Better Working Opportunities
Diversify our economy, innovate and generate new employment opportunities
We need to generate more meaningful employment opportunities, to enable and encourage our educated and talented young people to stay and be part of making our city. Our IT, health and education sectors continue to grow and take us in the right direction. I will advocate for further growth and investment in digital infrastructure and sustainable industries. With our enviable lifestyle and natural assets, there is untapped potential across a range of industries. I see greater opportunities in tourism (health and fitness, adventure, sports, eco and nature-based tourism) and creative industries (all forms of design, film and television, the arts and crafts). We should also support research and development for local food production. To get the best advice on market trends, opportunities and priorities, I will set up an independent, expert Sustainable Industries Taskforce.
Let’s strengthen our international profile and create more local jobs through showcasing aspects of the Gold Coast that are truly of world significance:
- Global Surf Hub – Surfing is synonymous with our city. A Global Surf Hub would help to boost the Gold Coast’s international profile and cultural identity. A cluster of surf retail outlets, allied organisations and Surf World museum at the southern Gold Coast would surely boost our $3.3 billion surf industry, and be a popular destination for locals and tourists.
- Gondwana Natural Wonders – an environmental education and action centre, developed in partnership with the Federal and State Governments, could create a gateway experience for the many aspects of nature-based tourism in our hinterland – a park and ride facility for visitors to Tamborine, Springbrook and our World Heritage Gondwana Rainforests.
Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion
Our convention and exhibition centre is so popular that it cannot cater for demand of our growing business tourism market. I will urge the State Government to accelerate plans to expand the convention centre, along with better, safer pedestrian connectivity across the Gold Coast Highway to central Broadbeach. This will strengthen Broadbeach as a world-class tourism and entertainment hub. It should also strike out further contemplation of ideas for a Global Tourism Hub with a second casino.
Stimulate our business districts
- Let’s put the central business into our CBDs. Our City Hall, council meeting chambers and a civic square should be in the heart of Southport. And council’s 2500+ administrative workforce can be strategically distributed over time to commercial office accommodation that is well served by public transport at Southport, Robina and Coomera. This will lead the way for a new wave of allied investment in commercial and residential property development, and stimulate business and vitality in our CBDs.
- State and Federal Government office relocations – I will also advocate for Federal and State Government office relocations to follow the council’s lead, and bring more permanent jobs and activity to Southport, Robina, Coomera and Nerang.
- Corporate head offices – we must do a better job to attract and retain head offices of large or high wealth corporations. These have local spin-off effects generating employment for professional services and food services. Corporate head offices often become key supporters of communities with philanthropic contributions to arts, health and social services.
Small Business Deal
Small Business is really big business in this city and small business operators have been telling me they want more support from our council. I will start with a greater commitment for council to buy local and use local service providers and tradies. We also need a Small Business Sector Strategic Plan to point the best ways forward plus a ‘Better Business Incentive Scheme’ to encourage start-up of new enterprises and to improve sustainability of existing businesses.