Reimagine 2.0 Jobs, Skills and Industry Forum

18 Oct | '2021

I rise to inform the House about the Reimagine 2.0 Gold Coast Jobs, Skills and Industry Forum that I hosted on 24 September at the Island Gold Coast, in the heart of Moncrieff in Surfers Paradise. This forum is now in its second year as the Gold Coast’s only cross-industry think tank. It is an initiative of the City Heart Taskforce, which I chair, and was convened in May 2020 as my local response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides an important platform for city industry leaders to connect, create and collaborate by sharing knowledge about innovation, implementation and service delivery, with a key emphasis on jobs, skills, talent, economic diversification and investment attraction. The forum component featured keynote plenary presentations and a themed industry breakout session for key industry leaders and business representatives to initiate the discussion of issues and provocative ideas, with a focus on targeted outcomes. Over 120 city leaders came together for the breakfast, which featured speakers from emerging Gold Coast industry sectors of biomedical technologies, industry 4.0 and space. Ms Estella Rodighiero, Director of Regional Development Australia Gold Coast and City Heart Taskforce executive member, outlined her work for the industry 4.0 project, which plays an important role in highlighting new technologies and new ways to do business, including robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IOT) and 3D printing. I also acknowledge the great work that RDA Gold Coast does under its regional chairman, Nick Scott.

Dr Hal Rice is a neurovascular surgeon and a diagnostic and interventional neuro-radiologist who has developed robotic brain aneurysm procedures and 3D models of patient aneurysms that can be used as training tools for medical students or in practice runs for difficult and complex surgeries. Dr Rice and his partner, Dr Laetitia de Villiers, work from Griffith University’s ADaPT—the Advanced Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute. I’m advocating in this place for a larger building as a new home for this type of technology and innovative therapies, which save lives across Queensland and, potentially, the world.

Mr Adam Gilmour’s business Gilmour Space is ‘blasting off’, launching rockets and satellites into space. There’s an incredibly fast-growing space industry on the Gold Coast, which is exciting not only for Gilmour Space, Ryan Aerospace and Aero Defence but also for the next generation of schoolkids whose dreams of becoming rocket scientists can now become reality without leaving the Gold Coast.

At the breakfast we heard a message from the Prime Minister to Gold Coast industry leaders, and from my Gold Coast colleague the member for Fadden, the Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, who outlined the challenges we face as a nation with regard to skills shortages in the workforce. He outlined how important it is that the Queensland Premier stick to the national plan to provide Gold Coast businesses with a road map to Christmas. And today, finally, we heard the Premier talking about sticking to the national plan, which is great news for local business, particularly tourism and hospitality operators.

The member for McPherson and Minister for Home Affairs then spoke about the challenges of opening our international borders and her very important work protecting Australians. After the Reignite Breakfast, the City Heart Taskforce executive members went into breakout power sessions where they discussed the three key themes, and accompanying questions, that formed their closing remarks at the end of the forum. The key themes that we explored were opportunity, innovation and talent.

The 2032 Olympics is now a tremendous opportunity for transport, infrastructure and growth in sport, which will produce development from the community to the elite level. It will see a decade of opportunity before and after the games. We’ve seen 100,000 people move to the Gold Coast over the last 12 months, and that population growth has brought talent with it that needs to be harnessed and funnelled into our emerging sectors, such as arts and culture. Some sectors have innovated, diversified and activated to survive and prosper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Already contributing $7 billion to the Gold Coast economy is manufacturing, which certainly has further potential and opportunities, with 24 per cent growth and 14,500 jobs in the last five years.

Talent is a key factor in our long-term recovery and indeed future growth, and this was discussed at length by industry key pillars. I congratulate City Heart Taskforce executive members, who worked together on Reimagine 2.0 to steward the way forward for jobs, skills and industry on the Gold Coast. The Reimagine 2.0 Insights report will be published shortly.


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