RAW: The Adelaide Oval Legislation – More Than About Carparking

In the classic style of an organ of public opinion that will allow no views other than its own to prevail, The Advertiser has relegated issues relating to the proposed Adelaide Oval / SMA legislation to just one matter – who controls car parking.

As expected and predicted far more sinister aims actually exist.

First and foremost, the legislation proposes that the Adelaide Oval area be under the sole control of the Minister. This is the first break with the historic role the Adelaide City Council has played under the Parklands Act since it was first past 150 years ago. What’s more the Minister gets to act without fetter from such annoying constraints on his design wishes by either the Park Lands Act, the Development Act or the City of Adelaide Development Plan.

This may not be so bad, replacing one democratically elected body with another, except that what is then proposed is an 80 year lease to the SMA, a privately owned body of people associated with football and cricket which has no taxpayer representatives on it and has a board that is not even answerable to its own shareholders for its performance.

That means the SMA can do anything it likes to the land and it has to jump no planning or other regulatory hurdles – none – in doing so. So, when it suits, good bye the northern mound, scoreboard and Cathedral views. Indeed this is already contemplated with the legislation providing for the (temporary) erection of stands on the northern mounds – all amendable by the Government of the day.

Then, in its revenge attack on the City Council for its Victoria Square recalcitrance, the Government proposes this land is made exempt from being rated by the ACC. This deals with the potential issues previously identified by Kryztoff of the ACC lifting rates dramatically (as it was already intending to do in a couple of years) and multiplies the ACC’s losses on top of lost car parking.

So, the parklands bounded by King William Rd, Montefiore Hill, Pennington Terrace and the river under this legislation will be no longer parklands. Effective title will pass to an unaccountable private body that has to meet no planning or other regulations. And this right under Light’s nose!

In a low point for Advertiser editorials (and that is saying something), last Friday the rationale for supporting this was put forward as:

‘The Parklands are not a museum. They must also make temporary way for vehicle access for leisure activities. This already occurs for cricket and the Royal Show.
‘Surely Colonel Light’s vision for a workable city would not have meant that the Adelaide City Council, with a mandate delivered by only 6300 voters, should be allowed to override the modest needs of the football-going public, which would outnumber that figure by a factor of three even at the worst attended AFL game.’

The fact that this 3:1 ratio did not even hold up for the Port game the following day is of no great moment when one considers where this logic of course leads and that is to the uncomfortable question to The Advertiser of why 10,000 SACA members who purportedly voted in favour of the spending of $535m on their stadium are allowed to prevail when 1.2m taxpayers are the ones who are actually paying for it.

Sadly little logic is coming from those who ought to be standing up for the public interest. The Liberal Party still has no view and the Lord Mayor, as is the new habit of politicians in this State when faced with a monumental cock-up, has conveniently buggered off overseas for three weeks at the very time his Council faces the greatest threat to its autonomy and relevance in its history.

However, one trick up its sleeve is the fact its approval for the controversial leases to facilitate the new RAH is only conditional. These provide a series of nine year and 364 day leases to more parklands to allow the hospital development to proceed without parliamentary scrutiny.

Now the City Council has its cash flows and relevance threatened by the Adelaide Oval legislation, now might be a good time for the Council to show some spine and respond in kind to Government. Now is especially a good time with its main appeaser, Lord Mayor Yarwood happily out of contact in Europe on some study mission.

RAW: Film – Snowtown – 5K

A desperate and despicable home life sees young Jamie (Lucas Pittaway) seeking a role model that he can actually rely on. When John Bunting (Daniel Henshall) enters his mother’s (Elizabeth – Louise Harris) tired, hopeless world, it looks like that person may have finally arrived.

From there the seedy under life of Adelaide’s northern suburbs – nobodies, freaks, poofs and perverts whose existence is not much noted by any – comes in for a demonic smashing.

The Shaun Grant screenplay is superb, the Adam Arkapaw cinematography is flawless but notwithstanding, all the plaudits in the production team must be focused on director Justin Kurzel in this his first full length feature. His grasp of pace, scene and suspense is more usually associated with that of a Hollywood master director. Dealing with such fraught subject matter can lead to melodrama or an obsession with gore but his depictions of Bunting’s insatiable sadism and the mental destruction of Jamie are compelling, wholly believable and totally assured. One remains writhing in horror throughout but compelled to witness what may come next.

