SA Chinese Weekly interview with Lord Mayoral candidate Martin Haese

Martin Haese Chinatown Adelaide election

Q1.What are your vision and priorities for the City, in particular, Chinatown if you become the Lord Mayor? Could you give some examples about the things that you are intending to do in order to give some confidence to the voters? Could you give some examples about the things that you are intending to do in order to give some confidence to the voters?

Ans 1: Having listened to many people, my vision is that the City of Adelaide will become a compelling place to live, learn, invest, work and visit. The city’s residents, business people and diverse cultural communities will be supported by a Council that better understands their unique needs and goals for the future.

We need to address a cultural shift in Council to recognise that ratepayers are the reason for being.

As Lord Mayor, I will use my local, national and international commercial experience to bring business to the table to unlock greater investment in the City of Adelaide.

I will also turn Council’s attention toward helping small business. Having founded and led a national company of my own with over 220 employees, I know that size and budgets are not barriers to building a service-orientated culture, leadership is.

As Lord Mayor, I will ensure that Chinatown, the Adelaide Central Market and all of our retail and business districts are prospering. To help do this, I will draw upon my own experience as a national retailer, as a General Manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority, entrepreneur and educator.

I will lead Council to actively support the city’s Precinct Groups (Chinatown included) by ensuring that they are adequately resourced, goal directed and acknowledged for the valuable work they do in representing the interests of their local communities.

I will ensure that Council works at all levels to create the conditions that inspire greater confidence in doing business in the City of Adelaide. We will welcome more people to the City of Adelaide, respect their right to chose their choice of transport and reduce the barriers to entry.

Q2?Why do you think you are the best choice for the post of Lord Mayor? What qualities or attributes do you have?

Ans 2: I believe that the City of Adelaide needs an independent leader, one free from political bias and one that shifts the focus back to listening to the needs of the community.

As a business person, I have travelled, worked and manufactured in several Asian countries. I am culturally aware, commercially astute and I appreciate the importance of guangxi relationships with all levels of stakeholders.

I am an inclusive leader who has built and sold companies. I am MBA qualified, experience in local and international business and have worked part time as a university lecturer for 6 years where I have access to the latest information and global trends.

My wife Genevieve was born and raised in Singapore, studied in America, worked in London and then founded her own businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. We travel to Singapore frequently to visit family.

Q3?Do you agree with the Sister Cities Program currently being implemented? If you are elected as the Lord Mayor, how do you improve and promote the Program? Qingdao is the latest addition to the list of Sister Cities of Adelaide. We understand that Chinatown Adelaide of SA Inc. is committed to assist Adelaide City Council to build this sister city’s relationship with Qingdao. What do you think about the idea of inviting the City of Qingdao to send a delegation to Adelaide to participatein the Chinatown Chinese New Year Street Partyorganised by Chinatown Adelaide of SA Inc. in February 2015?

Ans 3: The current truth is that many regional areas across South Australia are doing a much better job of engaging with Asia that the Adelaide City Council.

Whilst I acknowledge the value of the sister city relationships on a cultural level, they are not reaching their full potential. It is time to focus on looking after the existing connections and creating investment and economic benefits.

If elected as Lord Mayor, I would like to see a commitment made to enhance these relations to include a trade benefit for local goods and services.

International trade and cultural relationships present the City of Adelaide with a significant opportunity. For these relationships to reach their full potential, they require a mature approach by an experienced leader. If elected as Lord Mayor, I would ensure that any visit or reception was managed respectfully and if appropriate also include members of the business community.

As Lord Mayor, I would include metropolitan and regional Mayors where there was potential to benefit the State of South Australia. I would also acknowledge and prioritise the role that Adelaide Central Market and Chinatown both play in influencing the vibrancy and culture of the city.

As Lord Mayor, I would advocate for the State Government to enable a streamlined Port to Port, City to City / State to Province trade agreement to facilitate greater trade and investment.

