More to South­port than

Give CBD a chance to evolve

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - MAYOR TOM TATE

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.

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