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23 August 2017

Danny Maher speaks on digital disruption in our city

“The sharing of knowledge makes knowledge greater”.

So says Danny Maher, the founder of Gold Coast-based business software multinational Opmantek and passionate advocate for connecting and empowering innovators.

Danny addressed a group of more than 130 professionals and entrepreneurs at YP Gold Coast’s cocktail function at Sandbar Surfers Paradise recently, providing rare insight into how he built Opmantek from a start-up to a booming business that services more than 130,000 organisations worldwide.

‘Build it and they will come’ is Danny’s attitude to attracting talent to the city.

“The Gold Coast is a fantastic place to live and do business,” he said.

“There’s loads of smart people who want to work on the Gold Coast, we just need to create the opportunities and show them they exist.”

When Danny was establishing his business, he would list positions in Sydney or Melbourne in order to attract workers at the top of their fields.
“We needed the best of the best, and they just weren’t looking at the Gold Coast,” he said.

“You can have a go and you can get things done here. You just need the right people.”

Danny shared his vision for morphing the Gold Coast into an IT hub and how to capitalise on innovation and disruption.
“We’ve founded the Gold Coast innovation hub where people can get the resources they need to make their businesses more successful,” he said.

“We need innovative businesses to know they can succeed here.”

And if Opmantek is anything to go by, succeed they can.

Read more about the Gold Coast’s innovation hub

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8 August 2017

An Open Letter to ASF

Dear ASF,

As the Young Professionals of the Gold Coast, we wanted to let you know that we are fully supportive of your investment in the Gold Coast and we wanted you to know – please don’t give up on our City. 

We are sorry that, to date, your development proposals have not been successful. It is regrettable that as a City we have stuffed you around – first with Wavebreak and then with The Spit.

But we truly believe that the Gold Coast is maturing into a global city and the type of investment you wish to make is critical to ensuring we continue to attract the best talent from around the world. 

We are a passionate group of Gold Coasters advocating for quality economic development, and diversification of our career prospects.  Your development will begin to realise these aims.

As a group, we think the perfect location for your development is the ‘old hospital site’ in Southport, the Gold Coast’s CBD. It’s just over 3 hectares in size, on top of a hill with water views, with 3 road frontages, and a light rail station out the front.  The site is currently vacant.  

A prospective purchaser of the site has proposed a very mediocre development, but we believe our CBD deserves better.

We believe this site within our CBD deserves your development.  It is the prime site within our CBD, with the highest and best zoning in our City (Priority Development Area) - so you won’t get stuffed around there!

We would love to see your development built within our City. Your development is exactly what the future generations living, working and visiting our City will want and need.


YP Gold Coast


Please direct media enquiries to

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19 May 2017


YOUNG Professionals Gold Coast has called on its members to use the organisation as a means to advocate for the change they want to see in the city.

More than 170 local young professionals, business executives and entrepreneurs gathered at The Island Rooftop last week for a cocktail event hosted by YP Gold Coast.

The organisation used the opportunity to introduce its management committee and encourage attendees to connect with them to collectively drive positive change across the region.

YP Gold Coast prides itself on being the city’s leading advocacy group and hopes its members will take a proactive role in its advocacy efforts, says committee president Sean Braybrook.

“We’re a passionate group of Gold Coasters who want to help bring the new generation of our city’s professionals together and with them, do something meaningful,” he said.

“We want people to see us as a vehicle to drive their own ideas and initiatives that will have a positive impact on the Gold Coast’s business community.”

YP Gold Coast’s charity partner, OzHarvest, raised $705 through its raffle on the evening, allowing them to deliver 1,410 meals to people in need across the city.

Future YP Gold Coast events will be announced on the organisation’s Facebook page and website:

Anyone wishing to connect with the committee can do so via email: 






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14 March 2017

Gold Coast Entrepreneurs Share Tips for Startup Success

 Find your passion, surround yourself with the right people, and have a fair dinkum crack. 

