New York Times Article About Adelaide

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PeFe
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New York Times Article About Adelaide

#1 Post by PeFe » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:05 am

I just found this New York Times article about Adelaide. It was written in April this year. A few factual errors ("a mostly rural state") but still an interesting read.

From NY Times
ADELAIDE JOURNAL

Elon Musk Likes It Here. Will Other Tech Innovators Follow?

Image
self-driving vehicle in Tonsley, an old factory converted into a start-up hub. Adelaide is trying to recast itself as an innovation center for Australia and the world.CreditCreditMatthew Abbott for The New York Times

ADELAIDE, Australia — Tom Hajdu, a globe-trotting entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in music from Princeton, parked his Toyota Camry and walked us toward a former Mitsubishi auto factory that shut down a decade ago.

It has recently been reopened with high-speed broadband, Ping-Pong tables and room for hip start-up companies. Under the old industrial roof, the message was clear: This working-class city is doing everything it can to recast itself as an innovation hub for South Australia and the world.

“There’s a corps of people here who will be driving into the innovation economy,” Mr. Hajdu said. “You get on the bus or you get out of the way.”

Adelaide is the understated capital of South Australia, a mostly rural depopulating state. Like so many rust belt cities worldwide, it is trying to recover from a manufacturing decline by hunting for innovation buzz — that glow of techno-progress that can propel a place from downbeat to in demand.

Full article : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/worl ... ation.html

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#2 Post by claybro » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:11 pm

Adelaide is definitely understated. But "mostly rural and depopulating rustbelt state!?...When was this written? 1935?

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#3 Post by SBD » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:51 pm

claybro wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:11 pm
Adelaide is definitely understated. But "mostly rural and depopulating rustbelt state!?...When was this written? 1935?
Over 87% of the state (by area) will be in the electorate of Grey at the next election, with a further 6% in Barker. It's hard to come up with facts to dispute that the state is "mostly rural" (unless you want to argue that desert used as pastoral grazing land and national parks is not rural).

You're right that the state is not depopulating - the loss of a federal seat is due to our population increasing slower than others, not an actual decrease. However the concentration of population in Adelaide means that much of the rest of the state is depopulating. "Rust belt" is applied to Adelaide, not the entire state. It seems to be the popular meme of government and media to tell us that all of the manufacturing industry in Adelaide has or will soon leave, so the label is not unexpected. We hear a lot more about places abruptly closing than about the ones that are sustainably growing.

I'm not sure if the rising unemployment is accurate, but the rest of the article seems close, even picking the upbeat themes from here.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#4 Post by Goodsy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:57 pm

SBD wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:51 pm
claybro wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:11 pm
Adelaide is definitely understated. But "mostly rural and depopulating rustbelt state!?...When was this written? 1935?
Over 87% of the state (by area) will be in the electorate of Grey at the next election, with a further 6% in Barker. It's hard to come up with facts to dispute that the state is "mostly rural" (unless you want to argue that desert used as pastoral grazing land and national parks is not rural).

You're right that the state is not depopulating - the loss of a federal seat is due to our population increasing slower than others, not an actual decrease. However the concentration of population in Adelaide means that much of the rest of the state is depopulating. "Rust belt" is applied to Adelaide, not the entire state. It seems to be the popular meme of government and media to tell us that all of the manufacturing industry in Adelaide has or will soon leave, so the label is not unexpected. We hear a lot more about places abruptly closing than about the ones that are sustainably growing.

I'm not sure if the rising unemployment is accurate, but the rest of the article seems close, even picking the upbeat themes from here.
geographically we're motley rural, but socially we are the most urbanised state in the country. Queensland, being the only state in Australia with more people living outside of its capital than in is the most rural

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#5 Post by SBD » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:59 pm

Goodsy wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:57 pm
SBD wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:51 pm
claybro wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:11 pm
Adelaide is definitely understated. But "mostly rural and depopulating rustbelt state!?...When was this written? 1935?
Over 87% of the state (by area) will be in the electorate of Grey at the next election, with a further 6% in Barker. It's hard to come up with facts to dispute that the state is "mostly rural" (unless you want to argue that desert used as pastoral grazing land and national parks is not rural).

You're right that the state is not depopulating - the loss of a federal seat is due to our population increasing slower than others, not an actual decrease. However the concentration of population in Adelaide means that much of the rest of the state is depopulating. "Rust belt" is applied to Adelaide, not the entire state. It seems to be the popular meme of government and media to tell us that all of the manufacturing industry in Adelaide has or will soon leave, so the label is not unexpected. We hear a lot more about places abruptly closing than about the ones that are sustainably growing.

