Since my initial election to Council, I have been an advocate for and promoted a whole-of-city approach to economic development. To build beyond our then reliance on the 4 main street precincts.
As a small business owner myself, I recognised the contribution of this sector. Small business employs just under half the workforce in Australia. They employ just over half in South Australia. Unley, in turn, is a small business precinct in its own right.
More importantly small business is not just about retail and either shopping centres or (as we see in Unley) main street shopping strips. It is builders and their trades; it is health and their allied industries. What about the service trades?
Businesses not based on bricks and mortar shop fronts. Businesses that invariably operate out of their own home.
In my re-election blog last week, I noted it is time to shift our focus from concentrating on the 4 main streets to assisting all Unley businesses to thrive. To provide the best possible service to the Unley Community. Thriving businesses will employ local labour, building prosperity for all of us.
A member of our Economic Strategy working group in this current term of Council, I contributed to the development of our Economic Growth Strategy 2021-25. A strategy that is quite extensive and ambitious. It is a strategy appropriately that took time to establish as it is quite deep in its approach.
Council has commenced working its way through implementing that strategy. The new Council will be charged with ensuring its implementation.
An Independent Economic Development Advisory Committee is due to be appointed very early in the term of the next Council. This committee will be charged with advising Council on how to ensure the strategy is implemented in the best possible way.
While the approach is a whole-of-city approach, the 4 main street precincts will have their own special focus. A new model for the main streets is in the offing.
I am keen to continue to be part of the economic solution; to see the Unley community be a prosperous community into the future. Accordingly, I will seek endorsement (if you re-elect me) from my elected colleagues to be one of two elected members on that committee.
To ensure therefore my legacy in pursuing economic prosperity for the Unley community continues.
This article was written & authorised by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.