That’s the message to come out of YP Gold Coast’s Entrepreneurs Lunch at Harry’s Steak Bistro and Bar on Friday, March 10.  

Keynote speaker Tony Cochrane, Chairman of the Gold Coast SUNS, was joined by some of the city’s trailblazing entrepreneurs - HiSmile founders Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic, Amazonia creator Dwayne Martens and Superdraft owners Jake Robinson and Mark Deacon.

Cochrane is a firm believer in having a go and believes passion and persistence are the ultimate ingredients for success.

“Don’t hold back. Don’t wait for somebody to invite you. Get involved and have a fair dinkum go. You’ll be amazed at what you can do,” he says.

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“These guys (the entrepreneurs) are proof that if you’ve got a good idea and you’re willing to work hard you can make it happen.


“Look at what’s been done in the education space on the Gold Coast – 15 years ago it was barely an industry in its own right, now education is one of our top economic drivers.” 

Cochrane says small to medium sized companies are the future of the Gold Coast’s business landscape. 

“I don’t think we’ll ever be a big business city. We’re not about skyscrapers and suits. It’s not us and I hope it never is,” he says. 

Nik Mirkovic, whose teeth whitening company turned over $10 million in two years, agrees the city’s smaller size and laidback nature are conducive to success through innovation.

“The Gold Coast allows you to be the best version of yourself and not get caught in the business rat race,” he says. 


Owner of Harrys Steak and Bistro Adam Haralampou and Simon Gloftis


Size and location aside, each speaker highlighted the important role their teams have played in their organisations’ success.

Dwayne Martens founded Amazonia at 22 selling acai smoothies from a stand at his local markets. He established his now mutli-million dollar health food empire with the support of friends, but rapid expansion required him to staff up.

“Now I’m in a great space where my role is to drive innovation in the business,” he says. 

“I can’t be completely involved in all operational aspects of the business – I need to work smart. 

“I spent a lot of time ensuring the right people were around me, and that those people hired the right people. 

“They all do it a hell of a lot better than me.”

Superdraft’s Jake Robinson, who leads a team of 120 designers with a portfolio of more than 2,700 completed projects, says people are the hardest part of any business.

“People are expensive and they can make or break your business,” he says. 

“Find the right people who share your vision and follow your leadership. Then do what only you can do and delegate everything else.” 


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For the founders of HiSmile, finding the right team was integral to filling a skill gap in their business.

“We’re not dentists, we saw a business opportunity,” Alex Tomic says. 

“We knew our strengths and sought the expertise of the right people when we needed to.”

Cochrane says a skilled and supported team is vital for any successful business. 

“You can have the best product in the world and the best ideas, but if you don’t have the right people around you, you’re in trouble,” he says. 

“We (Gold Coast SUNS) have spent the last 12 months making sure we have the best people in their roles.

“Whether you’re the chairman or the cleaner, every person has a role to play, and there’s no excuse for not treating everybody in the workplace the same.

“Of course not everyone can be the CEO, but everyone deserves respect and to truly feel part of an organisation."


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15 September 2016


The vocal minority disputing the transformative Mariner’s Cove project proposed for Main Beach are halting the Gold Coast’s economic and cultural progress.   

The $600 million Mariner’s Cove would rejuvenate underutilised land, create thousands of local jobs and provide a much-needed boost to the economically depressed Tedder Avenue strip.

Its developer, Sunland’s Soheil Abedian, has likened the Zaha Hadid-designed project to international landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

Mariners Cover Impression

Young Professionals Gold Coast, the city’s peak body representing young business and industry leaders, says Mariner’s Cove is a landmark project which should be assessed on the long-term benefits it presents to the city.

Vice President Melissa Coleman says the loud voice of a single suburb is petitioning against the development, which is not representative of what the whole city wants.

“It is mind-blowing to me that this is even up for debate,” says Coleman.

“Developers, architects, cultural strategists and those with a beautiful vision are throwing millions of dollars at us, yet we prefer to say ‘no thanks’.