I'm not sure if the rising unemployment is accurate, but the rest of the article seems close, even picking the upbeat themes from here.
geographically we're motley rural, but socially we are the most urbanised state in the country. Queensland, being the only state in Australia with more people living outside of its capital than in is the most rural
My intended point is that SA has very little significant population across most of the state. Off topic to this article, but four or five significant cities more than two hours from Adelaide and each other would make a significant difference to our social landscape. The key would be in having reasons for cities that size to get established.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#6 Post by Jaymz » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:53 pm

I recall reading this article a couple months ago and remember thinking it was a rather strange piece.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#7 Post by JAKJ » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm

They are clearly trying to draw comparisons to industrial towns in the US, however the reality is the the US is so far gone in terms of inequality and standard of living for its lower middle-class/ poor that beyond the wealth bubbles within the elite cities and a few rural enclaves it is basically a third world country.

The general standard of living, healthcare, low crime rates, infrastructure, employment and education opportunities in Adelaide would seem like paradise to a large chunk of the American population. Very sad to see what has happened over there.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#8 Post by SBD » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 pm

JAKJ wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm
They are clearly trying to draw comparisons to industrial towns in the US, however the reality is the the US is so far gone in terms of inequality and standard of living for its lower middle-class/ poor that beyond the wealth bubbles within the elite cities and a few rural enclaves it is basically a third world country.

The general standard of living, healthcare, low crime rates, infrastructure, employment and education opportunities in Adelaide would seem like paradise to a large chunk of the American population. Very sad to see what has happened over there.
One of the comparison cities was Pittsburgh, a city that once had a number of competing steel mills (think Whyalla and Wollongong, together and multiplied). The steel mills have all closed, but Pittsburgh is now the home of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Heinz, PPG and a few other substantial companies. So far, Adelaide (and South Australia) has not grown any significant multinational companies. We have had some big wine and food companies, but the really big ones' headquarters are not here. I don't know if we have enough South Australian-based food companies to band together and promote Brand South Australia independently of foreign/interstate parents. Thomas Foods International, Barossa Fine Foods, Kingston Estate Wines, Capilano, Spring Gully, Balco, ...

OTR and Santos probably belong near the top of the largest South Australian companies. Are there other large companies where the key decisions are made in SA?

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#9 Post by Jaymz » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:10 am

As far as S.A based companies go, I guess the next rung after those mentioned above would be the likes of Beach Energy and OZ Minerals, both have a market cap around
the $2-3 billion mark and good growth prospects. People's Choice credit union might be another of similar size, it's Australia's largest Credit Union as far as i'm aware.

Up until very recently I was under the impression that Bendigo & Adelaide Bank was headquartered at the new Grenfell Street tower, but it only offers support services.
It's head office is actually in Bendigo which is where the CEO works from. It's Austalia's 5th largest retail bank, would've beem nice to claim that one as being
headquartered in Adelaide but not to be.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#10 Post by Brucetiki » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:09 am

SBD wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 pm
JAKJ wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm
They are clearly trying to draw comparisons to industrial towns in the US, however the reality is the the US is so far gone in terms of inequality and standard of living for its lower middle-class/ poor that beyond the wealth bubbles within the elite cities and a few rural enclaves it is basically a third world country.

The general standard of living, healthcare, low crime rates, infrastructure, employment and education opportunities in Adelaide would seem like paradise to a large chunk of the American population. Very sad to see what has happened over there.
One of the comparison cities was Pittsburgh, a city that once had a number of competing steel mills (think Whyalla and Wollongong, together and multiplied). The steel mills have all closed, but Pittsburgh is now the home of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Heinz, PPG and a few other substantial companies. So far, Adelaide (and South Australia) has not grown any significant multinational companies. We have had some big wine and food companies, but the really big ones' headquarters are not here. I don't know if we have enough South Australian-based food companies to band together and promote Brand South Australia independently of foreign/interstate parents. Thomas Foods International, Barossa Fine Foods, Kingston Estate Wines, Capilano, Spring Gully, Balco, ...

OTR and Santos probably belong near the top of the largest South Australian companies. Are there other large companies where the key decisions are made in SA?
Pittsburgh is also the only city in the US whose colours (black and gold) are used by all their professional sporting teams (Steelers, Pirates and Penguins), similar to how most major sporting teams in Adelaide predominantly use the state colours (Crows, United, 36ers, Adrenaline, Bite, Redbacks etc).

