SA Chinese Weekly interview with Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood

Q1.You have been the Lord Mayor of Adelaide for the last 4 years. In your view, what are your greatest achievements? Any regrets?

Ans1.Teamwork with business, community groups, State Government and Council staff has resulted in many achievements in this term of council, including:

  • A new Chinese Sister City Qingdao;
  • Expanded Chinese New Year celebrations;
  • Rundle Mall redevelopment;
  • Victoria Square redevelopment;
  • City Wide free Wi-Fi network;
  • Adelaide Digital Strategy;
  • Night Time Economy Plan;
  • Live Music Strategy;
  • Expanded Social Media;
  • LED Lighting upgrades;
  • New City Library;
  • 10,000 more trees;
  • Aquatic Centre upgrade;
  • Victoria Park improvements;
  • City Connector Bus upgrade;
  • New Playgrounds;
  • Small business & International Trade support; and
  • Red tape Reduction, with 206 policies removed.

I have worked hard to ensure I have no regrets!

Q2, What are your vision and priorities for the City, in particular, Chinatown if you become the Lord Mayorfor the second term? Could you give some examples about the things that you are intending to do in order to give some confidence to the voters?

Ans2.I live near China Town and regularly participate in all China Town events and activities. In the next term of council I intend to advocate for:

  • Upgrading China Town lighting;
  • Improving maintenance to pavers;
  • More Asian public art;
  • Expanding Chinese New Year celebrations
  • Supporting Mid-Autumn Festival activities;
  • Assisting Chinese International students to create, and participate in, city events;
  • Undertaking delegations to Qingdao to support China Town, trade and business opportunities;
  • Facilitating more activities and events in China Town, such as markets and wine tastings; and
  • Focusing on the Central Markets Precinct development and marketing opportunities.

I want more people to spend more time in the Precinct.

City Wide I intend to focus on:

  • Supporting new and existing businesses, especially food, creative and technological industries, so we can be relevant in the global information economy;
  • Accelerating greening of the city via tree plantings and landscaping; making the city a more attractive place to shop, recreate and live;
  • Promoting high quality development to encourage more affordable housing options for young people, families and retirees; and
  • Connecting business, education and the arts to China to expand Adelaide’s reputation and influence.

Q3.Why do you think you are the best choice for the post of Lord Mayor? What qualities or attributes do you have?

Ans3.I am a City Planner, with a Masters in Business Administration, with 25 years experience in developing liveable and productive cities. I understand cities and government and know how to motivate people to get results.

I love Adelaide and care about its future; I believe in teamwork, communication, innovation, and good quality customer service. I am the most technology literate candidate and believe leaders must understand the future to retain young people and help make Adelaide globally competitive.

Q4.?If you are re-elected as the Lord Mayor, how do you improve and promote the Sister City 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 participate in the Chinatown Chinese New Year Street Party organised by Chinatown Adelaide of SA Inc. in February 2015?

Ans4.It was my own personal initiative to sign the Sister City agreement with Qingdao, the Mayor and I have become friends and I hope to continue this relationship to the benefit Of Chinatown, Adelaide and South Australia.

I am committed to all opportunities that expands and deepens this relationship.

Q5.?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 re-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?

Ans5.I have been an international student myself both in Japan and Denmark. I understand the issues and opportunities student have and am committed to supporting them. I have worked very closely with Education Adelaide to ensure students enjoy Adelaide and become lifelong ambassadors for our City.

I am committed to undertaking a welcoming event, supporting them in creating new events, connecting them via social media and technology (using our new free Wi-fi network) and ensuring they have all the information and appropriate discounts needed to ensure they embrace all local cultural and business opportunities.

Q6. If you are re-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?

Ans6.The Central Market Precinct will be my main focus on the next term of Council. Development of the new Court building, as well as re-development of the Central Market Arcade, will result in up to $300 million of development over the next 5 years.

Working with the Chinatown association, Central Markets Board and small businesses in the precinct I am confident we can revitalise the area and make it a world class destination.This is likely to include:

More events;

  • Better marketing;
  • Improved transport/access;
  • Digital infrastructure and tools; and
  • Improvements to the public realm.
  • Enterprise Adelaide will be enhanced to provide support to small businesses, especially via the new Digital Training Hub in the Rundle Mall, designed to enable businesses to adapt and innovate.

Q7. 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?

Ans7.I have travelled extensively throughout Asia and have worked, lectured and/or studied the future of cities in Japan, Malaysia, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and India.

I live near China Town because I love the precinct and have a passion for Asian food and culture. I have become friends with both the Mayors of Qingdao and Taipei and hope to continue to develop these, and other relationships in Asia, to expand Adelaide’s influence and create prosperity in Adelaide.

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