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Today, readers comment on a city councillor’s claim that universities’ rapid growth robs council of rates, passenger satisfaction on trains, trams and buses, and sport articles.

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Expansion by degrees

Commenting on the story: “Frankenstein” universities swallowing up CBD: city councillor

Councillor Khera’s comments seem both a bit ill-informed and frankly, short-sighted.

For the record, the two largest buildings mentioned in the swallowing up of rateable land comment (Adelaide Uni Medical School $247m, Uni SA Centre Research Centre $246m) are on what was previously crown land, where there was no rate revenue or little likelihood in the future.

Secondly, while it is true that the universities are also buying rateable land, they are attracting investment in student accommodation, which is rateable.

They also create a mini-environment to cater for students and staff needs in surrounding businesses, which contribute strongly to the city economy.

Universities do assist to drive up the cost of commercial real estate in their precincts by being active participants in bidding for properties.

Guess who gets more revenue if property values increase? Council of course!

The council might pick up some revenue through rates if they were able to do so through this proposed move; it would create a far greater problem if the Universities were to move or build their facilities on cheaper suburban land or, worse still, stop their developments in the city.

It is a major attraction to study in the city of Adelaide, and the proposed changes potentially may have far greater implications.

This is not as simple as it may appear. The previous council promoted the concept of a university city, as they recognised the value that these institutions add to our economy and society.

While there should be no problem with councillors promoting new ideas, the use of emotive language like the Frankenstein quote is not helpful.

I suspect that this council is wise enough to recognise that a short-term cash infusion will not deliver a better outcome for the city in the longer term.

Maintenance of the current rating system with universities appears to be a small price to pay for the momentum in the university sector to be maintained. – Eric Granger

Central ward councillor Jessy Khera says: “Take law degrees for example. Back in the 1980s there would be something like 30 (to) 40 law graduates – in the entire state. Now, it is upwards of 1200. That’s 1200 young people who will feel compelled to move interstate, where they will be unlikely to own their own home and probably end up childless and on a cocktail of anti-depressants.”

Really? “Childless and on a cocktail of anti-depressants”? Can Councillor Khera present any evidence for this “drug abuse”?

If not, he must have a very low opinion of law graduates to make such a scurrilous claim!

I graduated from the University of Adelaide with an LLB in 2010, and whilst I’ve never practiced law, my degree was well-regarded in the state public sector.

It is a widely accepted fact that only a very small percentage of students graduating with an LLB will ever practice law, at least in the traditional sense – the majority go onto (successful?) careers in other industries. Graham Goss

It’s an interesting story with competing views.

However, the Adelaide City Council maps both appear to be incorrect.

I was unaware that the universities owned the Myer Centre, or Adelaide City Council’s own U Park on Gawler place.

I hope they haven’t been using this map as a basis for charging their rates. Julian Thompson

Check the figures

Commenting on the story: New director for public transport body

What breathtaking disingenuousness on the part of the government to talk of how much better the private sector is at customer satisfaction, whilst at the very same time producing figures that users are least happy with buses which are privatised, compared with trains/trams which aren’t. – Cathy Chua

Click and collect

Commenting on the story: Adelaide United’s owners make a big statement

I am an avid reader of newsworthy sports reports online and have noted a decline in the quality and interest of stories.

I opened InDaily today by accident, clicked on the Adelaide United story and was delighted with the perspectives presented by your writer Spiro Karanikos-Mimis.

An interesting read! Please keep sponsoring and promoting intelligent content. You have won my readership. – Mark Kelly

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We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

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