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#11 Post by JAKJ » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:05 pm

SBD wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:04 pm
JAKJ wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:40 pm
They are clearly trying to draw comparisons to industrial towns in the US, however the reality is the the US is so far gone in terms of inequality and standard of living for its lower middle-class/ poor that beyond the wealth bubbles within the elite cities and a few rural enclaves it is basically a third world country.

The general standard of living, healthcare, low crime rates, infrastructure, employment and education opportunities in Adelaide would seem like paradise to a large chunk of the American population. Very sad to see what has happened over there.
One of the comparison cities was Pittsburgh, a city that once had a number of competing steel mills (think Whyalla and Wollongong, together and multiplied). The steel mills have all closed, but Pittsburgh is now the home of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Heinz, PPG and a few other substantial companies. So far, Adelaide (and South Australia) has not grown any significant multinational companies. We have had some big wine and food companies, but the really big ones' headquarters are not here. I don't know if we have enough South Australian-based food companies to band together and promote Brand South Australia independently of foreign/interstate parents. Thomas Foods International, Barossa Fine Foods, Kingston Estate Wines, Capilano, Spring Gully, Balco, ...

OTR and Santos probably belong near the top of the largest South Australian companies. Are there other large companies where the key decisions are made in SA?
While the perceived prestige of having a multi-national brand headquartered in your city is undeniable real-world impacts tend to be less tangible given international shareholdings, distributed operations, offshoring of profit etc. In fact large businesses that dominate their home cities often result in worse social outcomes as they are able to use their economic power for political influences to gain tax exemptions, grants and other favours (using the threat of moving) while stifling local competition.

As for promoting the city and South Australian brand that that's a role the State Government should be doing (as the previous state government successfully showed with its promotion of SA as a renewable energy investment destination and the biomed precinct). A city-dominating private business will not care about attracting potential competing business and in fact is likely to hinder it (for reasons stated above).

The fact is Pittsburgh still has a much higher poverty rate to Adelaide, greater income inequality and poorer access to education and employment opportunities, higher crime and from a purely aesthetic point of view a much uglier less pleasant place to be should show that number/ concentration of multi national businesses does not necessarily equal positive social/ economic outcomes.

Adelaide would be served well by pursing a role as an incubator for innovative family businesses/ SMEs as these tend to give much more back to the local communities in which they reside (on a revenue/ employee equivalence basis) then a big multi-national. Let's not forget that we used to be the headquarters of Newscorp and what did that do for the state?

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#12 Post by bits » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:28 pm

You would think Treasury Wine Estate would move to Adelaide after splitting from Foster's Group.
All their major brands are in SA.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#13 Post by ml69 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:35 pm

bits wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:28 pm
You would think Treasury Wine Estate would move to Adelaide after splitting from Foster's Group.
All their major brands are in SA.
Supply chain is based here in SA, with staff employed at Magill and Nuriootpa. Corporate and marketing etc is headquartered in Melbourne. I used to work there.

Pernod Ricard (owner of Jacobs Creek) have a similar operating model I believe with supply chain at Rose Park (Fullarton Rd) and Barossa Valley, but corporate functions headquartered in Sydney.

I think in terms of attracting large corporations to Adelaide, our opportunity is not so much the head office functions but significant portions of the operational functions based on our comparative advantages in terms of lower staff costs, lower rent, educated workforce, high standard of living etc.

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Re: New York Times Article About Adelaide

#14 Post by SBD » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:22 pm

ml69 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:35 pm
bits wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:28 pm
You would think Treasury Wine Estate would move to Adelaide after splitting from Foster's Group.
All their major brands are in SA.
Supply chain is based here in SA, with staff employed at Magill and Nuriootpa. Corporate and marketing etc is headquartered in Melbourne. I used to work there.

Pernod Ricard (owner of Jacobs Creek) have a similar operating model I believe with supply chain at Rose Park (Fullarton Rd) and Barossa Valley, but corporate functions headquartered in Sydney.

I think in terms of attracting large corporations to Adelaide, our opportunity is not so much the head office functions but significant portions of the operational functions based on our comparative advantages in terms of lower staff costs, lower rent, educated workforce, high standard of living etc.
Depending on the objective, we need both. Supply chain and manufacturing is nice for employment, and we listed above a number of companies that do that in SA. We can add the steelworks at Whyalla and a few mines to the employers too. But Adelaide will not stand as a "world-class city" whatever that is if it doesn't attract or grow some major headquarters functions too. Supply chains don't fill multi-storey office towers in the CBD.

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