Around The Table

WORDS: Cidonie Richards PHOTOGRAPHY Brian Usher - [email protected]

The Ocean Road Around the Table Property Forum recently played host to some of the most influential figures in the property industry. Set against the backdrop of stunning ocean views at RACV Royal Pines Resort, this event offered an afternoon of exquisite dining, awe-inspiring vistas, and dynamic conversations that delved into the pressing challenges and promising prospects awaiting the future of the Gold Coast property market.


The Menu


Sourdough, pumpkin, fennel pollen and honey butter

Paired with

Tasmanian Mumm Sparkling


Beetroot cured kingfish, cultured horseradish cream, sea herbs, pickled young vegetables

Paired with

Torzi Matthews Trebbiano, Barossa Valley, SA

Slow-roasted beef fillet, nori infused pomme dauphinoise, broccoli tartare

Paired with

Hughes & Hughes Syrah, Adelaide Hills, SA


Chamomile crème brulee, sunflower seed sable, raspberries, bee pollen

Paired with Brookies Mac Liqueur, Byron Bay, NSW

The Hosts

Brian Usher – Publisher, Ocean Road Magazine


Steve Hunt – CEO, Media Hunt Communications


The Guests

Scott Hutchinson – Chairman, Hutchinson Builders

Matt George – Director, Urban Activation

Jayde Pezet – Managing Director, Pezet Matheson

Todd Matheson – Director, Pezet Matheson

Paul Riga – Director, Urbis

Patrick Hefferan – Planning Director, Urbis

John Kearney – Director, Greyburn

Robert Badalotti – CEO, Azzura

James Vallis – Project Director, Azzura

Andrew Erwin – CEO, NPA Projects

Dan Marino – Director, Hickey Lawyers

The Venue:

Perched atop the 21st floor of the esteemed RACV Royal Pines Resort, our forum discussions unfolded in the exclusive confines of Videre Restaurant’s private dining area, treating our guests to some of the most breathtaking panoramas of the Gold Coast.

RACV Royal Pines Resort, widely regarded as one of the premier destinations on the Gold Coast, has recently embarked on an ambitious multimillion-dollar renovation project. The endeavour encompasses a rejuvenation of their accommodation spaces, an upgrade to the Kalinda restaurant, and the imminent unveiling of a brand-new executive lounge, all set to be revealed just in time for this year’s festive season.

Guided by the discerning hand of Martin Zumstein, these renovations have been meticulously orchestrated by the renowned architectural firm DBI. The result is a fresh and modern ambience in the resort’s rooms, with a new colour palette featuring warm wood, elegant brass accents, polished stone finishes, and soothing earthy tones. The transformation doesn’t stop here, as the beloved Italian eatery, Trattoria Amici, and the Japanese-inspired dining destination, Arakawa, are next in line for a stylish makeover.

Within the conference and event landscape, RACV Royal Pines Resort continues to embrace sustainability practices and modernise the conferencing space by moving towards linen-less meetings. Enhanced by custom-designed furniture pieces, innovative pop-up bars, and creative food display stations, these additions are scheduled to make their debut just in time for the forthcoming lively events season, ensuring an unmatched experience for attendees.

The Conversation

The conversation was led by Steve Hunt, CEO of Media Hunt Communications with the head of Australia’s largest building company, Scott Hutchinson and other industry leaders.

Their discussions centred on the formidable challenges currently facing the property sector in the short term, while also highlighting the overwhelming optimism for the Gold Coast’s future, particularly with the impending 2032 Olympics.

Hutchinson Builders Chairman and keynote speaker, Scott Hutchinson, said high inflation and higher interest rates had created a “triple whammy” for the market – with build costs sending builders to the wall, developers unable to make projects feasible, and buyers wary given upward interest rate trends.

However, he said these forces were stabilising and the challenge now would be for the industry to deliver projects to meet the high migration demands which are seeing almost 50,000 people a year coming to Queensland.

“This is accentuated by the fact that there is so much competition for trades due to the extraordinary amount of public infrastructure spending by governments because of Queensland’s popularity, growth and the coming 2032 Olympics.”

Guests delved into the nuances of this thriving market, exchanging insights and forecasts, drawing from their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Scott Hutchinson:

“The big challenge now is how we find enough tradespeople to deliver much-needed projects to the market in such a high migration environment, where housing demand has probably never been higher.”


Matt George:

“There is strong and consistent demand from buyers wanting to experience the fantastic Gold Coast lifestyle. Completed projects continue to draw inquiries for resales, even after topping out, as evidenced by the ongoing interest in the Hemingway Palm Beach and Emerson Kirra developments.”


Jayde Pezet:

“We are seeing an unprecedented time in the construction sector. However, sales remain strong and developers that are highly credentialed, hold long-standing industry relationships and can deliver, are succeeding in the current market.”


Paul Riga:

“We are acutely aware of the growth trajectory that Southeast Queensland is on and there is certainly a dire need to make sure we get our planning right as we manage the exciting growth prospects of the region.”


John Kearney:

“It has been a definite advantage for us in terms of being able to control prices and create more certainty around delivery for our customers.”


Robert Badalotti:

“I am very bullish about the Gold Coast, and in particular Southport, as the city’s undisputed CBD. Migration will remain very strong over the next decade and people including retirees will continue to flock to the Gold Coast.”


Andrew Erwin:

“Future off-plan projects should have construction underway or a definitive commencement date before launching marketing campaigns to assure buyers of the builder’s reliability.”


Dan Marino:

“We need to give the market greater certainty that developments are progressing so that buyers have confidence (when entering into off-plan sales contracts) that the developer won’t “gouge” further price increases as a result of either increases to the building price, or interest expenses that have resulted after a purchase price has been agreed at the contract date.”

The Around the Table Property Forum is more than a gathering, it is a convergence of thought leaders and visionaries in the property industry. It is a celebration of collaboration, where minds meet to chart the course for the future of Queensland’s property market.

This conversation will have a lasting impact, inspiring new ideas and pushing critical progress for the vibrant Gold Coast and south-east Queensland property market.