Chamber fights for share of Games surplus
Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said many of the city's businesses suffered during the Games and the State Government should invest in the area to offset the losses."The Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce was very supportive of the Commonwealth Games but there were some significant losers as well as winners in the business community,'' Mr Hall said.
"In parts of the city, particularly the tourism destinations, the streets were empty."The State Government, GOLDOC and the Council spent time and effort examining the legacy that the Games would leave and this 167 million saving could go some way to substantially improving the legacy of the Games for business owners."
Mr Hall's comments follows the release of a Queensland Audit Office report that found that $167 million of the $1.5 billion budget allocated to the Commonwealth Games was available for return to the state government.Mr Hall said the money could be used to immediately improve the city's infrastructure, such as State Government-controlled roads, the M1, preparing for the M2, or to provide incentives or grants for Gold Coast businesses.
The Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce represents businesses between Main Beach and Burleigh and west to Nerang.Mr Hall said if the State Government wanted long-term improvement in the Queensland economy, it should invest further in the Gold Coast, which is leading the state in economic growth.
"The Gold Coast has come a long way in a short time but there is still a lot more that can be done to strengthen our position as a world-class city in which to do business and which we can all call home," said Mr Hall."If we want to be a world-class city, we must have world-class infrastructure.
"If the State Government invests in further Gold Coast infrastructure now, that will encourage and ensure further economic growth for the city and the State in the short to medium term.Mr Hall said the Central Chamber had three pillars in its strategic plan: economy, education and engagement.
"The Chamber exists to encourage a strong local economy, to help educate our members and to engage governments, businesses and the community on behalf of its members."The Gold Coast has come a long way in a short time but there is still a lot more that can be done to strengthen our position as a world-class city in which to do business and which we can all call home.
"What we need is all levels of government, the business community and the wider community in general to work together to build a stronger city."