News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

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SRW
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3766 Post by SRW » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:33 pm

The council actually just closed the first round of consultation on its representation structure. Due to population growth, the present wards are becoming imbalanced and must be redistributed. The council sought input into whether wards should be maintained or rejigged; whether wards should be abolished (electing only area councillors); and whether council should be reduced in size. Excepting Brisbane as an entirely different beast of LGA, Adelaide actually has more councillors than all the other major capitals (most 8-10, we have 12 inc. Lord Mayor). You can see the representation options report here.

My feedback was to support reducing the size of council and to either abolish wards or, failing that, reduce ward representation in favour of increasing area representation. My reason being that too many councillors and too small wards makes the threshold for election too low and thus reduces electoral competition. I understand the argument that democracy should remain accessible, but participation in municipal elections is marginal at best and the consequence is a very low bar. When candidates can be elected with merely a couple hundred or so votes, you end up with the kind of swill in the current council. I would hope that requiring candidates to compete across the whole of the City of Adelaide would lead to a better calibre of candidate less vulnerable to capture by special interests and a council more focused on the city's future as a whole.

As to whether LGA representation should remain non-partisan, I'm neither here nor there. I don't really see a place for political parties in local government as the issues it deals with are properly non-ideological. But I also expect transparency and think political interests should be disclosed so we don't have to do the pantomime around whether councillors are truly 'independent'. In any event, it's beyond the scope of the above consultation (as is the issue of the legitimacy of business electors).
Last edited by SRW on Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3767 Post by SBD » Thu Jul 01, 2021 12:09 am

rogue wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 5:56 am
In regards to your last paragraph, Brisbane has managed to address these issues. The vote of a ratepayer in the Brisbane equivalent of Munno Para is just as valid as a vote from the city centre.

I would question if the merge of yours and the neighbouring council is the root cause of the demise of a main centre. What other policy, commercial or social factors could have influenced this?

Just so im clear, is your position that the current form of local government around Adelaide remain as is?
I think the current form of government is likely preferable to having a single metropolis-wide "local government area" with a budget and council larger than the ACT. That doesn't mean there couldn't be improvements.

There are areas where councils can work together - for example NAWMA (Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority) handles waste and recycling for three councils but also provides contract services for rural councils. The processing and sorting facility may not scale down to a smaller council, but isn't necessarily an indication that all other services should be combined from Salisbury to Gawler, coast to hills.

I definitely think it is better that local government is driven by local people not party platforms. I don't know if this is purely a function of size.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3768 Post by floplo » Thu Jul 01, 2021 10:51 pm

Adelaide will never have a metropolitan mayor, as for all practical purposes we already have one.... the job is grandiosely called state premier, but for all practical purposes it's pretty much being mayor of Adelaide and some handholding of a lot of empty bushland and desert.
I mean when the question whether a tram can make a right turn is a notable election issue or when they deal with the exact number of food trucks in the CBD, it shows who runs the city and how parochial state government in SA actually is....

About the composition of city council, I am originally from a countryside parish overseas and we have 12 councillors for a parish of 1500 people, a local town of 20k inhabitants has 30. I do find that substantially more representative than the minuscle numbers here (and don't get me started about who actually has the right to vote, the whole 'ratepayer' thing isn't exactly a highlight of democracy either). And that links in with that supposed non-partisan nature of the council. I am sorry, but if you have such small numbers then 'non-partisan' gets you highly personal politics, vulnerable to decisions based on personal rivalry and animosities (as the current council amply demonstrates....). Partisan structures at least get you some form of discipline, and just because you can't stand the current majority group (and yes, I don't like some of their decisions either) doesn't mean that this actually leads to less focus on the whole. Do you really believe if you boil it down to even smaller councils, that they will actually care about the whole and not go to even more pork-barreling and serving their own interests??? (no, trash collection can't be on Wednesdays, because that is when the councillor's husband has his bridge evening and can't be bothered to put the bin out.....)

