The text of this article first appeared in The Advertiser from 17th July 2018 (supplied by the author).
I AM very optimistic for the future of southern Adelaide, in fact the most excited I have been since I purchased a small manufacturing business, REDARC Electronics, working from a tin shed in Lonsdale in 1997 employing just eight people.
I believe the south has sustainable competitive advantage and is a great place to call home, with beautiful beaches, fantastic scenery and affordable living.
We are also blessed with fine organic food and wine, outstanding tourism opportunities and close knit communities.
We have a talented pool of people living south of the city eager to contribute to the economic growth of South Australia.
This talent pool will become critical in the coming years following the recent announcement of BAE as the preferred tenderer to deliver the SEA 5000 combat ship program. BAE advise that a continuous naval shipbuilding industry will be created that will sustain around 5000 jobs, including more than 1000 graduate positions and apprentices.
The south can contribute many future knowledge-based employees to the naval supply chain.
The old Chrysler car plant is totally transformed into the Tonsley development.
It is a world class innovation precinct with cutting edge research and educational institutions, smart industry, business incubators and accelerators.
Each of these will contribute to ensuring our people are able to develop their knowledge and skills to achieve their full potential and create the businesses of tomorrow.
The Darlington upgrade project, combined with the Torrens Rd to River Torrens project, are critical in the delivery of Adelaide’s North-South Corridor.
This will ensure the south can be a strong contributor to the major projects occurring in the north via a dedicated transport corridor.
I believe the greatest untapped advantage is the Port Stanvac site, a 234 ha parcel of coastal land owned by ExxonMobil.
This represents a significant land holding in metropolitan Adelaide that is capable of being developed for both new industries and world class residential living.
The site has the potential to be a major mixed-use employment hub complementing the Tonsley precinct and it is an imperative for the State Government to act and ensure that this opportunity is harnessed in the near term.
REDARC’s roots are deeply entrenched in Adelaide’s south.
We are now one of the largest employers in the region with more than 200 staff operating out of a world-class advanced manufacturing facility.
Our business is selling products around the globe and we are confident the future is bright for continued growth for many years to come.
It is an exciting time for all South Australians, and the opportunities for growth in the industries of tomorrow such as the digital economy, defence and advanced manufacturing, are the perfect platform for success south of the city.
Anthony Kittel is Managing Director of Redarc