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Your views: on city trader group reform, and public service sackings

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Today, readers comment on a plan for an overarching group to represent city traders and reinforce the city’s retail appeal, and the potential for public service forced redundancies.

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Commenting on the story: City trader groups under cloud as united body mooted

The first point in the story about combining all the City of Adelaide trader groups to combat greater competition from external forces, does miss the added components of the potential loss of competitive advantage from exclusive holiday trading, and the potential for small bar legislation extension to the suburbs.

Whilst the aggregation of the trader groups seems a sound idea in principle, there would be some details that have not been revealed which might influence an effective outcome.

The Rundle Mall Management Authority for instance operates under charter for their particular precinct, and it was considered previously by that authority that it would be wise to extend that precinct, but not necessarily to the extent now proposed.

The RMMA is funded through a property owner levy (passed on, of course, to the tenant).

This levy has created some friction from time to time as various property owners (and tenants) do not always feel their money is well spent relating to their particular business, even though it has been effective in reversing a trend to suburban shopping.

How this levy might extend to a wider group, and how it would be able to provide adequate support for the larger number of trader groups, should be major considerations.

It is worth noting that prior to the RMMA, Council failed to reverse this trend before appointing an independent body, led by business leaders such as Robert Atkins, Theo Maras and Martin Haese.

It was able to make independent decisions to improve the promotion of the city through its retail offering.

It also raises the question as to whether there is to be a marketing levy for the whole city, used exclusively to promote the city, or if it is intended to be funded from Council rates revenue.

It would seem difficult to understand how a body could be effective if it did not have a designated revenue stream.

This funding would be required to attract and administer the components of a successful city wide marketing campaign, and to advise Council on what other things it might do to support future growth.

A degree of autonomy is required if this body can work effectively, and the RMMA charter is a good start point for looking at how it might work.

It is a really healthy debate, and should be supported on the understanding that it would be given the teeth to be autonomous and truly effective. – Eric Granger, former Chair, RMMA

As a very occasional visitor to the city it appears to me that there is one very decisive factor which will prevent the city from ever returning to its role as the premier retail destination in SA, that no trader body can overcome.

That is access, both in terms of convenience and cost.

I recently had to spend the day in the city and was startled to find that the very cheapest parking I could get was for $14 – and that was a long walk from the major shopping precinct.

On a visit a couple of weeks earlier, the 10 minute overstay in a street park cost me $72 by way of a fine. And I haven’t yet bought a single thing.

 Contrast this to Marion, Burnside Village, Colonnades at Noarlunga, Tea Tree Plaza etc.

All a lot more convenient to get to, and all my funds are available to bolster the retail sector. – John Wyk

Commenting on the story: Lucas to consider forced redundancies

Why doesn’t anyone talk about the real impact of the “no forced redundancies” policy and how departments get around it – the introduction and recent sharp increase in the use of “fixed term contract” roles in the public service.

The ever expanding use of “fixed term contracts” represents an insidious and underhanded erosion of workers’ rights and negatively impacts on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.

I look forward to the day when this unfair practice is called out for what it is. – Emily Young

A friend recently spent time in hospital being taught how to give pain relief injections, so that a child with a compound fracture of the lower leg could be sent straight home.

Already not enough staff or beds available, but Mr Lucas wants to plough ahead with forced redundancies. Sheer idiocy! Maureen Howland

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