House debates

Wednesday, 26 August 2020


Adelaide City Deal

7:53 pm

Photo of James StevensJames Stevens (Sturt, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It was my great pleasure two weeks ago to represent the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure at a milestone announcement as part of our city deal in my home state of South Australia, my home city of Adelaide, at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital, which is on the boundary between my electorate of Sturt and the electorate of Adelaide. Unfortunately, the minister, for obvious reasons, wasn't able to travel to South Australia, but it was my luck to be present on his behalf representing the Morrison government at that milestone announcement, with the Premier of South Australia and the Minister for Innovation and Skills, of the market call for the new innovation centre which is to be built anew on the Royal Adelaide Hospital campus as part of our city deal there for the Lot Fourteen precinct. This will be an investment of more than a half a billion dollars across the various levels of government. It's obviously a partnership between the Commonwealth, the state and the Adelaide City Council, as all the city deals are. This milestone comes after the opening of the Space Agency on the precinct, the incubation hub for startups that's now being run by Stone & Chalk and the reinvigoration of the five heritage buildings—in fact, the fifth has just commenced this week, the Bice building. The other four are now fully operational. More than 800 people are part of small startups, innovative businesses, that have come together in an ecosystem on that site.

In a subsequent tour of the precinct, it was such an inspiration to see some of the new businesses that are establishing themselves there. They're not only bringing ideas to the precinct; they're sharing ideas. They're talking with other businesspeople in the startup environment about the challenges their businesses have. They're working together on innovative and collaborative projects and solutions for the future industries and the future jobs in our economy not just in South Australia but throughout Australia.

I mentioned that the Space Agency has been located on the precinct. Very shortly we'll have the new Mission Control Centre there. That is, again, part of the city deal funding, which will allow satellite launch and monitoring and data collection to come right onto that precinct and be shared with partners there and in the space industry sector across the country for innovative solutions and opportunities to continue to grow our economy. This is not just the future economy; this is our existing fundamental baseload economic opportunity—for example, bringing in new technologies to traditional industries, such as the agriculture sector and the mining sector, that we've had underpinning our economy in South Australia for more than a century.

It's a really exciting precinct. Of course, it was a health precinct; the Royal Adelaide Hospital was the major hospital for the state of South Australia since soon after European settlement. With the relocation to a new facility on the other end of the Adelaide CBD, there was a real question as to what we would do with that precinct. It's in the CBD, on North Terrace. It probably would have had a very significant value for private sector development. Maybe some would have seen the highest value of the site being simply to sell off the land and maybe have it end up as some kind of residential development. But two Liberal governments—the Commonwealth government and the state government—decided we could get a lot more out of that precinct than just selling it off for development. And that's exactly what we've achieved with this city deal partnership. It's bringing together the university sector, the defence sector, the space sector and the creative industries sector. They're all together on the one precinct where they can collaborate and develop small businesses that we hope will become big businesses. They're bringing together job creators, and that's the most exciting thing about this precinct. These are businesses with three or four people with ideas that you can see turning into a business with 300 or 400 people. Not all of them are going to be successful. Many new ideas don't succeed. Many small businesses fail but there are ones that do succeed; I think the odds are pretty high that there'll be quite a few coming out of that precinct. We're going to have a factory for exciting new entrepreneurial ventures in my home state of South Australia.

I commend Minister Tudge and the Morrison government for what we are doing as part of that partnership. It's very exciting for South Australia. It's very exciting for my electorate, and it gives you a lot of hope that, in these tough economic times, we are investing in the jobs of the future.

House adjourned at 20:00