In the Media

City on the rise, but we want to be kept in loop

The Advertiser | Jade Gailberger

THE seat of Adelaide has been the focal point of State Government investment and big announcements during its current term, including new hospitals and infrastructure projects.

The seat plays an important role for the development of the state and is used to attract business, investment, university students, new talent, population growth and jobs.

All major parties are promising to create jobs and increase the vibrancy of the city to attract and retain young people in the state. Almost a quarter of people living in the Adelaide electorate during the 2016 census were between the ages of 20-29.

The census also revealed that of Adelaide residents not born in Australia, China was the most popular country of birth. This highlights the importance of maintaining and attracting more international students to increase the city population – a policy of both the Liberal Party and SA Best, which has ruled out a candidate in the seat.

However, as cranes adorn the city skyline for the construction of apartments and student accommodation neighbouring residents feel they have been left in the dark under the new planning reforms introduced by Planning Minister John Rau.

All Adelaide candidates for next month’s election have acknowledged the need for improved consultation processes and say they will preserve Adelaide’s heritage and parklands.

Liberal MP Rachel Sanderson has held the seat since 2010 after beating Labor’s Jane Lomax-Smith. “I see it as my role to make sure that we have a vibrant city that people want to live in,” she said. “We know we are one of the most liveable cities in the world – we just now need the jobs to back that up.”

Both major parties are keeping their cards close to their chest on announcements they have been promising for months, including Labor’s tram extension.

Both major parties are pushing a mixed-use development on the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site that will create jobs. Adelaide start-up Life Whisperer is currently based at Adelaide University’s ThincLab in the city, and uses artificial intelligence to improve people’s health outcomes.

Co-founder Michelle Perugini said there had been a lot of initiatives that benefited startups and would help transform SA into a hi-tech economy and she hoped these programs would continue.

“The state needs to put more support behind up and coming technology areas such as artificial intelligence,” she said. At a pre-election breakfast yesterday, Labor candidate Jo Chapley ruled out any residential “penthouses” on the site of the former hospital but student accommodation was expected to be part of the mix, along with a contemporary art gallery.

A Liberal election pledge to deregulate shop trading hours across the state has raised concerns from the Lord Mayor Martin Haese, who has warned it could jeopardise the popularity of Rundle Mall on public holidays.

Mr Haese said the council was also waiting on major parties to release policies on infrastructure and transport, sustainability and tourism. Despite its proximity and access to improved transport links, more than 50 per cent of people who live in the electorate admit to using a vehicle to get to work.

Labor and Greens candidate Rob Simms are focused on better transport options including cycling routes.

For Dignity party candidate Betty Jean Price, flexible work arrangements at jobs, ensuring education is available to everyone, and restoring a sense of community among the electorate are on the agenda.

Georgia Anderson, 21, enjoys coming to the city with friends and said she hopes the city night life is kept to a high standard. She is supportive of cafes to drive vibrancy along the Riverbank and believes the area has the potential to become as popular as Melbourne’s Yarra River precinct. “That would attract more people to the city,” she said.

WHERE: Adelaide, Collinswood, Fitzroy, Gilberton, Medindie, Medindie Gardens, North Adelaide, Ovingham, Thorngate, Walkerville, and parts of Nailsworth and Prospect.

HELD BY: Liberal Rachel Sanderson

MARGIN: 2 per cent to Liberals

HISTORY: Adelaide has been used as a district name since 1902 and over that time it was a safe Labor seat until 1989 when Michael Armitage became the first Liberal to win the seat, which he did until 2002 when the seat swapped to Labor’s Jane Lomax-Smith. She held it for two terms before being beaten at the 2010 election again to a Liberal, Rachel Sanderson.

KEY CANDIDATES: Liberal Rachel Sanderson is an accountant who had a modelling agency. She will be fighting to retain the seat for a third term. Labor’s Jo Chapley is an inhouse lawyer at her family’s supermarket chain of Foodlands, Chapley ran against Opposition leader Stephen Marshall at the 2014 election in the seat of Dunstan.

OTHER CANDIDATES: Greens Rob Simms has held positions in local council and in the Federal Senate during the last parliamentary term. He ran for the seat of Adelaide as the 2014 election a got almost 12 per cent of the vote. Dignity party candidate Betty Jean Price is an educator and social worker who has been active on several committees for human rights in the city in SA.

THREE BIG ISSUES

PARKLANDS: Development on the parklands is always contentious and many want assurance from all parties that they will protect the city’s green space.

JOBS: The city is at the forefront of attracting businesses and the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site is being positioned by both major parties as an opportunity for the jobs of the future, especially for young people.

DEVELOPMENT: Residents want more involvement in planning and development. The seat of Adelaide is seen by developers as a prime place for urban infill.