We have returned to a city that is about to have its local elections—some candidates who live in the city reckon that council should only be concerned with roads, rates, rubbish and security. Anything else—trying to renew Adelaide is a waste of money.
This is the conservative reaction to the “vibrant city agenda”, and a way to allow the status quo to reinforce itself.
Many senior staff and Councillors on the Adelaide City Council actively block reform in the inner city as they hold to the suburban model of Adelaide that emerged in the 1950s. Their status quo is the comfort of quiet regionalism and relative decline with increasing numbers of their young seeking and making opportunities elsewhere, rather Adelaide becoming a cosmopolitan, internationally oriented and competitive city.
The status quo is one of Adelaide being a regional city, on the fringes of the global economy, that acts as as primary industries portal + manufacturing hub. With manufacturing moving to the cheap labour of the developing world, Adelaide can no longer do what it was designed to do–a colonial outpost that was a wheat and wool feeder to the British Empire. It’s got to shift to a knowledge economy if it is to gain economic viability in a global economy in the 21st century.