Gold Coast Pacific Airshow

4 Sep | '2023

The inaugural Pacific Airshow Gold Coast was held over three days in the heart of Moncrieff in beautiful Surfers Paradise on 18, 19 and 20 August. There were three days of astounding aircraft entertainment never before seen in Queensland. Tourists and locals enjoyed the show, and as the Americans say, ‘Folks came out in their droves’—in their hundreds of thousands. There were 150,000 tickets sold, and many more spectators lined the beach all the way from Main Beach to Miami.

On the last day I was talking to a local catering company who had a food van down at Northcliffe Surf Club. They told me that over the three days they took $25,000 in turnover. They were relieved that they could pay their mortgage for the next few months. They were relieved that they had a short breather from the pressure they’re facing amidst the Prime Minister’s cost-of-living crisis. Kurrawa Surf Club told me they had an absolutely fantastic weekend of trade, and when I walked past Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club it was bursting at the seams. Cavill Mall, with its restaurants and tourist attractions, was packed well into the evenings, and retailers, businesses and ice cream parlours were happy with the queues outside their establishments.

Sadly, just a few short weeks later, it’s back to the reality of the Albanese Labor government, who does not support free enterprise, who does not support reward for effort, who does not support small and family businesses. It’s back to higher mortgage payments, higher electricity bills, higher food and petrol costs and more broken promises. It was the coalition government who first met with Major Events Gold Coast in October 2020 in my office on Chevron Island to discuss how and if the Gold Coast could deliver a world-class air show to Surfers Paradise with the necessary support from the ADF.

Thanks to Kevin Elliott and our American friends from Code Four’s Pacific Airshow Huntington Beach California. Thanks to: Jan McCormick from Major Events Gold Coast, a member of the City Heart Taskforce; the former member for Fadden; the former defence minister, Peter Dutton, now Leader of the Opposition, who approved this event to go ahead with all its complications; and to the current minister for defence for his support in the last few weeks leading up to this air show.

Congratulations to all the pilots and their teams—some of them volunteers flying their own aircraft, such as the Freedom Formation. To the Australian Defence Force and Royal Australian Air Force Air Commodore Micka Gray, Head of Air Shows, thank you for your support for the Gold Coast with your C-130J, C-17A and the magnificent F/A-18F fly-past. The outstanding aerobatic displays from the Air Force Roulettes—Matt Hall, Aaron Deliu, Emma McDonald and many more—were simply breathtaking in the skies above Surfers Paradise.

We have been flown into a new era of spectacular global events with the birth of Australia’s pacific air show, with its professional team from Code Four locked in for four more years of sky entertainment for Gold Coasters, Australians, Americans and the world to enjoy.

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