Brian Tee is obvioulsy against it, maybe he is just one of the visionless ones, who wants to hold everything back so it simply remains as it is ... the point I am making is at least people are talking about going forward rather than just sitting back and doing nothing.
Oh how I wish we could have visionaries such as Matthew Guy here in Adelaide instead of the old farts we have in the South Australian government and Adelaide City Council. Our people can't even plan what to do with Victoria Square let alone a gigantic plan like this. It's only now they are looking to revitalise the boring dark Torrens river precinct in a bid to copy Melbournes famed Southbank. The Government and Adelaide City Council seem to be oblivious to the fact that we have been yelling and jumping up and down for years for something like this to happen... but no ..... lets not change Adelaides backward thinking mentality and look to revitalise a somewhat boring city.
A friend of mine came over recently to stay in Adelaide for a few days - his first visit here - this is his very first text message to me after he arrived and got settled into his city based hotel. I quote (verbatim)
"Hi guys, its ??????. We are here in Adelaide!. What a strange city! Everything closes so early. We had McDonalds for dinner because we couldn't find any other places to eat. Me and ?????? are going to explore the city tomorrow then maybe we could all go somewhere for dinner".
I have replaced names with ???????
OK, in fairness to our quiet little city. Our visitors weren't aware of eateries in Gouger, Rundle and Hutt Street's. Well, they weren't aware the evening of their arrival anyway, but its such a shame that their first impression of Adelaide is of a boring nothing happening city.
We need to attract visitors to help our tourism and hospitality industries. We also need to attract investment and we need to appeal to people to want to move to Adelaide for a better life. I would rather have us appeal to the younger person to want to make the move here. How many times have we heard about the older retiree's selling up there modest house in Sydney or Melbourne and moving to Adelaide, build their dream house and then fully retire. Great stuff, but we don't want to become known as a big retirement village.
We need people with real vision in the right spots in government and council. I dont know how many times I've heard of developments knocked back because of heritage buildings in the area .. blah blah. Thousands of other cities in the world seem to blend the modern with the heritage easily.. but not Adelaide. Rome is a perfect example. They blend the new and old together so easily, and in some cases, join new buildings with heritage Roman facades to create a totally new modern/heritage building. Is Adelaide just being over protective? Do we have the right people with the right vision in power?
When are we going to get action? I saw a plan two or three years ago for Victoria Square, and of course, nothing has happened. Then, the Adelaide City Council wastes money on putting a bike lane into a road so wide you can fit three tanks into it, then pat themselves on the back for being creative. If Adelaide City Council were really concerned about bike riders, why don't they tackle the hard roads like King William Street, rather than wasting time and money putting bike lanes in Sturt Street which is already so wide, there is plenty of room for both bikes and cars as it is.
To make a point, I took the aforementioned visitors to Adelaide up to Windy Point to view the Adelaide lights. They were suitably impressed, and one asked "What's the black spot in the middle". I had to embarrassingly reply that that was Victoria Square - the centre of Adelaide. I often feel for the guests at the Hilton Hotel on the square, when they leave the hotel to be faced with a bleak dark boring nothingness which, if you're lucky, may have the fountain working. If the council is not going to do anything with Victoria Square, at least liven it up by underlighting the tree's with green and yellow lights, even put some fairy lights in the tree's. Colour the fountain lights in beautiful blues and reds every now and then for something different. At least, make the square something pleasant to walk through instead of the bleak darkness that it is.
Come on people, start jumping up and down for action. Everything just seems to take so long to do in Adelaide. I would like to see the Torrens precinct done before I die ... which hopefully won't be for a while yet! And to the designers and architects.. do it justice. Make our Torrens precinct something fantastic which overseas visitors will go back home and talk about for ages with their friends. At the moment, its dark and gloomy except for a row of lights next to the river. I would love to see restaurants and cafe's over looking the water which will have new water features and possibly a 'state of the art' dancing fountain to thrill on-lookers, just like Melbournes big flaming towers on Southbank. (As a side note. I would love those towers here along the banks of the Torrens from King William Street to the Morphett Street bridge, but that would be too copycat!! Damn!). Light up all the tree's in the Torrens precinct along War Memorial Drive and around the Festival Theatre!. How spectacular would that look whilst evening concerts are being held instead of the dark gloom that it is now?
Anyway, we'll wait (and no doubt wait some more) and see if anything happens. It is Adelaide after all.