“THE countdown is on until the Commonwealth Games hits the shores of the Gold Coast.

With the Games set to create more than 30,000 jobs and inject $2 billion into the economy, it is important as future city leaders that we work to ensure it leaves an overwhelming legacy for the Gold Coast, and provides opportunities well into the future.

At present there is so much talk about the preparation of the Games and the lead-up to the event, that sometimes it seems like 2018 is the end of the road for the Gold Coast.

In reality, the Commonwealth Games is just a springboard to a more prosperous future.

As the host city, it is a unique opportunity to truly showcase the Gold Coast to the rest of the world and change the perception of our city.

We want to prove that not only is the Gold Coast a great place to visit, but it is a city coming of age and establishing itself as a world-class destination.

We need to maximise this opportunity and ensure the 2018 Commonwealth Games is a stepping stone to economic prosperity and social enrichment.

So, what should the city do to ensure the Games realises a lasting benefit? YP Gold Coast has listed three key areas to assist in building a legacy. We need to:

Develop top-class venues and facilities that don’t only cater to the athletes that will visit in 2018, but also serve a future purpose. The Games Village is a great example of this, with it set to provide an enduring residential and knowledge precinct.

Invest in proper transport and infrastructure, importantly the second stage of the light rail, to ensure we can move the influx of people efficiently around our city. We want to show a city that is easy to navigate and easy to access.

Encourage business partnerships locally and provide jobs locally. The city is home to so much talent and we should be utilising and promoting our assets. We want to show that Gold Coast businesses are competitive for contracts to offer services to major projects internationally.

We only get one shot to do this right. Our international audience needs to see that we can deliver quality and inspiring events and provide opportunities for local businesses and community groups to grow. “