There are some immediate things we can do to get Adelaide moving. These will be my first priorities if elected, because they will have an impact in their own right and they will help make possible what must follow in a long-term plan for Adelaide. All of those issues are important but none is surprising. They are the things that ratepayers talk about and try to raise with Council.
I will make the city more accessible
A lack of sensible transport planning, caused in great part by ideological objectives rather than practicality, deters businesses and visitors from locating to or visiting the city and frustrates those who live and work there. We used to call Adelaide the 20-minute city because that’s all it took to get anywhere from anywhere. Now it can take at least that long to get across the CBD. This causes businesses to move out.
Address restrictions that make driving and parking ridiculously frustrating in a city of Adelaide’s size.
Make the Frome Street bikeway work (it can be done) and provide better facilities for cyclists elsewhere in the city.
Argue to give buses priority when they really need it but not to tie up entire lanes all day.
Stop relentlessly removing and restricting commercial and residential on-street parking in the City and North Adelaide.
Get a bit more strategic with our road works.
Allow motorists to drive on tram tracks as they do in Melbourne.
Work for the extension of the tram service to O’Connell Street.
Promote and advocate for privately funded tramlines from the CBD to the airport and Port Adelaide.
I will address commercial vacancies
While we rightly debate how to shape future development, a pressing matter is that 20% of commercial space in the city is currently vacant and the workforce is 15% smaller than a decade ago. Day visitors to the city have also dropped sharply. We can make the City and North Adelaide more attractive options for new businesses, daily visitors and shoppers.
Provide significant commercial incentives to attract businesses to vacant commercial and retail space. The City and North Adelaide are competing with other cities and with metropolitan Adelaide for these tenants.
Set up a special Lord Mayor’s taskforce to pro-actively seek out businesses to locate in the city.
Provide constantly updated market information regarding supply of and demand for office and retail floor space to properly inform potential developers, financiers and policy makers.
Ensure the city’s development planning matches people’s market requirements and changing lifestyles.
I will focus on developing precincts
Cities are changing, and retail is no longer the only motivation for people to come to the City and North Adelaide. We must focus on supporting and promoting the unique nature and appeal of precincts such as Hutt Street, O’Connell Street, the Central Market area and Sturt Street, as well as Rundle Mall.
Develop the Le Cornu site as the “North Adelaide Town Square”, consisting of a park with gardens and trees and at least two levels of Council-owned underground car parking. This should include a central paved area for community events.
Plant large formal avenue type trees in the Melbourne Street East retail precinct to help revitalise the area. Look what plane trees did for Hutt Street from the 1980s.
Identify and pursue opportunities to secure land for development by Council as Council-operated carparks in Hutt and Sturt streets. Accessibility is a key to making these precincts work.
I will upgrade infrastructure and amenities
Adelaide and North Adelaide have many attractive areas and a number of vibrant new ones. However, other parts are tired and their facilities outdated and unappealing to locals and visitors. We can make a difference quite easily, but it must be done in a planned way.
Underground electricity in all residential and commercial streets in the City and North Adelaide.
Adopt one set of high-quality, uniquely designed fixtures and fittings to promoting a cohesive “Adelaide feel".
Widely plant large shade trees and appoint a City Arborist to really look after all our street and Park Lands trees.
Illuminate Park Land fringes and heritage buildings at night.
Progressively beautify and upgrade our world-class Park Land legacy for current community recreational use and future generations. We must not regard the Park Lands as wasted development opportunities.
Provide descriptive plaques for commercial heritage buildings to showcase the city’s history.