Capital city with a clear vision
Lord Mayor, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, describes Adelaide as a 'very civil city.' Having resided in England and America, the Lord Mayor emphasised this is the place she has chosen to live.
"Adelaide delivers city living on a human scale," she said. "It is safe, unpolluted, cultured, intellectual and has a long tradition of social justice and liberal ideas. "The people of Adelaide are extraordinary. It is an accepting, adventurous, sophisticated community.
"People here come out en masse to experience and enjoy diverse events and activities." In a city renowned for its beauty and a history of enlightened planning, Jane Lomax-Smith's interest in Local Government was initially kindled over a planning matter. This continues to be an issue which she believes is critical to the quality of life Adelaide has to offer.
She said, in many ways, Adelaide is the only capital city in Australia with a true sense of place and a clear vision of where it is going. "We do not want to pretend to be like Sydney or Melbourne," she said. "In other cities you might at times be anywhere in the world. "Here you know you are in Australia and you know you are in Adelaide."
Following the recent implementation of the City of Adelaide Act, Council has entered a new phase. Elected members have been reduced from 16 to 9 members with all Councillors elected across the city, rather than representing Wards.
"This has brought greater stability and better quality candidates; people with greater expertise, commercial skills and less parochial attitudes," Dr Lomax-Smith said. Under the new Act, the importance of Adelaide as the capital of South Australia is emphasised.
As a capital city, there are many matters, such as education, tourism and employment, which are not the fundamentals of Local Government but which must be covered without neglecting basic services. Council is forming partnerships with other organisations, such as the health and education sectors, to maximise their value to Adelaide and the State.
Drawing over two thirds of its revenue from business activities requires Council to be interventionist. "We cannot leave everything to market forces, it would only shift resources to the east," said Jane Lomax-Smith. "As the Capital City Council we must show leadership and provide certainty. We must guarantee the city is a good place for business, with good asset management and financial stability."
She said Council wants to maintain the city centre as a place which continues to offer a diverse cultural and social experience. "It would be easy to drive the central city up market and take away social diversity," she said. "But we do not want it to become an elite inner city enclave."