More to Southport than
Give CBD a chance to evolve
I HAVE observed with interest the public debate regarding Southport as our official CBD and what the future holds for the precinct.
For me, it’s as simple as this. Southport is the endorsed city CBD; it has been granted State Government approval to evolve as a Priority Development Area; it has the key infrastructure in place to emerge as a vibrant CBD; it is benefiting from billions of dollars of private sector investment right now; and it is primed for significant growth over the next decade.
CBDs don’t just appear overnight. They evolve.
To pinch an old golfing adage, Southport is “ready to tee off’’.
It has the light rail spine running through it and we have just supercharged the IT capacity of the precinct with high-speed fibre optics that deliver 10 times the download speed of the NBN.
More broadly, the health and knowledge precinct – only a few kilometres along the light rail from Southport – is integral to the CBD’s success.
That $5 billion-plus precinct is the home of future smart jobs in medical research, 3D printing, sports science, tertiary education and human robotics. Any discussion about the health and knowledge precinct must include Southport.
Visually, we are pushing ahead to give Southport a point of difference from other retail and commercial centres on the Gold Coast. Key to this is the Chinatown district within the greater CBD.
Great cities like Melbourne and Sydney enjoy the vibrancy and life that Chinatown precincts can bring. Like Southport itself, our Chinatown won’t be an overnight success but will evolve over time.
Remember, Sydney’s CBD Chinatown district took almost 100 years to establish. Remarkably, it is still evolving today.
Back to the golfing analogies and you can see why Southport is set to tee off.
As Mayor, I remain committed to encouraging the State Government to relocate a key State agency such as Tourism Queensland from Brisbane to the Southport CBD.
I am also passionate about establishing water taxi services that will link Southport, the Broadwater and our main tourism precincts of Main Beach and Surfers Paradise with the CBD.
If I had my way, they’d be operating today but the waterways are under the management of the State Government-controlled GC Waterways Authority.
What Southport doesn’t need is poor leadership and sideline critics.
For those unwilling or incapable of stepping up to the tee and hitting off for Southport, it’s best they pack up their clubs and get off the fairway.