The interjections amongst the carnage of the real world by way of cricket, fishing and game shows blaring out from the TV prevent the audience from distancing themselves, to believing that this is a story of some other place, but not of my world.

For one with no prior acting experience, Lucas Pittaway’s Jamie is a sensation. His range of emotions is all class, his good looks a sure bet to gain our sympathy. Physically he may remind one of Heath ledger or even James Franco but this performance rivals Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar winning performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

At the end of the day, Daniel Henshall is no less impressive. The modern cinema embodiment of evil, abundantly plain but with a charismatic and manipulative character, Henshall delivers on not only the sadism but Bunting’s controlling nature and an assured ability to assess a situation. It would be a shame if his performance got lost in the hype (albeit well deserved) for Pittaway. Louise Harris also puts in a wonderful performance as Jamie’s mother.

This film has many overtones with last year’s hit, Animal Kingdom but it is no ‘me too’ film. It has already won a prize at the Adelaide Film Festival and recently a showing at Cannes. Its award winning chronology has only just begun.

This is an Australian cinema classic and while there is nothing uplifting about the story, it will leave you pondering what world we exactly live in when this can happen seemingly just up the road. The profound sadness for the victims, those dead and still alive, will stay with you long after you have left the cinema.

Krzytoff Rating   5K

See our interviews and profile of Lucas Pittaway at:  Meet Lucas Pittaway

See our video interview at: Pittaway Talks About Snowtown

See our interview with director Justin Kurzel on page 2 of this month’s Kryztoff at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Time For Yarwood To Go

In the light of developments this morning on the State Government’s plans to blast the ACC off controlling the Adelaide Oval precinct (see our other article at ACC To Lose Precinct), it is time for Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood to reconsider his position.

Hopefully Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood (if he ever bothers to get up early enough to put the council’s view about anything that may run counter to the State Government’s) won’t feign surprise about what he and his council have now been told.

In response to very clear indications that this was always the Government’s game plan, and indeed ever since the Adelaide Oval matter started hotting up at the end of last year, Yarwood has run the line that the ACC is in negotiations with the Government and that it has communicated its concerns and issues (control of the precinct and car parking revenue) and these matters will be negotiated at the appropriate time. The message – it held all the keys to the gates of Adelaide Oval.

This was in the face of the SANFL stating categorically that its conditions precedent to any deal involved it having that control not the ACC.

At no stage did Yarwood attempt to get these issues debated in public and neither did he attempt to enjoin in the Vote No campaign to stir up public concerns and help bring that vote down. In that way, this type of pressure on the ACC could have been averted or better fought off with the SACA vote on its side. It seems he knew better and his cunning play of ‘slowly slowly catchy monkey’ would prove itself to be a master stroke in due course. Stephen Yarwood you are the Baldrick of the State.

The only city councillors who did raise a stink were Anne Moran on radio and TV very late in the piece, Mark Hamilton (in an article in The Advertiser that was written well before proxies closed but did not appear until after) and Deputy Lord Mayor David Plumridge. But when your chief is silent, there is not much you can do.

Well Lord Mayor, Stephen Yarwood, the following key points are now your reality (and they are much greater in importance than just car parking revenue):

  • The ACC is going to be blasted off the parklands as we foretold 7 weeks ago.
  • History has repeated itself – you don’t appease aggressors
  • The Victoria Park racecourse is going the same way
  • The Memorial Drive Tennis club is doomed.
  • Your policy of attempting to redefine relationships with the State Government is in shreds and it is now too late to do much about it.
  • Don’t expect The Advertiser or the Sunday Mail to support you if you do stand up for the Council (where were you this morning?) – everyone knows whose mast they have nailed their colours to. You too will now be another ‘whingeing naysayer.’ The sporting elite don’t give a toss about heritage. (But maybe Steve they will hail you as another voice of reason if you continue to be anonymous on this issue!)
  • You will go down as the Lord Mayor who sold out the Adelaide City Council and its history of being the custodians for the parklands because you thought you knew better.
  • Any thoughts you had about standing as the Labor Party candidate for the State seat of Adelaide, a la, Jane Lomax Smith and spending your post Mayoral years on North Terrace are gone. Especially as it seems the State Government will legislate for Barton Terrace to be opened to cater for traffic coming up from the Port – good bye all Noth Adelaide voters.)