“Infrastructure and traffic management will be improved, yet for the inconvenience of a few years of construction, there are people who would rather halt the economic and cultural progress of our city and the state of Queensland.”

Ms Coleman says argument about the preservation of the Spit lacks merit.

“The proposed site is not even ‘the Spit’, it is south of Marina Mirage and is a wasted site that has been sitting empty for decades,” she says.

“And Main Beach residents can't possibly have concerns for height restrictions when they themselves reside in, or are already surrounded by, buildings of up to 45 storeys.

“As a passionate Gold Coaster, this leads me to question why we listen to the minority - I am confident that the majority of the city is excited by such an incredible development.”

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1 September 2016

Broadening the Gold Coast’s horizons

Professional PhotoJessica Thomas says if the Gold Coast is to prosper, locals need to accept that the city will be changing as it provides for population growth.  

The YP Gold Coast board member, who is passionate about fostering the city’s young talent, believes the city is on the verge of greatness; however it needs to embrace change and transformation.

Jessica, who was admitted as a solicitor at 22 before being promoted to an associate of law firm Short Punch & Greatorix at 24, highlights the importance of a collective voice in evolving the city as a worldly destination.

“The Gold Coast is a vibrant city that is constantly evolving and with continued proactive leadership the city will thrive,” she says. 

“As young professionals, we have the opportunity to assist in the development and growth of our city so long as we are united.”

Read more in this Q&A with Jessica:

What makes the Gold Coast a great place to live and work?

Having grown up on the Gold Coast, studied on the Gold Coast and established my career on the Gold Coast makes me really appreciate the value of a true work life balance. I love the fact I can go for a run on the beach before work and then play netball and touch footy after.

Although I appreciate the time I spent working in Brisbane, having the opportunity to further my career at such an upstanding law firm on the Gold Coast makes me appreciate the opportunities available so close to home.

I wholeheartedly believe that if you have a strong work ethic, you can find that the professional opportunities and benefits that you receive working in the capital cities are also available on the Gold Coast.

Also, the fact that we are in such close proximity to other big cities - we are only an hour drive from Brisbane and an hour flight to Sydney – makes the city even more appealing.

Why are you so passionate about educating future city leaders about the Gold Coast's potential?

When I was asked to join the YP committee, I immediately grasped the opportunity as I saw this as a platform to assist with the motivation of our future city leaders by connecting professionals through various networks.  It is always a good feeling to be able to call a peer that I have met through networking at a YP event, to rely on their expertise regardless of their profession.

Networking has also allowed me to grow my contact list which has been invaluable to draw on that experience when my clients are in need of advice in a different specialty.  

The Gold Coast is a vibrant city that is constantly evolving and with continued proactive leadership the city will thrive.  It is through organisations like YP that the city will continue on a path towards success.

In addition, the key note speakers that present at our YP events offer a diverse range of knowledge and assist with the implementation of ideas that educate those who attend.  It is exciting to be part of the team that helps to inspire and motivate young professionals on the Gold Coast.  It is through YP, as a collective, that we can develop this place into a world class destination where major international companies invest.

Why is it so important that the city evolves and diversifies?

The young professionals of our city have the opportunity to assist in the development and growth of our city so long as we are united.

Professionals with diverse backgrounds, interests and knowledge, as a collective are able to think laterally and provide innovative solutions for the continued growth of the Gold Coast.

Having knowledge passed down through mentors that have been in business for longer than some of us have been alive is also a great asset. As long as the young and old work together and integrate their knowledge we will do great things for the city.

What do you believe are some of the challenges the city is facing, and what can the Gold Coast do to overcome them? 

There are individuals on the Gold Coast that are narrow minded when it comes to development and progression of the city. People need to accept that the Gold Coast is a young city and will be changing as it provides for population growth. 

Bernard Salt says that it is more than likely that three mega regions in the next 90 years will develop around Sydney, Melbourne and south-east Queensland (Gold Coast) and that these cities will require careful urban planning. This urban planning needs to begin now.

