Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Adelaide: decline and fall

By Malcolm King - posted Thursday, 14 August 2014

From the land of third rate politicians, to diabolically dodgy recruitment practices; from a state government that spent $73 million building a one way freeway and then 14 years later, built the return lane at a cost of $400 million; from the understaffed age care facilities to some of the highest energy bills in the world; from kamikaze car drivers in the land time forgot, to sewerage fees set to the market valuation of the owner's property.

I bring you Adelaide.

With an opening like that, I've already lost half the SA readership. But as the state has some of the highest illiteracy and innumeracy rates in the OECD, who's going to notice? Let us take a trip deep inside the psycho-sociology of Adelaide.


'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,' Tolstoy said. Adelaide is unhappy in an impoverished way. As a child raised in Adelaide, I remember it as a pumping, cosmopolitan city. Now, 45 years later, fearing the 21st century, it has turned Amish and has turned its back on the outside world.

Many think that the recession in SA is short term and once spending picks up, all will be well. Wrong. We are witnessing the dismantling of the old manufacturing and construction based economy - two pillars that have supported the state since World War 11.

This is the power of the Asian markets at work: low cost labour and high volume, low tech manufacturing. There are other factors such as the high Australian dollar and online competition but these are secondary issues. In South Australia the same marketing jobs appear over and over again, as organisations scrabble for crumbs from a bare cupboard.

SA's key performance indicators (ABS and Labour Force) are shocking:

· In the final quarter of 2013, the local economy had shrunk by 1.0 per cent.

· SA exports comprise 14 per cent of the state's economy. Australia is 20 per cent.


· Private investment has fallen from 7.0 per cent in 1990 to 5.0 per cent in 2013.

· SA's GSP is growing at 1.0 percent yet Australia is growing at 2.8 per cent.

· GSP has fallen from 8.5 percent in 1985 to 6.3 per cent.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

20 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Malcolm King

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 20 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy