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Your views: On an East End tower, trams, the Liberal Party and more

Today, readers comment on a Rundle Street high-rise development, Adelaide’s public transport, the problems facing the Liberal Party, the Indigenous Voice to Parliament and more.

Apr 12, 2023, updated Apr 12, 2023
An aerial view of the proposed development, looking east towards the park lands. Image: Tectvs Architecture/Future Urban

An aerial view of the proposed development, looking east towards the park lands. Image: Tectvs Architecture/Future Urban

Commenting on the story: Rundle St tower backed for approval despite ‘excessive mass and scale’

Oh, I think I must have the wrong date… er, is it April 1st?  Surely must be, because this is the worst joke I’ve heard for a long time. How can this go ahead when all the logic and sense is against it? A very merry jape, to be sure, but now let’s be sensible. – Angela Bannon

I am yet to see a proposal that is not recommended for approval by the State Government Planners making recommendations to SCAP. It has only been the SCAP itself to their occasional credit who has refused anything. The state government planners’ recommendations are always ‘finely balanced’ but applications are invariably considered meritorious and recommended for approval regardless of height limits, heritage and the planning rules applicable to a site. Other than subdivisions in rural areas and the like, nothing is recommended for refusal, so it always amazes me how media reporting never seems to pick up on this and expresses surprise when the SCAP on occasion have the gall to go against ‘the planners’ recommendation.

The merits of the proposal including retention of the local heritage buildings into the podium and tower should just be ordinary planning requirements, not justification to give the current developer who bought the site aware of these restrictions, a further windfall.  – Sandy Wilkinson

Commenting on the story: Adelaide trams on track for major closure

I would have loved to see them do something about another arterial road – Greenhill Road.

The Peacock Road and Greenhill Road intersection is a nightmare in peak hour traffic. I would have thought that that intersection was also of high priority. Have experienced quite a long wait there in the mornings and in the evenings as everyone is rushing home.

I would love to see the tram move out the way. But I guess some progress is better than none. – Curtis Gaston

So we are about to embark on further massive congestion-related spendings on tram crossings, with the southern tram network closed for nine months.

The transport minister says “An overpass will cut travel times and make public transport services a more attractive option for commuters.” How exactly will this make trams faster, as cars already stop when trams are passing. This will be of no benefit to tram users.

This is simply another wave of astronomical public spending to “ease congestion” along with the South Road tunnel and various intersections being widened. There never seems to be any government-led discussion of giving people a genuine alternative to driving everywhere; better public transport and cycling infrastructure for example.

And never any mention of easing congestion by getting people out of their cars by carrot or by stick – an approach that is used all over the world. But not in Adelaide, the bitumen wasteland. – Ben Smith

Commenting on the opinion piece: Struggling Liberals face a complicated battle for relevance

Matrhew Abraham has always been an apologist for the Liberal Party but when he likens Labor to Communists he has clearly gone too far. “True, after Labor’s victory in last weekend’s Aston by-election, the city of Melbourne has more reds under the bed than the Kremlin.” That is nothing short of appalling bias.

How is it possible to assert that a Flint stint on Sky News next to Bernardi accords her any level of respect. Please don’t try to rewrite history by suggesting the reason she left politics was because of the left wing. She said she was leaving because her party didn’t treat women with respect. – Alistair Cranney

Commenting on the story: Former Liberal minister quits party over voice rejection

Dutton has taken an issue of conscience, inclusion and respect, that quite rightly should have had bi-partisan support, and turned it into a pure political issue of divisiveness and exclusion.

He has done this, not out of respect for indigenous Australians as he claims, but because the only way he can ‘win’ politically on this issue is if he forces a withdrawal of the referendum. Disgraceful, grubby politics that does nothing but trash the hopes and ideals of Australia’s original occupants, for recognition, inclusion and respect.

I hope and trust the referendum goes ahead and that real Australians who care about this land and its people get their chance to cast the bigoted, racist views underpinning the Liberal position into obscurity. – Paul McKinnon

Commenting on the opinion piece: Rising SA road toll a crying shame

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” However, when it comes to the problem of road tolls, simply relying on legislation and enforcement is not sufficient. The issue is much more complex than that, especially in Australia where road infrastructure, design, and maintenance are often inadequate and outdated compared to other developed countries.

Inner lanes cluttered with parked cars, poorly designed roundabouts, inadequate bicycle lanes and limited visibility at intersections are just a few examples of the problems that need to be addressed. Moreover, driver education and training in Australia are severely lacking, with minimal requirements for obtaining a license and limited awareness of other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians.

The patchy public transport system forces many people, including the elderly and those who are no longer capable, to rely on cars. The lack of respect for road rules is also a significant issue, stemming from the inadequate foundation for road safety. To truly address the problem, Australia should look to northern Europe to learn about how roads are designed, drivers are trained and tested, and holistic road safety is ensured.

Simply imposing more regulation and policing will only treat the symptoms, not the underlying problems. It is a conundrum that, in a country that places such emphasis on safety rules and regulations, the conversation between parties responsible for road safety is so disparate. – Kenneth Abraham

Commenting on the story: South Australia records nation’s lowest working from home rate

Could the reason for less work-at-home in SA be partly due to the fact that it is still reasonably easy for many of us here to travel to work?  This is a nightmare in Sydney and Melbourne. I am sure that getting together to work is good for motivation and creativity, and socially healthy. Let’s see this reported phenomenon as a positive for SA. – David Harris

Commenting on the story: Second Festival Plaza tower details up in air

An idea. Perhaps Lang Walker could channel the spirit of Sir John Langdon Bonython, who contributed a large amount of money to complete the second half of Edmund Wright’s current Parliament House.

As a quid pro quo, the Walker Corporation could provide suitable funds to complete Wright’s original plan with dome and towers and Walker get their desired new tower. Two additional outcomes of said contribution. One, the precinct regains some semblance of environmental scale and, two, as in Bonython’s situation, it functions as a job generation scheme. – John Richardson

The idea of ‘minimal desired footprint’ for buildings proposed for park lands sites has a long manipulative history. The related measure, total floor area (height), is rarely mentioned until the ugly tower emerges.

The Festival Plaza comprises land originally designated as park lands. Don Dunstan initiated the Festival Centre there. His temptation – free land. Labor’s premier Bannon rubber-stamped the ASER development in 1985, delivering towers and a casino. Free land.

Labor’s Jay Weatherill’s 2012 deal with Walker Corp now delivers a hideous 29-storey tower, grossly overwhelming the scale of surrounding buildings. Free land. Now Labor premier Malinauskas’s weasel words about smaller footprint are obviously softening up the public ahead of approval for a duplicate Walker Corp monstrosity.

When we look at Labor’s record, it’s a story of weak, multi-generational politicians buckling under big developer pressure to deliver public land advantage for private commercial benefit. Malinauskas is merely continuing the Labor tradition. The site is a shameless, architectural public realm disgrace. – John Bridgland

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