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3769 Post by 1NEEDS2POST » Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:24 pm

Adelaide City Council should be chosen by all South Australians, not only the few people living in the CBD and businesses. It's too important to leave these decisions that affect the whole city to a small group of people.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3770 Post by Patrick_27 » Sun Jul 11, 2021 9:06 pm

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:24 pm
Adelaide City Council should be chosen by all South Australians, not only the few people living in the CBD and businesses. It's too important to leave these decisions that affect the whole city to a small group of people.
:roll: Sure, let's just ignore the political structure of Australia so that all South Australian's can have a say on the ACC by-election, just wondering, can I vote in your local council election? Who knows when it might impact on my livelihood.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3771 Post by gnrc_louis » Sun Aug 22, 2021 5:21 pm

Can someone please post The Advertiser article about the ACC selling airspace above its buildings, cheers.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3772 Post by gnrc_louis » Tue Aug 24, 2021 6:10 pm

The ACC owned City Beach site is finally on the market: https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au ... 2017210156

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3773 Post by victorious80 » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:31 am

https://indaily.com.au/news/2021/09/13/ ... yor-staff/

Regardless of who is at fault here, it's sad to see all the infighting that is likely distracting councilors from their primary objectives.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3774 Post by Algernon » Tue Sep 14, 2021 5:32 pm

victorious80 wrote:
Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:31 am
https://indaily.com.au/news/2021/09/13/ ... yor-staff/

Regardless of who is at fault here, it's sad to see all the infighting that is likely distracting councilors from their primary objectives.
Wonder how much the lawyers made on this one

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3775 Post by SRW » Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:05 pm

The next council elections in November 2022 can't come soon enough. Hopefully the conservative faction can be dislodged and someone with real vision is elected Lord Mayor.
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3776 Post by [Shuz] » Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:24 am

Bring back Yarwood!
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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3777 Post by Nathan » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:57 am

[Shuz] wrote:
Wed Sep 15, 2021 7:24 am
Bring back Yarwood!
I don't think anything could convince Yarwood to run again.

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3778 Post by gnrc_louis » Sat Sep 25, 2021 1:30 pm

Another predictably thoughtless piece of writing by The Advertiser. For the most part it's basically a puff piece about probably the worst current City Council member, Hyde, who is part of the toxic "Team Adelaide" faction aka the pro-car faction who seemingly enjoy ignoring most modern city planning principles.

In an ideal world they would get wiped out at the next Council elections and a more capable group of people would be elected. For all the complaints we might have on this forum about Moran etc, at least they actually try to represent their constituents and stay independent of party politics and aren't just using Council as a political launching pad.

Also, the final quote about Flint regarding Hyde as a future Premier shows that Flint is either completely delusional and/or that Adelaide lacks any sort of visionary future leaders. I would say it's probably an element of both, but if a lifetime political hack of his caliber is considered some sort of great future hope for our State, then god help us all :D
Alexander Hyde, Team Adelaide and Adelaide City Council’s bitter divide

He was the youngest ever Adelaide City Councillor. But does Alexander Hyde have what it takes to lift Town Hall out of its unprecedented dysfunction?
Colin James
18 min read
September 25, 2021 - 12:00AM
SA Weekend

Adelaide City councillor Alexander Hyde reads out emails sent by councillor Anne Moran. Video: Adelaide City Council
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Don't miss out on the headlines from SA Weekend. Followed categories will be added to My News.

Alexander Hyde never expected to become responsible for calling the shots on the increasingly dysfunctional Adelaide City Council.

With the council descending further into unprecedented disunity in the midst of the pandemic, the young conservative Liberal has become the spear carrier for its dominant faction more by accident than design.

Since being forced to step up by the sudden departure of the former councillor who largely created the voting bloc which has become known as Team Adelaide, the 28-year-old believes he has been left with no option but to take control.

Together with five others who campaigned on the same ticket, including two other Liberals, Hyde has used the group’s decisive clout in a manner never before seen in the Adelaide Town Hall, raising the ire of their political opponents.

Hyde admits he did not expect to be performing such a role when he was elected as the capital city’s youngest ever councillor three years ago.

Nor did he foresee that he would become one of the state’s highest profile local government politicians in recent history.