The city’s infrastructure and transport facilities will also have to be one step ahead of the population growth to maintain the Coast’s liveability.

Lastly, let’s get cracking and develop that vacant land known as the Spit to bring in more jobs, more tourists and give the Gold Coast economy the boost and security it one day may need. People travel the world to visit the built environment and as the Spit and Broadwater south of Wave Break Island is all man made, this area could be developed to be the jewel in Gold Coast’s crown. The area north of Wave Break Island should be maintained as a natural habitat.


What needs to be done to create more jobs on the Gold Coast, and grow the city's corporate culture?


Firstly, we need sustainable development that balances the interests of all stakeholders. 

Secondly, we need to attract big investors to the city. If national and international investors view the Gold Coast as a dynamic and emerging city thriving with opportunities, they will have no choice but to invest here to assist with the growth of the corporate culture.

Thirdly, we need to keep graduates on the Coast.  We have top ranking secondary schools and some of the best universities in the country, if not the world, that attract local, interstate and international students to complete their tertiary studies.

Lastly, we need to lobby for the decentralisation of government departments and other major corporations from capital cities, for their head offices to relocate to “regional areas” such as the Gold Coast. Imagine if the ATO were to relocate its offices to the Gold Coast. What a boost to the local economy this would be with a boost in the number of public servants and their families living and working on the Gold Coast.


What is the city missing?

 The city is missing a united voice when it comes to bettering the city as a whole. Let’s for now focus on the positives and what the city has to offer and how to grow and improve our infrastructure and current assets and opportunities rather than focus on what we are lacking.

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1 September 2016

Five Minutes With… BBC’s Scott Finlayson

Ensuring the 2018 Commonwealth Games leaves an overwhelming legacy for the Gold Coast is one of the biggest opportunities and challenges the city is facing, according to BBC’s Scott Finlayson.


BBC, an inaugural sponsor of Young Professionals Gold Coast, boasts 40 years of experience in providing workflow solutions and has grown to be Australia’s largest privately owned photocopier and printer supplier.


YP Gold Coast sat down with Area Manager Scott Finlayson to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the Gold Coast, as well as chatting about BBC’s support in helping YP achieve its mission of motivating, inspiring and connecting the next generation of city leaders.


Scott FinlaysonWith its enviable climate, unparalleled coastal lifestyle and refreshing hinterland, Finlayson labels the Gold Coast as one of the greatest cities in Australia to live, work and play. 

“In no other city can you be surfing the best breaks in the world one moment, and then exploring some of the best bushland in the Hinterland the next,” he says. 

“While in the past the Gold Coast has been considered solely a tourism destination, the city is diversifying, evolving and realising its potential.  As an individual, and a professional, it is exciting to see the city coming of age and really embracing new industries – particularly the technology sector.”

While it is an exciting industry, Finlayson recognises that keeping up with technology is a major challenge for the city. Other challenges the city is facing include managing infrastructure and transport around population growth and the possible economic downturn after the Commonwealth games, says Finlayson. He says the Games represent huge commercial and economic benefits for the city, both pre and post the event.  But, only if managed correctly. 

“We will be launched onto the world stage in 2018 and we need to make sure we are sending the right messages,” he says.

“I see the Gold Coast evolving as the sporting capital of Australia; we have the right climate which means athletes can pretty much train 365 days a year and we have around $12 billion worth of infrastructure planned or underway in the lead up to the Games which includes world-class sporting facilities.

“We have all the elements we need to establish ourselves as a worldly sporting destination, we just need to make sure we all work together to ensure the Games leave an overwhelming legacy.”

While there are many opportunities that the city is set to capitalise on, Finalyson highlights that it is the younger generation that will help to shape the Gold Coast’s future. This was one of the main reasons he came on board as a sponsor of leading advocacy group YP Gold Coast.

“The YP committee and its supporters are the future of the Gold Coast,” he says. 

“Without groups like YPGC, the ideas and opinions of the younger generations will go unheard and the city will ultimately risk losing young talent to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney.”

BBC Digital has been a sponsor of YP for the past five years and has been vital in helping the organisation connect with future city leaders.  

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10 August 2016


CITIES that are designed to be reliant on cars are bound for failure.  Cities that adopt a capable and dependable transit system are bound for success.

While there has been a lot of chatter and debate in recent months about funding for the M1, Young Professionals Gold Coast believes the discussion needs to be turned on its head.

The city shouldn’t be talking about how to fund road extensions and major upgrades; it should be talking about how to fund and implement a capable and dependable public transport system.

The city needs transportation alternatives that encourage people to leave their car at home, and one that is suited to each particular circumstance with easy connections; train to bus to tram to walk should be seamless.  

Building more roads only adds more cars; it is a bandaid approach to the city’s traffic congestion, and extending and building wider roads to cure this nightmare is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.  

With the city’s population growth expected to double by 2020, and the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, the Gold Coast needs to focus on, and adopt, a world-class transit network.

While it has been debated that upgrading the M1 is a big part of battling the city’s traffic woes, in reality, it offers short-term relief.

Upgrades to the M1 will not limit congestion in the long run, and it will not stop future closures.

There will always be circumstances when the motorway is shut down.  To combat closures, the city needs to have alternative transportation so when a closure occurs, the city does not come to a standstill.

Smart suburbs, and smart cities, have transit, which includes high frequency buses – at least every 15 minutes.  And buses need to connect with a tram system that travels the length of the city and connects to suburbs inland.

In addition, the city should take advantage of its canals.  The waterways present a great opportunity for a ferry system – the Gold Coast needs to act on this and the 2018 Commonwealth games should be the catalyst.

Cycling is also a huge sport and popular mode of transportation worldwide. To make it safe and to encourage more cyclists, the city needs to have separate bike lanes, especially on high volume and high-speed roads.

While it is one thing to have options, it is not enough – people will always choose the most convenient, and with the current public transport network, Gold Coasters will choose their car every time. 

The city needs to prioritise transit types; pedestrians over cars at intersections, bikes over trams – don’t ban cars, prioritise them last.

YP Gold Coast is encouraging an evolution towards integrated transit – we need a city that connects places that people need including home and work.

The city should run trials – new bus routes, ferry system, extended bike lanes – and then invest in infrastructure upgrades if a trial is successful.  

Ultimately, the Gold Coast needs to prioritise expenditure away from road upgrades to public transit.

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14 June 2016


Sean Braybrook 3PRESIDENT of Young Professionals Gold Coast Sean Braybrook says as the city continues to evolve as one of the most dynamic places in the country, it’s vitally important the community supports and encourages those willing to push the boundaries.

Braybrook, who works as the Strategy and Operations Manager at Study Gold Coast, says the city is on the cusp of greatness but it will only reach its full potential if leaders and community members are willing to embrace change.  

“We can’t be afraid of change or remain static because the city will stagnate,” he says.

“We need to galvanise support around the projects and developments that have the capacity to generate growth while industry leaders need to continue to diversify the economy.”

In Braybrook’s current role he is partly responsible for growing the city’s education sector.  However, one of his most proud achievements is being appointed the head of YP Gold Coast where he works with a team to motivate, inspire and influence the next generation of city leaders.

“I’d have to say that my current position as President of YP Gold Coast is certainly something I’ve loved as I get to work with an incredible group of people who are passionate about this city and its future,” says Braybrook.

In this Q&A, Braybrook discusses diversifying the Gold Coast economy, the importance of a united voice, and his vision for establishing the Gold Coast as the lifestyle hub of Australia.

What makes the Gold Coast a great place to live and work? 

Where do I start?  Simply put, the Gold Coast offers anyone and everyone the opportunity to pursue big ideas.  It is a city where dreams become reality and it is the stomping ground for both worldly investors and those with passion projects.  Whether it is Wanda Ridong who wants to invest $1 billion in a new residential project, or local restaurateur’s Simon Gloftis and Adam Haralampou with  new food offerings, the Gold Coast offers support and encouragement to big-thinkers and exudes a ‘have a go’ attitude.

With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner and a stable local government, I wholeheartedly believe the city is on the cusp of greatness.  Right now a number of factors are combining in the city’s favour to make it one of most dynamic places in the country and it’s important that as a community we back anyone willing to push the boundaries and we celebrate our successes.

When you combine the Gold Coast’s palpable energy with its lifestyle, you get something special.  Not many people can say they get to go to the beach in the morning before work.  The commute is easy (by major capital standards) and the people are amazing.

Why are you so passionate about educating future generations of city leaders about the Gold Coast’s potential?

I joined YP because I wanted to help build the conversation about what the Gold Coast is and can be. We can’t be afraid of change or remain static because the city will stagnate. We need to galvanise support around the projects and developments that have the capacity to generate growth while industry leaders need to continue to diversify the economy.  Most importantly I wanted to be part of an organisation that looked at the Gold Coast as a whole and understood its potential.

Why is it so important that the city evolves and diversifies?

Research and education, culture and the arts, and innovation and entrepreneurship attract and retain our best and brightest so we need to get behind initiatives that support this vision for the Gold Coast.  If you look at the health and knowledge precinct, initiatives such as CoSpaces, Bleach* Festival, the Miami Marketta and the Night Quarter – they are all incredibly successful and all represent the change occurring in the city.  No longer are we just reliant on tourism, and although development and tourism will always quite rightly have their place, the elements I’ve outlined feed into these and help support those industries.  People only invest in and visit cities that are dynamic and culturally and economically diverse.

What do you believe are some of the challenges the city is facing, and what can the Gold Coast do to overcome these?

The single biggest obstacle is the lack of a combined vison for the city.  The horse has bolted on being a sleepy seaside resort of individual villages for vacationers and people need to understand that for us to continue to live and work here we need to support policies that will provide jobs. It’s no use having a great lifestyle if there is no work. This feeds into the issues facing the city particularly around big projects that have the capacity to change the Gold Coast.

Each major business group, community groups, residents and other stakeholders need to work together to create this vision to combat the spread-out nature of the city. There needs to be one community or business-based forum that is representative of the entire city.

We need the community to rally behind and support big ideas currently at play. Whether its Southport’s role as the city’s CBD, the light rail extension, the cultural precinct, the health and knowledge precinct - we need to stop thinking small and back the growth of the city. It’s quite amazing that we live in a place where rather than getting behind some amazing projects we are fixated on the negatives instead of the positives.

This is a great place to live and work. Yes, we need to get the balance right when it comes to development and sacrificing our lifestyle, but the aim should be to actively work with the construction sector to create projects that are world-class and complementary to the city, rather than knock them down due to an outdated vision for the Gold Coast.  If life-style is the aim, let’s support green developments and the creation of more open space via creative thinking – look at the New York Highline as a great example. Let’s identify and agree on a set-of trade-offs for projects to ensure that investment continues while also providing positive public benefits.

Our focus then has to be on providing a coherent vision that we can all follow and focus around what it means to be a Gold Coaster. I think this focus needs to be about branding ourselves as the country’s lifestyle capital; a message that can translate across the traditional drivers of tourism and development, but is equally important to growing the education sector or attracting SME’s. Everything falls in behind this message whether it’s supporting the light-rail extension, the development of cultural hubs or even surfing reserves – it allows us to build a set of values and a brand that differentiates us from the other major cities and allows us to carve our own niche globally.

The most critical element for these points to work is for the community to get actively engaged in the city. A coordinated approach on issues of key importance is needed to drive the changes we want to occur in the city.

What needs to be done to create more jobs on the Gold Coast, and grow the city’s corporate culture?