You need to resign Stephen Yarwood and resign now and go back to town planning – perhaps in some ghost town like Silverton where you can hang out with other spirits of yesterday who thought they too were going to have the last laugh before harsh realities of the day set in.

RAW: Adelaide Oval et al To No Longer Be Under ACC Custodianship

As reported on Matt and Dave (ABC891 Breakfast) this morning, the State Government has told the ACC it is not interested in its concerns or issues about the Adelaide Oval leases and precinct. It is simply going to legislate to take control itself and hand it over to the SMA to manage, as per the SMA constitution.

The substance of a supposedly confidential meeting between Minister Conlon and the ACC was revealed by Rod Hook to Matt and Dave this morning. The sop to the ACC if it rolls over quietly is that it may get some extra money for its expensive Victoria Square redevelopment plans.

Councillor Anne Moran got on the phone saying it was ‘beyond outrageous’, noting that control and management of the parklands would now rest with football and not a ‘democratically elected’ entity such as the ACC (or even the State Government.) noting that the SANFL had been handed over ‘the council’s business’ without putting a cent in.

As the program then noted, this outcome and information to the Council was without the ACC having seen the enabling legislation (which Minister Conlon said last night was still being drafted – eben though it is due for submission to Parliament today) and the Minister stating a few weeks back there was ‘no plan’ to give the control of the precinct to the SMA ‘because it is not seen to be necessary.’

Surprised? Hopefully Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood (if he ever bothers to get up early enough to put the council’s view about anything that may run counter to the State Government’s – see separate article at Time For Yarwood To Go) won’t feign that. Kryztoff revealed the reality of the State Government’s plans in early April (SA Govt Prepares To Blast Council off Parklands) and the scope of the SMA’s constitution on About The SMA. Did You Know? In any case, it was written in bold black type all over the SACA Information Booklet.

There were plenty of other clues as well including the SMA just ignoring request from the Adelaide Parklands Authority to meet with it to discuss its plans. Just why the ACC and its councillors thought they were going to be treated with more respect than anybody else so far beggars belief.

Anne Moran’s last hope for the Council she said was the Upper House that may vote this down. The Greens may be firmly against this proposal but no one else has had the balls to state a view like that. Under the threat of more withering attacks on opponents from The Advertiser et al it is not hard to see the independents at least now being bought off one by one.

RAW: Meet Lucas Pittaway Pt 2

He arrives 10 minutes late, but he has politely texted ahead. He steps in wearing a white t-shirt and grey jeans ripped open on one knee. That long straggly hair from the movie stills adorns his head but he is more diminutive than his film persona would suggest. But far from the morose, sullen, introspective character that he plays in Snowtown, Lucas Pittaway only knows how to light up a room. Smart, confident and assured, his deep brown eyes engage but the impish grin he features is the type Da Vinci has received 500 years of acclaim for. When he smiles, a fiesta of happiness radiates forth.

This time last year, Lucas, then 17, was considering a future as a mechanic in the army, as he roamed an Elizabeth shopping centre with his older brother Paul one Saturday afternoon. He had quit school just two months out from graduating because as he said ‘I had my licence and a job.’ That was as a pizza delivery boy – a real life Dougie if ever there was one.

As luck had it, it was Paul who first captured the attention of some casting agents on their last day out looking for suitable candidates for their film. A film about the horrors that went on just a few miles south on Main North Road in Salisbury but which will be forever remembered for the barrels full of decomposed body parts found in a disused bank vault at Snowtown in South Australia’s mid north.

