House debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021


Sturt Electorate: Adelaide City Deal

4:44 pm

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

Today is a very significant milestone in the city deal between the Commonwealth government, the state government and the Adelaide City Council local government in my home city of Adelaide, with the announcement of the successful proponent of the entrepreneurial innovation centre to be built on the Lot Fourteen precinct. Quintessential Equity will build a $400 million, 16-storey, 35,000-square-metre icon on that site. This is private sector money, not funded by the taxpayer—a great show of confidence in the success of the deal and of the great ambition that people have for that precinct.

Within a week of my becoming the candidate for Sturt, it was my pleasure to attend a signing ceremony between the Prime Minister, the Premier and the lord mayor for that city deal. The total taxpayer value is a little over half a billion dollars, but the precinct itself is more than a billion dollars of activity already, and it is now well beyond that thanks to the $400 million announcement today.

We, of course, have the Australian Space Agency located in one of the heritage buildings, the McEwin Building. Five heritage buildings on the site have been restored—the fifth is almost fully restored, the Bice Building. The McEwin, Allied Health Services, Women's Health and Margaret Graham buildings are all restored. They're all full. Private sector startups in the space sector, in the cyber sector, in the defence sector and in the creative industry sector are exciting businesses that see this as a vibrant precinct where there's opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded people that are starting businesses and creating jobs in our economy.

We're also working towards the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery, which again is part of the city deal. The concept plans for that have now been developed, and I'm hopeful and looking forward to being part of another sod turning—which is a regular occurrence at that site—when we are ready to commence moving forward with that.

One of the other exciting things on the precinct will be the culinary school, which is an initiative to relocate training providers that are currently based well out of the city at Regency Park, like Le Cordon Bleu and the International College of Hotel Management, as well as the state government TAFE, where they provide excellent courses for domestic and international students in all the various elements of hospitality. But it's time for that capability to be moved into the Adelaide CBD. That will transform the capability for us to provide domestic and international education in what is going to be a vital growth industry as we continue to grow our economy post the pandemic.

This is a great story of transformation for the city of Adelaide. Lot Fourteen was the old Royal Adelaide Hospital. About 14 years ago, a decision was made to build a new hospital at the other end of the CBD, in what has become a flourishing biomedical precinct. We are happy to have that new hospital, that asset, and the ecosystem in biomedicine and healthcare that's developed around it. The SAHMRI and the SAHMRI II will be opening soon, thanks to Commonwealth funding, to be the first proton therapy unit in Australia. People who currently have to travel to places like Japan, North America or Europe for that kind of capability will be able to be treated there. We'll have it in Adelaide, and people will come from all over the country, in those unfortunate circumstances where they need that treatment.

Moving the hospital left an enormous problem at the other end of the city. Hospitals, obviously, apart from the health care they provide, are also inherently a major economic driver, because they've got enormous numbers of people attracted to their precinct, whether they're patients or workforce or visitors et cetera. So it was important that we had a vision for that precinct so that we didn't have one end of the city essentially being left to rack and ruin for all sorts of businesses that for so long had relied on the enormous amount of foot traffic et cetera attracted by the hospital.

Well, what we've achieved is beyond our wildest dreams. Now we've got a space agency, and we've got a space industry developing around that—defence industry, cyber industry and creative industries have all been attracted to that precinct because of the ecosystem that's been created.

It's great to have the private sector flourishing, but we needed good government decisions to create the opportunity. That is what this city deal is delivering for Adelaide—a great example of two good Liberal governments, the Morrison government and the Marshall government, working together to deliver for the people of South Australia.