A clear focus needs to be placed on the development of more entrepreneurial hubs and greater linkages between the corporate and education sector. Local government and our community can play a role here and we can take ownership of the entrepreneurial space nationally if we work together. By focusing on the factors we can control, in terms of incentive schemes for operators, we have an opportunity to develop more co-working spaces and innovation hubs that act as a focal point for new business development. We need to concentrate our efforts on creating an entrepreneur-friendly environment which will help boost jobs growth. This can happen by reducing certain regulations and charges levied on business that can hinder success in the first few crucial years of a company’s life.

We might still have some challenges attracting big corporates to relocate but if we focus on building an environment supportive of new business we can carve out our niche as a hub for start-ups – tech or non-tech based. This will in-turn encourage talent to set themselves up here and establish ourselves as a supportive location for businesses to set-up and start growing. This is how we can build a stronger and more varied corporate sector which will help protect us from any big global shocks to the economy.

The entry costs for a business is so much lower here than in the other major capitals, we have international airport links and we are part of the great south-east Queensland/northern NSW metro hub. This last point in particular is critical because all of a sudden you start thinking not just in terms of the Gold Coast but the fact that within an estimated two hour drive you have access to a market of around 3.5 million people. Again, if we focus on telling this story we have a great chance of showing to everyone that we are a viable place to set up a venture over the long-term. 

This approach can help us mature from our boom/bust cycle to a more stable pattern of growth.

What is the city missing? 

I think we need to refrain from thinking about this and instead look at what we have. By constantly looking at what we are missing we are destined to overlook how we can enhance what is already at our fingertips.

We have some of the best beaches around the world, an incredible natural asset in the Gold Coast Hinterland, great parks and a world-class lifestyle.

What we need to do now is focus on how we improve what we have via considered and careful planning, smart infrastructure choices and targeted business development plans that encourage diversification. Most importantly we need to do this with a united voice and stop allowing vocal minorities to hamper projects that will benefit the greater community.


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31 May 2016

Future city leaders rally behind innovation

ON the back of the State Government’s blitz on rideshare drivers, future city leaders have thrown their support behind Uber saying innovation and entrepreneurship need to be recognised as real economic drivers.

Young Professionals Gold Coast, the city’s peak body representing young business and industry leaders, says disruptive technologies such as Uber need to be embraced if the Gold Coast and Queensland want to be recognised as competitive destinations.  

President Sean Braybrook says the lack of support for this unique application and the state governments rideshare blitz, which has secured almost $200,000 in fines, is the wrong approach as the government is actually penalising consumers.

“YP Gold Coast is in support of new ventures that offer people a more competitive offering and rallies behind any and all innovative technologies that disrupt and evolve industries,” says Braybrook.

“YP Gold Coast represents the next generation of city leaders, many of whom are young entrepreneurs who are building thriving businesses and looking to turn their dream into a reality.

“However, a state and a city that does not support the delivery of innovation means more and more young people will find other, more supportive, destinations to lay down roots.

“And that goes against everything YP Gold Coast advocates for – we want to encourage young professionals to live, work and play on the Gold Coast. 

“The city is on the cusp of greatness but it needs to diversify and support new industries, and invest in innovation and entrepreneurship, if it wants to continue on the road to success.”

Uber most recently emailed tens of thousands of its users on the Gold Coast, encouraging them to email a replica fine to the Premier in payback for a blitz on rideshare drivers, who are now facing harsher penalties. 

Uber drivers face fines up to $2356 while the administrators of illegal taxi services could be penalised up to $23,560.

“The government’s focus should be on normalising Uber just like the New South Wales government, rather than creating a new moneymaking stream,” says Braybrook.

“While YP Gold Coast believes there needs to be a level playing field for the ridesharing industry in terms of regulatory bodies, harsher fines are not the answer, as this is very much like putting the genie back in the bottle.”

“Instead of coming up with ways to penalise the ridesharing app, the government should be coming up with solutions that focus around embracing this technology.”

YP Gold Coast aims to motivate, inspire and empower the next generation of city leaders.  With a real focus on growing the city’s corporate culture, the organisation offers networking and mentoring opportunities.


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