Lucas was not there when they approached Paul; he was lurking elsewhere in a store when that happened but when he did appear it he also caught their eye and soon it was just him who was being groomed for a part. After three days of intense training and screen tests word came through, the investors liked what they had seen too and he had the role of Jamie Vlassakis – the lead role in a full length film – and this without a moment of prior actor’s training or experience. As Lucas recalled, his only previous theatrical performance was in a school play that never came to be.

Indeed it was not just Paul as a close associate who missed out to Lucas’ great fortune. His best mate, Ben, was down to the last two for one of the minor parts but his close connection with Pittaway was considered a potential issue when filming. So he too has only got to watch their mate on the screen and not play alongside him.

Given the notoriety of the crimes involved, playing the somewhat public Vlassakis figure threw up its challenges to both Pittaway and director Justin Kurzel. But Lucas is adamant this is no attempt to portray the real Vlassakis.

“What you see in Snowtown is not Lucas playing Lucas or Lucas Pittaway playing James Vlassakis but rather my depiction of Vlassakis”. With suppression orders, changes of identity and undisclosed locations, access to the real Vlassakis was not available, not that either Pittaway or director, Justin Kurzel, desired it.

The first time someone compared his looks to famous actors was when Lucas was working at Hungry Jacks. “I was serving this old lady and she said to me that I looked like Heath Ledger. I didn’t take much notice of it until I asked the other guys after and half of them immediately agreed. It had never occurred to me before.”

With different hair dos, Pittaway has also been compared to 127 Hours’ James Franco. “But I want to be clear, I am not doing this to imitate Ledger or anybody else, I am not looking to ride on the coattails of their looks. This is me out there.”

This is the only moment in our two hour chat and photo shoot that he gets at all defensive. Otherwise, the self proclaimed ‘modern man’, presents as one who is a natural in this sphere. His lateness came due to a visit to his girlfriend’s for some make-up.  Lucas possesses an instinctive feel for what a cameraman seeks; he fiddles with his shirt, his hair, his shoes as he prattles away for the ‘natural’ images.

But there is neither bemusement with his big break and his grasping of it nor conceit. He’s a kid enjoying the moment and being himself. For Tropfes, he tested the patience of distributors, Madman, by sleeping in after a big night which caused him to miss his plane. At the Adelaide Film Festival premiere, Kurzel had to upbraid him to wear some decent clothes but the moment he best remembers about that time in February was when the film ended. “It ended and all of a sudden you could hear a pin drop and there seemed to be this long silence. I thought, oh fuck they hate it. But then the applause rang out – we had made it,” Pittaway recalls.

It is just his world is different now or may be different now. Snowtown earned him enough to pay off some debts, buy some new clothes, pay for three months car rego (one of which was blown when he had his licence taken away for doing burnouts) and a few weeks off work.

Now he is off to Sydney for the premieres and then to Cannes for critics week. It is a long way from delivering pizzas in Elisabeth to the ideal of southern France.

In the dog eat dog world of the movies, how things pan out after Snowtown’s screen run is anybody’s guess and Lucas’. He has signed with RGM in Sydney, one of Australia’s foremost agencies and has already secured a role in a short film. But one thing does appears certain, Defence will not be seeing this young man fixing up their jeeps and tanks any time soon.

See our video interview with Lucas at: Lucas Pittaway Speaks With Kryztoff

See more images of Lucas and our interview with Snowtown director, Justin Kurzel in this month’s Kryztoff at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Adelaide Oval – How We Are Going To Pay For The Folly Of The Elites

The sporting elites of Adelaide may well reflect on the prices now being paid for the Adelaide Oval redevelopment, all announced since the vote last Monday week. No doubt the list will grow:

  • Timber forests being sold off with 5,000 jobs in the South East threatened as processing goes off-shore.
  • Electricity bills in Cooper Pedy up 100% as tariff concessions get dropped.
  • Base water bills up 50% this coming year and another 50% next year.
  • New RAH now to cost at least $1b more up front with an ongoing tail payment of $360m a year just to open the doors
  • The Adelaide casino is stalling on its planned expansion, describing it as just one option. That may mean the footbridge to its door may not get built.
  • The Keith Hospital’s future now rests with donations.

All this on top of the shock surprise of a $600m shortfall in GST revenue over four years!