“I’ve always had an interest in policy and politics since I was at school but running for council was more about improving my street and local area,” he says. “I never thought our capital city and its operation was in such desperate need of reform or achieving it would be so difficult.”
Alexander Hyde at the Adelaide Town Hall. Picture Matt Turner.
Alexander Hyde at the Adelaide Town Hall. Picture Matt Turner.

With the tacit approval or active involvement of Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor, Hyde has cut staff numbers, reduced debt, changed internal financial protocols, overhauled the structure of meetings, banned a longstanding tradition of lavish elected members’ dinners, overseen the creation of a new “future fund”, started selling underperforming assets as part of a new long-term financial plan, chosen developers for two high-risk joint venture property projects, inititated an investigation into how the proceeds of past assets sales were spent and helped form a new economic development agency focused on the CBD.

This has led to repeated confrontations between the group and two prominent councillors, Phillip Martin and Anne Moran, who have formed their own cabal known as “The Independents”.

There have been vitriolic personal attacks during meetings, abusive email exchanges, threatening legal letters and at least one nasty altercation in a council corridor between Moran and one of Hyde’s closest associates, Mary Couros.

Along with former bookseller and long-serving public servant Greg Mackie, Moran and Martin have declared political war on Team Adelaide, vowing to do all they can to stop its members from being re-elected in November next year.

Such has been the ongoing rancour, a recently released confidential report of an investigation by an Adelaide law firm, EMA Legal, described the council as “dysfunctional, frustrating and aggressive”, naming Moran and Martin as the two key individuals largely responsible.

It is within this volatile environment that Hyde plans to continue to work with Verschoor and recently appointed chief executive Clare Mockler to introduce further changes to how the council operates, especially when it comes to spending ratepayers’ money and being accountable.
Councillor Anne Moran during council meeting this year. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Councillor Anne Moran during council meeting this year. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Councillor Phillip Martin during a council meeting this year. Picture: Brenton Edwards
Councillor Phillip Martin during a council meeting this year. Picture: Brenton Edwards

Hyde’s journey to the Adelaide Town Hall began in 2014, when the Young Liberal state president helped former Rundle Mall fashion retailer Martin Haese campaign for the lord mayoralty against former Playford Council planner and self-titled future urbanist Stephen Yarwood.

“That was my first exposure to the politics of the Adelaide City Council,” he says.

Hyde had first become interested in politics as a teenager while working weekends for his parents, who owned two fruit and vegetable shops.

From the age of 12, he would read political coverage in the weekend papers during his breakfast breaks at Adelaide’s main fresh produce market at Pooraka on Saturday mornings before helping out in the family-run small businesses.

The youngest of four children, Hyde had spent his early childhood in the Adelaide Hills before moving with his family to Dernancourt, where he went to the nearby St Pius X School at Windsor Gardens. Most of his secondary schooling was at the Jesuit-run St Ignatius’ College at Athelstone.

While being educated by Catholics, Hyde had a colourful upbringing. His older sister, a primary school teacher, moved to Japan for 10 years to become a ‘doshi’, or clergy member, of a little-known oriental spiritual order, Sukyo Mahikari, which his parents also practised.

Hyde decided to leave St Ignatius in Year 11 to complete his matriculation at the University Senior College in Adelaide’s CBD.It was while finishing Year 12 that he joined the Young Liberals, becoming state president two years later in 2013.

Within 12 months, the then 19-year-old was running as a Liberal candidate against sitting Labor MP Leesa Vlahos in the “dead red” state seat of Taylor before standing as an “independent” candidate for the Tea Tree Gully Council. He also spent time helping Haese campaign for Lord Mayor.

With the political fire burning deeply, Hyde was introduced to the man he would eventually replace as the most powerful figure on Adelaide City Council – successful entrepreneur, deputy lord mayor and Liberal Party member Houssam Abiad.

“I met Houssam in 2015 when he was running for Liberal preselection for the seat of Adelaide,” he says. “I was 20 and he canvassed me for his vote. I knew nothing about him.” Houssam Abiad was born in Australia but grew up in Lebanon after his parents went back when he was three years old. He returned to Adelaide in 1996 when he was 19 to study at Flinders University, obtaining degrees in biomedical-engineering and health science in 2007, six years after Al Qaeda launched its devastating attacks on the United States.

