Speech-Reimagine Gold Coast 2020

24 Aug | '2020

I know everyone in this place is highly conscious of the hardship this pandemic is causing for all Australians. In the engine room of the Gold Coast there are 9,700 businesses relying on JobKeeper, along with other federal government support measures available, to keep the doors open. Gold Coast tourism, small business and education have all been badly impacted. The good people of Moncrieff are missing our southern cousins and tourists, locked out by the state border closures. They are pining for Australia’s number one destination in the sun. Whilst they are grateful for JobKeeper, locals are understandably anxious about the jobs landscape moving forward. I am dedicated to working with city leaders to lift our heads and look to the future. As chair of the City Heart Taskforce, which I convened in May this year, I have taken action to reignite the Gold Coast entrepreneurial spirit. Over 100 bright minds began the task of re-engineering the pathway to jobs of the future when last week I brought together the Reimagine Jobs, Skills and Industry Forum, a COVID-safe event at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Thank you to the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre and the team for the stellar job they did to deliver the all necessary layers of precautions to ensure participants were welcomed safely. I thank the Prime Minister, ministers Cash, Robert and Andrews, and the member for Higgins for addressing the industry leaders, and the Deputy Prime Minister for his support. I thank the mayor, Tom Tate, for attending and listening to the City Heart Taskforce executive members deliver their key objectives.

Now is the time to reignite the thinking of our industry leaders. Now is the time for Gold Coast employers and educators, movers and shakers, to reimagine the future of the Gold Coast. The opportunity is ours on the Gold Coast to grow new and emerging economic pillars in parallel with those that are established. As tourism and associated industries like events, education, marine, small business and the night economy rebuild, others like manufacturing, construction, health and knowledge, arts and culture and sport need to flourish and grow in the economy reshaped by the pandemic.

Reimagine 2020 achieved an important step forward. There are many more steps on the road ahead. Translating vision into actionable plans takes expertise and determined effort. It takes talent to get the job done. Fortunately there is no shortage of entrepreneurial talent on the Gold Coast. There is no shortage of the entrepreneurial spirit either. I know so much has already been achieved by Gold Coasters. Industry leaders continue to manage unprecedented challenges, but together, through the forum, we are already collectively shaping our future. Industry must generate the jobs and skills that families need because families are the fabric of our community. Reimagine Gold Coast has provided a platform for industry to work with the federal government to create the jobs of the future for Gold Coast families.

In Moncrieff we all want the same thing: to grow, to prosper and to shine. Team Gold Coast are not waiting for outside influences to shape our future. Reimagine Gold Coast was from the inside out for us, about us, and by us.

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