Sniffing out tasty Adelaide and SA tidbits

In its second week, our new column uncovers testing times in parliament, a council’s advertising dilemma, more than one façade and other snippets, including our literal pub test.

Mar 31, 2023, updated Mar 31, 2023

Close call on bullying

Media inboxes have received a deluge of Opposition releases calling the Deputy Premier “Lazy Susan” over her portfolio responsibilities in past months.

Susan Close told The InSider she has been ignoring the name calling in the hope it will disappear – but when asked directly about the onslaught the Deputy Premier is clearly unimpressed.

“In any other profession that would be called workplace bullying but I don’t have the luxury of reporting that in my job,” Close says.

“Standards are set by people who choose to act in the way they do.”

Influencers, bus shelters and climate (un)friendly stickers

For a mid-sized metropolitan council, working out where to spend your limited advertising budget can be a challenge.

That’s why local government marketing officers across the state should be grateful for Campbelltown City Council, which has produced a helpful guide on where to get the best bang for your buck when promoting your council’s next skate park consultation or community masterplan overhaul.

The council this month published a table weighing up the pros and cons, estimated reach, and cost of advertising in dozens of different marketing mediums.

First up: The Advertiser.

Estimated reach? “1000s.” Cost? “$700-$2500.” Any other comments? “Limited reach – unlikely to connect with younger age groups.”


But it wasn’t just print media copping a whack – Campbelltown officials are equally sceptical of digital outlets. And at least the ‘Tiser got the once-over, InDaily didn’t get a guernsey.

Does the council want to advertise on YouTube? You can reach “1000s” of people, but “some people find YouTube advertisements annoying [and] this may create negative perceptions of Council”.

Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn got off no better.

“Younger people are moving away from these platforms,” the report opined, adding: “producing eye-catching content for Instagram is time intensive” and there may be “negative perceptions with Council using paid advertising”.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to basics with some pop-up displays at the local food court? “Time intensive and not effective in most instances as people walk past/purposely ignore Staff attending at displays.”

Okay, maybe some QR codes on the footpath? “Stickers can weather and peel off in rain. Not climate friendly to prepare unique materials for each consultation.”

In the end, the report recommended council use bus shelter advertisements (“relatively inexpensive and high exposure”) and explore “paid ‘influencer’ personalities” (such as Adelady or Play and Go) to promote future consultations.

But buyer beware: “Influencers would need to not be seen to influence consultation outcomes.”

The InSider notes the council report was, according to its authors, “made on the assumption that the community want to engage with council”.

Myer Centre to receive a much-needed facelift

Adelaide’s ugliest structure (apart from the Waymouth Street Student Accommodation building, every ’80s doctor’s clinic on Hutt Street and … well, you get the idea) is getting a brand new facade.

Stallard Meek Flightpath Architects has been recruited by Myer Centre Adelaide to redesign the building’s exterior.

An artist’s impression of the Myer Centre facelift.

“The new facade will be modern, sleek, and visually attractive that stands out along Rundle Mall,” said Myer Centre Adelaide’s Senior Leasing Executive, Samuel Miettunen in a LinkedIn announcement.

“Not only will the upgrade enhance the overall look and feel of the shopping centre, but it will also improve the safety and functionality of the building.”

Construction will commence in early April with completion scheduled for late 2023.

Is this thing on?

Parliamentary committee hearings can be gruelling to sit through at the best of times, but MPs at Monday’s Budget and Finance committee hearing were well and truly “tested” to the limit.

About one and a half hours into the hearing at Parliament House’s Old Chamber, a mysterious man speaking into the loudspeaker interrupted Greens MLC Tammy Franks midway through a question.

“Testing one, two, testing one, two,” he said.

“Yes, we heard you,” Liberal MLC Michelle Lensink responded.

About one minute later, the mysterious voice remerged: “Testing one, two, testing one, two,” the man said.

“For goodness’ sake,” Franks said. “That’s annoying,” Lensink added.

But the man wasn’t done just yet, launching into a third rendition of “testing one, two, testing one, two”.

MPs were not impressed.

New pastures for old mayor

When it comes to horse stables and hospitals being built on the national heritage-listed Adelaide Park Lands, former Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese is quick to say he will be leaving any public comments on Colonel Light’s legacy to the current office bearers.

But the chair of the Premier’s Climate Change Council and new special envoy to Singapore does wax lyrical about the green space he once oversaw as Adelaide Park Lands Authority chief.

“We have an asset no other city in the world has, a city that’s entirely surrounded by park lands, we are totally unique,” Haese says this week before chatting about a new climate change conference.

