Adelaide scores $551m city deal

James Riley
Editorial Director

Adelaide has been announced as the home of the seventh city deal that will see all three levels of governments work together over the next 10 years to grow the city’s innovation and cultural economy, and support and plan for population growth.

South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said the deal demonstrates the result of a “grown-up relationship” between different government tiers.

“We’ve stopped the fake fights and what we’ve done is sit down collaboratively and work on our ambition, our opportunity for South Australia and we’ve developed a fantastic city deal,” he said.

Adelaide: A mix of investments underpin a unified local, state and federal government deal.

“It’s a real partnership between the local government, the state government and the federal government coming together to create a real economic activity, increase visitation, increase international students and of course, bust some of the congestions on our road.”

Valued at $551 million, the city deal consists of several components. One of these include establishing an innovation hub at Lot Fourteen, the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site that is being transformed into an innovation neighbourhood.

The governments will set aside $3 million of the total to establish an Indigenous business hub at Lot Fourteen, “so Indigenous people can capture the opportunities just as well as anybody else can,” according to Minister for Cities and Urban Renewal Alan Tudge.

In conjunction, an entrepreneurship and start-up strategy will be formed this year to build a “culture of entrepreneurship” in Adelaide.

The federal government’s $12 million funding to establish a mission control centre and education facility in Adelaide that was announced on Monday also falls under the $551 million commitment.

“Space in Australia is currently worth $3.9 billion to our economy and employs 10,000 people. In the next 10 to 11 years the federal government is intended to grow the space industry in Australia to $12 billion, with an additional 120,000 people working in that sector. Of course, South Australia is where the space agency is going to be headquartered at Lot Fourteen, the innovation headquarters right here in in Adelaide,” said innovation minister Karen Andrews.

Other investments as part of the city deal will include $10 million from the federal government and up to $12.6 million from the City of Adelaide towards smart technology initiatives. It will form part of plans for developing digital service delivery in the state, while building the National Broadband Network, the South Australian government’s Gig City, and the City of Adelaide’s Ten Gigabit Adelaide.

Attracting skilled talent from overseas specifically for Adelaide’s needs is also on the agenda. A designated area of migration agreement will be considered to allow employers in Greater Adelaide to sponsor skilled overseas workers to manage skills and labour shortages, including in emerging sectors.

At the same time, the supporting innovation in South Australia visa pilot program will also be implemented until November 21. It’s designed to attract overseas entrepreneurs and seed start-ups, before they’re connected with key investments and activities occurring in South Australia’s economy.

The Australian Government said $85 million will be contributed towards the establishment of an Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery at Lot Fourteen.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the commitment is part of the plan to ensure Australian cities are liveable.

“Today’s announcement is all about our commitment to making our cities liveable. To ensuring that our cities have the opportunities for those who live in those cities,” he said.

“The big challenge we have to manage is how we manage population growth. That’s what it’s about – people stuck in traffic jams, ensuring there are jobs into the future, ensuring there is the skills that are being developed and the opportunities that are being realised.”

The Australian and South Australian governments and City of Adelaide will now prepare an implementation plan within the next six months setting out commitment timeframes and responsibilities.

Other city deals have been established in Townsville, Launceston, Western Sydney, Darwin, Hobart, Geelong, and just last month in South East Queensland. The launch of a city deal for Perth is also underway.

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