OPINION: Making Adelaide a global leader

By Sam Dighton, Chief Executive, Committee for Adelaide

Adelaide is a great city but at the Committee for Adelaide we believe it can be even greater.

To do so means building on the strengths that make our city a global leader but to also recognise, identify and confront challenges that are holding back our potential.

Globally cities are striving to reinvent and re-engineer their economies in the aftershock of the pandemic. Governments around the world are seeking the best and brightest to sustain their recoveries.

So how can Adelaide position itself as an attractive and dynamic city where people want to work, live and play?

That is the question we have sought to answer with our inaugural Benchmarking Adelaide report which provides important insight into how Greater Adelaide fares in comparison with other global peers.

In many ways this snapshot reinforces Adelaide’s assets – our enviable lifestyle, affordability, world-acclaimed arts scene, our lower cost of doing business.

Against comparable cities internationally we have advantages in demographics, momentum to decarbonise and our expertise in high value industries of space, defence, advanced manufacturing and health position Adelaide as a city of opportunity.

But opportunity can be spurned if we don’t address our limitations.

The report echoes recent comments in this paper by SA Productivity Commission Chairman Adrian Tembel that Adelaide’s – and by extension SA’s – productivity and wages are lagging. We have a lower share of high-wage and knowledge-rich sectors.

Concerted efforts by government have made strong progress in fostering globally innovative companies but venture capital funding and our share of start-ups reaching late-stage growth is behind our peers.

The affordability and liveability that we often trumpet is eroding with other cities catching up to Adelaide in areas such as health and wellbeing, walkable neighbourhoods and access to, and protection of, green space.

We believe this report – which we hope will be the first of many for the Committee for Adelaide – can help spark discussion about how we can build on our advantages but keep learning from the international experiences of others.

Everyone has a role to play in shaping the future prosperity and prospects of our city; we look forward to the conversation and collaboration.

Click here to see the article in The Advertiser.

Click here to download Benchmarking Adelaide report.

Get Our Newsletter

Get In Touch

Have a question, interested in Committee For Adelaide, start a conversation, we would love to hear from you.

Subscribe to our newsletter