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MICHAEL LLEWELLYN SMITH, Acting Lord Mayor: The Adelaide City Council has always maintained the park lands are for all people, not just those who pay rates within our city limits. Council has invested more than $110 million in park lands maintenance and infrastructure development since 2008.

In last Wednesday’s InDaily Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne highlighted his council’s willingness to add to our significant investment for the advancement of the park lands for his ratepayers and the well over seven million recorded users each year.

This is a step in the right direction after we recently sought involvement from two surrounding councils in developing master plans for park lands areas bordering their council districts with mixed success. While we were able to entice one to the table on master planning, neither wanted to open their purse strings and invest in improved amenity in the area.

Mayor Clyne is critical of the amenities that exist on his doorstep. Perhaps he is not aware of what exists within just 600 metres of his council boundary. This includes 20 netball, 35 tennis and two basketball courts; 26 sporting fields (including hockey and croquet grounds); the immaculately maintained Veale and Himeji gardens, three playgrounds, a dog obedience club and a BMX track.

Amenities in the park lands close to our other council neighbours include the Adelaide Aquatic Centre; Bonython Park with its new award winning play space; hockey facilities and tennis courts; some 30 sporting fields; the Golf Course; the new and award winning dog park and netball facilities on Park 22. We have also spent over $10 million in improvements to Victoria Park.

Mayor Clyne also calls for a seat at the table of the Adelaide Park Lands Authority (APLA) – the joint State / Council governance arrangement charged with overseeing the management of the Park Lands. This is a call mirrored by inner rim councils.

However, at the last meeting of the Metropolitan Local Government Group of Mayors it was resolved that the inner city councils would request the Minister to consider using his nominations on APLA for such representation. I do not believe the council would object to the Minister appointing an inner rim council representative to the APLA if he so wished.

Another approach to be considered is for surrounding councils to engage with us and explore specific projects for developing amenities in the park lands close to their borders. The park lands are for all South Australians and this approach would certainly open the door to other funding models being explored.

TOM MATTHEWS: How many times have we all read and heard the Premier and his Planning Minister waxing eloquently about their desire to change Adelaide into a vibrant city? But to me this has always fallen on deaf ears and I have dismissed the idea as rather fanciful and a waste of time especially coming from the political class – the masters of spin and dreams. Pie in the sky in fact.

In conversation with a friend the other day we discussed what ‘a ‘vibrant ’city might be and tossed a few ideas around. Might it be that the Premier means Adelaide is in 24/7 party mode? Heaven forbid! The streets full of noisy revelers – car engines revving, hotels full of people in all sorts of celebratory moods dancing to load music way into the small hours.

Or does a vibrant city mean that Adelaide is full of cricket or football fans either drowning their sorrows or lauding their team’s success? What about Adelaide coming alive when the Christmas Pageant weaves its magic through the city streets each year as hundreds of thousands of South Australian mums dads and children line the streets to welcome Santa Claus to our city? But what about all those fun times at the Fringe Festival Garden of Unearthly Delights and the concerts at Elder Park?

To me a vibrant city is also a place where I can sit, reflect, and contemplate and be lost in my own life world without all that noise. The sounds of silence – ducks quacking, birds calling to each other.

A vibrant city also is filled with the sounds of the Elder Hall concerts, of interesting talks at the Barr Smith Library. Heavens – I have just realised two things – our city is full of fantastic attractions for everyone now. Well what does this mean? Adelaide IS already a vibrant city. As you were saying Premier? Why build what is already in place? But ah the election is not far away!

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