A new pillar of Gold Coast’s booming economy is taking shape along our waterways and rivers. I’m talking about the Port of Gold Coast, which is coming to life as a shining jewel in our city’s wealth of lifestyle attractions.
Our developing port is anchored by the Coomera marine precinct that has a deserved reputation as a sophisticated and professional boatyard of world class. It is a perfect match for the Gold Coast’s status as a global tourist destination welcoming 13 million visitors a year.
Our year-round sunshine, glorious coastline, magnificent hinterland, abundance of accommodation, and smorgasbord of entertainment are irresistible to those wanting to create memories to last a lifetime. Combine all of that with our casino, theme parks, golf courses, and a major events calendar bursting with world-class entertainment and you have irresistible appeal.
With our stabilised seaway and brilliant Broadwater, we are an ideal homeport or stopover for vessels cruising the South Pacific or the east coast. And Coomera is a magnet, especially for the fast-growing superyacht sector, which now turns over $40 billion a year.
The superyacht fleet has more than doubled over the past 10 years, with nearly 5000 yachts longer than 24 metres currently in service. They create work for around 150,000 people directly around the world.
The two biggest slipway operators at Coomera are each investing hundreds of millions of dollars into expansion of their facilities to grow their attraction to superyacht owners and operators. And I’m backing their investment by maintaining a $3 million dredging program to deepen and clear 14 kilometres of the Coomera River and Broadwater to enable safe access.
To further boost the credentials of the Port of Gold Coast, I championed Southport Yacht Club being trialled as a Border Force clearance port to make it easy for substantial vessels to use the Gold Coast as either a home port or visiting destination. This initiative is working really well and I am asking for clearance port status to be retained permanently.
Coomera is a great example of the Gold Coast entrepreneurial spirit contributing around $2.5 billion a year to our local economy. This 250ha precinct provides Australia’s most comprehensive refit and repair facilities, representing one-third of the entire national boat-building and maintenance industry.
These are all powerful factors supporting the establishment of a cruise ship berthing facility offshore of The Spit.
The reason I am so supportive of the Port of Gold Coast is that it is defined by excellence, and the trades that underpin it are the new jobs of the future. It offers a fantastic jobs-generating capacity that will enable growing numbers of our young Gold Coasters to avoid having to leave family and friends to chase work elsewhere.
That is a big part of my dream for the City of Gold Coast.
Tom Tate, City of Gold Coast Mayor