However, the city’s CBD may soon be on people’s minds, since the Southport area was designated a priority growth zone late last year. Since then, the area has seen roughly $200 million in investments planned for the region.
By being declared a priority development area, Southport has been able to develop a unique plan to facilitate greater use of land resources. Currently the zone covers 195 hectares of land, across both the CBD and parklands areas nearby.
Key sites within the area designated for future projects include the Southport Hospital site as well as the redevelopment of nearby parklands and facilities for the Commonwealth Games. The third stage of the Broadwater Parklands is a key part of this initiative, following the completion of the first two stages over the last few years.
Another key development is the construction of a Chinatown within the CBD area. The plan currently involves roughly $3.5 million in funding which will turn Davenport Street into the Gold Coast’s Chinatown precinct.
Southport has strong foundations for future growth. The zone is currently the most populated part of the city, while also being home to the largest portion of the city’s office space – roughly 149,000 m2.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney emphasised the value that these projects would bring to the area, now that a priority development zone had been declared.
“This declaration puts the council in full control of what has always been the business heart of the coast and will enable council to promote new development and re-vitalise the area,” Mr Seeney said.
“With some major development opportunities within the Priority Development Area, including the former Southport Hospital site, this decision provides more certainty for developers enabling construction to start sooner, creating new jobs.”
As these planned initiatives draw closer to realisation and new projects are envisioned, there will be strong demand for apprenticeships on the Gold Coast. The skills learnt through an apprenticeship are an essential ingredient in the effective completion of this work, with a number of professions needed on these projects.
With these investments sitting alongside improvements to the Gold Coast’s built infrastructure, there will also be employment opportunities in industries like hospitality. With new bars and restaurants enabled by this project, there will be even more demand for skills which can be picked up through a traineeship.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator