An additional $2.5 billion of investment is heading to the Gold Coast’s CBD, with Southport set to become the region’s core business and employment hub.
In what could turn out to be good news for Gold Coast apprenticeships, the funding is expected to provide a significant boost for construction workers in the region.
The City of Gold Coast revealed that 47 development applications for Southport have been lodged under the Priority Development Area initiative. The scheme removes barriers to investment in an effort to attract more developers.
Approximately 6,700 apartments have already been given the green light or are currently under assessment. The $2.5 billion figure encompasses land values, construction expenses and a range of other development costs.
Mayor Tom Tate said the Southport population is predicted to more than double from its current level of 30,145 over the next 21 years.
“Southport already has the highest number of jobs in the city – 25,000 jobs – with this figure expected to grow to 60,000 by 2036,” he explained. “It also has the highest amount of commercial floor space in the city, with more than 150,000 square metres over 80 buildings.”
Boost for builders
A local construction company has welcomed the announcement of more investment in the Gold Coast. Rawcorp was responsible for the delivery of the Rise apartments in Southport and is currently working on the Ascent project.
Director Anthony Rigby said the two initiatives have created 200 jobs in Queensland, with construction employment on the rise over the past two years.
“The labour market for skilled workers is a far cry from the situation two to three years ago,” he explained. “We’ve got plenty of opportunities to offer tradies, whereas a few years back there was no work on the Gold Coast.”
Mr Tate echoed these sentiments, adding that confidence is high among developers. He claimed there are around 18 cranes populating the city’s skyline, although there was just one in 2012.
The mayor went on to say he is confident that investors will continue to see the potential of the Gold Coast, which will result in more job opportunities for local people.
In 2014-15, the City of Gold Coast has approved 3,944 development applications in total. This is notably higher than the 3,178 approved at the same time in the previous financial year. For 2011-12, the figure stood at 2,448 applications for the 12-month period.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator