to mention that we are the home of the Carnegie Mellon and Cranefield Universities. His article is based on the premise that our city is decaying, hecne in respect to his comments regarding our universities, they would be true if Adelaide Uni was once the best uni in Australia. Adeladie Uni has always been ranked around 4-6th position, hence its ranking hasn't slipped, but in fact has improved comapred to last years ranking. To have the 4th best uni in the country and the 73rd best in the world is pretty good (not to mention that both Flinders and UniSA are also now in the top 200 globally) for a city that according to Ian Smith is on par with Geelong.

His comments about our shops being closed on public holidays are also ridiculous. The same thing applies for other cities. So its OK for shops to be closed on public holidays in other cities and on Sundays in Perth, but if our shops are not open on public holidays we are a backwater!? Also, it is apparent he hasn't visited Rundle Street in the last few years. The range of brand name shops that we have is comparable to Brisbane and Perth.

And here's another shock, the news for Brisbane and Perth are also mostly made in Melbourne and Sydney. Are they backwaters too!?

And what about all the positives that have occurred in the last few years and which are occuring now? Why not mention that we lead the country in renewable energy? why not mention how we lead the nation in quality food production? why not mention that despite the controversy, both the Adelaide Oval and new RAH developments are proceeding? I could go on.

This toxic mentallity displayed by Ian Smith, a pathetic man, who has poo-coloured glasses for Adelaide, and rose-couloured glasses for everywhere else is the greatest thing which is keeping us back. In his sad little mind, he probably thinks he is 'helping' us to wake up, but instead his negative article will only serve to confirm the negative stereotypes that people interstate have of us and destroy the hard work that has been undertaken in the last few years to imporve our reputation.

A change of mindset is what's needed to improve our city, not more negative articles better suited to another time.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#3 Post by AtD » Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:46 pm

To be fair, I agree with him in the adoption of the "Brisbane model" of a small number of very large local governments. But I don't actually get what the point of the article is?

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#4 Post by cruel_world00 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:37 am

The article raised a few valid points but the stench from the rest of the "article" completely outdid anything positive he was attempting to facilitate.

Pitching it to the national weekend paper probably doesn't help the situation.

I would expect something like this for The Advertiser to print, it seems unwarranted in the Weekend Australian.

I can handle criticism aimed at Adelaide and SA and credit where credit is due, but this was completely ridiculous and offered zero advice for a way forward.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#5 Post by ghs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:35 am

While other capitals boast many global companies, Adelaide is starved of international business relevance.
Bullshit. There are several major defence companies with there Australian headquarters here in Adelaide including
BAE Systems, Saab Systems & ASC. BAE & SAAB are both major global companies, with BAE being one of the biggest
defence companies in the world. ASC is an Australian company that already has 2 large defence contracts and
will definitely get the next submarine contract which will be worth $30 billion or so.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#6 Post by Wayno » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:37 am

We all know that merging Adelaide Councils will derive significant urban planning benefit (for negligible risk). Unfortunately, there seems to be no push from our State Govt towards consolidation. This means a push by the media and notable public figures is required to generate momentum. So in that sense i agree with Ian Smith.

Unfortunately, he missed the mark with that article (too much noise - not enough focus) and IMHO harmed his own company in the process. I bet Alexander Downer & Nick Bolkus facepalmed after reading it. What a knucklehead. Here's the sales pitch from the Bespoke Approach website:
The Art of the Possible

The world is now engaged in a process of change and mobility more radical than at any time in human history.

While the rich, industrial nations skirt the shores of recession, developing countries and emerging markets are now the ones growing with boundless vigour.

As the cost of fossil fuel steadily rises and the debate over peak oil continues, arable land is switching from supplying food crops to bio-fuel; at the same time, environmental changes manifest natural disasters that further diminish the world’s food basket and pose a threat to our ongoing sustainability.

The continuing exponential growth in science and technology raises both hopes of life-saving advances and fears of greater terror.

And within this crucible lies an indefatigable global economy of $65 trillion.

Politics, like business, is the art of the possible: transition brings opportunity and opportunity always presents challenges.

To explore the boundaries of what is possible and to gain advantage in any given situation requires measured advice from trusted counsel with wisdom gained from a global view. That is the Bespoke Approach.
Would you engage Ian Smith as a trusted counsel?
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#7 Post by ghs » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:41 am

However, in line with the demands of the protesters who took NIMBY politics to a new level, Clipsal buildings are temporary; put up and taken down each year during a nine-month period. Amazing, but a fact
Bullshit.

A nine month period. It would be a 6 month period at the most. Our events & festivals are better now
than ever before how can he say Adelaide is crumbling.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#8 Post by Isiskii » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:03 am

I think Ian Smith is sitting at his computer desk, smiling with glee, exacting the kind of response that he wanted to generate as a result of that article. Each response, whether good or bad underlines tones of aggression which obviously is a characteristic derived from a subconcious of acknowledging the truth in various elements.

Frankly, he's not worth it. We all know what Adelaide and SA have going for and if he can't see that, that's his loss, not ours.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#9 Post by crawf » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:09 am

Funny that he forgot to mention that population growth is continuing to improve annually, record spending on infrastructure and a major plan to transform the Riverfront Precinct that will change this city forever.

