“YOUNG Professionals Gold Coast recently brought together some of the city’s top business leaders to debate some of the biggest issues facing the city.

In partnership with Griffith University, The City Leaders Forum shone a light on key challenges and opportunities that are impacting the city including the development of The Spit, the diversification of the economy and the need for the unity of Gold Coasters.

YP Gold Coast would like to thank each and every person who attended the special event, both panellists and attendees – with the support of the community, YP Gold Coast is confident it can achieve its vision of transforming the city into a leading business hub.

In a Q&A style format, hosted by ABC’s Bern Young, the panelists debated a range of issues, including:

  • How the growth of the Gold Coast, which is expected to double to 1.2 million in the next 35 years, will shape city.
  • Whether development is vital to the city’s future.
  • The necessity of a cruise ship terminal on the Gold Coast.
  • How the city will ensure there is no post-2018 slump, and what the city can do to ensure the Commonwealth Games is a springboard to a more prosperous future.
  • The future route of the light rail.
  • Speakers included Mayor Tom Tate, Ray White Surfers Paradise founder Greg Bell, Gold Coast Bulletin Editor Cath Webber, YP Gold Coast President Sean Braybrook, Griffith University Vice Chancellor Ian O’Connor, Chairman of the Committee for Southport John Howe, Hickey Lawyers Managing Partner Tony Hickey and Frizelle’s Automotive Group Operations Manager Rebecca Frizelle.

While there was robust debate, there was agreement on some key issues including the need to lure and nurture development and investment in our city.

This particularly related to the development of The Spit, which is gearing up for massive transformation with high-profile companies including Sunland, Aquis and ASF laying down roots. The panel also agreed that Gold Coasters need to start recognising its strengths, and start being ‘loud and proud’ about the city.

In addition to lively discussion, the event raised more than $3000 for Oz Harvest – a perishable food rescue organisation collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it to charities providing assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across Australia.

The City Leaders Forum is an ongoing initiative of Griffith University and YP Gold Coast that aims to foster discussion around the opportunities and challenges facing the city, particularly in the lead-up and following the 2018 Commonwealth Games. This event is a starting point for a number of initiatives and events planned by YP Gold Coast for 2016 as it seeks to support and drive positive change for the Gold Coast across the corporate and community sectors.

YP Gold Coast would also like to thank its sponsors – without their support, the event would not have been possible: City of Gold Coast, Griffith University, Cronin Litigation Lawyers, Stead Lane, PKF Gold Coast, BBC Digital, Ivan Poole Lawyers and event partners the Gold Coast Bulletin and Arts Centre Gold Coast.”