“September 11 gave me a bit of a voice,” he recalls from his new home in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. “I started talking as a Muslim, people started asking me questions, I worked with Multicultural SA and began my own businesses.”

In 2001, Abiad started a digital technology company, Digimob, with a business partner on Pulteney St. He went on to open a cafe on Rundle St, Felici, and a restaurant at Burnside Village, By Felici, and other businesses. In 2010, he and a business consultant he knew, Natasha Milani, successfully ran for Adelaide City Council despite being excluded from the how-to-vote cards circulated by other candidates. Among them was retired schoolteacher and North Adelaide resident Anne Moran, who had been on the council since 1995.

“Natasha and I were both young and tried to bring some new ideas to council,” he says. “Stephen Yarwood had become Lord Mayor and while some of the old guard from North Adelaide like Anne Moran and Sandy Wilkinson didn’t seem to want us around we got support from other councillors like David Plumridge and Michael Llewellyn-Smith.” As his first term as a councillor drew to a close, Abiad formed the view that local government was fundamentally flawed and needed reform, especially within the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide.

“Somebody can be elected with 200 votes to represent 25,000 residents in the capital city of a state with a population of 1.7 million people,” he says. “The lord mayor is elected on a base of promises or a manifesto but once elected, the delivery of these promises is completely tied in with who else is elected onto council.
“If you want good outcomes, you need a good lord mayor, a bunch of councillors who are choosing to do it for the right reasons and a responsive administration.”

Abiad successfully sought re-election in 2014 when Martin Haese, who recently had quit his council-paid job as Rundle Mall Management Authority general manager to run, narrowly beat Yarwood by 50 votes to become lord mayor. The other contender for the position was long-term North Adelaide resident, lawyer and former councillor Mark Hamilton, who ran a ticket with other candidates, including Anne Moran.

“I met with candidates who were not part of the Hamilton ticket like Natasha, Megan Hender and (conservative Liberal) Alex Antic before the election and we supported each other,” says Abiad. “We were all put last on Mark Hamilton’s how to vote cards.” Abiad says another candidate loosely aligned to his group was Phillip Martin, a retired senior media executive and second-hand bookseller.

“Phil Martin wanted to be part of our mail outs so he gave me some money and made use of a database which I had set up which detailed ratepayers who had properties in North Adelaide,” he says.

The alliance between Abiad and Martin was short lived. Once he was elected and appointed as Haese’s deputy, it became obvious to Abiad that Martin was opposed to the small team he had put together before the election. The pair regularly clashed over the next four years.

“My second term on council was very productive, we did things like the Gawler Place upgrade, started the Riverbank to Market precinct, did 10 Gigabit City Adelaide and bought the Le Cornu site at North Adelaide but the dynamics were still very dysfunctional,” he says.

Abiad did not plan to run for re-election in 2018 but changed his mind when Haese told him he planned to seek a second term as lord mayor to keep the momentum going with the projects they had started. “I said I would put my hand up and run again, provided we could identify, attract and encourage diverse individuals to run for council,” he says. One of those people was Sandy Verschoor, a senior council manager who had resigned in 2015 to successfully contest a by-election forced by the departure of a Greens councillor, Robert Simms, who had quit to move to the Senate. Simms spent only 10 months in Canberra before he was voted out at the 2016 federal election.

Abiad says he encouraged Haese and Verschoor, who had replaced him as deputy lord mayor, to help him create a group of like-minded candidates for the 2018 local government elections. He gave the collective the working title of “Team Adelaide”, which he registered as a domain name for use during the campaign.

“As time progressed, Martin and I, and sometimes Sandy, met with many candidates that were interested in running for council,” he recalls. One of the first people who approached Abiad was disability advocate and actor, Quentin Kenihan, who passed away before the election was held. “I also met with Robert Simms and (city south resident and small businessman) Jessy Khera,” Abiad says. “Even Anne Moran asked Martin if she could join the team and be endorsed but the others didn’t want her becoming involved.

“For many of them, she represented the reason they wanted to stand for council. To get rid of what they saw as the North Adelaide old guard which didn’t want change and was holding the city back.” Abiad says other people expressed interest, such as Mary Couros, a North Adelaide businesswoman he had known for a considerable time. By the end of July, 2018, there were more than 20 people attending meetings and, by September 2018, the group had met 10 times at Abiad’s eastern suburbs house, city restaurants and other locations. Using a sophisticated database Abiad had developed, 19 candidates were selected for the four area councillor and seven ward councillor positions at the November 2018 elections. Preference deals were worked out and success seemed almost certain for those planning to stand.


Abiad says everything was on track when Haese dropped a bombshell by announcing he was withdrawing from the mayoral contest for personal reasons. It was two months before the elections. Martin Haese remains deeply apologetic for abandoning those he helped Abiad and Verschoor to recruit but insists he had no choice.

“A number of people in my immediate family were very ill and I decided it was time to change my priorities,” he says. “I had given the lord mayoralty 150 per cent every day, I had to make a very, very difficult personal decision – the most difficult and excruciating decision of my life.

“I knew people would be disappointed. I fully contemplated that when I made my decision. I just hope I didn’t disappoint people too much.”

Haese, now the chief executive of Business SA, says he worked hard during his term as lord mayor to consult with all councillors about difficult decisions, such as buying the vacant Le Cornu site at 88 O’Connell St for $34m and replacing the Adelaide Central Market Arcade with an expanded market under high-rise towers.

“We had vigorous debates about many, many issues,” he says. “I never had a consistent majority. I engaged with every single councillor frequently. Those who did not agree with me, I engaged with them even more, particularly Anne Moran and Phillip Martin.”

Haese says, like Abiad, he decided the council needed more like-minded individuals in its chamber making key decisions. But he denies trying to set up a group called “Team Adelaide” or “Team Haese”. “I have never used those words, I was uncomfortable with that,” he says.

“It was a collective of people who were wanting to run, who were motivated to run and wanted to learn how to run. I said publicly in early to mid 2018 that I would meet with any candidate considering running for Adelaide City Council or considering running again for Adelaide City Council and I did. I met with everyone.”


In late August, 2018, he met with Verschoor for a coffee at Delicia Acai + Protein Bar in the East End and she told him she was running for lord mayor. “I said: ‘Sandy, I have news for you, I’m not’. She didn’t see that coming.” Verschoor suddenly found herself contesting the 2018 lord mayoralty against Mark Hamilton, who was making his third attempt to take the reins of the city.

A Stonyfell resident and former arts administrator who owned a property in the CBD, Verschoor campaigned on policies of reactivating the city’s main streets, freezing rate increases, cutting business costs, doubling the heritage incentive scheme, advocating for World Heritage listing for the parklands, increasing outdoor dining and facilitating greater residential population growth within “the square mile”.

Her campaign material featured many of the candidates who had attended the meetings hosted by Abiad and Haese.

They included Abiad and his friend and fellow Liberal, anti-domestic violence campaigner Arman Abrahimzadeh. Others included Chinatown-based real estate agent Simon Hou, Barossa Fine Foods owner Franz Knoll, Simms, Couros and Hyde, all of whom would later join Verschoor in the Town Hall chamber.

Alexander Hyde already had his hands full when he decided to run for Adelaide City Council in 2018. For two years he had been working as chief of staff for conservative federal Liberal MP Nicolle Flint. The pair met while serving together on the Liberal Party’s powerful state executive and became close friends.

Hyde had moved into a rented apartment above a cafe on Hutt St in 2017, using it as his residential base while he flew back and forth to Canberra. He quickly became immersed in the area’s issues, particularly problems businesses were experiencing with drug-affected homeless people attending the nearby Hutt Street Centre.

Creating a master plan for Hutt St and Whitmore Square, along with a citywide parking review, better public safety, improved homelessness policies, keeping rates frozen, greater administrative efficiencies and ensuring the perennial council tasks of “roads, rates and rubbish” were performed became his election policies.

Hyde was endorsed by Haese, who told voters: “Alex will follow through for you. He is an excellent listener and will take positive community action to address community issues”. The campaigns by Hyde and the candidates groomed by Haese and Abiad were an overwhelming success.