If Adelaide is crumbling then we are travelling nicely.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#10 Post by rev » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:14 pm

ghs wrote:
However, in line with the demands of the protesters who took NIMBY politics to a new level, Clipsal buildings are temporary; put up and taken down each year during a nine-month period. Amazing, but a fact
Bullshit.

A nine month period. It would be a 6 month period at the most. Our events & festivals are better now
than ever before how can he say Adelaide is crumbling.
It actually takes nearly 8 months. They start late November, early December.

As for the global companies thing, well SANTOS is the only true Australian company based in Adelaide that can be considered global.
BAE Systems Australia might be HQ'ed in Adelaide, but it comes back down to a point he was making about companies being gobbled up by bigger firms.
BAE Systems Australia is basically the likes of Tennix and other Australian defence firms which were bought out.

ASC really isn't worth mentioning because they haven't actually designed, developed and built anything of their own.
They've just been responsible for building existing designs. The Collins submarines for example are based on a German design. The Hobart destroyers are based on a Spanish design, which in turn is based on an American design.
crawf wrote:Funny that he forgot to mention that population growth is continuing to improve annually
Don't we still have a negative growth rate? As in more people are still leaving then staying/coming?
Despite the fact existing sports facilities consist of the god-forsaken, windswept AAMI Stadium and a quaintly out-of-date Adelaide Oval, the debate about a new stadium has been embarrassing. Similarly, plans for a new hospital were derailed for months by a vocal few who chose to ignore the fact that, when built, the hospital could be the most modern and well-equipped in the southern hemisphere.
THIS is what I call bullshit.
The AO redevelopment is going ahead, with the move away from AAMI in 4 years time.
The new hospital was never derailed. There was some vocal opposition, but the government never postponed plans for it.
Both projects are going ahead. The debate about the Oval might be embarrassing, but why bash Adelaide over it? The campaign was led by Adelaide Now and associated News Corp papers. Take a swing at them, not the people of Adelaide.
Melbourne or Perth would have jumped at such a chance, but Adelaide fostered tumbleweeds.
His peek into an alternatively reality tell him this?
Contributing further to the slowly sinking feeling is the demise of local media. First, Adelaide is a one-newspaper town. A strong and bold press should be one fundamental ingredient of a city's development. The Advertiser carries the burden alone.
He is writing for a news limited paper.. :lol:
Maybe he could give old Rupert a call and get him to move over for Fairfax?

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#11 Post by Will » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:52 pm

^^^Rev, the SA population has NEVER had a negative growth rate. Even back in the dark days of the mid 90's our population never shrunk.

Today, it is far from shrinking, but rather is growing at 1.3% per annum or around 22 000 per year.

I am not having a go at you, but I find it saddening how many people in SA genuinely beleive we are shrinking in population.

If you don't beleive me check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#12 Post by Aidan » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:48 am

rev wrote:The new hospital was never derailed. There was some vocal opposition, but the government never postponed plans for it.
Our successful dynamic competitor across the Nullabor derailed plans for its new hospital. But we seem to have caved in without subjecting the plans to detailed scrutiny. It's a kind of backwater mentality, but for the opposite reason than he was claiming - it reminds me of the week our biggest news story was the opening of IKEA.

Still, he has a very good point about newspapers - the 'tiser's not in the same league as the SMH. Without a decent newspaper to hold the government to account, the crumbling danger is all too real. And I think he's right about Victoria Park and shopping hours, even if he's wrong about everything else.
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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#13 Post by crawf » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:51 am

The only things I agree with him is Victoria Park and public holiday trading. Though it seems that there is actually a strong chance of Rundle Mall finally being declared a tourism precinct which would allow shops to open on public holidays.
Will wrote:^^^Rev, the SA population has NEVER had a negative growth rate. Even back in the dark days of the mid 90's our population never shrunk.

Today, it is far from shrinking, but rather is growing at 1.3% per annum or around 22 000 per year.

I am not having a go at you, but I find it saddening how many people in SA genuinely beleive we are shrinking in population.

If you don't beleive me check out the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.
To Rev's defence, I believe he was talking about the net loss to the other states which is still negative, though I think it has improved in the past 12 months

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#14 Post by Nathan » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:33 am

Aidan wrote:it reminds me of the week our biggest news story was the opening of IKEA.
When Ikea re-opened in Tokyo, it was a major news story as well over there. Hardly a mark of a backwater.

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Re: Ian Smith: It's a shame Adelaide is crumbling.

#15 Post by Will » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:45 am

Nathan wrote:
Aidan wrote:it reminds me of the week our biggest news story was the opening of IKEA.
When Ikea re-opened in Tokyo, it was a major news story as well over there. Hardly a mark of a backwater.
I agree, not to mention how when IKEA opened in Instanbul there was a stampede which killed a few people. We are not the only place in the world whereby the opening of a new IKEA, the opening of a new piece of infraestructure or the first visit by the Airbus A380 makes news.


The only mark of a backwater is thinking that Adelaide is a backwater for the most ridiculous of reasons.

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