Why the Gold Coast will become a political powerhouse

by The Hon. John Mickel

Published on
August 19, 2016

With the make-up of the new Federal government now final, and Queensland largely responsible for delivering the majority to the Coalition, the Gold Coast’s political relevance is stronger than ever.

Queensland now needs to ensure that infrastructure projects are delivered in high growth areas – the Gold Coast being one of them.

The private sector on the Coast continues to demonstrate positivity, particularly with investment in tourism, retail, transport and infrastructure. These major projects include light rail stage 2, the Gold Coast Airport expansion, The Star Entertainment Group’s Broadbeach Island Master Plan, the redevelopment of Pacific Fair and refurbishment of Australia Fair.

But support from the Government is not assured. It appears that billions are being spent in South Australia for industry. Queensland needs the M1 and further extensions of the Gold Coast heavy rail line in time for the Commonwealth Games and to support business continuity and growth. And light rail stage 3 is yet to achieve the necessary support.

There is also a warning sign for the Federal Government in Queensland and a job to do regarding community engagement and reputation management – in the Senate in Queensland the vote for ‘Others’ at 38 percent was higher than the LNP at 35 percent and Labor at 26 percent. Could it be that the UK Brexit and Trump syndromes are alive and well in Queensland? Watch this political space.

The Hon. John Mickel is a former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland and a Rowland strategic advisor for government relations.