Verschoor became lord mayor, Abiad was returned as a Central Ward councillor and deputy lord mayor, Hou became a Central Ward councillor, Couros joined Martin as a North Ward councillor, Knoll became an area councillor and Hyde was elected as a councillor for South Ward, along with Khera, who had campaigned on the Hamilton ticket and passionate cycling advocate Helen Donovan, who Abiad had unsuccessfully tried to recruit.

“I became the youngest city councillor in the city’s history,” Hyde says. “This is not an accolade I really wanted or cared for. Youth can be an electoral burden and some voters were sceptical of my abilities. I don’t blame them, I would be, too.”

Hyde had barely settled into an office he shared at the Town Hall with Abrahimzadeh when their mutual friend, Abiad, took his turn to drop a bombshell. In January 2020, he announced he was leaving South Australia to take up a senior position helping to create a new local government structure in the ancient city of Mecca, known as Mekkah in Arabic.

His anointed successor as deputy lord mayor and leader of Team Adelaide was Hyde, the young Liberal he once asked to endorse him as a candidate for the seat of Adelaide and who later had accompanied him on a trip to the Middle East.


“All I wanted was to secure some better lighting, updated streets and some beautiful greenery for my ward,” Hyde says. “Instead, what I ended up with was a city council that was essentially broken, inefficient and, consequently, ineffective.”

Hyde says it soon became apparent why the council was performing so badly.

“The administration was largely a political force of its own, littered with activists and disjointed fiefdoms who had their own agendas,” he says. “The majority of the council chamber seemed to be more interested in arguing over small issues, personality differences and what was for dinner, rather than the health of the organisation.”

Hyde says he had to step up and introduce changes, many of which were opposed by Moran and Martin. “I understand the council has often been against doing things differently and I am certainly for the ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’ approach, but it clearly was broken. Not just dysfunctional, but broken.”

But nothing would prepare Hyde for what would happen as he started to roll out his reform agenda.

As campaign manager for Flint during the turbulent brawl in 2019 for her marginal metropolitan seat of Boothby which saw her become the target of stalking, online bullying and internal party fighting, he thought he had experienced the worst that politics could generate. Hyde was wrong.
“I have never seen the level of viciousness in politics that I saw within local government right from the get go,” he says. “For the first six months I sat, listened and spent much effort biting my tongue while I witnessed the brutal treatment of my colleagues and belittlement of our staff.

“All the while though, I spent hours going through thousands of pages of agendas and so much just didn’t quite add up.”That something was the state of the council’s balance sheets.

“The council had just started going into debt, mostly by virtue of buying the old Le Cornu site,” Hyde says. “That made sense but as time went by, the operating deficits that had started to occur with previous councils didn’t. The financials were opaque, to say the least.”

Hyde made it his priority to sort out the council’s finances. He began by using his group’s numbers to demand immediate operational savings of $20m a year. The easiest way was by cutting the council’s bloated workforce.

“I couldn’t get a clear answer on how many staff we had, it looked like it was over 1000. Things just didn’t seem right.”

One of Hyde’s next moves was to cancel dinners for elected members in the Town Hall’s grand Queen Adelaide Room. Served by staff with silver service on white tablecloths, they were typically two or three courses with accompanying wine.

“In addition to generally being an awful environment because of the brawls always erupting in the chamber, they were a huge waste of money, costing over $30,000 each year for the food and waiting staff alone, not including the booze,” he says. “I was quite happy to end them but it was the final nail in my coffin for my relationship with Anne Moran.”

Anne Moran has left Alexander Hyde with no doubts about what she thinks of him and Team Adelaide. Like Abiad, the long-serving councillor has sent multiple emails to Hyde, questioning his abilities, decision-making, maturity, social conscience and political nous. She has described him as “Napoleon”, “immature”, “poor baby”, “distasteful”, “cringe-worthy”, “simple”, “loser”, “a lightweight who should zip it”, “rude little shorty” and someone “who should get a life”.


North Adelaide councillor Phillip Martin clashes with Adelaide City Council acting chief executive Clare Mockler over claims…

During council meetings, she regularly accuses Hyde and his colleagues of shutting down debate, stifling democracy and using their numbers to stop motions from other councillors. At this month’s meeting, she staged one of her regular walkouts after an exchange with Verschoor over a reference by Couros to a “temper tantrum” during a debate about the parklands.

