“WE live in a city that is overflowing with greatness – it is a place to raise a family and retire, it is a leading tourism destination, it has thriving education and medical hubs and, most notably, it is forging ahead as a powerhouse for business.
But so often the Gold Coast’s corporate culture is overlooked because it isn’t a capital city. This is despite start-ups and top ASX-listed businesses choosing the Gold Coast as their stomping ground.
Varsity Lakes-headquartered Opmantek is proving that the city can be a world leader in the technology field, recently winning a flurry of international awards including America’s favourite systems management product, ahead of computer technology giant Dell. On top of this, its CEO Danny Maher edged out corporate heavyweights David Thodey and Alan Joyce in the 2015 Stevie Awards.
Meanwhile, young entrepreneurs Justin Cameron and Lex Pederson are building a global empire from Burleigh Heads. SurfStitch (ASX:SRF), the former Billabong subsidiary, has emerged as a big growth story in the retail actions sports sector and recently beat prospectus forecasts by posting a $4.1 million net profit for FY15. The list outlining the exceptional talent the Gold Coast has to offer could go on. But the trouble we are facing is that it is difficult to portray this side of the city, and it is often clouded by the beaches and tourist attractions.
This isn’t to say that tourism is not vital to the economy – it most definitely is. The sector underpins the local economy to the tune of $4.8 billion, supports 8700 local tourism businesses and employs more than 35,000 full-time employees.
However, we shouldn’t rely on tourism. The city has everything that major cities around the world aspire to have and we need to make the most of all of our assets. The Gold Coast is on the cusp of greatness, but investment in innovation and entrepreneurship is needed if the city wants to reach its full potential. This is one priority for the Turnbull government.
Secondly, we need strong economic leadership– if we get strong economic leadership at a federal level it will ultimately create a strong local economy. And thirdly, Investment in infrastructure is vital. Most importantly, the second stage of the light rail needs to be a priority and delivered before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
YP Gold Coast is calling on the Turnbull government to recognise the importance of investing in vital urban infrastructure projects, which were often ignored by Abbott. Although public transport is not a responsibility of the Federal Government, this project needs the support of all tiers of government if it is to come to fruition before 2018. With the appointment of three Gold Coast federal members to ministry – Stuart Robert, Steven Ciobo and Karen Andrews – we have a stronger voice at a national level. We just need to make sure our voice outweighs those of vested minority groups that can often scream the loudest. “