Media and News

Councillors Should Pay their Parking Fines.

Ralph Clarke Paying his Parking FineOn Friday the 19th September 2014 at 11.00 a.m. I will be attending the Colonel Light Building in Pirie street to pay my $46 parking fine for over staying my parking meter by 9 minutes in Flinders Street on the 29th August 2014.

Do I like paying the $46? Certainly not. Do I have a lot of excuses as to why I shouldn’t pay the fine – certainly, but at the end of the day like hundreds of parkers every week, through gritted teeth I will pay the fine because my reasons for seeking a waiver would be no different from any other person in the street. I was late because I wasn’t careful enough with my time!

If elected as an ACC Area Councillor in November this year, I will move in Council that no elected Council member be permitted to have their parking fine waived, whatever the reason. Hundreds of dollars in waived parking fines have been granted to some Councillors in the last few years. I am not saying that their waiver was improper, simply that it is not fair on other on street car parkers, who often have the same reasons for being late back to their car as Councillors.

Elected councillors have access to a free car park in front of the Town Hall, and they receive a basic $24,000 per annum allowance to help them meet the costs of performing their duties as Councillors, such as paying parking fees.

When I was on Council in 2007 – 10, I received a number of parking fines incurred whilst I was on Council business, all of which I paid personally.

Letter to the Editor in the Saturday Advertiser

Ralph Clarke's letter to the Saturday Advertiser 23/8/2014

Here is a letter the Saturday Advertiser, 23/8/2014,  printed in response to John Rau’s remarks about council development approval powers being limited to “fences and carports.”

My Position on the Future of The Central Market

An open letter to The Central Market Traders.

Dear Central Market Trader,

A number of you have asked about my position on the future of the Central Market.
The Central Market is very important to the City of Adelaide, to the people of Adelaide and, of course, to you the traders. Earlier this year I travelled through Europe and the UK. Our Central Market should be there among the best, liveliest and most atmospheric among all the markets I visited, including the Barcelona Market and the Borough Market in London.

The main issue for the Market is the loss of market share. Despite a large increase in the CBD’s residential population (8000 in 9 years) and an increase in the City’s workforce (30,000 in 10 years), traders still tell me that their sales have stagnated.
Here’s how I think we can make some good, positive, profitable changes:

1. Create a Central Market Management Authority

The current Central Market Committee consists of Councillors, ACC staff and elected trader representatives. I think this structure is wrong.

I believe the Council should establish a Central Market Management Authority, like the Rundle Mall Management Authority. The Central Market Management Authority could hire its own manager and staff and work with you, the traders, to decide how and where your marketing money is used. A Central Market Management Authority could manage the leases, the product mix and the trading hours of the Market. (Personally, I don’t agree with 7 day trading in the Central Market. I think it’s unnecessary and not in the interests of the Market or the traders.)
The Board of the Authority would be appointed by the Council and consist of people who know about retailing and fresh-food markets. It should also include people experienced and qualified in all those areas related to running a major business. The Board would set out the business plan and the marketing plan for the Market and be accountable to the Council for the effective management of the Market.

I do not support the Board having Councillors or Council staff on it unless there is an agreed need for one Councillor to liaise between the Council and the Board.

Members should be paid an allowance for their work, similar to that paid to members of the Rundle Mall Authority.

2. Improvements

We all agree the Central Market is looking tired and needs an injection of new life. If I am elected Lord Mayor I will lead the campaign to inject that new life

Our market needs major capital works like:

  • more cold storage close to the Market itself
  • air-conditioning
  • more car-parking – perhaps a set-down and pick-up zone for shoppers on Grote and Gouger Street

I support change and improvements but we must not allow our Central Market to be turned into a sterile, fluoro-lit Westfield shopping mall.

If I am elected Lord Mayor, my promises to you are these:

  • I will drive the agenda I have outlined in this letter
  • I will be available to account for my actions directly to you. I know we will not always agree and I might disappoint some of you because of a particular stand I take on an issue. However, I will front up and explain my actions and reasons to you directly.

Anyone knows my history knows that I’m not afraid to put my case. I also listen to constructive criticism and if I’m persuaded by a better argument, I’m not afraid to change my mind.

I hope you take time to read this letter. Please call me or email me if you would like to discuss these matters or if you have any questions.


Ralph Clarke

Download PDF

Call for debate by Lord Mayoral candidates Clarke and Wong

Clarke issues Wong a challenge, “Let’s have a debate, Francis!!”

Following a piece in the Sunday Mail which featured Lord Mayoral candidate Francis Wong in a promotional t-shirt surrounded by some ladies who had attended a lunch in support of him, I issued a media release challenging Mr Wong to a debate to inject some substance into the campaign.

It’s generally agreed that Mr Wong and I are the front-runners in this race.
Perhaps not surprisingly, media coverage of the release focused on my comments about his promotional slogan which was drawn from a scene in the Vietnam war movie “Full Metal Jacket”.

What the media overlooked was my invitation to Mr Wong to debate the real issues.

This afternoon I wrote to Mr Wong inviting him to debate our respective policies and ideas for the City of Adelaide for the next 4 years. This would help demonstrate just what is at stake to those people who consider Council elections to be inconsequential.

I have concrete policies, plans and ideas and over the past four or five months I’ve put them on the public record and on my website for all to see.

I offered Mr Wong the opportunity to decide whether to confine the debate to the two of us or to include the other candidates as well. I also invited Mr Wong to choose the venue, the time and the moderator.
Francis and I have been colleagues for a long time but I won’t resile from my view that this campaign should be about ideas, plans and policies, not lunches, t-shirts and butterflies.

I hope Francis takes up the challenge of a debate to inject some substance into this campaign.

Media Release – Ralph Clarke calls for Debate

Wong gone missing in action

I attach this media release in relation to my invitation to Francis Wong (including other Lord Mayoral candidates if he likes) and I to have a public debate on our respective policies and plans as to how to achieve those policies. My letter of invitation was forwarded by email on 19th October 2010 asking for a response by c.o.b Wednesday 20th October.

As at this morning at 7.00 a.m. I have yet to receive a reply. This Media Release details why I believe a public debate is important.

Media Release – Wong Missing in Action

ACC – Speech to Property Council

I attach a copy of my speech to the Property Council today, 30th September 2010. The speech was part of a debate organised by the Property Council where all candidates for Lord Mayor were invited to participate.

As our speeches were to be delivered in a time limit of 3 minutes, it was not possible to go into great detail. However should you wish to clarify any matter with me, feel free to contact me.

ACC Property Council Speech