On the strict proviso that it is not too late, I would see it as a priority to invite a delegation from Qingdao. If not for 2015, I would extend the invitation for 2016 and I would then use the time to make a number of tangible improvements to the presentation of Moonta Street. As importantly, I would make sure that I am here to welcome the delegates and ensure that our city is well represented.

Q4?What are your views about the temporary residents in the city such as those international students living within the city boundary? Facts-international students are the largest service export of South Australia there are nearly 27,000 of them studying in Adelaide injecting over $900 million to South Australia’s economy last year and providing thousands of jobs locally, most of these are located in Adelaide-What are the expectations from the businesses and properties owners about these international students? What are the expectations of these students from the Adelaide City council? If you are elected as the Lord Mayor, how and what do you intend to do in order to make their stay in Adelaide more enjoyable thereby attracting more and more students to come to Adelaide as their destination choice?

Ans 4: The City of Adelaide’s international student population is a significant and important asset to the State of South Australia. If elected as Lord Mayor, I will build upon former Lord Mayor Alfred Huang’s vision for the city to become a first choice destination for foreign students and their parents who are the decision makers.

International students are a source of great strength culturally, commercially and socially for the City of Adelaide. We are proud that a lot of the students that have come to Adelaide have stayed and invested commercially including success stories such as David Lee from Mandala, Will from Adelaide bbs, Ming from Bing Boy and many others.

The City of Adelaide’s international student population provides opportunities for universities, property developers, restaurants, cafes, travel companies, super markets and retail stores just to name a small few.

In addition to sharing their wealth, they also share their ideas which will help the City of Adelaide become a more innovative and outward looking city of the future.

If elected as Lord Mayor, I would personally welcome our international students to the City of Adelaide and encourage them to enjoy everything that Adelaide has to offer, to work hard and to become ambassadors for the City of Adelaide.

As importantly, I would also encourage them to share their cultural and social experiences.

In return, the City of Adelaide must provide improved accommodation options, work experience, career opportunities, language assistance and student support services.

If elected as Lord Mayor, I have many ideas on how the Adelaide City Council can optimise the experience of our international students. First and foremost, the city must always be safe as we must provide the parents with every assurance that the City of Adelaide is a safe place for their children to study.

Starting with a personal welcome from the Lord Mayor, through to Town Hall receptions, I will advocate for a number initiatives including multi-lingual web sites and online resources which showcase the city and make the selection process easier. Our focus must be on ensuring that our international visitors are provided with information on education, tourism and investment opportunities.

Q5?If you are elected as Lord Mayor, how do you assist small businesses and precinct groups, Chinatown included, resolving problems and issues? If you know these issues and problems in Chinatown, could you please elaborate some of them and say how you intend to help resolving them?

Ans 5: I will be accessible to the Chinese community as I believe that showing respect is important. I also believe that open communication is always the best way of conducting oneself.

I will draw upon my own commercial experience to shift Council’s focus toward assisting the City of Adelaide’s many business owners, Chinatown included.

I will improve rubbish collection services for local businesses in Chinatown, improve the lighting and introduce some tasteful street art on the bridges along Moonta Street. The Adelaide Central Market has sufficient car parking, but improvements to the access from Grote St into Chinatown would be well received.

I would also look after the interests of the restaurant and cafe owners who feel that the food trucks have been prioritised over rate-paying permanent businesses.

Q6? Facing the Chinese media, what messages do you have for the Chinese community? What do you want to say to the Chinese/Asian residents and businesses in the City, Chinatown Precinct included, in order to winning their support?

Ans 6: I am an inclusive leader who will reach out to better support the valuable contribution that the Chinese community makes to the present and future of the City of Adelaide. Moving forward, we will prioritise the Lunar New Year street party and make Town Hall considerably more accessible for the Chinese community.

Most importantly, I will listen to the community and welcome new ideas at every opportunity. Thank you.

http://sachineseweekly.com/archives/6505

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