The Gold Coast property industry believes revival of the local property sector is the key to reviving the flagging Gold Coast economy. And property is certainly the lifeblood of the Gold Coast. According to figures released by the Property Council of Australia, from 2009 to 2010, the local property industry was responsible for directly employing 36,000 Gold Coasters (19 per cent) and generating over $4 billion worth of local activity.
Since then, says the Council, the Gold Coast economy has stagnated, with a slump in property investment, an unemployment rate higher than the national average and building approvals at an all-time low. Their solution is to address five key areas where the local economy could be given a much-needed shot in the arm.
To boost local employment numbers, the Property Council advocates the following:
- State and local government tenders must provide an incentive for tenderers to use local workers
- A major State government department must be relocated to the Gold Coast (ideally Tourism Queensland)
- The local community must commit to a ‘buy local’ campaign, where local businesses and service providers are patronised before all others.
To achieve progress on a local level, the Gold Coast must:
- Abolish the system of local government divisions that works against achieving unified goals
- Establish a common vision that the entire council can identify with and unite behind
To maximise the economic and social value of the Broadwater, much as Brisbane has done with Southbank, the Gold Coast needs to:
- Activate the Broadwater Masterplan, which has been in the ‘too-hard basket’ for some time now
- Commit to a 12-month timeframe for completion
To rejuvenate the city’s ageing skyline, the Gold Coast should:
- Activate the Gold Coast Rapid Transit (GCRT)
- Educate building owners along the corridor about the potential investment returns from upgrading their buildings to accommodate the GCRT
- Bring the Queensland strata title law into line with the rest of the world, where only 80 per cent of owners are needed to agree to a sale, rather than 100 per cent
- Abolish infrastructure charges along the corridor
To connect to the rest of the world and recapture its competitive advantage, the Gold Coast must:
- Tap into the fly-in-fly-out industry servicing the mining boom
- Use the power of the National Broadband Network to establish new local industries and attract overseas interests
- Cut infrastructure charges to provide incentives for local housing and commercial development
- Promote the Gold Coast to the world as a safe investment opportunity in the Asia Pacific region
The Gold Coast used to be known for embracing big ideas and innovations and the Property Council believes the way to rebuild the local economy is to recapture this pioneering spirit of old.
They believe that addressing these five key areas will be a step in the right direction, creating local jobs, reigniting interest in local investment properties and paving the way for long-term economic prosperity.