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Your views: on city trader groups, and World Heritage park lands

Reader contributions

Today, readers ask where the city’s many non-retail businesses figure in a renewed focus to restore CBD shopping glory days, and question contradictions around park lands status.

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

My husband and I established our SME in the City of Adelaide 37 years ago. Your story stunned me.

 In my opinion, Council releasing that report through the media, putting it out in the public domain the way that it did was foolhardy to say the least.

 To publicly undervalue any volunteer, no matter how large or small their role, is the very height of rudeness.

In the context of Precinct groups, to label the volunteer committee members and supporters as unskilled and lacking connection is the most galling display of ignorance by the author of the report.

 Just a quick look at the Grote Business Precinct committee disproves those comments: it has numerous highly qualified, successful small business owners, each with decades of experience across a range of professional service industries and the community services sector.

A Solicitor; the General Manager of an international hotel that’s part of one the most successful accommodation chains on the planet – and that’s just for starters.

Noting Adelaide City Council seems to have a staff turnover so high that any form of history or knowledge of this City community is lost pretty much on an annual basis, it’s hard to imagine why Council would not want to leverage the knowledge base and contact network of their volunteer community.

There’s no doubt that the current Precinct system isn’t perfect. There are quite a few areas of the City without Precinct representation, but that’s how the then Council set it up 20 years ago.

Then there’s the issue of the proposed new body apparently focusing its energy on promoting the City and North Adelaide as South Australia’s premier retail destination.

Given that the consultant engaged to assist Council with this project was the General Manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority for two and a half years to April 2018, perhaps the report’s preoccupation with retail is no surprise.

But why should the hundreds of city-based SMEs that are not retail businesses be denied access to the support, encouragement and assistance they currently receive via their Precinct associations?

Why should they lose their local voice and direct input into their City’s operations? We all pay rates.

 Now, let’s talk investment. The City of Adelaide provides grants in the vicinity of $25,000pa to support the operations of each of the eight Precinct groups.

$200,000 all up – an amount equivalent to about half the annual salary of the City of Adelaide’s CEO.

It’s a paltry amount, but thanks to the contributions of the clearly undervalued, professional volunteers, the various associations achieve remarkable things that meet the actual needs of the business and/or residential communities they serve.

I can’t see this fancy new Adelaide Economic Development Agency opening its doors for business without a funding stream that makes that $200,000pa in grants pale into insignificance.  Kat Lister

Commenting on the story: State Govt cautious about park lands World Heritage bid

There is a world of difference between what the City Council espouses and what it does, most obviously demonstrated by proposing World Heritage listing for the park lands yet considering corporatising the northern park lands (Denise Norton Park).

Little wonder the Minister has reservations; there can only be ignominy from seeking World Heritage listing as “the only city in the world with a town plan that splits the commercial from the residential using an expansive ring of public parks”, when the City Council is contemplating ‘selling off’ a large swathe of the ring of public parks to a private commercial franchise. – Elbert Brooks 

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