Greg Barila

Journalist. Editor. Social Media specialist.

Enough ho-hum, now for the vision, excitement

Projects such as the Torrens footbridge and revamped Adelaide oval are changing the city culturally, as well as physically. Source: News Corp Australia
JUST in case you were worried a week might pass without anybody talking about an election, the political classes have kindly turned their attention to the next council poll due in November.
Thank goodness for that — I was just about to step out and buy a copy of Quarterly Essay and sign up for the A-Pac channel on Sky, just to cope with the nightmares and cold sweats.
All eyes will be on the contest in the city, and already Lord Mayor-wannabe Mark Hamilton has drawn the battle lines, outlining his plans for Taking Care of Business (with apologies to Elvis) if he gets elected.
I don’t know Cr Hamilton, and for all I do know, he may be the best candidate to wear the robe and chains for the next four years.
He certainly thinks so, declaring himself to be “the most qualified of lord mayoral candidates in decades” in an interview in the Sunday Mail.
But if the key planks in Cr Hamilton’s policy platform — building a car park in North Adelaide, sorting out the old Le Cornu site and planting more trees and flowers — are the kind of ideas we can expect from this campaign, colour me underwhelmed.
Again, I don’t claim to know Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood more than superficially.
But it’s impossible to argue Adelaide hasn’t come alive since he got the job.
At least some of the credit belongs to the Rann Government, and policies and decisions it took years ago, which are only now beginning to come to fruition — the new RAH, the Convention Centre, the Oval redevelopment, the footbridge.
Yarwood has been as big a beneficiary of those projects as the rest of us, but his council has also pushed through or supported a range of interesting projects that have changed Adelaide not only physically, but culturally, too.
For better or worse, and mostly it’s been for the better, people are now thinking about and talking about Adelaide in a way I can never remember happening.
Like Cr Hamilton, Yarwood talks about greening the city.
But he also talks about turning Adelaide into a giant Wi-Fi hotspot, Australia’s “Silicon Valley” and using that infrastructure to make our city smarter.
Creating an Internet of Things, devices that can help us know and understand our city, and manage complex systems such as lightning, parking and irrigation with a level of detail and precisions not possible before.
Cr Hamilton may have similar ideas and if he does I look forward to hearing all about them, because Adelaide needs more than a new car park and a boring old debate about a block of vacant land.
Don’t you think?
This column was first published in The City magazine and on advertiser.com.au