The commercial office landscape along Flinders Street in Adelaide.

21st CENTURY as South Australian business makes up for lost national economic influence

ON THE RUN, THOMAS INTERNATIONAL FOODS, MacMAHON SERVICES, BESTON GLOBAL FOOD. These were among names that came to the forefront in early 21st Century South Australian business. These companies – especially with Thomas and Beston in agribusiness – represent a return to traditional areas of South Australian business.

South Australian entrepreneurs have moved into new areas such as the internet (Internode, Adam Internet) and renewable energy (Zen Energy). These companies have since been taken over by interstate and international interests but they have added to the breadth and knowledge in the South Australian economy.

Having the breadth and knowledge in the South Australian economy to allow new home-grown enterprises to spring up has become important. The three main South Australian universities and other research hubs, in moving to harness commercial opportunities from their research, are assisting that breadth and knowledge.

Outside ownership of key sectors is an inevitability, especially given South Australia’s size within the Australian economy. But South Australia, as with several other areas, had a disproportionate share of national influence.
This was lost with the collapse of the Bank of Adelaide, Adelaide Steamship, Elders and the State Bank.

The state government has lured companies such as Oz Minerals and Hillgrove Resources to set up their head offices here with financial incentives.

South Australia remains the head office of a batch of solid companies, such as Santos, Adelaide Brighton Cement and Argo Investments,  on the Australian Stock Exchange. It also has some home-grown grassroots financial bodies, such as Statewide Super and credit unions like People’s Choice and Credit Union SA, to feed the economy and business.

An emphasis on entrepreneurs and start-up business has also been in tandem with getting Adelaide internet-wired to GigCity status.


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