Closer to the hearts of the sporting elitists, we now know:

  • The great Michelangelo Rucci has confessed Adelaide Oval is not going to save the Crows and Power from going further backwards on and off the field
  • The romantic notion of wandering down after work on a Friday night to watch the football will be restricted to a mere two, may be three nights a year
  • AFL to contribute at most $5m – less than 1% of the current cost and around 0.3% of their $1.25b media rights deal – with games on Foxtel now to be shown against the gate.
  • And finally, the big doozer, this morning’s Advertiser confirms what we last wrote on the topic that ‘pre-season games [are] predicted before that year’s [2014] election.’ Students of the SACA Information Booklet will recall this being written ‘The State Government will grant to .. SACA .. to unrestrictedly and exclusively use Adelaide Oval for cricket during [its] season subject only to to the right of the State Government to stage international events.’ The Cricket season does not end until 15th March. The election is on March 14!

Still there are no seats to be lost in Mt Gambier or Cooper Pedy and the good news for the elites is that their excess water blls will only go up by 10%.

Next stop – the State budget.

RAW: Snowtown – Meet Lucas Pittaway – Pt 1 – Video Interview

Lucas Pittaway By Harry Pearce

Snowtown, the most acclaimed Australian movie of the year and perhaps of the millenium to date, opens next week.

Starring as Jamie Vlassakis, Lucas Pittaway recently spoke at length with Kryztoff in an exclusive interview. In this the first of a three part series entitled ‘Meet Lucas Pittaway’, Lucas speaks of how he got the part and his experiences from being involved.

The video is at: Lucas Pittaway Speaks With Kryztoff

See also Kryztoff’s preview interviews with both Lucas and Kristina Sedgwick, Director of the Adelaide Film Festival that premiered the film in February at Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown

From Thursday 12th May, see also our interview with Justin Kurzel, Snowtown director, in our monthly mag at: Kryztoff\’s May Edition

RAW: Henri Mallard – Building The Sydney Harbour Bridge – Artspace Til 29 May

Henri Mallard At Work

Coming up to the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Henri Mallard’s photographs and film record more than a significant public works project but a monumental Australian undertaking.

The design of the bridge itself offered all kinds of photographic possibilities and Mallard has taken them all. From closely cropped images of work being undertaken and of the workmen involved, the use of the lattice of cross beams and the arches, to panoramic vistas of the harbour, the boats and ferries below and of workmen suspended between the two. They are gritty, heroic and stunning in equal portions.

As good as the images are in and of themselves, much is added by the film that goes with the exhibition. While requiring 20 minutes of attention, the time is well spent as they not only place in great context many of the photographs, giving them greater meaning, but the sheer engineering and logistical genius involved in making the project happen is made plain. The quality of the commentary is hard to believe in this day or professional voice overs and documentaries but for raw authenticity this is terrific stuff.

When one appreciates that the safety concerns of the Chief Engineer, Bradfield, almost prevented this record being made, the fact this was the first such undertaking of a project like this by an art photographer in this country and the equipment involved was all somewhat new in itself, these are the works of a dedicated artist who knew what to record and where and how to get it. The results are quite memorable.

Whether viewed as a record of a great Australian achievement done in the depression (that also cost 17 lives) or of a committed and brave artist working in the industrial aesthetic of the time, this exhibition is stirring stuff and worthy of a visit.

[Images shown are allHenri Mallard Untitled c. 1930

Photographic Images © Paul Mallard and the Australian Centre for Photography

Kryztoff’s Rating  4.5K

See Kryztoff’s other visual arts reviews and features and profiles in its magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Adelaide Oval – One Week On – Part 1

One week on from the surprise 80% SACA members’ vote what has changed? Well quite a bit actually.

First thing is this surprise vote. Questions linger over how such a vote was obtained given the historic difficulties in getting anywhere near a 75% majority for any proposition where there is a bona fide ‘No’ case. Former Federal Labor member for Port Adelaide, Rod Sawford is staggered as were all pundits who had followed interest in the matter. Of course, consistent with every other sticky piece of information that came up in the Oval debate for either the SACA or the SMA (see further below), the SACA says it won’t provide access to the votes to anyone. It is hard to believe a member has no right to review such major things like this of their own association or would have an association that would prevent it.