“I bet a million dollars my motion will not succeed because we do not have the numbers as independents and I will not get the support of Team Adelaide so I am not going to waste my time,” she told the chamber before making her exit.

Several months ago, Moran and Martin sent legal letters to Hyde, Couros, Abrahimzadeh, council administrators and two media outlets threatening defamation action, claiming they were being unfairly portrayed as trouble makers.

They recently managed to bolster their own numbers by backing another Greens member, Keiran Snape, at a costly by-election created by the resignation of Robert Simms, who quit the council prematurely for the second time to enter politics.

Snape’s election has taken the typical voting numbers to 6-5 in favour of Team Adelaide, which generally has the support of Khera who, after campaigning with Hamilton, Moran and Martin in 2018, switched sides when they had a falling out.

Moran and Martin have been directed by Verschoor to stop making references to “Team Adelaide” during meetings. This has not stopped them from sending out newsletters constantly mentioning the faction. Snape campaigned on the slogan: “Proudly Not Team Adelaide”.

Moran, a seasoned politician and former Liberal Party member, makes no apologies for her stance – or behaviour. Long-serving councillor Anne Moran leaves an Adelaide City Council meeting following a clash with Deputy Lord Mayor Mary…

“I have no problems with factions on council, there have always been factions on council,” she says. “What I do have a problem with is when a faction denies it is a faction and becomes a voting bloc which then uses its numbers to make it very difficult for any motion by independent councillors to succeed.”

Moran says Abiad is to blame for the current state of affairs. “I didn’t mind Team Adelaide when Houssam was here,” she says. “But he has gone and left us with this inexperienced group of people who have never been on council before. If Houssam had stayed, he would have educated them.”

Moran says she and Martin are doing their best to hold the council’s administration to account by asking questions. “I know Phil can be aggravating but he is only trying to do his job,” he says.

Martin, the former national head of SBS news and current affairs, says he has no plans to change his approach. It consists of regularly putting questions and motions on each meeting’s agenda, then engaging in lengthy cross-examination of staff and debate with Team Adelaide.

“My problem with Team Adelaide is straight up and down,” he says. “It is a voting bloc for whom there is only their way or the highway. Time and time again they ignore the wishes of our stakeholders, business and residential, in the face of reasoned and considered debate and say no. I don’t think that is good for our city.”

Hyde says he respects Moran for her 25 years of service to the community on the council but change had to happen if it was to become more efficient and financially accountable.

As for Martin, he describes him as “an investigative journalist trying to uncover the mythical conspiracy of what’s wrong with the City of Adelaide”.

“Which is all ironic really because it is not a secret, it is because of how the place has been run, largely by staff who were not kept under proper scrutiny,” he says. “It is all there, it just takes someone with the time, diligence and a desire to work it out.” Trying her best to ensure Hyde understands how the council works – and what needs to be done to fix it – is Verschoor, who was a general manager after spending her career as an arts administrator.

“We don’t always agree, in fact we have agreed to disagree on occasion – but we are always able to have respectful discussion and debate. Alex is an incredibly smart, articulate and focused young man and I believe he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Hyde says he does not know what his long-term political future holds but his priority for the next 12 months is continuing to reform the council.

“What I do know is that I am a proud South Australian,” he says. “I feel positive about the next chapter for South Australia and I can only hope the City of Adelaide finally joins the rest of us on that journey.” Hyde’s close friend and confidante, Nicolle Flint, has a clearer view of where he is heading. Having gone through numerous challenging situations together, including a serious medical crisis only he knew about and kept confidential, the senior Liberal MP holds Hyde in high regard.

“Alex is a unique individual who I value a great deal. If he is not the premier of South Australia or a senior federal cabinet minister one day, I will be shocked.”

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Re: News & Discussion: Adelaide City Council

#3779 Post by 1NEEDS2POST » Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:42 pm

It would be interesting to know how many votes overall come from businesses and how many come from people who live in the CBD. If it's mostly businesses voting, then Team Adelaide won't be dislodged.

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