“I’m pro development, I’m pro-business, I’m pro-investment, I just have this deep-seated belief that these things don’t need to be at the expense of the natural environment and in many cases heritage.”

His own Adelaide Lord Mayor reign occurred while other developments went ahead in the park lands including the tunnelling across Rymill Park for the O-Bahn bus line and building of the six-storey Botanic High School – both projects outside the city council’s control.

Putting on a brave face

A shiny new high rise is gradually engulfing the state’s oldest art deco façade in King William Street after it was saved from demolition by a hurried heritage-listing a few years ago.

Former Environment Minister David Speirs stepped in when developers of the $450 million multi-storey office tower Charter Hall wanted to knock the Sands and McDougall building over.

The Sands and McDougall art deco façade. Photo: Belinda Willis

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The Art Deco and Modernism Society of Australia described the building that is now looking more postage stamp than printing house, as “the first art deco façade in South Australia and the oldest-surviving art deco façade”.

“The preservation of the Sands and McDougall building façade demonstrates our state’s heritage protection laws when they’re working at their best,” now Opposition Leader Speirs told The InSider.

“At one point it looked almost certain that this historic art deco facade would be bulldozed, but by ensuring that the Heritage Council’s recommendation went ahead, it has been integrated into the new building and will tell its story for generations to come.”

Bureaucratic artificial intelligence

LinkedIn is a great place for story leads so when The InSider read a comment from an executive of a large Adelaide hospital that they were excited by the prospect of using AI in the hospital, we of course shot off a DM to ask what was happening.

A promise of having the hospital’s media unit get in touch took a week to come to fruition, only to get a call from an earnest young public servant telling us that any questions had to be emailed to the department.

“But we don’t know what to ask because we don’t know how AI is being implemented,” went the phone conversation.

“You need to email that in.”

“Um, can’t you just tell us now on the phone?”

“Are you even a journalist? If so, you’d know there are government protocols to ask questions,” was the answer.

Click went the phone. Guess we’ll never know.

The Pub Test

Picture: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Each week we hit the front bar of your locals to see what punters really think of current affairs in South Australia.

This week we found some uni students mulling mergers at the UniBar.

Edward, a 21-year-old computer science major at the University of Adelaide, is sceptical about the motives behind the merger of UniSA and the University of Adelaide into Adelaide University.

“In all of the press, it seems like they’re motivated by trying to jump the rankings and more efficiently administer the university,” he said.

“I’m very sceptical that they could justify that it’s actually for the quality of student education and I think that’s part of an ongoing theme for the last twenty years of South Australian education.”

Gerald, Carl and Annaliese, had their own opinions

“I think it will have a negative impact on a fair amount of jobs”, computer science student, Gerald said.

“Because you’re going to have some redundant areas of teaching, when the merger happens, you’ll probably see there be multiple classes which teach almost identical things, which will probably see some teachers be without a job.”

Music student, Carl, had a more hopeful outlook on the situation:

“Although I probably agree with Gerald that some jobs might be lost, I also believe it will mean some areas might get some extra funding,” he said. “I’m pretty sure there was another smaller merger between two faculties from the two universities not too long ago. Me and her (Annaliese) saw some pretty sizeable improvements in terms of quality of equipment and things that we were able to use.”

Annaliese, who is also studying music, agreed with Carl.

“Yeah I remember we got a few thousand dollars from a merger that happened not too long ago,” she said. “As soon as it happened you could definitely see where the money went, all of the products that we used had improved… there will probably be a few classes and degrees that will become redundant so people might lose their jobs, but it might also provide extra funding which will be great for the students.”

Stuff you should know…

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Luxury Swiss watch company Oris has announced a limited-edition Kermit the Frog watch – and it could be yours for AUD $6,800.

The watch is based on the ProPilot X Calibre 400 model but features a green dial and a seriously unserious twist – on the first of each month, also known as “Kermit Day”, Kermit the Frog’s face peeks out at the wearer from the date window.

In all honesty, this is a pretty good deal for an Oris watch, with some models going for up to AUD $12,200.

Meanwhile, Labor MP for Adelaide Lucy Hood will be appearing alongside the Premier at a community forum at North Adelaide’s Piccadilly Wallis Cinema on Saturday – RSVP is “essential”.

The forum promises a “conversation” between Malinauskas and Hood “about the year ahead and delivering our election commitments”.

Coincidentally, the event falls on April Fool’s Day. Make of that what you will…

And speaking of April Fools, today is World Backup Day, a reminder to back up all those files on your computer. Started as a marketing ploy by hard drive company Maxtor, the day caught on because it falls before April Fool’s Day when hackers are prone to play havoc.

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