Then, the Government came out with the usual stream of held back announcements. The forests are going to be sold (we heard the next day), a position not declared in the lead up in case some SACA country members didn’t like the sound of that. Premier Rann also announced the oval would be ready just in time for the 2014 State election. Kryztoff is happy to have a bet with anyone that there will be a football game played in the new stadium between Port and the Crows just prior to the election – try 7.40pm on Friday 28th February 2014 (yes, in cricket season) – under the State’s reserve rights to stage whatever it likes, whenever it likes. Then Rann can make his debut appearance at a football game in 12 years as premier to show the football princes and proles alike what he has done for them.

Under attack from Kryztoff and the No case, last week the Stadium Management Authority changed its constitution so that the anomaly that had existed from the outset that its CEO can’t also be a director is now gone. Interestingly, one of our gonged investigative journos from the SA Media Awards, did not believe that such an issue existed when asked to consider writing an article on the sloppy way the SMA was operating relative to its constitution. Well I suppose if you cover your ears, eyes and mouth and turn the music on really loud not much will get through.

Greg Howe of the No Case also revealed what a croc of dust the report of the SA Centre for Economic Studies was. This is the one that every cheerleader for the project chirped on about that suggested $110m worth of benefits were coming the State’s way. As he showed, the $110m related to gross expenditure, not any net economic gains (as say after including costs involved in earning that revenue, likes wages.) Then around half comes from a transfer of expenditure from West Lakes and much of the rest comes from dream world crowd projections for Port football games, rugby internationals, soccer games and concerts (see separate article to come.)

Nowhere in the document did it deduct from the gross interest costs on the $535m debt the State will be incurring ($40m pa approx). Anyway, any body worth their salt and worried about their integrity would never have been associated with such a piece of crap or allowed its report to be so badly misused. Kryztoff understands some SACES directors did exactly that – endeavoured to distance themselves from the production of the report. Now, let me guess, who do your reckon funds the SA Centre for Economic Studies?

Interestingly, all comment about the economic benefits seems to have been dropped in recent days in both The Advertiser and the Sunday Mail.

Then in a triumphant act of schutzpah, The Advertiser just on Tuesday happened upon a copy of the Macquarie Bank investment proposal that showed the Royal Adelaide Hospital will be built with a $1b over spend up front and annual on-going costs of $1m per day to the taxpayer thereafter. Trying to show to its readers (who generally hated the Adelaide Oval proposal – 90% against in two large phone in polls leading into the SACA vote) that it still cared for Government waste and the plight of the battler, the paper let rip on the Premier and Minister Hill. Little was made of the fact that Jim Katsaros, the doctor who ran the Save The Adelaide Hospital campaign had promoted the exact same figures in the lead up to last year’s State Election.

Again, full marks to those highly honoured investigative journos we have in this State. We are so lucky to have you on our side.

We could go on and we will but in separate pieces about the political machinations since and also further review of the dream world crowd and fixture projections for this ‘game changer’ that will transform this State from the summer of 2014 and make us all feel a lot better.

PS           Taking a walk around the so called Riverfront precinct this afternoon, there were about 500 people there, 50 of whom were young guys doing parkour. Just where all these people will come from to fill all those restaurants and cafes that are going to be built is anyone’s guess. Let us not forget that the fabled Federation Square sits next to one of the great railway stations of the world and is a major meeting spot to boot. Adelaide railway station is nothing like that, or will it ever be.

Check out all our features and profiles in our magazine at: Kryztoff\’s On-line Magazine

RAW: Snowtown – Movie Preview With Lucas Pittaway & Katrina Sedgwick

The Snowtown movie releases on 19th May but it has already received rave reviews with its first sold out screenings at the Adelaide Film Festival.

In two exclusive interviews with Kryztoff, Adelaide Film Festival Director, Katrina Sedgwick, and Snowtown star, Lucas Pittaway, talk about the film and their involvement in it, Sedgwick as an investor and Pittaway as an actor.

Catch that video here: Katrina Sedgwick and Lucas Pittaway Talk About Snowtown.